I just received the box and tried on the items–I haven’t gone through the entire process start-to-finish yet, but the last part is just shipping and return processing, so I’ve come far enough to get the idea and share some thoughts about it.
I picked the ‘Create Your Own’ option because I am, to put it lightly, excruciatingly picky, to the point where I don’t even trust my own choices sometimes! I considered the ‘Box of Favorites’ option, but I wasn’t sure what would end up in it, so I appreciated the option that gave me total control. Most of the options are set up for a stylist to select items for you based on some questions they ask about your style, but they also have an option to just select the items for yourself, or to have a box of as many of your favorites as possible sent to you.
For the ‘Create Your Own’ option, you can select up to ten items, and once you start the process, you can place items in your cart just like you normally would, and if they fit the criteria, they will be added. The criteria is that they must be 1) shipping from your ‘home warehouse,’ and 2) a minimum of $15 per item. You’ll be charged a $10 deposit up front, and then you’ll be charged for the items you keep. You have 7 days to ship the box back, and the $10 deposit will be put towards the items you end up keeping.
I was very excited to see these Goodie Boxes become available, because I often chose not to order something from ThredUP due of the steep relatively new addition of the $1.99 restocking fee, plus the usual $8.99 return shipping charges (unless you elect your refund in the form of ThredUP credits). I rarely ever order things that need to fit very well, like jeans and dresses, because there’s a very good chance they just won’t fit, so the majority of my ThredUP purchases have been shirts and sweaters.
So, let’s look at the pros and cons of my experience with my Goodie Box so far!
- Knowing that I could try 10 items without the return shipping and restocking fee was a huge plus, and it allowed me to try some dresses and jeans I wouldn’t normally have ordered from them.
- The order shipped very fast–in fact, faster than the other items I’d ordered (not in a Goodie Box) from that same warehouse a day or two before I placed the Goodie Box order.
- Like I said, I loved having the option to pick my own items!
- It’s a great option if you need a dress for an occasion, or if you’re in search of a great pair of jeans and you need to try on a bunch of different pairs to find the perfect fit.
- It’s super easy to return: Just throw everything back in the box and stick the included return label over the original shipping label.
- Only being able to elect options from your nearest warehouse over $15 was definitely not great. I would have gladly paid a $20 deposit instead of $10 to have the option to also get a box of items from a different warehouse, even if I could only get one box at a time from each separate warehouse.
- A 7-day turnaround is a little tight, but I do understand that a short turnaround is probably part of what makes them possible to offer, from a business perspective. It’s taking inventory off the floor and adding a lot of cost, so I imagine they do need a way to cover themselves.
- As is often the case with ThredUP, a few items had issues that had not been noted in the product listing (a stain, major snags). They’re usually very good about letting you return the item or giving some percentage discount, but I’m going to send these items back.
- Anything that perpetuates the shipping/return cycle isn’t going to be good as far as carbon footprints are concerned, but I never really know if delivery trucks and air shipping are better or worse than millions of people individually driving to brick-and-mortar stores. In the end, it’s always better to just consume less, which means being mindful of not going overboard with buying/returning constantly just because the shipping is inexpensive or ‘free.’
- It triggers shopping/consumption addictions, because it’s easier to think, ‘It’s just a $10 deposit,’ and because (at least for me) I’m a lot less likely to fully and completely consider something when the barrier to ordering it is so low (why I rarely use Zappos anymore, for as great as their customer service is–free shipping and returns are just too easy, to the point where you forget the items themselves are not free!).
Ultimately, I think I will be keeping 3 of the 10 items–a Lou & Grey hoodie, an Aerie sweatshirt, and a NWT Leith dress. The dress was probably the find of the Goodie Box, because I wouldn’t have ordered it otherwise. (And as a bonus, my husband just about got those cartoon hearts-popping-out-of-his-eyes look when I put the dress on–he’s not usually big on verbal compliments, but he quite literally said ‘Hubba hubba!’ So… yeah, I’m keeping it.) I love Aerie and Lou & Grey, but almost everything I own from them is secondhand because, with the exception of some body-positive messaging from Aerie, they aren’t committed to any kind of ethics or sustainable practices that I’m aware of and are more or less just fast fashion brands.
I may try this process again someday, but unless they lower the $15 minimum per item and/or offer options for boxes beyond your home warehouse, it’s probably not the best fit for me the way it stands. I will steer clear of it normally, because it would be too easy to fall into the trap of the buy/return cycle just to try things on ‘for fun,’ but I hope they keep it around for the sad day when my beloved thrifted Rag & Bone jeans finally bite the dust and I need a new pair to wear to death!
In conclusion, I would give it a solid 7/10, and I would recommend it to anyone with the caveats that:
- As always with ThredUP, you can’t expect 100% perfection in quality control or execution, and
- Steer clear of it in general if you’re susceptible to addictive buy/return cycles especially when the process is so ‘cheap and easy.’
Have you tried a Goodie Box yet? I’d love to know about your experiences with it!
I am not affiliated with or compensated by ThredUP in any way, and all opinions expressed are my own.