thredUp.com and Swap.com

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Productive Mama Bottom Line:  Smart for budget and time conscious families.

Online thrift stores have their advantages!
Online thrift stores have their advantages!

PROS:

  • Sorting feature.  Great when you have a specific item in mind – you can easily search by size, color, style!
  • Items are carefully sorted for quality, stains, etc.
  • Helps me avoid shopping trips. I can let Teen browse and drop it in the cart.
CONS:
  • You do pay shipping, but it’s reasonable. And free after a certain amount.
  • You may have a return fee, BUT most thrift stores have a no return policy.
  • No men’s clothing. So you can’t shop for the men or even male teens in your life.
  • Variety of sizes?  I can’t be sure, but I’m guessing the size distribution would be about the same as most thrift stores.
Clothing your family can really start to add up!  It used to be fairly easy for me to keep up, but then the kids started having OPINIONS about what they wore.  This added a lot of time to something I try to minimize: shopping.  I grew up going to thrift stores and have always frequented them.  But with several kids, I don’t have the time to really go through everything to find what’s needed.  Nor the patience.  So I finally tried a few online thrift stores.
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SWAP.COM

I first tried Swap.com when I realized in mid December that my youngest didn’t have a pair of dress shoes for her Christmas outfit.  I didn’t want to spend a fortune on something she possibly wouldn’t wear very much. So we checked and found a pair of very sparkly shoes that fit the bill.  I also threw in a pair of dress pants that have become a favorite of mine!  We were very happy with our results.

My next order just arrived in the mail. I got a pair of size 8 dress/work shoes from Easy Spirit.  Yeah, I was going for old lady comfort here. I’m a solid size 8, but these were too big. Maybe they were stretched?  We also ordered a dress for The Teen’s upcoming dance.  Too short and tight for what her ProductiveMama will allow.  So we are returning both, but the process is EASY.  I’ll be out the initial shipping fee, since my order was not $50 or more, but the return is free and will be fully credited to my credit card. I am OK with the initial shipping fee because it saved me gas and time and stress.
Swap.com also has maternity, toys, movies, books, sports/outdoor, gift and baby items. Shipping is free on orders over $50.  I have yet to sell anything on Swap.com.

 

Added Sept 16:  Happy with my second purchase. I wanted cheaper backpacks for a once-a-week homeschool group.  Had my per-bag limit in mind and couldn’t find anything as I was out and about.  Found several options at Swap.com. Also found a pair of good quality boots at a huge discount! So, there went that backpack budget.  Oh well. I do expect to get years out of them, though.

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ThredUp.com

Warm wool, great quality, fantastic price!
Warm wool, great quality, fantastic price!

ThredUp has a lot of premium brands.  At least I assume that’s what “Designer” means as one of its categories. I recognize some of the names, but if you have a favorite or are familiar with higher end brands, you might find some great steals.  I’ve ordered twice now, including The Teen’s dress that she will wear to her upcoming dance. I got a few staples for her, like Tee shirts for school.  I got myself some cords that are now staples for me. My best find, though, was an Ice Breaker Merino Wool sweater, in great condition, for under $14! It was listed at $20 but of course I had a hefty coupon to use.  We returned nothing.

Wardrobe staple for me
Wardrobe staple for me

 

ThredUp has free shipping for orders above $79 and you don’t pay any return fees if you accept store credit in lieu of a refund.

 

I also SOLD some clothes to ThredUp. I asked for a thredUp Bag, which they sent me for free with my first order. I stuffed it full of clothing that wasn’t getting worn but was in really good condition.  I didn’t expect them to take much of it because, well, I’m not on top of the trends.  But knowing that they would take care of donating what they didn’t take, I felt so great getting rid of a huge pile of clothes and having the postal carrier haul it all away.  It does take awhile for them to process your bag, but I’m patient.  When I did hear from them, I had received about $30 in credit for 10-ish items.  So that’s probably not a LOT, but it was worth the small effort for me.  I look at it as if I got The Teen’s dance dress for free!  I will definitely check in with thredUp any time I or the kids need something.

 

I will definitely check in with thredUp any time I or the kids need something.  The quality has been excellent on our purchases so far.  ThredUp also has a nice ipad app.  Use this referral link for $10 from thredUp.com!

 

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