We want to buy 100% of every bag you send us. Period. Oh and we’re human.

Every day someone emails us and asks why their payout on items was low or why we didn’t accept all the items in their bag. Once in awhile people accuse of stealing their items. Sometimes people think we’re trying to scam them and they leave terrible reviews all over the web (if you love thredUP, throw us a bone over at http://www.resellerratings.com/store/ThredUP).  Occasionally people accuse us of fraud and say absolutely terrible things about us personally or question our motivations.

I’m not sure why these few vocal people think the worst of us, or take it out on the wonderful employees we have here at thredUP, but since I hear it at least once a day and I know we all take it personally, I think it’s important for me to speak up.  We’re not satisfied where we are today, and we are working to get better in all facets of the business, but we’re not doing anything malicious on purpose and we certainly aren’t out to scam or defraud anyone.

I’m here to get some information out in public and put a face to the nameless company many of you think we are. I also hope to provide some basic business information so you understand why it makes no sense (absolutely no sense!) for us to not buy the items you send to thredUP.

So…this is thredUP.

Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 4.23.52 PM

  • We’re the company who sends real holiday cards. That’s me on the bottom of the picture looking absolutely ridiculous and doing my best George Costanza impersonation.
  • We are moms, dads, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters just like you. We come to work everyday to keep building a new product and a customer experience that we’re proud of – something that’s never been done online before at the scale at which we’re operating (we’re 50-100 times larger than your local consignment store). We don’t always get it right, but we try. And we work to get better all the time. More on that below.
  • We’re professionals in the used clothing business. We’re highly trained and bring the same rigor to thredUP that any professional brings to their craft. We put our quality standards above everything else. We don’t accept items because they don’t meet our quality standards. Period. We’ve literally done this more than a million times…we know what we’re talking about. This isn’t an opinion business – the items we reject have flaws.
  • We’re the company who would love to buy EVERY SINGLE ITEM you send us. Every item we buy from you, we can sell at a great value to someone else and make some money in the process. 
    We can’t stay in business unless we keep buying items from you. There is
    absolutely zero reason why we’d try and not buy items from you – after all, we pay to create the bag ($2), ship you the bag ($1), ship the bag back ($12) and pay the wonderful team members who go through each item ($5/bag). That’s $20 per bag. If we get a bag with only a few items in it that we can resell, we actually lose a lot of money, even if we’re able to offset some of this cost by working with our network of recyclers. The more items we can resell from you, the better! I can’t emphasize this enough.
  • We’re the company innovating every day based on your feedback. Since we launched our shop more than a year ago, here are the things we’ve done to improve your supplier experience:
    1. We used to pay by the bag load, now we pay for every item; we take more item types and categories than ever before (especially now with juniors and womens)
    2. We now take photos of every item that we reject, and these photos will get better over time so you can see precisely the reasons for rejections. This means w
      e’re taking as many as 10,000 photos a day and delivering them to you in real-time.
    3. We’re rolling out our convenient Returns Assurance program so 
      ou can get every item back if you’d like – many customers have been raving about this program.
    4. Soon we will announce a plan for accepting high-value items with “Tiny Flaws” so we can accept more of your clothing with minor imperfections and make available more premium items than can be reconditioned for like-new wearing.

At the end of the day, we want all of you to love thredUP as much as we do. Every day we work hard to deliver a high-quality experience on both thebuying and selling side. Again, we’re not satisfied with where we are, but we’re getting better every day.

If we don’t accept your items it’s not because we don’t want to, it’s because we can’t resell them as the practically new clothing you’ve come to trust buying on thredUP.

Thanks,
James
Co-Founder & CEO

41 Comments on “We want to buy 100% of every bag you send us. Period. Oh and we’re human.

  1. My first order just arrived today. The clothes are perfect, exactly as pictured. I can’t believe they were wrapped in tissue paper. I will admit I only ordered because of a discount you offered first time buyers, but I will order again. To get like new children’s clothes as a fraction of the cost is great! Thanks thredUP!

