Get Up and thredUP

thredup.jpgAs much as I love shopping for pretty new things for Laurel, I'm also keen on finding pretty used things for her, given my eco and minimalist parenting approach. And that's why I dig thredUP, a locally headquartered website that allows parents across the country to swap kids clothes easily, inexpensively, and from the comfort of home (literally, you don't need to leave your home for any of the steps). Read on for my review of thredUP, as well as to learn how to be one of three winners to receive a thredUP Pro Membership:
Admittedly, when I first heard about thredUP, I was a tad skeptical. First, my usual mode of swapping/purging is super low maintenance (think trash bags stuffed with clothes); the last thing I need is more trips to the post office. Second, I'm already way behind on downloading and posting family photos; I immediately was wary of the chore of snapping, downloading, and posting photos of Laurel's used clothing.

Lucky for me (and you), thredUP involves neither hauling of trash bags nor posting of photos. It's a national clothing swap website that allows all parents to benefit (I'm looking at you, parent who has the oldest kid in a group of friends and subsequently does all the hand me down'ing but gets nothing in return), and whose charm lies in the thrill and surprise of cracking into your delivery (you pick your box based on description, not photos). And the process is super easy. Simply sign up, and the well designed web interface prompts you to build a box, order or pick up empty boxes (you need medium USPS flat rate boxes for shipment, which you can order or grab at your local post office for free), pick a box, and edit your profile details. The basic membership for the service is free; if you want additional benefits, the Pro Membership is $29.99/year.

Building a box literally takes minutes. Collect enough clothing to stuff a medium flat rate box, then indicate the size (note: if you list a low supply size, you can earn swap credits), gender, type of item, season, brands, and primary colors. You also can add a note with additional details about the clothes. I listed 8 tops and 5 bottoms (in the low supply 6T category) on May 25 and it was selected by May 26! I received an e-mail prompt from thredUP, and within a couple of clicks, I had a shipping label printed and the box was ready to go. And to top it off, thredUP automatically schedules pick up at your home (which you can change or cancel if you'd prefer to drop off at the post office), which means you literally don't need to go anywhere to get your swapping done.

Every time you list a box, you earn credit to pick a box (alternatively, you could start by picking a box -- you'd just need to pay the $13 shipping/handling and then you'd earn a $13 credit when you list a box). You can browse by gender, size, and season and check out user ratings. I ordered a box May 25 and it arrived by May 28; the contents were exactly as described and I was super happy with them. To keep users accountable, shoppers are prompted to rate their boxes for speed of shipment and style on arrival.

In a nutshell, thredUP is a fantastic solution for easy swapping. The website interface is great, the e-mail prompts make it simple for users to proceed through the process, and the service helps you purge and replenish your child's wardrobe. Definitely give this service a spin.

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Congrats to winners Chialin, Judean, and Sarah!
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Now, want to be one of three winners to receive a thredUP Pro Membership? Here's how:

  • Visit the thredUP website, then email (with 'thredUP' in the subject), and name a size that thredUP is running low on (note: if you have kids clothes in these sizes and list them, you earn credits!).

  • One entry permitted per person; US entrants welcome to enter.

  • Entry period closes at midnight EST, Monday, June 14, 2010.

    *Three lucky winners (drawn using will receive a thredUP Pro Membership for one year ($29.99 value).