Is ThredUp Legit? Here’s Why You Should Shop Carefully

Status: Pending Refund

Let’s get straight to the point. Is thredup.com, the online women’s thrift shop, a legit site? The short answer is yes, they seem to be legitimate. I received my clothing order, was approved for a return, and mailed the package back to their warehouse/returns center (I am now waiting for the refund). Now the biggest question is, assuming the refund is successful, would I shop here again?

In this honest and detailed review, I will share my purchase and return experience, my thoughts on their clothing, brand information/research, and my final verdict/recommendation. Keep reading for more!

Table of Contents

About ThredUp

Is ThredUp ethical?

Yes, they appear to follow many sustainable practices. According to their About page and Our Impact page, they promote secondhand shopping to mitigate the environmental impact. Their online platform offers a modern resale experience, processing and recirculating clothing at an extraordinary scale. Their initiatives include educating consumers about fashion waste and collaborating with high-profile brands and celebrities to inspire positive change in the fashion industry. Notably, by the end of 2022, they had processed 172 million garments, mitigating 666 million pounds of carbon emissions, and saving customers over $5 billion.

I can also confirm that my items arrived in recyclable packaging (a cardboard box) without any plastic packaging.

Check out this article, 13 Easy Ways To Know If A Brand Is Fast Fashion by Panaprium, for tell-tale signs of a fast fashion company.

Where is Thredup located?

According to their Contact page, they are located in the United States. Their business address is 969 Broadway Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94607.

More Marketplace Details

thredup website circa 2011
Screenshot of thredup.com circa 2011 (the oldest version of the site I could find)

Business Details

  • According to their Contact page, their legal business name is ThredUp Inc.
  • ThredUp Inc. also owns 777Thrift.com, and retrorewind.net. Both of these sites also sell second-hand clothing.

Statements & Press Details

Policy & Program Details

  • They offer Clean Out Kits for you to fill with clothing you would like to sell. They receive your items, inspect, photograph, and list/sell on your behalf.
  • They offer heavily discounted Rescue Boxes filled with clothing that doesn’t qualify for listing on their marketplace.
  • They have ThredUp Rewards where you can earn, redeem, and spend points.
  • They offer free shipping over $89.
  • Returns:
    • They allow returns within 14 days of delivery. 
    • They offer free return labels on items in your first order using their Welcome reward code (this was automatically applied). After your first order, a return label costs $10.99 if refunded back to your original payment method (you can opt to return it yourself). Additionally, items are subject to a $3.99 restocking fee.
    • Final Sale items are not returnable.

Product Details

  • Size charts are NOT available for any of the clothing. These are second-hand items, and since there are DOZENS of different brands, they just provide a few measurements such as bust, length, etc. For each item I chose, I Googled each brand’s size chart.
  • They carry:
    • Standard and plus sizes from XXS to 5X
    • Junior sizes
    • Maternity sizes
    • Tall and petite lengths

Domain Details

  • The website thredup.com was registered in November 2008.

ThredUp Review and Order Details

I ordered the below items on 3/13/2024 to my address in North Carolina (United States). I paid a total of $129.73 to ThredUp Inc. (support@thredup.com) via PayPal. The charge appears on my credit card statement as “PAYPAL *THREDUP INC”. View Order Confirmation 

1) Levi’s Jeans (Straight-Leg 505)

Brand Label: Levi’s

Color/Size/Cost: Blue / 8 / $27.99

Country: Made in Macau

Material: 99% Cotton / 1% Lycra Spandex

See the below image for additional specs from the product page:

thredup levis specs
thredup levis jeans comparison

Expectation: They are not what I was expecting in terms of overall appearance. The product page is a bit misleading:

  1. It mentions ‘High-Rise’, but these are not high-rise as you can tell by the pictures.
  2. The product measurements are inaccurate; I measured 30″ for the waist, 10″ for the rise, and 29″ for the inseam.
  3. These are a size 8s. They just list size 8.
  4. They list ‘Excellent Condition’. These clearly have been washed and dried, and the dimpling/morphing on the back seam is evidence.

Quality: In my opinion, the quality of the materials overall is great. However, they have a defect. The back seam appears to be permanently wavy and makes them unwearable (it is particularly noticeable from the side). See my Quality Comparison & Rating Chart to know my current quality-rating standards.

Fit: I ordered based on this brand’s standard size chart (I Googled), and they fit well. View my Body Measurements for size reference.

Keep or Return: I would return these Thredup Levi’s jeans.

