Easy Thrifting with ThredUp

A few months ago, I mentioned I had listed some of my clothes on Bloggers Closet. I had some initial luck and sold two items quickly, and I know others have had success with it, but I wanted to explore other options to keep up with the growing pile of clothes I plan on reselling or consigning.

After seeing several other friends mention their experiences both with shopping and selling on ThredUp, I knew I needed to give it a try. While there are numerous online resale sites (expect a future comparison post), I think ThredUp is one of the best options for people who need a quick, but profitable solution AND for those who want to thrift good-quality, name-brand items (and may not have access to a fantastic Goodwill or consignment store).

Easy Thrifting with ThredUp

Here’s how it works:


Browse through hand-selected,gently-used or new clothing, shoes, and handbags for women, juniors, and children at discounts up to 90%. ThredUp often posts additional discounts, too. It’s like having a well-stocked Goodwill right at your fingertips. Brilliant!


Order a Clean Out bag (right now, they’re sending them for free!) and you’ll receive a giant polka-dotted bag that you can fill with kids, juniors, and women’s name-brand, good-quality clothes, shoes, and handbags. You can reference their Buying Guide to see what brands and styles they accept and use the Clothing Calculator to get a rough estimate of what you may earn from your items. Once you’ve filled your bag, you can drop it off at a FedEx location or give it to your USPS carrier for free since it already has a pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping label attached. Activate your bag using the number listed on the bag and you’ll receive a notification once the bag has been received and then when it has been processed.

ThredUp Refresh Your Closet for Cash

Some brands such as Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and LOFT qualify for upfront payments, which means money right in your pocket. Others still may be accepted and sold later through consignment. You can receive up to 80% of the resale value, depending on the item and brand. Any items that are not accepted or aren’t sold after 84 days are donated or can be returned for an additional fee.

Any earnings can be spent right away in ThredUp as credit or cashed out after 14 days.

Knowing this information is great, but sometimes it really helps to read about someone’s personal experience before diving in. I decided to give it a try a few weeks ago and thought I would share how my experience went.

My First ThredUp Experience

After doing my research, I ordered a Clean Out bag and got to work. I already had a huge pile of clothes to go through, so I quickly compared the pile to the Buying Guide and Clothing Calculator to see what would be accepted and what would be worth it. Some items would have better luck on eBay or at my local consignment store, but the majority were viable options for ThredUp. I’d say the whole process, since my items were already pulled from my closet, took a total of 10-15 minutes.

Thred Up Bag Items

My first Clean Out bag included:

  • 6 Dresses
  • 3 Skirts
  • 4 Sweaters
  • 1 Pair of Pants
  • 2 Blazers
  • 11 Blouses
  • 10 Sleeveless Tops

Total: 37 items

All of my clothes were the following accepted brands:

  • Express
  • LOFT
  • Ann Taylor
  • Merona
  • White House Black Market
  • Banana Republic
  • The Limited
  • Gap
  • H&M
  • LC Lauren Conrad

ALL of these brands qualified for an up-front payment, meaning I would receive payment even before accepted items were sold, due to the brands’ popularity. This was reassuring for me, as the clothing calculator gives a pretty wide range of payouts and there isn’t a guarantee with the brands that don’t provide payment up-front.

Before I mailed my bag, I wrote down the Activation code on the shipping label and activated my bag on thredup.com. After a few days, my bag was received and in processing! It only took a few days for ThredUp to go through my items and select their picks.

The Verdict

ThredUp accepted 26 of my items. This included:

  • 4 Dresses
  • 2 Skirts
  • 4 Sweaters
  • 9 Blouses
  • 7 Sleeveless Tops

The Payout

I earned $54.19 up-front for my 26 items, with each item earning between 10-40% of the anticipated selling price. While I bummed that certain items weren’t accepted, like the two blazers for example, I think they took a much larger number of items than any consignment store (especially Plato’s Closet) in my area. I also think it’s a relatively decent payout because I didn’t really spend much money on the items in the first place. I would estimate that 95% of what I submitted was purchased at thrift or consignment stores or at church sales. I know for a fact that I didn’t pay full price for any of them.

ThredUp Clothing Calculator Estimates Payout

Overall, I really loved the process. Sometimes the goal is to get items out of the house for a little bit of a return and you can definitely get that experience with ThredUp. My final thoughts:


  • It’s EASY.
  • It’s fast.
  • You get more bang for your buck than Plato’s Closet.
  • It pays upfront for quality brands.
  • You can earn referral credit to spend or save.
  • You can also shop quality consigned clothing, shoes, and handbags for a fraction of the price, right at home.
  • You can fundraise via ThredUp.
  • You’re contributing to a good cause, Teach for America.
  • You can estimate your payout using a simple calculator tool.
  • There’s no listing fees.
  • You don’t have to worry about shipping–it’s all pre-paid and provided for you.
  • Customer service rocks.


  • It’s not as profitable as eBay.
  • Not all items are accepted and you must pay an additional fee ($12.99) to get them returned to you.
  • You can see how much your items are actually being sold, which isn’t so fun in comparison to your payout.

