Tips for Shopping Secondhand on ThredUP

Tips for Shopping Secondhand on ThredUP

by Melissa Caputo,

MAD Market CEO

The best tips for shopping secondhand clothing on ThredUP:


  1. Keep a list of things you're looking for

  2. Save a search and get updates if new things are added or things go on sale

  3. Download the app and check it regularly

  4. Make use of the 24-hour hold in your shopping cart

  5. Check for discount codes

  6. Take advantage of free shipping on returns

  7. Only buy what you will get #30wears out of

To elaborate:

I heard this tip from Alli Cherry on YouTube: because secondhand shopping isn't like normal shopping, you never know what you'll find on a given day. Additionally, on sites like ThredUP, you'll see tons and tons and tons of options. It can get overwhelming if you don't know what you're looking for. So keeping a list of what you actually need will help focus the search and prevent hours of wasted time on the site. Plus, it helps curb impulse shopping.


ThredUP allows you to save a search and get email updates if something changes. I don't always find the perfect item on my first try; this feature helps avoid the temptation to just pick up something second best because "hey, I need it and it's the best there is!" If I can think, "Well, I'll save the search and see if anything better comes up in the next few days", I'll be more likely to wait for the piece that is going to fit best in my wardrobe long term. Also, really good finds can be bought quickly, so this will help you grab what you need before anyone else can.


Along those lines, I find that having the ThredUP app on my phone is helpful for staying on top of good buys. If I'm bored or need a brain break, sometimes I'll open the app and scroll through my saved searches. Just be aware of your personality; if you think this will encourage impulse purchases, maybe ignore this tip!



A great tip in general when shopping online is to add things you want to your cart and then come back to it a few days later. You'll often find that you've gotten over whatever shopping impulse you had or you've altogether forgotten the purchase (can't be that important then, right?). On ThredUp it's trickier because generally, there is only one of an item on the site. So it could be snatched up and then gone forever.... sad :(. But there is a solution! If you really want it, add it to your cart and you'll get to hold it for 24 hours without someone else being able to buy it. Then, if by the end of it you still really want the item, buy it.

Not only is it earth-friendly, space-friendly and budget-friendly, but it challenges our ingrained over-consumerism.

Sign up for emails and you'll likely get discounts on the regular. They are great about sending out anywhere from 10-40% off codes. If it's your first purchase DON'T BUY WITHOUT THE 40% OFF COUPON. I did this and it was sooooo disappointing I just returned everything lol. You should get a 40% off code for at least your first time. Use it.


If you decide to return an item, you can opt to get store credit (instead of a cash refund) and you'll get free shipping on the return. You can use the same package it came in and just print out a label. It's not the most eco-friendly to repackage and reship the items, but it's better than allowing something you don't actually love to just sit in your closet.


Thanks for reading! 

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