Bring on the Maternity!

Another week, another way for Supers to grow their business as Buyers for thredUP!

In addition to Kids (12m+), Juniors and Women’s (all sizes including petite and plus) we’re happy to announce that our doors are open to Maternity wear as well.  As always, all items must satisfy our strict like-new quality standards.  Check out the standards here - http://supplier.thredup.com/shipments/standards

Note that we cannot take the following Women’s brands as they do not tend to hold up well over time, making them difficult to resell:  Basic Editions, Everlast Sport, White Stag, Danskin Now and Jordache.  Please only send like-new items that fall within the accepted categories (e.g., no sleepwear, socks, undergarments, altered items or non-clothing items, such as purses and jewelry).  At this time, we also are unable to take special categories such as wedding dresses.  You’re welcome to mix Kids’, Junior’s and Women’s clothing in the same bag when sending in items.

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Cashout Timing Update – What this means for you

As thredUP has grown (and we’ve grown a lot!), we’ve learned more about the costs to continue delivering great value to our customers.  Like most resale shops we absorb a cost in acquiring inventory, a cost to process that inventory, and then we make revenue on re-selling that inventory. The nature of this timing is that we have to spend a lot of money upfront (item costs + labor) in order to make the wide selection of products we have available.  With more than 100,000 individual products available at any time, this is a big operation. In traditional retail terms this is called “inventory risk.” That is to say, we take on the risk by buying things we can’t sell for potentially a long time. We are exposed to this risk just like any other retailer, but many retailers have payments terms such that they don’t pay for inventory until after they’ve sold it.

In order to maintain a wide selection of items and keep prices consistently affordable, we need to make a few changes to how cash is paid out for items you’ve sent us.  Going forward, you still earn cash for every item you send us.  The change is that we are putting a 14-day delay in place for when you can cash that money out via PayPal.  We’re still paying you up front, you do NOT have to wait until an item sells from our shop before you can get cash for it.

You will keep sending in quality Supers packages, and earn 50% more than standard thredUP members.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  We realize this will affect some of you, and the speed with which you can send in multiple packages – and we’re sorry if this change negatively impacts you.  We’ve looked at a number of available options, but rather than moving to something like a pure consignment model, where payment isn’t made until items sell, we think the “delayed cash-out” is the right alternative at this time.

This new policy will go into effect for packing slips requested after 11:59PM on February 19th. If you’ve generated packing slips before that date, you will still be afforded the immediate cash-out options per the original terms of service.

If you have questions, we’d be happy to answer them in the comments below or you can send us an email at suppliers@thredup.com.

Thank you for your continued support as we keep working to build a quality selling experience for each of you.

Spotlight – Erin from Ohio

Last week Super Supplier Erin shattered our single package payout record by earning $754.58 on ONE 28 pound package.  Altogether Erin has cashed out over $1725 in just 4 packages (80 pounds). We’ve accepted a total of 200 items from Erin, and more packages are on the way.  HOW is she sourcing these great duds?  I asked, she told!

How much do you pay per item?  “I typically pay $1-2 for each previously worn item and I only buy higher end brands – Gap, Gymboree, Justice, or better. I am looking to at least triple my money. Items like jeans, sweaters, and dresses have higher payouts than t-shirts, so those are the items I look for. I will pay more for NWT brand name pieces if the payout will be worth it.”

Where do you do your shopping?  “There is a Once Upon a Child nearby … they have so many great sales that I do very well there. I was there a few days ago and found lots of higher end NWT items marked down to just $1 and they are due for a bag sale soon.”

What’s your secret?  Basically, there are 4 different consignment/thrift shops within a 10-mile radius of my home and I stop into at least 2 of them every week. I am a SAHM mom to 2 preschool aged kids so when one child is in school I take the other shopping with me. They have fun helping me look for the sale color tags, I find great deals on clothes for them, and I find a few things I can resell.”

Location is sure helping Erin out, but just think she hasn’t even tapped into her Craig’s List market or started talking to the owners of these nearby shops to form partnerships to establish formal buying relationships with them.  We’re SUPER proud of Erin and look forward to supporting her budding Buyer career!

Surfing Into Supply – Craigslist

Your world is smaller than you think, and you have to venture out less than you might imagine to source great quality clothing right in your area.  How?  Open your computer!

Meet your new best friend: www.craigslist.org.  Find your state, then closest city, and voila!  A whole new world is opened up, full of folks looking to sell their used kids clothes, often at a fraction of their value.  In the ‘For Sale’ section, be sure to regularly scan both ‘baby + kids’ as well as ‘clothes+acc’ as folks may have the items you’re looking for listed in either section.  Alternately, you can just type in a search word in the window at the top left of the home page, choose ‘for sale’ from the drop down menu and away you go.  You’re searching for ‘kids’, ‘children’, or any other search word that works for you in your area.

