Learn how to shop ThredUP for a smooth, fast, and inexpensive shopping experience.
I recently shared with you how shopping on ThredUP for clothing can save you time and money, while being ethical and good for the environment. Now that you’re ready to shop, let’s learn how to be prepared, some specific shopping techniques, and all about their reward program.
When I first used ThredUP, I used it like Amazon by using the search bar to find what I was looking for. I ended up pretty disappointed. I didn’t find much or I would even get a message saying they didn’t have anything. It is a big downfall of ThredUP that their search engine is very poor. But I’ll show you how to get around that and so much more. Once I figured out the tips and tricks I am going to share with you, shopping has been not only so much smoother, but very successful.
The first thing you’ll want is an account. Use my link here and you’ll get $10 off your first order. (I’ll get $10 too so thank you!) If you’re using your phone or tablet, go ahead and download the app.
Once you have your account, you need to do couple more things before you shop! First, collect the sizes of all the people you’re shopping for. With five kids, I sometimes forget what shoe size my children are in! Looking into this before shopping makes it so much easier. Also, have someone help you measure yourself. The women’s clothes have detailed measurements such as inseams and length of dresses, skirts, and shirts. This is very helpful! Have all these sizes close by before you shop.
The second thing is to have a list of what items you want to shop for. If you just browse, you will either spend a lot of time looking (because they have a huge selection!) and/or you’ll end up buying things you weren’t really planning too. Be prepared with a list – and sizes!
Use the Filters
Now that you’re ready to shop, it’s important to take advantage of their filters. Let’s use a women’s maxi dress as an example. You’ll want to select “women’s” and you should see a list of categories. Then select “dresses.” It’ll then display dresses. In this example, it has 499,798 dresses available! You don’t want to be looking through all those! Let’s have the filters do the work for us. I’m going to list the filters I would use if I’m shopping for maxi dresses.
Next, set up your filters.
- Size. You can set up “My Sizes” and it will automatically set that filter every time you select a category.
- Style. Each category (dresses, shirts, jeans) will have different filters that are appropriate to them. A lot of categories have style. For dresses, I will select “maxi” since that is what I’m looking for.
- Condition. I highly recommend always using this filter. I always choose “New with Tags” or “Like-New.” I made the mistake once of buying something “gently used” and I would never have bought it in a thrift store.
- Pattern. In this case, I’m going to go ahead and select the pattern “floral.” I know there are enough options that I should get a good selection with this filter.
- Sort by. The last filter available is the sort by. I almost always choose “Price Low to High.” This shows me the least expensive things first and I can shop until the items reach a price I’m not willing to spend. Then hit DONE!
You can see I now only have 72 items to shop.
You’ll see there are many other filters you can use. Just know that the more specific you are, the less variety you’ll get and may not find anything. I always do sizes, conditions, and Price Low to High. I often do style, color, material, and pattern depending on how particular I am about what I’m shopping for.
Browse Quickly, Shop Slowly
When I’m looking for items, and I have my filter set, the first thing I do is scroll through and simply “favorite” anything that looks like an option to me. I don’t even click on it for a closer look. You “favorite” an item by tapping the heart. I like to do this step on my phone with the app because it’s more convenient and much easier to scroll through.
Once I’m done browsing, I’m ready to actually look at things closer. If I can, I like to do this on the tablet or laptop because I can see the item better. First I go to my favorites. On the app, it’s the heart at the bottom. On the browser, it’s the heart at the top right.
Here are two items I favorited from that search:
Next, I’ll click on an item, look at the measurements and compare them to mine, make sure I like the pattern and color, look at the back (sometimes you’ll see something very odd!), and look at the fabric.
Based on these factors I’ll decide if it’s something I’m still interested. If not, I deselect the heart and go back to “Favorites.” Then I’ll move on to the next item. Once I’ve looked at everything I need to decide if I’m ready to check out and buy, or if I want to shop more. Usually I have to shop a few times before I find enough of what I want.
ThredUP has a unique feature with their cart. There is a time limit. Usually it is four hours. For sales it’s usually one hour. This is because once something is in your cart, no one else can put it in their cart. There is only ONE of that item! Most of us are used to putting all kinds of things in our Amazon carts and leaving them for days. Not so here. That’s why the “Favorites” feature is so helpful.
So before I put anything in my cart, I do all my shopping and double checking. Once that’s done and I am confident about what I want to buy, I start adding things to the cart. I try to time my shopping when I have enough money to make a big enough order to get free shipping. This is $79. If you can’t or don’t want to do that, they have a flat rate of $5.99, which is reasonable.
They have an option to “Bundle & Save.” Basically you can make orders for 7 days. At the end of those, they will then ship them all together. If your bundles add up to $79, you get free shipping. I haven’t tried this myself yet because I usually qualify for free shipping and I don’t want to wait a week! But it’s a good option if you find some things you really want but need more time to shop for more things.
Once you have everything in your cart, you’re ready to check out! Follow the prompts through checkout, then you’re on your way to having new-to-you, less expensive clothing!
The Rewards Program
Taking advantage of ThredUP’s reward program will really save you money.
Here are the ways you can earn points:
- Join ThredUP Rewards.
- Buy. You earn 10 points per dollar.
- Visit the site 15 days out of the month.
- Send a clothes to ThredUP with a “Clean Out Kit.”
Here are the some of the rewards you can get when you redeem your points:
- $10 off
- Free shipping
- Restocking fees waived
When you shop often, the points really add up and are very useful. I mostly use my points to waive restocking fees. Speaking of, let’s get into returns.
ThredUP makes returns very easy, and good thing. Shopping thrift can be tricky. If you’re financially able, it’s advantageous to buy liberally and return what doesn’t work.
There are two ways to do this – without points or with points.
- Go to your account and select “Order Returns.”
- Select the items you want to return and the reason.
- Hit “Start Return.”
- You can choose to get back credit with free shipping or your money back and pay shipping (about $9).
- ThredUP will send you an email with the shipping label. Print , insert one paper, and tape the label onto your package.
- Stick it in your mailbox and wait.
- ThredUP will subtract $1.99 per item that you are returning as a restocking fee.
- Go to your rewards.
- Find the “Waive Restocking Fees” and select “Redeem Points.”
- Continue as in the other method.
Using point to waive the fees is such a game changer! It waives all the fees, no matter how many items you’re returning. And being able to just stick it in my mailbox makes it all that much easier to do returns! I’ve definitely had as many (if not more) clothes NOT work than actually work.
Now You Know How to Shop ThredUP
Having a smooth, fast, and inexpensive shopping experience with ThredUP is just a matter of learning the right steps and few tricks. Sign up for an account. Make sure you have a list of what you need and the sizes. Use the filters to search for what you need. Browse the results quickly while favoriting what catches your eye. Look more closely at the items. Then buy what you want! Returning is easy and you build points with shopping. In time, you wonder why you ever shopped any other way!