Overall, these jeans are of great quality. The denim has a slight stretch to it, feels reasonably thick, and is a nice style for those who like mid to low-rise jeans. However, these have a flaw. As previously pointed out, the back seam appears to be permanently morphed.

2) Athleta Active Dress

Brand Label: Athleta

Color/Size/Cost: Gray / 8 / $37.99

Country: Made in Vietnam

Material: 86% Polyester / 14% Spandex

See the below image for additional specs from the product page:

thredup athleta dress specs
thredup athleta dress comparison

Expectation: It is not what I was expecting in terms of overall appearance. The product page is a bit misleading:

  1. This is NOT gray, it is more of a faded blue.
  2. The widest part of the chest is closer to 29″, not 34.5″.
  3. There is no ’embroidered detail’ that I can see.

Quality: In my opinion, the quality is pretty good. See my Quality Comparison & Rating Chart to know my current quality-rating standards.

Fit: I ordered based on this brand’s standard size chart (I Googled), and it is the right size but not a good fit for my body shape. The chest area fits okay, but the hips are too tight. View my Body Measurements for size reference.

Keep or Return: I would return this Thredup Athleta dress.

Not only is it too small in the hips and straight-fitting (I’m more of a curvy shape), but I am also not a fan of how this pattern and color look combined. It looks like bathroom tiles in the form of a swimdress. It does give me a nice shape from my profile though, and I like the removable padding and front zipper pocket.

3) Lululemon Athletica Yoga Pants

Brand Label: Lululemon

Color/Size/Cost: Camo / 8 / $49.99

Country: Unknown

Material: Unknown

See the below image for additional specs from the product page:

thredup lululemon leggings specs
thredup lululemon leggings comparison

Expectation: They are what I was expecting, for the most part, in terms of overall appearance. However, the rise is closer to 10.25″; on some bodies, these may fit more like high-rise leggings.

Condition/Quality: In my opinion, the quality is great. See my Quality Comparison & Rating Chart to know my current quality-rating standards.

Fit: I ordered based on this brand’s standard size chart (I Googled), and they fit one size too big. View my Body Measurements for size reference.

Keep or Return: I would return these Thredup Lululemon leggings.

The material feels smooth, thin like a second skin, and is of good quality. However, they are too big; the waistband offers NO compression as a result, and the bottom of the legs is not fitted around my ankles. If these were a size smaller, I would consider keeping them.

4) Urban Outfitters Casual Dress

Brand Label: Urban Outfitters

Color/Size/Cost: Multi-Color / S / $24.99

Country: Made in India

Material:

  • Shell- 100% Viscose
  • Lining- 100% Cotton

See the below image for additional specs from the product page:

thredup urban outfitters dress specs
thredup urban outfitters dress comparison

Expectation: It is not what I was expecting in terms of overall appearance. The product page is a bit misleading:

  1. This dress I received is different from the one that is pictured. I’m assuming they received a few of these, took photos of one, and used the photos for all of them. I prefer the print on the dress in the product image, though I am okay with the one I received.
  2. The chest measurement is closer to 32″, not 36″.

Condition/Quality: In my opinion, the quality is pretty good. See my Quality Comparison & Rating Chart to know my current quality-rating standards.

Fit: I ordered based on this brand’s standard size chart (I Googled), and it fits well. View my Body Measurements for size reference.

Keep or Return: I would keep this Thredup Urban Outfitters dress.

It fits nicely (though a tad bit shorter than I prefer), is a cute pattern (though not identical to the dress shown in the product image), is entirely double-lined (I don’t need to wear a bra with this), the straps are thin but sturdy, and I like the two embroidered navy stripes going across the dress.

Shipment Info

I received four items in one package at my address in North Carolina (United States). The package came from a warehouse/distribution center in the United States. I was provided a tracking number through Veho.

Package Shipped From: 580 Horizon Drive, Suite 20, Suwanee, GA 30024 (United States)

Shipping Timeline:

  • I placed my order on Wed, March 13th
  • My order shipped on Thurs, March 14th
  • I received my package on Sat, March 16th

Total time of 3 days

Their shipping policy states up to 8 business days (including processing time) for standard U.S. shipping.

Return & Refund Info

I requested a return through their return portal on March 24th. My request was approved instantaneously, and I was provided with a prepaid return label. I mailed the package on March 30th via USPS.