  2. Amazing ! I have a wonderful experience with this company ! dn beleive everything said on net ! people have plenty of free time ! I ve bought some used stuff for my kid , which I would never have done such thing in the past , But the biggest surprise was when I recieved almost ‘ entirely ‘ new clothes with NO signs of previous washing even ! the price was too amazing ! these guys really know what they r doing ! it is my own opinion , no one had paid me to say anything ! i love ThredUp , cant wait for the women section to open , Lol :))

  3. ThredUP has been a great company to do business with. Since we heard of it on ABC World News, we were hooked. This company makes it easier than our local consignment store in many ways. If concerned about whether to send an item, the customer svc reps have always emailed us back in a 24 hr period if not less. They also have researched items for us, provided information once the women’s consignment started, and followed up / tracked bags when we emailed. The return assurance is the way to go if you want items back. Sometimes we want to have a chance to consign or pass on our items that ThredUP can’t take, and for the small fee, we get them back. That way we can donate or sell the remainder as we like. Sometimes , we don’t want it back – they can buy what they want and pass on what isn’t acceptable. We also do use the price checker feature. That helps give an idea on pricing so we are not surprised. Lastly, the Groups Tab has allowed us to start donation groups for my childrens’ schools. Other families are now using Spring Break to also clean out. People may give ThredUp a hard time, yet there are safeguards you can take , as I mentioned above, to get items back or check pricing before you send. Any consignment store would have the same rules as they do. When ABC News featured this company, it was a part of a series “Bringing America Back” if I am not mistaken. There is something to be said for creating jobs, buying (or purchasing /consigning) via an American small business, and seeing value in the potential growth of a company. ThredUP has been receptive to feedback, and asks for it often. I think there is a certain level of decorum we can all use to get the point across without accusations. We have had a good experience and will continue to sell to ThredUP.”

  4. I pay to pack up the bag, seal it with tape (because that strip does NOT seal well), and drive over to the post office . . . all to send the bag. THEN I receive less money than I spent on gas to actually ship the items. You can say that you WANT to buy every item, but my first experience with Thred Up was months ago and was FABULOUS. My last bag I got $3. As you well know, there are many other companies like Thred Up out there. So, I will save my money to ship you the bags, since I cannot even recomp that amount, and donate the items locally. Then, I will take the money I saved by not shipping to you and spend it with a competitor.
    Also, I would rather not spend more on your site for a USED item than I would at the store when the item was on sale.

  5. I do not know what I would do without you ThredUP. My husband is retiring from 20 years of military service and on top of all that we took in a disabled relative and my 3 year old starts preschool in the fall. I don’t think I have to tell you how hard it has to make ends meet. Without your company and your staff I do not know I would be able to buy her school cloths. The cloths I have sold and bought from you have been of amazing quality. I have no complaints about my payouts. I am thankful to the founders for creating a company to fill a desperate need hundreds of us have. I am so excited and looking forward to the women line. Bless you all. Thank you from the Burdette Family in Cottage Grove, MN

  6. I love you Thred Up some people are very harsh I did get a lil uppity when I sent my first bag it took me several mos to put my best items in and I understand one persons best is not another I love this company and I do not believe it was ever scandalous or fraudulent I just thought with the workload everyone is human and makes mistakes, but I received a personal call from from ThredUp and they spoke to me and explained things and told me they are working on everything I just read and that was well over 6 mos ago even offered me credit to my account I declined. I only wanted to be heard and you guys did just that heard me and I am sure many others. I know that you guys strive to do your best and I think you guys have, I am very happy with the results and you guys have ALWAYS responded to me is a timely manner always been courteous I have been with you guys for almost 2 years and will continue on as long as my children are growing, I recommend you to all the mom’s I know so that they can benifit from the rewards on their pocketbooks from ThredUp and clothing our fast growing kids, keep up the great work ThredUp I have never seen a company that actually listens and follows thru with suggestions comment etc from us the way you have I am sure not everyone agrees with me but oh well and I am sure you guys will have complaints even if the picture is in front of their faces, they will probably say oh you guys must have stained it!! I hope that you do not get too many of tho’s types but there are a lot out there thanks again ThredUp I love you guys.

