Raquel Tucker received 28 brand -name T-shirts for $5 plus the cost of shipping and immediately knew the thredUP program would benefit her family. "We are learning to live on a single income. It is an innovative way to save money," she said.
The rules are pretty simple. You pick a box based on the description of its contents (sizes, brands, gender, etc.) and pay $5, plus shipping ($10.95 for a flat-rate box). In turn, you pack up a box of gently used clothes or toys that your own child has outgrown. When someone chooses your box, print out a prepaid shipping label and mail it. Members pay only for boxes that are received.
"I save a ton of money. Toddlers go through lots of clothes and it’s not always easy to keep up on a budget," Tucker said. She lives in Kaneohe and stays home to care for her 2 -year-old son, Robert.
Tucker hasn’t shipped any boxes yet, but has two boxes listed. "That is the only downside: Until my boxes get picked up, I can’t pick anymore," she said. Tucker already received two boxes — one from Santa Rita, Guam, and the other from Peoria, Ariz.
"Kids grow so fast, the turn around on new clothes is quick. I don’t really know anyone who has the expendable income to buy new clothes every month or so but even if you did, why would you?" she said.
"This is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to get new clothes and by passing on your baby’s old clothes, you get to help another mommy just like you."
Sara Gibb has been promoting the company to military moms abroad under the title of "chief military mom. "
Gibb began swapping clothes through thredUP nearly a year ago. "I’m a thrifty mom of three. I liked what I saw, thought the idea was brilliant and immediately saw the applicability of the site to military families," she said.
Gibb’s husband is stationed in North Carolina. The thredUP offices are in San Francisco, so she works remotely, coordinating communication between military families in the United States and those overseas in 12 countries at APO/FPO addresses.
More than 36,000 members are signed up with the program. "Any mom in the community can swap with a family in Texas, who in turn can swap with a military mom stationed in Germany, all online without leaving the living room sofa. We even have a toy swap," Gibb said.
For more information or to sign up, log on to www.thredup.com.