Overall, I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons and I will definitely be thrifting (and possibly buying) through ThredUp again. What do you think of online thrifting? Is it a good option for you or do you prefer another type of reselling? Fill us in on your secrets!

If you’re interested in shopping, be sure to snag 25% off your first order for all new customers (with code SPARKLE, offer valid through July 31st)! Also, if you order through this link, we both receive $10. Then you can start sharing a referral code with your friends (which means more money in your pocket or to spend on clothes)!


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Modern Austen possible!


DIY: From Dress to Peplum

My “crafting style” is all about practicality. I can appreciate the craftsmanship and hard work that goes into decorative crafts (and occasionally I will dabble in them when it comes to home decor), but I much prefer to make things that are functional, especially wearable DIYs. That’s why I end up sewing infinity scarves; not only are they incredibly easy and quick to make, but I can wear them year-round and feel proud of my “craftiness.”

I don’t usually take risks when it comes to thrift store refashions, but I recently stumbled across an incredibly easy fix that has, upon transformation, become a staple in my wardrobe.

During one of my many trips to Goodwill, I came across this striped Forever 21 cotton dress. I immediately saw its babydoll empire waist and incredibly short skirt and almost pushed past it on the rack. I took one more glance at the horizontal stripes and the waist placement and thought, “What the heck?” and scurried off to the dressing rooms with it.

Transform a too short cotton dress into a flattering peplumAre my eyes even open?  Ohh the beauty of “before” pictures.

I was absolutely spot on about it’s inappropriate length and fit, but I was also correct in thinking it would be an easy refashion into a peplum top. For under $5 and in less than 20 minutes, I managed to DIY a great new top.

It may seem just as easy as cutting the bottom and calling it a day, but here are a few tips when it comes to shortening any top, especially into a peplum.

Tips for Refashioning a Dress into a Peplum

  • Try it on first and mark where you want your ideal length to be. Give yourself several inches longer than that as an amble starting place. Seriously. You can always cut more, but you can’t get the length back.
  • Before you cut, decide how you want to finish your hem. I knew I wanted to roll the hem once and sew it down, so I had to factor this into my overall length.
  • If your top has stripes or a pattern, use that as a guide when you are cutting, but remember to keep it straight across, unless you want to achieve an asymmetrical style. Consider how your peplum may have gathers or pleats.
  • Cut your length in sections; don’t cut it all off at once. In between each cut, try it on again. Peplums that are on the short side can lay funny and gravitate toward the “maternity top” style rather than the “look at my tiny waist” style. Err on the side of caution and take your time.
  • If you don’t have a serger, consider using a double-sided bonding tape to secure your folded hem before sewing a basic stitch across the hem. If you aren’t a sewer, the tape might be a great temporary solution if you’re anxious to wear it right away.
  • Be sure to keep things like pockets, zippers, and other details in mind before taking on the project. This may deter you from refashioning the vision you have in your head. You can certainly work around them, but be prepared to put in a little extra work.

Even though I took the time to cut my dress section by section, trying it on in between, I still felt like I cut it a hair too short, especially when you look at it from the back. Luckily, with a skinny belt, I don’t have to worry about continually tugging it down and I love it!

Wear a skinny belt with a peplum to emphasize the waist even more

I paired this peplum with a pop of red and basic skinny jeans, rolled into ankle length. I loved this look because it incorporated all of my favorite things AND I felt awesome when I could tell people I “made” the top after I got a few compliments!

If you are not too confident about your crafting skills, try a quick refashion like this dress to peplum DIY and you’ll feel confident in no time. (And don’t worry if you have a few fails along the way. Just check out the last peplum I tried to make . . .)

Here’s a little before and after action:

From Dress to Peplum DIY refashion


Don’t forget: you can enter for a chance to win an ENTIRE new summer wardrobe thanks to a $250 LOFT giftcard I’m giving away to one lucky reader, thanks to some wonderful ladies. Read all about it here! Only a few days left to enter.

Linking up to: What I Wore WednesdayI Feel PrettyRandom WednesdaysYour Whims WednesdayWhatcha Wearing WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdaysBeautiful YouColor Brigade

Shop Your Favorite Bloggers’ Closets

Reselling, thrifting, and consigning are big deals in my household. My family and I spend a lot of our free time scouring Goodwill for the best deals, listing our treasures on eBay to send to new homes, and frequenting consignment stores for name brands for less. There’s a certain kind of rush that one gets when she finds the perfect addition to her closet for a fraction of the cost–I even labeled it my “strange addiction” when I first talked about it almost two years ago. This phenomenon is not new; in fact, it has become so popular these days because everyone is looking for a deal! While this rise makes shopping for unique treasures a little more difficult (I can’t even begin to tell you how busy our local Goodwill is at times!), it also gives everyone the opportunity to buy and sell previously-loved items with ease.

While my parents are experts on eBay, it does take a lot of time to learn and master the art of selling on that website. Plus, sometimes it can be hard to weed through the listings and land on those quality name brand items. How can you find the styles and brands you, your friends, and your favorite bloggers wear without purchasing full-price?