  7. I just wanted to say that I found your website a couple a months ago and I’ve purchased roughly $200 worth of clothing. I’ve been very pleased with my experience. Especially the condition of items, prices, and the prompt shipping. My only wish would be that you add better descriptions of the clothing, like the type of material. It would also be nice if more promo codes were offered, not for just first time orders and referrals. Otherwise, I have enjoyed shopping on your website.

  8. Thanks for the super informative article! I love seeing the photo, too! I have placed my first order with thredUp and it will be delivered very soon. I’m receiving a bag to send things to you. I have been very impressed with your web site, your customer reviews, and your customer service. I had questions that were answered in minutes by Carly and Stephanie. I am one of your newest fans! I am impressed that you are so responsive to customer suggestion and are ever improving your business. Every company should be so attuned to their customers! I’m sending my thanks and best wishes to you all!

  9. James and all at ThredUp-

    I just read your blog about “We want to buy 100%”, and am sorry to hear that some people have given you stress about your company’s policies. I tell everyone who will listen about the wonderful business you have started. Although I am a “newbie” with your company, I have been very happy with your company’s ability to offer quality [gently used] children’s clothing at extremely reasonable pricing. Certainly I would like the most for all I send, but I was fine with the bag total you assessed, and understand that your quality controls are to my benefit. The items I purchased looked store-bought; and I saved 70% off list. [Score!]

    And since before your company’s existance, I dropped off clothes at random “drop-boxes” in my community with no idea who was distributing my donation [and certainly did not get PAID for any of it], I see your company as filling a big void. And that you are doing it with thought, and a conscience makes me really pleased.

    Thank you and your staff for all your hard work to insure the happiness of your customers, who appreciate your policies and company spirit.

    Keep up the good work, and know – you are appreciated!
    Sincerely;
    Claudia Hecht

  10. I love purchasing from ThredUP, and I’m SO glad that you have such high quality standards! I’ve been 100% pleased with every item I’ve purchased and everything has been “like new.” I haven’t had the opportunity to sell yet since my kiddos are on the low end of the sizes you carry but this post does alleviate any concerns I had. I look forward to sending in a bag when the time comes. Great picture, btw.

  11. I love you guys! There are a couple things I wondered why you didn’t take, but then you’ve sent me items at no charge because you thought it was not quality enough on second look. As far as I’m concerned you keep on keepin’ on. You Rock! :)
    thanks!!

  12. Very nice review by Melissa. Agree with everything she said. This is a great company and can’t wait to buy more! And eventually sell some as my kids get bigger.

  13. I have to admit that I wasn’t happy with the amount of the payout of my first bag. However, after considering all that it takes to get a bag of clothes to you, as well as the fact that I expect great prices and clothes without flaws, I see it a little bit better. I am impressed that you decided to speak up about this. It means that you and your company care about your reputation and want the public to see you as a respectable and trustworthy company. You can’t please everyone, so keep doing the hard work, and know that your customers appreciate your diligence! I wish that I lived close enough to be a part of your team. It seems fun and challenging! Thank you ThredUp!

  14. When, will we have the option to have the unwanted items returned to us? And how much will this option cost? Also, will you all be accepting any jrs/mens clothing? Thanks

  15. ThreadUp is a great service. I haven’t really been able to use it (my son is autistic and we have to try on everything we buy for him to make sure it doesn’t put him in “overload”). But I know people who have and they were extremely pleased with the service and with the products received. And as for people getting upset about having things rejected…your local consignment shops would have the same rules as ThreadUp does. If something is too worn/damaged they can’t sell it. They’re already putting out $20 per package they receive. You can’t get ticked off if you’re negligent and send them stuff that would be better off dropped at the thrift store or sold at a yard sale. They have to actually make a profit to stay in business. It’s kind of the point….

