Green is the NEW Black

If you’ve seen my Facebook page, you know that my favorite bargaining site of the past few months is Thredup.com.  I stumbled across the site through a Facebook ad and have fallen in love with the whole idea of swapping online.  Why?  It’s simple, cost-effective, and I no longer have a build up of used clothing I keep meaning to take to the thrift store.

Outfit and shoes from Michelle Messer (Michelle M.)

How it works:

  1. Join the Thredup community and Thredup sends 10 medium flat-rate boxes to you.
  2. Dig through all of the gently used clothing your children have outgrown, inspect it for holes, rips, tears, stains, broken zippers, missing buttons, etc.
  3. Wash all of the items considered to be in good condition and sort them by size.
  4. When your boxes arrive, roll your clothing and stuff them into the box until the box is full without entirely busting at the seams.
  5. Login to your Thredup account and follow the steps to list the box.
  6. Someone picks your listed box and pays a total of $15.70 ($5 + shipping) to Thredup.  This covers the cost of the shipping rate and a $5 web/service fee to the company.
  7. When your box is picked, you will receive email confirmation with steps to confirm and send your box.
  8. Print the shipping label, tape the it to the box, and either drop it off at your local Post Office or schedule a pick up and leave the box at your door.
  9. Each box you send adds to the Swap Balance number of boxes you can pick and purchase for yourself.
  10. Pick a box, pay for it, and your first swap cycle is complete.

Wait.  If I’m not making money off my clothing, how do I benefit from this?

  • Get rid of your used clothing without making an effort to go to a thrift store and drop it off.
  • Find joy in knowing someone else is using what you no longer need.
  • Help your budget by saving money on clothing expenses of growing children.
  • Belong to a community of women who love to swap and are both supportive and friendly.

Using Thredup’s Family Savings Calculator, I find that I will save an estimated total of $1,894 this year. I absolutely believe it seeing how quickly my boys grow along with having a baby in the house.

In the month of October, I cleaned out my daughter’s closet and dresser to find that she had barely anything left to wear.  No dresses for church, no pajamas, one pair of shoes in a toddlers size 5, and the list goes on.  I jumped onto Thredup and started browsing.  Within two weeks I purchased four boxes of clothes, each containing name brands such as Gymboree, Children’s Place, Old Navy, and Osh Kosh.  All of the boxes had over 10 outfits a piece and every item was what I consider New Without Tags.  One of the boxes contained a Tom Arma Signature brand monkey costume for Halloween and I paid $11.70 for it because I had a $4 credit from Thredup!  In all, I received two pairs of Robeez shoes, a pair of white dress shoes, one pair of tennis shoes, a pair of pink TrumpetToo brand penny loafers, three dresses, numerous long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirts and onesies, seven pairs of jeans, countless knit pants, and five pajamas all for less than $65!  My daughter is now set for clothing from sizes 12 – 24 months.  I recently snagged a Golden Threads box containing three brand new Threadless Kids t-shirts for my oldest son; a box full of books for 4-5th grade reading, including three Diary of a Wimpy Kid books we needed to complete the series; a box of three brand new pieces of Lia Sophia jewelry from a member who was getting rid of her consultant overstock–each piece is at least twice as much as I paid for the entire box; and a box of four DVD’s for children, one of which had never been opened.  Mom’s are coming together from all over the place to swap more than just clothing.  Thredup encourages swapping related to mothers needs, maternity, and everything for children.  With Christmas on the way, they’ve created a specialty section for toys.  I’ve seen Wii games, DS games, Leappad learning software, and sets of Legos and Trios swapping left and right in the last month.

How to choose a good box:

Sometimes, a member doesn’t follow the Golden Rule on swapping and we find ourselves with a box of. . .well. . .second-hand crap.  It happens to the best of us, but Thredup support does their absolute best to take care of us even if that means giving back a little credit to buy a new box.  I’ve learned to be very particular about who I pick  from to avoid the downer of buying a bad box.  Here are my suggestions for you:

  • Follow the Facebook fan page and visit often.  It’s a great place to see pictures of box content, see current member reviews, and sometimes drama and spats that show the true color of some of Thredup’s not-so-great members.  You’ll quickly learn who offers the best boxes and can favorite them in your Thredup account so you know when they’re posting new boxes.
  • Read descriptions and brand names carefully and ask questions.  If you have a question, use the discussion section on the box listing or try to look for the person on the Facebook wall.
  • Ask for pictures.  Thredup doesn’t allow pictures to be posted with each box listing for a variety of reasons, but they do allow us to leave links in the description for our boxes posted to Thredup and post albums of pictures to the Facebook wall.  Use this to your advantage.  If someone refuses to send you pictures or gets an attitude about sending  pictures, don’t pick from them.
  • Post your needs or wishes to the Facebook wall.  Many of us can help you out and are willing to post custom boxes just for YOU.
  • Consider Pro membership.  Pro allows us to see and pick boxes within the first 24 hours of their listing.  You’ll miss out on a good selection of boxes without this benefit.

A special deal for you:

From now through December 15th, you can use the Thredup button in the far right sidebar of my blog and receive Two Months FREE Pro Membership–this offer is available to new members only.   Come join me on Thredup!

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