Enter Bloggers Closet.

Lauren from Style Elixir worked really hard to put this amazing website together and it seriously blows me away. Bloggers can create their own online “closets” where they can showcase and sell their pre-loved items in a smart, efficient, and easy way without the stress that other online stores can bring. You won’t find crappy photos on here, either! These bloggers show their styled items so you can really get a feel for what these pieces actually look like on.

Bloggers Closet Homepage

Of course, you don’t have to be a blogger to purchase items–which makes it really fun for everyone to participate. You can search by blog, style, color, size, and more.

In an effort to simplify, clear out my wardrobe, and hopefully make a few extra dollars, I’ve created my own closet and filled it with some pre-loved goodness. You’ll find a lot of Banana Republic, LOFT, New York & Co. and more with a wide range of items from which to choose.

Bloggers Closet Items

Check out this LOFT blazer I’m selling–BRAND NEW with tags!

LOFT Blazer New With Tags

I hope you’ll stop by and visit my closet and the other bloggers’ closets. It’s a great way to shop good quality items easily and it’s even fun just to browse for inspiration. I just sold my first two items this morning, so act fast if you’re interested :)  I’m looking forward to browsing myself!

What’s your favorite way to shop for less?

Budgeting Blogger: February Budget

Budgeting Bloggers, hosted by Fran, is a great way to hold myself accountable for my clothing purchases each month. It helps to track my spending habits, identify trends, and streamline my wardrobe with more intention. Check out what other bloggers purchased this month!

February was a little more expensive than I had hoped, but I really love everything I purchased this month. Except MAYBE the pants. I still have time to decide on those. Confession? I definitely used the wrong picture for the pants below. Oops. This picture is also not at all an accurate depiction of what I spent and what I purchased (most were not online!).Check out the full list below:

February 2014 Budget



Old Navy:

  • (2) Perfect Crew Neck T-Shirt in White and Black/White Stripes – paid $6 each – total $12 – I have been on the hunt for the perfect white tee and so far this has beat out the competition. It doesn’t stretch out and it isn’t completely sheer.

Gap Factory Store:

  • Strappy Sandals in brown/metallic– originally $29.99, paid $13.49 – I wasn’t sure if I should purchase these since I won’t be wearing sandals for months yet, but I have such a hard time finding comfortable shoes that I went for it.
  • Boatneck Coral Long Sleeved Tee – paid $4.40
  • Supersoft Striped Crewneck Long Sleeved Tee – paid $4.39
  • Knit Striped Navy and White Skirt – paid $12.12
  • Knit Shirt in Navy – paid $12.14
  • Knit Shirt in Green – paid $15.75
  • Woven Tunic Shirt – paid $17.64
  • Reusable Shopping Bag – paid $3.14 but it took off 10% of my entire purchase (every time I use it for the next year), saving me over 10 dollars

Total Month Spent: $142.33

All in all, this month stung the most financially, but like I said, I’m bringing in pieces I will wear and remix consistently in the future. And I think I paid really good prices for everything!  I have about four boxes of clothes that I am prepping to resell soon and I am really focusing on only bringing in things I really love and will commit to wearing.

March marks one year of Budgeting Bloggers for me! I can’t believe how time has flown. As a result of a lot of thought and for the preservation of my bank account, I’ve decided to make March a no-spending month! That means I won’t be purchasing any clothes during this time and that my March Budget recap will likely be extremely boring.

I’ve actually been participating in this spending fast for a few weeks now, since Valentine’s Day, but I am determined to make it through March. I guess you could call it my Lenten project, but I’ll be honest in that it’s mostly to save money more than anything else. It’s been really hard to resist buying all of the amazing spring stuff we put out in LOFT, but I think it’ll be a fun challenge to try to make new transitional outfits with the clothes I already have. I know that my style and preferences have changed a lot, which is why I want to revamp my closet so much, but I think a little patience and time away from it all will be beneficial.

This is where you come in. I ask that you hold me accountable throughout this month! If you’ve been shopping with me before, you know that I’m usually the one who talks you out of everything– I know, I’m that lame, practical friend–but this time it’s your turn. I don’t anticipate really wanting to purchase anything, but if I do, remind me of my ultimate goal. I’ll be honest with you–I have wanted to do a shopping ban for a long, long time now, but I knew that if I posted it on the blog, there would be no wiggle room. I would have to be committed and follow through. And there were a few things I knew I really wanted/needed to get. But now there’s no excuses and I am going to try my best. If I buy something, it won’t be the end of the world–hopefully you’ll be just as gracious  ;)

I SHOULD put a little addendum here that should I get a job interview/job and find some major holes that need to be filled, I am allowed to purchase these items. HOWEVER, I don’t believe this will be an issue at all considering I do have quite a bit of professional clothes.

Thanks for all of your support! Happy budgeting! If you want to join me during this spending fast, let me know so we can hold each other accountable and cheer one another on! It helps when someone is doing it with you. My friend Laura from Forever Above Me is completing an entire YEAR of no spending as part of the Greater than Rubies challenge! Isn’t that incredible? She needs more support than I do, that’s for sure :)