  16. I have only bought from you and was very happy with the item that I got. I work with used clothing too. I buy, wash and iron, and then resale the items at a higher price to make a profit. I don’t think that paying a seller 10% for what you sell it for is fair though. I understand you a business but I’ve looked at some of the payouts and have to shake my head at what you pay some of these people. I would be upset too if I were in their shoes.
    I understand that you are going to get items that you can’t resale. But you sell clothing that is wrinkled, not categorized correctly (shirts in the dresses section), and you don’t sell hardly any sets. I personally think if you were to match items up (an obvious outfit by the same brand from the same line) would sell a lot better than as separates.
    I asked one time what happened to the items that you don’t accept. I never received an answer. I was curious because by the complaints it sounds like a fair amount you don’t accept. Hoping this helps some~

  17. Also, perhaps instead of offering a check (I assume that is how you pay) offer more of a credit if they take thredUP credit instead. Perhaps a higher %. You might be able to do more business that way.

  18. I’m so glad that you posted this today as I just had my first bag accepted from your team and recieved my email for it. It’s sad to see all of the negative reviews online after I sent in my bag, but I was optomistic for the best. I’m sad to report that I found some items listed on your website that are from my bag that I did not recieve credit for :( I’m hoping that with such huge loads of clothes everyday that this is just a technical error and have emailed customer support. It’s great to hear about the program of taking pictures of each item you reget so the customer knows why, but this was not sent in my email. How would one request a copy of this? Also, it’s great to hear about your other Returns Assurance program.

    Your staff was terrific at helping me set up my accounts to be a supplier, and I hope to continue to have a great relationship with what your company is doing. It’s great to be able to “cash in” my daughter’s last-season attire to help put towards new items for this year. Keep up the great work and more positive reviews are bound to come your way!

  19. I’ve been with ThredUp back when it was a swapping service and I have to say that their customer service has always been great and it’s a shame to see all of the negative reviews all over the web. The only advice I would give you James is that your employees who list the clothes online need better training and need to be on the same page regarding prices!! I’ve seen for example two shirts with the same brand, size and style listed for prices more than $5 apart and I have seen some higher end items priced lower than cheaper brands. I also think you should price your NWT items a lot lower. Once they leave a store they are used and subject to the environment they are in. It would serve you better to sell more clothes at a reduced rate than a few at a high rate.
    P.S. I’m not a fan of the reserve feature! If you are keeping that feature please program those items to be hidden from the search feature, that will eliminate complaints about it.

  20. If you could list the brands you do accept and brands you do not accept, that would really help. I try really hard to presort the items I think won’t be acceptable, still there are things you don’t accept. I think if you could list the brands, it would help me understand a little more. I love this concept and want to do business. Thanks!

  21. Ok, I forgive you. You really do not buy back as much as I expect. Good thing you are taking photos of the rejects because I can understand why you are accused of stealing. How do I view my reject photos? That’s some feedback, make that very noticeable so people stop complaining about the stealing.

  22. I have been using you guys for quite a while now. I love the concept and have been so pleased with everything I’ve received from you. I always only send you guys things I myself would be happy to buy and if it doesn’t always meet your high standards, I completely understand. I would be giving these outgrown items to charity anyway, so I don’t mind one bit. Keep on doing what you’re doing and I’ll keep recommending you to every Mom I know!

  23. Thredup has a wonderful business model. I love how they adapt and they really do listen. I’ve been using them since users shipped their own items to other users. For the most part I have had every issue addressed in a timely and professional manner. I will admit that the one issue that I felt wasn’t resolved still makes me stew a bit, but alas, I am a spoiled American! I have sent in bags and have ordered too many boxes to post here (in case my DH is reading). Each box that arrives is wrapped so nicely and feels like a gift. If you look at the negative comments, thredup has tried to implelement EVERY change and/or suggestion. You just don’t see companies do that anymore. It is a business, and they do need to make money. Shipping alone has gotten crazy high! Most don’t realize that shipping from the East coast to the West coast for a 2 lb item is over $10, so the amount they spend on the free shipping alone (a bag or order over $50) is often overlooked. Also, the time spent and paid to an employee to take pictures, post items, sort, inspect, pull items for orders, package, ship, maintain the website, implement improvements, office space, customer service reps …. A personal attachment to clothes doesn’t make them sellable. I think taking pics of the rejected items is a great concession. Hopefully the cost of doing so will ofset the number of hours spent with customer service and negative reviews. Keep up the good work! I hope thredup is still going strong in 10 years.

