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ThredUp Pivots Service Platform to Online Consignment

Re-Vamping the Site Brings Startup Hopes of Future Success 

Serving over 300,000 moms is nothing short of an intimidating task. ThredUp, launched in April 2010 in San Francisco, originally began to help mothers save time and money by introducing a clothing swap platform. With the idea of “clothes don’t grow and kids do,” the site was one of the first of its kind but wasn’t reaching its anticipated goals. Nonetheless, the company  has continued to receive funding. With its original $1.4 million start in mid 2010 to the site’s $7 million in Series B funding, innovation kept growing in the sites headquarters. To date, 2 million items have been exchanged with a consistent growth of 500+ members a day. However, the site has recently launched a new platform to replace the original swap technique to enhance the overall site and shopping experience – a comprehensive kid’s consignment service including two main activities of the shop and the concierge recycling program headlining the offering of the company.

ThredUp’s new consignment platform includes two new resale services: an online “like-new” clothing store and a clothing recycle clean out. Together these components will become the new platform of the site. The original swap technique will end March 21. Furthermore, the updates bring with them a revamped site that provides the services in an easy and quick manner.

The clothing clean out allows thredUp to mail the users a post-ready bag at no charge that is to be filled with previously worn children’s clothing. When the bag is received at the thredUp offices, the company’s team of “moms” will inspect the clothing and decide on the return paying price per piece. Users will then receive 20-30% of the items original value through the users PayPal account. The clothes are professionally photographed and placed on thredUp’s second new service, their online consignment store. In the store, the clothing that mom’s have previously “cleaned out” are sold to thredUp users starting at $2.49. The site guarantees quality of the resale items and gives users free shipping on orders of $30 or more. The new consignment shop service brings the company to compete with eCommerce giants eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon.



The new platform for thredUp has brought excitement to its previous swapping users. Customers can now gain cash back on previously worn items and then use that money to purchase new items in the consignment shop. The revamped site helps busy parents more than before by allowing them to pick and choose what to buy and also receive money back for cleaning out their children’s closets. Rather than swapping, the startup has thought about greater incentives in the form of cash rebates. Although the site now entails users to pay for new apparel, the benefits have gotten much greater.

by Samara Freschman



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  1. ummm not many previous TU users are excited about this…. many are actually very upset 

  2. I actually know of many past TU users that are not happy at all about the switch. All you have to do is check out the FB wall.

  3. Just a heads-up to everyone thinking about trying this. ThredUp has spent much time and energy lying to their loyal fan base. The new store is stocked with stuff they pretty much stole from parents. They ended the swapping service with VERY little notice, leaving their users in the dark until the very last minute. They censor their users, dodge direct questions and continually betray their users. BUYER BEWARE!

    Also, take two minutes and check out their Better Business Bureau rating. D+. Enough said. 

  4.  “The new platform for thredUp has brought excitement to its previous swapping users”……Really! Negative excitement maybe……in the form of a LOT of upset mamas who feel ripped off! There are lots of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors in this story also.

  5. The truth is many former customers are NOT happy about this change. Thredup gave their current customer base little time or warning that this shift was going to take place, leaving many feeling mislead and somewhat cheated. Many questions regarding the new service have not been answered yet, and it seems as though the company is operating by the seat of their pants at best.

  6. FORMER Thredup User

    Well they are right about “previous” customers because that’s what most of us will be! They are basically stealing clothes from moms and it wouldn’t even surprise me if James and the rest of the staff take clothes for their own families first!  It REALLY wouldn’t.

  7. We reached out to the PR at ThredUP regarding all of your comments, however we have yet to hear a response. 

  8. I LOVED the old ThredUp site and swapped over a hundred boxes!  The new “store” is terrible, overpriced and not as cute as the items I get in my good boxes.  I had over 40 box credits I was saving for when we moved this summer and they were basically all erased.  Also, I send a huge bag of things several weeks ago and have not gotten a penny.  I am going back to my local consignment store.  If ThredUp wants to stay in business, they need to resume the old website, with a HUGE “I’m Sorry” statement to all their former members.

  9. Wow. Amazing feedback both here and on their Facebook page. This is an excellent cautionary tale for all startups. Pivots need to be well considered, well communicated, and make sense for the users.
    Fight FOR your users, even when you’re fighting yourself.

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