06/06/2020 at 5:52 pm #78134PikapopParticipant
- Location: Hampton, VA
Hi everyone, I’ve been a longtime lurker/rare poster and debated changing my username since the concept I had when I first started has changed (I’ve had difficulty getting an alternative username approved though, so I guess I’m stuck).
Anyway, I just wanted to say I’ve been listening for a while, probably about 4 or 5 years now when we were living in Japan. I can’t remember how I found the podcast but I think I stumbled upon the forum and found it that way, and always enjoy new episodes and forum wisdom.
To me, Jay and Ryanne are living the dream! I would love to spend my days going to auctions, yard sales, thrift stores, come back with cool weird stuff, hire someone to do most of the listing, build my own warehouse, and sit on it just waiting to sell. However, my life situation is vastly different right now and for the foreseeable future, so I have had to adapt to a different model.
The way I sell is largely to subsidize our family clothing budget. Although I don’t have tons of kids, I do have two small ones of different genders, and I am in that pregnant/not pregnant stage of life which means my body size is dramatically fluctuating. Throw in a change of season or move to another climate (we move frequently) and we’re starting all over again spending money on clothes.
To that end, I have become an early adopter of a couple subscription-like services which accept used clothing in exchange for points. I can then trade the points for other used clothing, some of which we use and a lot of which I flip on eBay or consign through The Real Real with Poshmark here and there. I have made it so 95% of my sourcing is through these services (I consider them overhead). For me this is key because I can’t leave home for long periods of time to shop because of my two small kids. And so it turns out that in this pandemic, sourcing for me really hasn’t changed at all because I can just reach into my “clothing cloud”.
I don’t expect this model to last too long; these start-ups are very green and at least one seems like it’s strapped for cash. I would not be surprised if they up and die with little warning. If they do survive and profit, I expect someone else to come along with the same idea and become competition, or they tighten up their grading system. A lot of what I’m able to snag is because they underestimate the value of a piece.
I am also surprised to hear that y’all are just now finding out about ThredUP! They have been around for a while, although I just made my first purchase from them last year. I do think they will be big as the world continues to embrace internet/mobile shopping; I think they are going to replace tons of those walk-in and consign for cash type stores. They have also partnered with limited shopping malls (Macy’s I think?) with a dedicated space for their merchandise; they’re trying to draw a younger crowd. ThredUP also seems to be making a play for subscription service clothing members (like StitchFix) with their “Goody Box” offering. As a seller, I personally do not find their pay out worth it compared to other avenues, but I suspect their turnover is significantly higher than swap.com. I will reconsider them, however, when they open up a men’s section. I find “everyday” men’s clothes difficult for resale and wouldn’t mind unloading stuff for a few cents.
EBay is new for me; I was selling on Poshmark exclusively about 5 years ago and was shocked at what I was able to sell (no-name stuff, stuff I’d never be able to sell at a yard sale, etc). I’ve backed away from it because I don’t find kids clothes to be especially profitable there (in which I am knee-deep), and I don’t enjoy back-and forth haggling. There is also increased pressure to have Etsy-like stylized photos, which I cannot do. Try styling and getting perfect lighting while you have two small kids trying to touch everything–ain’t gonna happen!
eBay had always been intimidating to me because of shipping, but since most of what I sell goes into a polymailer, a lot of that has been eliminated. Because most of my items go First-Class and they are commodity items, I do offer free shipping. I’m still trying to understand international shipping though.
Anyway, we had the coincidence of moving to the Hampton Roads area in January, so I told my husband we will come stay in your AirBnB sometime in the next year or so and say hi!! Haha!
06/07/2020 at 11:17 am #78147
Welcome! It’s an interesting idea that now people can basically ind of just “rent” quality clothes. Buy items, wear for a season, and then sell when done. That seems to be a growing trend which is good.
We knew about ThredUp a while ago, but were unaware about how huge they’ve become. It’ll definitely be interesting to see if they can be profitable when the venture capital dries up.
Can you give an example of how much they ay when you send in a box of clothes? How many do you send in and how much do they pay? Is it immediate or only when the clothes sell? If the clothes dont sell or they wont accept them, do they mail back to you?
06/07/2020 at 3:42 pm #78166
I do expect ThredUP will be able to become profitable at some point because they are deep reaching on so many fronts (partnering with malls, partnering with established brands where you can acquire bonus payout for earning store credit at say, Gap, selling much of their inventory on eBay, etc.), but I agree with you that the labor intensiveness of going over items, photographing and listing is what is probably going to tank the start-ups I currently use.
I can’t speak too much for ThredUp’s pay out system because I don’t feel their payout scale is worth it as a seller. As an individual who was just going to drop stuff off at Goodwill anyway, it could make sense. You have to pay shipping to send items in, and then a high number can get rejected. Also, if you’re selling stuff worth less than $50, you’re hovering around %15 for payout.
On The Real Real I get about 40% payout, for “low value” ($50 or less) items (can go higher for more valuable items) and do not have to pay to send it in. Anything they reject they return to me. Depending on the brand, it can command a higher price and sell faster than what I could get for it on eBay because the clientele is a bit different. The majority of my stuff I use or scavenge I send to my startups, who assign me points in return.
06/07/2020 at 3:44 pm #78167
Appreciate the info. Sounds like a very positive cycle of use and reuse. Wonder if it’ll cut down on companies pumping out so many new clothes. (We could all probably wear used clothes for a couple generations right now without making any new clothes.)
06/07/2020 at 6:03 pm #78169PikapopParticipant
- Location: Hampton, VA
You’re welcome, Jay. I know having these avenues has cut down significantly on our purchasing of newly made clothes, which I too agree is a good thing.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.