  24. I love thredup…. I love being able to shop from home and have stuff mailed to me. The clothes are in great condition… but I do agree with the idea about discarded clothes maybe put list in a discounted section with big bold letters that the items are flawed.. regardless I still love your program.. I hardly ever shop at stores and I really wish thredup was around before I had 5 garage sales…. thanks!

  25. I have mostly had a really good experience with Thread Up and when I have money in the budget to spend on clothes for my little one I usually check here first. When I have had issues, your customer service has been very quick and gracious in their responses. That has kept me a Thread Up customer even though I received items that had been mislabeled, shrunken or not what I was expecting based on the picture. Having spent quite a bit of time browsing your site, I have a couple of suggestions that you’re free to take or leave:
    1. I occasionally find things that are in the wrong category (like boys clothes in girls’, pants with the dresses, etc.). This obviously makes it less likely for those items to be found and purchased. What if you created a button that would flag the item for your staff to consider moving the item to the correct category? And maybe for 20 items correctly flagged, offering $5 off your next order- or free shipping or whatever? This would improve the likelihood of selling those items while encouraging customers to browse your site!

    2. Allow a customer to save a search like they do on ebay. So if I’m always wanting to look for 2T, 24m & size 2 girls items that are baby gap, gap or gap kids I don’t have to click each of those boxes every time.

    3. Similar to #2, put a “check all” box under the favorite brands category. So then we don’t have to check one brand, wait for the page to reload, check the next box, reload and so on. That process gets annoying if you want to do a search for your 15 favorite brands.

    Anyway, these are my suggestions to make a good shopping experience even better. I understand there’s only so much you can do at a time but maybe sometime down the road you could implement some if these ideas to make your customers even happier. Thanks!~ Angie

    • Oops, I was shopping and realized I forgot a couple.

      4. With items that are reserved, provide the time that they will be released so that a customer who is really sweating that item can go & search for it when it becomes available.

      5. Like on the iPhone app (which I love, btw), allow several size boxes to be checked at once instead of having to wait for the page to reload each time.

  26. Hello, I read your blog and the reviews on the attached web link. Wow I was shocked by all the negative reviews! It does make me hesitant to continue to send in bags and I have been surprised by some of my payouts on certain bags/items in comparison to others. However, overall I understand your guidelines and reasons. I am pleased that you have added womens clothing as there aren’t many womans resell shops where I live. I do hope you receive some better feedback/reviews on this site in the future. Otherwise I worry about the success of your business and you losing customers if enough word gets out that you are not a reputable company. I look forward to the changes and hopefully good things to come from your company. Hopefully you are able to resolve many of the other customers concerns or improve quality control.   Thank you for offering this service. I have been able to pay some bills with the money I have received and I like the convenience. Crystal   

    ________________________________

  27. You should stop accepting bags for a month and have a HUGE clearance sale! Time to slash those prices and move some of the clothes that have been hanging around on your site awhile.

  28. I’ve only ever purchased (not sent in a bag) and only one time, but the items I received were flawless and I paid so little for them. I will ABSOLUTELY buy from ThredUp again knowing what high quality the merchandise is. Your site is VERY clear on the guidelines and that is why I have not sent in a bag myself yet- because I only have 2 items in it right now that actually look brand-spankin’ new like the ones I purchased. If I want “pretty good” used clothes, I go to a consignment shop, tot swap or yard sale. If I want inexpensive, gently used clothing that looks brand new, I’ll come back to ThredUp. I urge you to continue with your standards of high quality. It is clear to me that if I send something that is of questionable resale value, I won’t get it back. It’s a shame if some of your clients are not comfortable with your policies but still send you their items. I’m looking forward to sending you my bag and seeing what happens!

