Published on March 7, 2012—  Leave a comment

An Exciting New Future for thredUP

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We’ve made the difficult decision to shut down our swapping service, and focus exclusively on our concierge experience and new consignment shop. Starting March 21, you will no longer be able to swap on thredUP. We are sad to see swapping go, but we are excited about the future of thredUP as the nation’s largest online kids’ consignment platform.   

A look back…

Back in April 2010, with just a few folks in a room, we launched the original We were focused on solving a key problem for families: clothes don’t grow and kids do.  We wanted to help moms save time and money by replacing outgrown clothes with new clothes that fit.  We believed the best solution was a clothes-swapping platform – so we built one. It was, as many of you know, the first robust swapping platform for kids clothing on the Internet. 

It’s been a humbling experience serving the nearly 300,000 moms who have helped make thredUP great. But over the last few months we’ve come to feel that our original offering was just not good enough. Sure, we had hundreds of moms joining each day, but the engagement wasn’t high enough for long-term success. Swapping is a great solution, but it became clear that it wasn’t the most convenient solution for moms. So we started innovating again…

As you know, we recently launched two incredible services: our shop and concierge recycling program  – together, a comprehensive kids consignment platform. We initially launched these features to complement our swapping service; we believed thredUP would be in a better business position if we had more to offer than just swapping. But it’s turned out that the excitement over the new shop and concierge recycling has trumped the swapping business.  With limited team resources, we feel compelled to move in the direction that will solve this kids clothing problem better than ever.  

Our future.

Our online kids consignment service kick-off has been phenomenal.  2,000 like-new items purchased in the first week, 6,000 in the first month, 40,000 items recycled during a pre-launch beta period.  It’s become clear that a fresh, sleek online kids consignment experience is something families need and have been waiting for. We believe this is the future of thredUP and we think it’s going to be big. 

The re-vamped thredUP takes all the legwork out of traditional peer-to-peer swapping, and makes sharing and accessing used kids clothing easier than ever. Here’s how it works:

  • Order a bag and send us your outgrown clothes for free. thredUP’s team of moms will inspect clothing and pay you per item based on brand, season and quality. No more waiting for someone to purchase your box and review it – just clean out and cash in whenever you’re ready. A 100% transparent consignment process will launch soon and you’ll be able earn commission as your items sell – with full view into our pricing methods and the money you can expect to earn.  Learn more about cleaning out →
  • Purchase like-new kids clothes starting at $2.49 (free shipping at $30). Since thredUP takes professional photos and certifies quality, you’ll get all the advantages of shopping consignment, thrift, eBay or craigslist, but with peace of mind knowing the items are inspected and hand selected by thredUP. Hundreds of new items are listed each day; soon there will be thousands, giving you a much bigger clothing selection and more opportunities to save. Learn more about shopping single items →

The site evolution is all about convenience and savings, as we’ve learned that’s what moms care about most.  We’ve made recycling children’s clothing as easy as recycling cans or paper. We’ve made buying “used” just as fun as buying “new.” For those of you who have shopped for like-new items, you can feel the difference. The refreshed thredUP platform is being built to deliver the world’s best online consignment experience ever. Period. 

Some Logistics.

  • You’ll have two weeks to swap like crazy! During this time, thredUP will continue to devote customer service resources to the swap-site.
  • On March 21, we will turn off swapping. You will no longer be able to build or buy boxes on thredUP.
  • Any senders who have a box in transit on or after March 21 will receive full cash-back.
  • All members who have unused picks and positive swap balances will receive coupons on March 21 to use in our shop.  As you know, “picks” traditionally allowed you to keep swapping and buying more boxes. We think they have real value, so we’re converting them into deep discounts towards like-new items. Coupon amounts and number of coupons will be determined by the number of picks accumulated.  For example, if you have a positive swap balance and 1 pick remaining, you’ll receive a 20% off coupon code.  If you have 40 picks, you’ll receive several 50% off coupon codes.  All codes will be valid for a full year. 

Final Thoughts.

This decision wasn’t easy. We love swapping. We love the thredUP community and the connections you’ve made. We wish we could keep swapping around forever. However, our team needs to stay focused on building the best possible solution for moms everywhere, so we have to keep moving. 

I want to take a moment to thank you all.  Thank you for being a part of our journey. Thanks for making any and all of this possible.  We are so appreciative of your support and loyalty and really hope you’ll continue on with us through this evolution. 

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to email If you’d like to reach me personally, you can email me at

Thank you again,

James Reinhart
CEO & Co-Founder



WHY ARE YOU SHUTTING DOWN SWAPPING? We are shutting down swapping so we can focus on our online kids consignment model (the shop and concierge). Based on initial excitement around the shop, customer feedback and market research, we believe the refreshed model makes it even easier to replace outgrown kids clothes with like-new ones. We believe we can help more moms this way. 

 WHY CAN’T YOU BUILD THE NEW SITE AND LET US KEEP SWAPPING? As you know, to keep a website up and running, especially one as robust as our swap-site, a company must devote significant resources.  It’s important that our team stay focused on solving one common problem and work towards the best possible solution.

 WHY SHOULD I STAY ON THE THREDUP FACEBOOK PAGE? Just like always, Facebook fans will enjoy exclusive thredUP promotions, like free credits to use towards single items in our new shop. We have fun contests planned with great prizes such as outfit giveaways, gift certificates and more.  We’ll continue running our live chats and we hope you’ll remain a part of this great community where you can share advice and stories with other moms.

WHAT ABOUT HELPING OTHER MOMS? When you send a bag of outgrown clothes to thredUP (via concierge) we’ll find new homes for each of your items. Not only are you recycling, but you can also feel great about sharing your stuff with other families. Yes, we’re changing the way those clothes get into the hands of another family, but the destination remains the same. 

ARE YOU GOING TO ALLOW BOOKS AND TOYS? For now, we’re focused only on soft items, as that’s what the concierge packaging supports.  Currently, you can used thredUP to recycle and buy children’s clothing.  We plan to expand to maternity and junior clothing in the near future.

WHAT ABOUT MY STYLIES? CAN I GET A COUPON FOR THOSE TOO? We will be rewarding you based on swap balance and picks as we believe those are closest to thredUP currency and best represent your contribution to the swap community.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY CURRENTLY LISTED BOXES? All boxes will be delisted on March 21. You can can continue listing, picking and reviewing boxes until that date. If your boxes have not been picked by March 21, we encourage you to try out concierge to clean out and cash in. Learn more.

I WANT TO SWAP! WHAT ARE SOME ALTERNATIVES TO THREDUP? We know many of you love swapping! If the new thredUP isn’t for you (but we hope it is!) here are some swapping and renting alternatives: