I’ve written a post, filled with accessories you don’t need to cloth diaper, but I want to cover those cloth diapering accessories you can’t have enough of. In other words, if you find a good sale, or come across a great deal, you can buy as much or as many of these items as you can, with absolutely no remorse; trust me, you’ll put them to good use!
I’m delighted to have Jennifer Hill, owner of Re-Diaper.com, guest post on the blog today. A professional buyer, seller, and trader of cloth diapers, Jennifer offers some wonderful tips for entering into the wonderful cloth diaper B/S/T world.
The market for gently used cloth diapers is huge and only going to get bigger as far as I can tell. There are multiple forums for you to choose from for your transactions:
- Spots Corner
- Facebook B/S/T groups
There are people looking to sell and/or trade cloth diapers for all sorts of reasons, and most of them are doing it with good intentions:
- Their diapers aren’t fitting their little one properly
- Their little one is having a sensitivity to the fabric
- They purchased sized diapers and are ready to move up a size
- They decided they hate stuffing pockets and are looking for alternatives
- They went overboard and bought way too many diapers and just aren’t using them all
- The list can go on and on
There are also some people out there with not so great intentions:
- Scammers are just trying to make a quick buck or get a free diaper and don’t intend on sending you any diapers
- Dishonest/unrealistic sellers will tell you what great condition their diapers are in… and then they arrive and they stink, have obvious flaws, or are delaminated
- There are people out there trying to take advantage of HTF (hard to find) prints of certain brands and are willing to charge you an arm and a leg for that certain “special” diaper
Be a Smart Shopper
Buying used cloth diapers can be a little scary, especially the first time. Here’s my advice for getting the best info you can before forking over your hard earned money for a used diaper. Most of this I’ve learned the hard way purchasing diapers for Re-Diaper, so I’m hoping you can learn from my mistakes.
What to ask:
Have you sold before? Do you have any feedback on Buy/Sell/Trade Forums?
This is a question I don’t need to bother with, as I have the advantage of paying for my inventory only after I’ve examined it. But feedback on a seller is a helpful way to avoid a scammer.
Did you purchase the diaper new or used?
I’ve had countless people receive hand me down diapers and try to sell them to me. They are usually honest when I ask this and will tell me they got it for free. Generally hand me downs are not in any shape to be paid for, so stay away.
How long/many times have you used the diaper?
This I’ve found to be a very helpful question. If someone is claiming to have diapers in EUC and they’ve been using them for over a year, they’re being unrealistic about the condition of their diapers. There are general guidelines for what to expect with conditions on my DeStash page: http://www.re-diaper.com/we-buy-gently-used-cloth-diapers.html
What is the condition of the elastic, aplix, snaps, PUL, etc.
People often don’t think to give the diaper a once over before determining it’s condition, this makes them actually think about it.
Is there any staining?
This is the question I have the most trouble with. Often “stain free” diapers arrive with shadow staining. If you don’t care, it’s not a huge deal, but I do deduct +/_ $1 for staining
Why are you getting rid of the diaper(s)?
The red flag you are looking for with this is laundry issues. If they’re having trouble washing them, you can expect stinky diapers to arrive. This is not a huge deal, but you should be paying accordingly, because you probably have some work ahead of you.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Selling diapers can be overwhelming as well. Sometimes it’s easiest to sell them locally, but often times the market is better online. Here’s my advice for selling diapers. Or… if you’re completely overwhelmed, shoot me an email at Jennifer@Re-Diaper.com and I can help you sort out what you have. Even if you don’t want to sell items to me, I can give you a starting point for pricing.
Think about the use you’ve already gotten out of the diaper before deciding on a price. If you’ve used the diaper more than a year, I won’t buy it… It’s no longer gently used, and you’ve gotten your money’s worth out of it. Price it accordingly and it will sell quickly.
If you’re charging good money for a diaper, be sure to disclose everything you notice, even if you think it doesn’t matter. What doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, might be a deal breaker to someone else. This is the best way to avoid an unhappy customer and the hassle of a returned diaper.
Consider shipping costs
Many diapers are priced PPD (postage paid), so this includes shipping costs. Do your homework on how much it will cost to ship (especially if you’re trying to sell a lot of diapers) so you’re not caught off guard at the Post Office if you’re priced your diapers PPD.