  29. I loved Thredup when I first found it. I sent a few boxes out before the “buy back” thing came through and never received any complaints. I made sure to put in the best clothes we could. When you guys switched over, I ordered a bag and, given the size, it took a few months to fill up. Again, I only put in the best we had. I sent it in and never received ANY feedback. No rejection, nothing. I knew that ThredUP was undergoing some changes and waited to see what would happen with my bag, but nothing has happened. I appreciate what I believe you are trying to do, but, I believe the company has changed with its new policies and website.

  30. I have shopped with ThredUp numerous times, and while I wasn’t 100% thrilled with the payout of my last 2 bags, that included BRAND NEW shoes that weren’t accepted, I still will continue to do business with them. Let’s face it stuffing a bag with clothes and calling UPS to pick it up, is MUCH easier then scheduling a time with a local kids consignment shop or beats hanging/tagging clothes for a sale. I would like to see the pictures of my rejects and reasons as to why as many of mine were Children’s Place & Nautica and were barely worn.
    I agree with some of the other posters about more offers for some of us that have placed multiple orders – a discount here & there would be NICE – especially when we’re paying $2.99 (+.99 for each additional) each time we see something we like.

  31. I was wondering you were in the works of creating a men’s page? My wife loves shopping for herself and our son on your site and would love to be able to buy for me as well

    • I started shopping at ThredUp about two years ago. I have always read the guidelines ThredUp has placed IN PLAIN SITE on ThredUp website about items excepted and items not excepted. I do not feel ThredUp has ever hidden the fact that they do not except every item. ThedUp went as far as to create a tool for all of us to use on the site to help us get an idea of what you would pay out for specific items. Moreover, an article came out from ThredUp recently about why not all items are excepted and which items you would stop excepting do to retail stores discounting the items so steeply that there is no way for ThredUp to profit. I have looked back on articles and email notices I have received from ThredUp over the years and have not found a single time where ThredUp did not make it clear about their policy.

      I can understand it is may be hard for individuals who do not coupon, shop consignment or have worked for Retail in the past to understand what a deep discount they already receive from ThredUp and how ThredUp’s gross margin does take a hit. In order for ThredUp to operate money most be made for payroll, postage, processing, site maintenance and so on. I mention couponers (I Love Couponing!) because I feel couponers understand when we get an item for free there is a manufacture backing the coupon to pay the retailer so stores receive there money back and we get free items (LOVE FREE ITEMS). ThredUp does not have a big manufacture to back them if they except an item discount in a store on clearance $2.10 and pay out the customer $2.10. NO MONEY IS MADE BY THREDUP. ThredUp can not sell the gently used item for $2.10 on the site. ThredUp would have to discount to maybe $1.10 or lower. There is no money made and out of ThredUp’s pocket to operate a company they must pay. How long can they operate on that kind of system.

      I close with this. I LOVE FREE ITEMS. I LOVE FINDING A DEEP DISCOUNT. I also understand where ThredUp is coming from because I got to know the policy before and during my shopping experience with ThredUp. Everyone take a step back and look at the big picture. You want ThredUp to stay around (I DO) than work within the policy. The items ThredUp does not except donate to Savers or Goodwill-Easter Seals to benefit those around you in your community. As couponers know we have to work with the coupons we have within every company’s different policy’s- No different here.

      LOVE YOU ThredUp. Please keep doing what you are doing. I really need you guys.

  32. Hi Thredup Staff, I just want to show my support of your wonderful business! I recently placed my second order and although it has not arrived I know I will receive quality items. This is also my first order of women’s clothing. I have yet to send in a bag, but I’m preparing to in between taking care of my 3 year old son! I have Lupus which makes shopping in a store difficult due to pain so Thredup helps me find great, like new clothes. The affordability is also great since I no longer work. All I need now is the option to buy my husband clothes from you guys! This is one Mommy who you will always have on your side!!

  33. Seems like a SCAM to me, when you state that you will PAY out CASH for clothing, then suddenly decide that $1324, which I should be able to CASH out, is only available as shopping credit. Tell me, where exactly does your site explain THAT?

  34. Hey there! I simply wish to offer you a huge thumbs up
    for the great information you have got here on this post. I will be coming back to your web site for more soon.

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