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thredUp says online secondhand clothing sales grew significantly in 2017

By Dan Wilson April 18, 2018 - 7:21 pm

A report says that online sales and purchases of secondhand clothing and shoes grew significantly in 2017. One in three American women say that they bought secondhand clothes in 2017, according to research by the service thredUP. 2017 saw a total of 44 million shoppers, up from 35 million during the year before. Obviously, these numbers relate to the USA only but it’s likely a UK and European trend too.

What is thredUP?

As thredUP say of their service:

thredUP is not your typical thrift store. We’re the world’s largest online secondhand shopping destination with thousands of like-new styles from your favorite brands at up to 90% off retail. We make sure every single one of the 15K new arrivals we add to the site every day is 100% authentic and in such good shape anyone could mistake them as new. No knockoffs here—just knockoff prices. Find high-quality used women’s clothing and used children’s clothing from fashionable closets just like yours. Specially curated by our style experts.
– thredUP blurb

It was founded in 2009 by James Reinhart whilst still at university. He wondered what percentage of his clothes he actually regularly wore and he estimated that 70% bought were either never worn or only once or twice.

I started this business because I had a closet full of shirts I didn’t wear and it was inconvenient to try and sell them on eBay, so they just sat in my closet. There needed to be an easier way.
– James Reinhart, founder of thredUP

His answer to the problem was thredUP which takes second hand clothing that’s typically given away and they sell it online. Consumer sellers can request a “clean out” bag for free from thredUP and then a courier service will come by to collect the consignment. They will take goods made by 35,000 brands and what they pay will depend on what you send them. Those which are accepted and sold will receive a payout but anything that isn’t suitable will be recycled. They offer an Earnings Estimator so you can judge what you might receive.

Although predominantly online they have recently announced that it plans to open 5 bricks and mortar outlets in 2018 and two are already operational. Although shipping is available to shoppers in countries around the world, the service is only available to US sellers.

  • tony
    6 months ago

    “but it’s likely a UK and European trend too” So in other words “Yeah yeah we didnt bother looking really but just take my word for it””

  • 6 months ago

    Is it a younger generation thing, or just a lazy idiot thing?

    “I found taking a photo of something, listing it, posting it, getting paid maybe £10 to £20 per item such a hassle, I decided to scan every barcode (it told me I would make 15p per item!) and send them off to a company who took care of everything. Now I’ll have more time to sit around with my mates in overpriced bars and coffee shops, berating the rich for having all that money and not sharing it with us!”

    Sell your own stuff people. Even if you just list everything as a big job lot, you should still do better than sending it off to this type of company. It’s a smart idea on their part, but they devalue the market for everyone else with their business model.