Provided Return Address: 580 Horizon Dr., Suite 200, Suwanee, GA 30024 (United States)

Return Instructions:

    1. Print and use the pre-addressed, pre-paid USPS return label to ship your returned items back to us.
    2. Use the original packaging or any packaging of your choice to return your items. Please include the other page of this printout inside the package and ensure any old shipping info is covered or removed.
    3. Drop the package off at your local USPS. Allow up to two weeks for your return to arrive and 2-5 days business days for us to process the return. You’ll receive a refund about 2 days after the processing date.

THE REFUND IS PENDING.

Customer Service Experience

General Responsiveness

My experience has been seamless, and I haven’t needed to reach out to support. 

Shipment Details

I was notified via email regarding a brief delay in delivery. My package was delayed by one day. Here is the message shown in the tracking log:

“Your order has been returned to a Veho warehouse due to an issue with your delivery. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Your delivery may be attempted again today or tomorrow.”

Return Details

The return process is easy and fast through their portal; I was provided the prepaid return label immediately. These were the return/refund options they provided to me:

  • Refund in Shopping Credit (free return label + get credit as soon as USPS scans the label)
  • Refund to original payment using a prepaid label (free on 1st order – normally $10.99)
  • Refund to original payment (no label – do it yourself)

Refund Details

PENDING

Is ThredUp Legit or a Scam?

Similar Sites & Analysis

Reverse Image Search:

ThredUp appears to be the source of their product images.

I highly recommend doing Reverse Image Searches when shopping online for price and quality checking purposes. You might be surprised at what you find!

Website/Company Search:

No suspicious information (such as lawsuits or alerts from the Better Business Bureau) was found.

However, there are an incredible number of poor reviews on their Better Business Bureau page, Trustpilot, etc. After skimming through, it seems that a good majority of these negative reviews are from sellers who sent in clothes using ThredUp’s Cleanup Kit. Many of these reviews talk about unexpected/high fees, low payouts, suspected theft, etc.

Do I Recommend This Shop?

Based on my experience so far, they are a legitimate shop. I paid for my items, received them within the estimated time frame, was approved for a return, and mailed the return package. I am waiting for the refund.

With that being said, assuming my refund goes through, I would shop here again WITH CAUTION. However, if you are a highly risk-averse shopper, I would look elsewhere.

I remember shopping here 10 years ago and having a good experience. This time around, I have a lot of things to discuss/bring to light. Ultimately, I support second-hand shopping (and great prices for good-quality brands) and love the fast shipping, so I would shop here again. 

Here are some very important things to keep in mind (based on my experience) before making a purchase:

  1. Every single item in my order looked duller/more grayscale (or even darker overall) in color compared to the product image.
  2. Every single item’s product page listed slightly or very inaccurate product measurements. I’m talking up to several inches. This is particularly an issue since they don’t have any size charts. I had to Google each brand’s size chart to guess my size (this ended up being more accurate than relying on ThredUp’s measurements).
  3. Some of the items had irrelevant/inaccurate keywords listed under the ‘Item Details’ section. For example, one of the dresses list ’embroidered detail’ but doesn’t have any embroidery. The jeans list ‘High-Waisted’ but are not high-waisted. What you SEE is what you get (this is my takeaway; I wouldn’t apply this color though).
  4. The jeans say they are in ‘Excellent Condition’, but they are flawed. These should not have been listed for sale. However, I did see the flaw in the product image, which I should have taken more seriously. Again, what you SEE is what you get.
  5. They leave out details on some items such as if a pair of jeans is a regular, short, or long length. This is a big deal and should be listed properly. They seem to miss a lot of smaller (but important) details.
  6. Unless the condition states ‘New With Tags’, expect that every item you order has been worn, washed, and dried at least once or twice. This means that the item could be slightly stretched, or has shrunk. This also means Googling a brand’s size chart and relying on it may not work out perfectly.
  7. After your first order, return shipping costs are on you if you don’t want store credit (and likely restocking fees for each item), so buying based on inaccurate information is risky.

Overall, I am not exactly ecstatic about my order given all of the issues I experienced above. However, now that I have this information in my arsenal and generally know what brands I like, I feel more comfortable making a purchase again.

To wrap up this post, regardless of my experience, be sure to read as many customer reviews as possible. If you found this post helpful in your search for ThredUp reviews, please consider sharing and commenting (via Reddit) below. 

Thank you very much for your support and readership!

– Noelle

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Click the ‘View more on Reddit’ or ‘View comments’ button below to go to this review’s discussion page. I encourage you to write a comment or read others’ comments if available!