A few months back, I agreed to make $4 an hour selling to Clothes Mentor*. Like a dummy. Because if there’s anything that I don’t do, it’s learn my lesson the first time. Enter: thredUP.
ThredUP promises to be worth it. There is the unrelenting social media advertising. There is the adorable green polka dot bag. There is the promise that it is quick and easy. So was thredUP worth it? Since I made $5.60 in just over a month, let’s go with maybe.
Is ThredUp Worth It?
ThredUP isn’t worth much if you’re expecting a big payout. In fact, I deliberately held back any designer items because I know I could either promote them more actively on Poshmark or drop them off at a designer consignment shop. But I rounded up a jacket, a few pieces from the LOFT, a few pieces from Target, and a pair of shoes I had never worn. I tossed them in the bag and sent them on their merry way.
That’s when the fun started. ThredUP sent me an email saying tracking activated on my bag. Great. They sent a few more encouraging emails while my items were en route to the magical sorting center. Also great.
Then they sent an email saying due to the high volume of stuff, I could expect my items to be sorted by the end of the next month. That’s right. I had to wait over five weeks beyond the shipping time to get paid. Let’s be clear. Using thredUP is easy. But it isn’t a strategy for making fast cash.
Still, if I continue to sell, I’ll use thredUP because it takes virtually no effort to earn money. It takes time, but not in a way that actually matters. I estimate that between activating my account, requesting a bag, bringing in the mail, and filling up my bag with items that I hadn’t previously sold on Poshmark, I spent about 15 minutes actively selling to thredUP. The rest was simply waiting. Working for $20 an hour isn’t going to make me rich. But it’s also not going to make me poor.
Why I Bother
I often wonder why I don’t simply donate everything. The answer is complicated. There are many minimalists and declutters who are far more efficient than I do. They simply round everything up, toss it all in trash bags, and heft it over to Goodwill. I cannot bring myself to do that with everything.
It’s not the sunk cost. I understand that I’m not going to make it big from reselling** my things. You’re talking to someone who has collectively made less than $10 through my most recent visit to Clothes Mentor and my one bag at thredUp. No, there is no way that I could recoup the money that I sunk into my closet.
And I’m not against donations. At all. I have donated many items. Many, many items. I don’t say this as a way to fish for compliments or as a way to justify any future tax deductions (be cool, IRS). I say it because I do know how absolutely fantastic is feels to give things away. And I much prefer to know my donations are going to a specific person or for a specific cause. That’s part of why I love listing items for free using NextDoor and Facebook.
That same desire to know that things are going to a good home has me hooked on sites like Poshmark, and to a lesser degree, thredUP. I was the queen of waste. Over $10,000 in truly wasteful spending. Nevermind the problems with fast fashion that range from unfair labor practices to environmental waste. So in some convoluted way, making sure that each of my things makes its way into a good home closet to be appreciated by someone makes my conscious feel a teeny bit better.
Until I finally get this clutter totally cleared away, I’ll keep implementing a balance of selling and donating. I don’t know that I have all the answers when it comes to selling online. But it seems like thredUP could be an efficient piece of a decluttering strategy.
So Tell Me…When will I learn my lesson? When did you? How do I finally convince myself not to care if people throw out my stuff?
*For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of wasting your time at Clothes Mentor, it’s Plato’s Closet’s big sister. Don’t worry. She’s equally finicky, she’s just as disorganized, and she also smells faintly of Febreeze mixed with bowling alley shoe disinfectant.
**For those of you who are keeping score, I just cracked $1,300 in re-selling this year.