Is Thredup a Scam?

If you are looking to sell your old clothing, shoes, bags, etc, Thredup is one of the choices online that you can use. But I’m sure you have heard rumors and talk about this place being a scam. So what should you trust? Is Thredup a scam or is this a legit online marketplace where you can make a quick buck selling old fashion that you never wear?

In this short review I’ll be diving into how this site operates, the money making potential that it presents, the “scam” rumors that you may have heard, and ultimately whether or not I think its a good option to use.

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Thredup is the self-proclaimed largest online thrift store. I’m not too familiar with all the other similar sites out there but this seems like it could be the truth.

Here women have the opportunity to make money by sending in old clothing for resale. Women’s and children’s clothing are accepted.

This place works similar to a brick and mortar thrift shop except its online.

How It Works

1) Order a “Clean Out” Kit

The first thing you have to do is order what they call a clean out kit. This is just a bag that they send you that you will use to put your clothing in to send back to them. This is free but they will deduct the cost of it out of your earnings.

2) Send In Your Items

The next step is to stuff the bag full of the items that you are going to try to make money off of and wait for them to be approved.

There are standards to what you can and can’t send in. All items must be in excellent condition without any defects. And when I say “excellent” I mean it. They even tell you that only about 40% of the items they receive pass inspection.

3) Get Paid

ThredUp will evaluate the items you send and give you money for them. The average time it takes to process your bag is said to be 21 days.

But you won’t get paid right away for your items necessarily. There are 2 ways that they decide to pay you.

  1. Upfront – If the items are on-trend and in-season then they will put them up for sale right away and you will get your money right after they do this.
  2. Consignment – If the items you send are expected to take a while to sell then you won’t get the cash upfront. Instead you will get paid when the items actually sell. All items that fall into this category will be listed for sale on ThredUp for 84 days. If they don’t sell you are pretty much out of luck.

How Much Can You Make?

This questions is a hard one to answer because it depends on what you have. But generally the answer is not much.

You can make “ok” money from clothes that are still in season but I wouldn’t expect much.

You never really know what you will end up making until you actually send your clothes in to have them looked at. But they do have a Payout Estimator where you can get a good idea of what you might get for the items you send in.

What you will do is enter the brand name of the items you are sending along with what category it falls into (tops, tees, jeans, etc.). It will then show you a bunch of recent items that they evaluated that fall into that category. You can get at least a decent idea of how much you are looking to get.

And just to give you an example of what to expect: Here are the recent results for American Eagle Outfitter tops…

As you can see they will pay you less than $1 for all of these items.

How You Get Paid

There are 3 ways that you can use the money that you get from the items you send in. 1) you can use it as store credit and buy things that they are selling; 2) you can donate it to a number of causes; 3) you can choose to receive it via PayPal.

Many people will probably just end up donating it because they will have received so little it won’t matter to them. But PayPal cash would be my choice if there was a decent amount.


The first 2 complaints listed below are the ones responsible for many of the “scam” rumors. Many people online are complaining about these and refuse to do more business because of them.

Low Pay

As you can see with the example I gave above, you won’t make much. Many people complain about sending in a whole bag and only getting a couple bucks for it. You could easily make more selling clothes that are in excellent  condition by yourself on sites like Poshmark, Tradesy, etc, which are pretty much like eBay.

Return Insurance

You have to pay for “return insurance” to get your items back that either aren’t accepted or don’t sell. If you don’t you will not get them back. So if you send in some clothes and something doesn’t pass your inspection for one reason or another then you are out of luck.

And remember, only about 40% of the items they receive are actually accepted.


Takes Forever

It will take an average of 3 weeks for them to evaluate your clothing. This is a pretty long time and at some points will take longer depending on how much demand there is.

Final Thoughts & What I Recommend

Overall I like what ThredUp brings to the table and they are definitely not a scam. Sure… they don’t pay much at all but that doesn’t amount to them being a scam.

If you want to make better money selling clothing like this online then Poshmark and Tradesy are 2 better options. But the thing is that you will have to list and sell your own items through these sites. Whereas ThredUp takes care of everything for you. So its really up to you and depends on what you are looking for.

But either way you more than likely aren’t going to make much money with these secondhand fashion sale sites.

Anyway. That is it for my review here. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you learned some important information. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns don’t hesitate to leave them below 🙂


My name is Kyle and I am the owner of Online Financial Success Story. I created this website in 2015 to teach others how they can make money online. To learn how I make a full-time income online, Click Here

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