Buying used cloth diapers doesn’t have to be intimidating. One of the great things about cloth diapers is their reusability factor. You can use them time and time again, and as long as you take good care of your diapers, they can last for many years. So, when the time comes that you don't need them anymore (or just want to try something new) you can sell your diapers to another mama. This is great news for those of us who are on a budget or want to try something new with little investment.
I like buying used cloth diapers and have done so on several occasions. I have had both good and bad experiences. I have learned a few things about buying used cloth diapers online and realize there are a few important things to know before diving into it. So I am going to share a few tips to you to help you out.
TIP # 1
Before buying used cloth diapers – or even new cloth diapers - you should always do some research on them. My favorite places to find info on diapers are Diaper Swappers and Diaper Pin reviews. Diaper Swappers is a wonderful place to find all sorts of diaper chatter. If a diaper is popular and often talked about, it's probably a pretty good diaper. You can easily do a search in the Diaper Chatter forum for the name of the diaper you are interested in. This search will bring up any posts where the diaper has been discussed. That way you will get a good feel of what other users have thought of this particular diaper. I have found through experience that this is really a great way to judge how I will like a diaper.
The Diaper Pin reviews are another great way to read up on user opinions of a diaper. The only problem I have with Diaper Pin is that often times a diaper will only have one or two reviews or none at all. It can be frustrating. I have also found that with some of the more popular diapers that have high reviews, it's really a 50/50 chance that it will work out for me. I can't say why it's that way, but that has been my weird experience.
TIP # 2
My favorite place to buy used diapers is, of course, Diaper Swappers. I have found the widest selection and best prices on used diapers there. There are other places to find used diapers, but this is my first choice. Another great place is Hyena Cart Spots Corner. There are some great deals there, especially since the turn in the economy. I have also seen Rediaper.com, where you can sell or trade your used diapers. Another place to check is the Diaper Pin forums. And of course there is Craigslist. I have heard many moms talk about great deals they have found on CL for super cheap. Just make sure to inspect the item before handing over the cash! Lastly, check out your local thrift store or child consignment store. You may find a super steal on some gently used cloth diapers!
TIP # 3
Once you have found something you are interested in buying, the first thing I always do is inspect the picture. Make sure you don't see any stains, pilliness, exessive wear, etc. Sometimes a diaper will be listed as EUC (excellent used condition) when clearly that is not the case. If the picture is blurry or from a far distance, or doesn't show the inside of the diaper, it would be a good decision to send a PM to the seller and ask for more pictures. You don’t want to end up with something that wasn’t what you thought it was.
If the picture shows the diaper to be in good used condition (or better), then you will want to read the description of the diaper. Make sure you get any information that you feel is important, such as: is this person the first owner, is this a second quality diaper, are there any unseen problems or defects. If some of your questions aren't answered, PM the seller for more information.
TIP # 4
A good rule of thumb when buying used diapers is, unless it has never been worn, you want to get at least $5 or more off the retail price. The price should also include shipping in it, or PPD (postage paid). If it is in a more used condition, you should expect to pay much less. If you don't like the price the seller has to offer, it never hurts to PM them to ask for a lower price, or a discount on buying multiple items.
TIP # 5
It is a good practice to always send payment soon after the seller gives you their Pay Pal address. If, for some reason you are unable to pay right away, general ettiquite says you have a 24 hour window to send payment before the seller has the right to put it back up for sale. Some mamas do not go by this, but generally I think you'll find it to be true.
If the seller doesn't give you an idea of when they will be shipping your purchase, you might want to send them a PM and ask. I have had mamas send my package anywhere from the next day up to 3 days later. It's best to give the seller at least a couple of days to get the package off to the post office.
If you do not recieve your diaper within a week or two of purchase, or it's in a condition less than described, you definatly need to contact the seller. If the seller does not respond within 24 - 48 hours, or refuses to help you with the problem, you might want to consider contacting a forum moderator or filing a claim with Pay Pal. I have not had too many problems buying used diapers, and I have never had to file a Pay Pal claim. Most mamas are very nice and are willing to communicate and work out any problems, so please try to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are not trying to rip you off, unless they prove otherwise.
With these tips in mind, I hope you will have an enjoyable experience buying used cloth. You will have a whole new world open up of diapers that are normally out of your price range or hard to get. I have had hours of fun browsing through listings myself! Happy shopping!