TRACK YOUR SHIPMENT
Make sure you get tracking and send it to the buyer to cover you in case they try to claim they never received their package. USPS is catching up to the private shipping companies and offers tracking on almost everything now for free or a nominal fee. It’s worth it.
Ready to begin buying, selling and trading your cloth diapers? Here are 7 Places to B|S|T Cloth Diapers.
Jennifer hill is the owner/operator of Re-Diaper.com, a retail site devoted entirely to buying, selling, and trading cloth diapers [with security and ease]; Re-Diaper.com encourages you to “Reduce, Reuse, and Re-Diaper for a Greener World!”
Interested in winning an EUC bumGenius Oops diaper from Re-Diaper.com? Click HERE to go to the giveaway page.
I sold my husband on the idea of cloth diapering with the cost savings it would provide us. I began researching cloth diapers before I was pregnant with my first kiddo, so once I had my positive pregnancy test in-hand I immediately began building our cloth diaper stash. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on pee and poop catchers either, so I focused on purchasing prefolds and covers to build the bulk of our stash. Because the cost of prefolds is minimal, I purchased all of our prefolds new and found some great sales to add to our stash (an Econobum buy 1, get 1 sale was a memorable one, as they were prefold+cover sets). The expense of all-in-one (AIO) diapers was intimidating to me, knowing I would need at least 24 diapers to start, so I began shopping used diapers to try out different styles.
eBay – I purchased several used diapers through eBay in the beginning, and a HUGE diaper lot as well, but eBay is probably the last place I would look for used diapers these days (unless I’m looking to buy an entire lot of diapers).
Thrift Stores – I’ve not had the luck of finding used diapers while thrifting, but know that many people have found great deals on cloth diapers in thrift stores. Some thrift stores carry them on a regular basis, as some manufacturers will donate their seconds-quality diapers, so keep your eyes-peeled for a great cloth diaper deal.
Children’s Consignment Sales – In the past year I’ve been seeing more and more cloth diapers being sold at my local children’s consignment sales and I love it! While I’ve not seen any diapers I HAD to have, it’s nice to see cloth becoming more mainstream. The only downside to buying through children’s consignment sales is that they are typically only biannual events, so you have only two chances a year to grab cloth diapers (but it’s great for adding to your stash).
Craigslist – This will depend upon your area. Living in the Philadelphia area, I’ve had great success buying and selling diapers on Craigslist, as there is a large cloth diapering community here. However, while we lived in the Central PA region it was slim pickings. It never hurts to take a look, as you don’t have to bother with shipping (this is what I love most about buying & selling on Craigslist). Another great reason to buy cloth diapers on Craigslist is that you have the opportunity to look at the diapers before you purchase them — no surprises.
Local/National Buy, Sell, Trade (BST) groups on Facebook – Again, this is going to depend on your area. If you buy from a local group, and meet in-person, you save on shipping and can inspect the diapers before you purchase.
BST website – There are websites, such as Cloth Diaper Trader, devoted to listing cloth diapers for sale or trade, or buying diapers you are in search of. I’ve had success selling and trading a few diapers here. The one trade I did do was backed with a PayPal exchange, which I recommend doing to help protect yourself from dishonest people. Again, you’re dealing with strangers, so going this route can be a crapshoot.
Used Diaper Retailer – This is, by far, my favorite way of buying used cloth diapers and training pants these days. Using a cloth diaper retailer for buying, selling, and trading diapers is the smoothest way (and requires the least amount of work). Many cloth diaper/natural parenting retailers buy and sell used cloth diapers in their retail spaces, but if you don’t have one near you (or are looking for a specific diaper) a dedicated used cloth diaper retailer is the way to go. I use Re-Diaper.com and never have to worry about the condition of the diapers I am purchasing. I’ve purchased and traded several diapers through Re-Diaper and have been extremely pleased with my experience. When I’m finished with cloth, I can even de-stash through Re-Diaper without all of the work of trying sell each piece myself.
Curious to enter the world of buying, selling and trading diapers? Check out these 6 Questions to Ask Before Buying, Selling and Trading Cloth Diapers.
Buying used diapers is an economical way to build a cloth diaper stash, as well as being an affordable way to try different styles and brands of diapers. Do you/would you buy used diapers? Where are your favorite places to purchase used diapers?