You can also use Craigslist to generate a list of local tag sales, church sales, and other events that might be a target rich environment for you.  PLACE an ad that says you’re buying kids clothing … let them come to you!  Find estate sales, moving sales, you name it, Craigslist has what you need to source great clothes close to home.

Here are a few Craigslist (CL) tips from our EXPERT buyers here at thredUP:

- “If you see multiple listings from one seller ask if they will make a deal to sell them all at once.  Most moms are happy to have one person come at one time to take it all, and you’ll get a better deal per item.”

- “Get them on the phone to talk about what they have.  Ask them to call you back with the numbers of items they have and percentage of brands.  

If they say that have ‘name brands’ ask them for examples; Faded Glory and Kids Connection are brands with names, but thredUP won’t buy these!”

- “Talking to people on the phone before you meet can help eliminate the ‘creepy factor’; makes everyone more comfortable meeting in person.  You can suggest you meet at a public location (McDonald’s parking lot, playground, etc) if you or the seller is nervous for some reason!  Trust your Spidey-Sense … if you get a wonky vibe from somebody on the phone, MOVE ON and find another lot worth buying.”

- “Don’t commit to buying anything until you have sorted through every item.  Sneaky CL pros (usually reselling as their job) sometimes hide the poor quality stuff at the bottom of the bags.”

- “Look through moving sale ads on CL.  Some of them are online and need to sell quickly.  Search again Friday and Saturday afternoons for people with garage sale leftovers.”

- “ALWAYS be prepared to walk away, even if you’ve gone out of your way to do a pick-up.  Don’t commit to a sale price on the phone; be clear that you must see all items to commit to a price – be polite, be fair, but don’t get pressured into buying something you won’t get paid for from thredUP.”

- “If someone is advertising lots of children’s items as a moving or garage sale ask if they want to sell them all before the sale.  Make sure the ad says you can contact them first!”

- “I have had better luck PLACING ads on CL to buy than responding to those selling.  Keep it super simple: ‘I buy kids clothes over 12 months and below size 18 on this side of town.  Call me.’  The more you fluff the ad, the more you sound like another desperate CL reseller”

- “If you are using CL to map a yard sale route, bookmark the sales that are pretty far out there or in communities that you do not usually purchase from.  If you don’t make it to the sale, email them and ask if they have anything left over that sounds like it’s worth your trip.  Chances are they’re desperate to get rid of it!”

- “If you have someone that wants to meet farther away from you than you might otherwise go, make it an all day thing by scheduling an activity with the kids on that side of town or place a CL ad for that side of town saying that you buy clothing and schedule multiple appointments in one day.”

Have you used CL already to help your budding Super Supplier business? What has worked for you?  What hasn’t worked out very well?  Share share share below!

OY! I Can’t Send THAT!

One side-effect of buying so many kids clothes is that you find yourself with bigger and bigger piles of items that you CAN’T send in if you’re not 100% careful at your point of sale where you receive the items … what do you do with those life-still-left-in-them-but-not-resellable-on-thredUP clothes?

So many choices!  Did you know that you can set up an at-home pickup through the Salvation Army?  Check out how easy it is – http://www.satruck.org – to drop them a line and ensure the garments you have to donate (and get a tax write-off for) will live on to serve a purpose and support a fantastic organization.

Support Vietnam Veterans of America (www.clothingdonations.org/schedule-a-pick-up), Big Brothers Big Sisters (www.bbbsfoundation.org/DonationPickUp), contact your local Goodwill (http://locator.goodwill.org) to see if they will pick up for you, or drop the clothing by a local store, or just pop over to Dontation Town (www.donationtown.org) to plug in your zip code and see what charities in your area are doing pickups.  Couldn’t be easier, y’all …

Who has a local charity they love donating to?  Give them a shout-out below in the comments!

Empty Closet Syndrome – Take Three

Ok, you’re a TALKING FOOL!  You’re the go-to gal for individuals offloading their clothes, you’ve got some new and really awesome relationships with houses of worship in your community, and you’re a regular on the tag sale scene.  More ideas, please!

Camps – Got any camps in your area?  Private, town parks & rec, they’ll all work!  Do they run on a week-long or session based schedule?  Then chances are every week, two, or four they have a ton of lost and found articles that are goin’ beggin’.  Ask them if you can help them, and come pick up everything that is clothing from the lost and found at the end of every session.  Bet they’ll say yes!

Schools – See above :) Same deal!  Offer to take the quarter, semester, or year’s lost and found from every local school in your area.

Local Small Retailers – Think about the small-scale retail scene in your area.  Do you have mom & pop shops, or small entrepreneurs who need help unloading their unsold kids merchandise?  Talk to them … open a dialogue and consider offering them a deal to take all of their out of season or unsold goods off of their hands when it’s time for them to ‘turn the racks’ for what’s coming up next.  Think you have a gold mine in your neighborhood? 

What have you found that’s working the best?  Have more ideas on where to get rockin’ supply? POST YOUR IDEAS BELOW!