What is ThredUp? An online community where moms like you buy, sell & share children's clothes, toys and books online. Everyone knows that clothes don't grow, but kids definitely do. Especially when you can't scrimp on other costs like diapers, education or nutritious food...Clothing is definitely a discretionary expense where families can save money.
First of all, I think of myself as a green, tech savvy, budget minded, smart mom who only wants the best for my kid. Wonderful idea, I'm not so sure about the execution and platform. I'm also a firm believer and user of online communities. The internet is great for connecting with other people easily.
I don't like Thredup for a few reasons. I tried it once by posting a few boxes, and getting a few boxes, and was dissatisfied with the service and what I paid for and probably wouldn't use them again:
1. The box you get has a very broad description and no pictures. You take a risk in what you're getting and in my experience, I received clothes that I wouldn't have bought for my son. A lot of the clothes were from Walmart. Cheaply made, out-of-date styles, clothing that was 20 years old. There are very few users that put higher end brands, or better quality goods. I haven't tried others, but here's a competitor to ThredUp called Outgrowingin.
The brand name icons that are on each posting are a little misleading. If there is a "GAP" logo added, it just means that one of the items in the box is GAP..although it may be a flourescent green gap hat from the 1970's that no one in their right mind would wear!
3. I can get cheaper things when there is a sale at the numerous thrift stores around my house. I can only hand select what I need/want, and can see the quality/condition of what I'm buying. Even with a coupon at ThredUp, I can still get cheaper things elsewhere.
Not that I condone this, but I can get something pretty damn cheap and quickly from any big box store anytime I want with a million different choices. For example, I got 2 out of 12 items in my box that I was happy with. I paid maybe about $14 on ThredUp. I could have just went to Kohls or Target to get exactly what I wanted and needed. =P Go Figure!
4. I wasted my time posting. I filled out the categories, sizes and descriptions of what I was listing...which took (what little) time I had away from my son. No one picked up my boxes. Either because there were too many boxes listed, and not enough buyers or because people wanted quantity and I didn't have enough stuff in my box. I'm still not sure?
5. It's still too complicated, time-consuming and hard. I mean, from a tech standpoint it's pretty simple but I had to sit down for a good 3 hours and inventory what I had...actually ship the package...create the posting for each box and what was in it. It is ahem, not practical for busy moms.
6. They have very little supply of the good stuff that I actually need and would use seldomly. ie: shoes, halloween costumes, formal wear, jackets, seasonal wear like rain boots.
All in all, they do a great job marketing. They have instructional videos, creative newsletters, a growing community of moms that discuss various parenting topics...but I give them low ratings. I don't know, maybe this kind of interaction can't be improved with the advent of the internet? Maybe the moms that would really benefit the most don't have the time or wouldn't go online to get a mystery box of clothing for $13 plus shipping? What do you think? If you have any ideas, contact me.
I wanted to like them. I wanted to rave about them. I'm not really even boo'ing ThredUp, I actually applaud their effort. I think they should improve or change the experience? Maybe be a little more craigslist or ebay like in their interface? I'd rather start my own clothing swap!