Recently, I wrote a post about how to sell used cloth diapers. It’s great tips… for the seller. But what if you’re interested in buying used cloth diapers? Aren’t there some things that you need to know to protect yourself? There are so many different venues for buying used cloth diapers that it’s hard to know where to start. First, though, it depends on where you want to start. Are you interested in buying a particular brand? Do you have a local cloth diapering community to start with?
Buying Used Cloth Diapers Locally
I know, I know. I’m forever harping about how absolutely amazing the Prince George cloth diapering community is. We’re social. We’re friendly. We’re accepting. Blah, blah, blah, you get it. But, really, at the end of the day, I’d prefer buying used cloth diapers locally as a first option. (And, yeah, I do periodically buy used cloth diapers. It’s often how I try a new brand before deciding that I love it and I absolutely need it. My first AppleCheeks diaper was used.)
Facebook. If I’m buying used cloth diapers locally, the best place that I can honestly recommend is Facebook. If your town or city doesn’t have a local cloth diapering group, there’s probably one for your region, or at least your state. Sometimes, even the general B/S/T pages for your region will know where to direct you.
Why is Facebook awesome for buying locally? It can lead to other things like meet ups and making friends. It can also protect you with the public shame factor. If someone knowingly sells crappy, delaminated diapers, the others will talk. They’ll PM newbies to try to keep her from getting scammed. If nothing else, if you notice that someone has some diapers that seem like a really great price and condition, and no one else is jumping on it or pointing it out to someone else who wants it… there’s probably a reason for it.
Kijiji/Craig’s List/eBay Classifieds. These little local classified sites are a great place to find used merchandise. However, because there’s no public shame factor involved, be very careful and look your diapers over carefully. A friend of mine once had someone try to sell her delaminated diapers that had every bit of the PUL removed. The seller tried to tell my friend that the diapers were fine, it was just the way the material was. Fortunately, my friend (who was very new at cloth diapering back then) knew enough to back out of the sale. Had she been taken, because it was through Kijiji, that public shame factor would have been nonexistent.
Buying Cloth Diapers Nationally or Internationally
Facebook. Even if I’m not buying cloth diapers locally, I still like Facebook for used diapers. These groups often end up being a great source of friendship and entertainment. There’s also a sort of social protection aspect of buying from moms on Facebook that I love: if someone sells crap, they’re risking their own reputation. Sure, they might pass something lousy off to me… but they’ll only do it once because I have zero problems with outing that person. It’s not just because I want to be mean or whatever, but because I feel that I have a responsibility to prevent others from being ripped off by inaccurate representation of product whenever possible. Of course, I’d also be filing a PayPal dispute in effort to get a refund.
Cloth Diaper Trader. I love the way this site is set up. It’s searchable so that you can look by diaper or by region. It’s super fast and super easy. And Agnes, the owner, is also pretty awesome.
Diaper Swappers. This is an old style forum. It’s got social factors and it has selling boards. The “shame” factor could be useful here, too.
Keep Yourself Safe
If you’re buying locally, decide if you are more comfortable with meeting at someone’s house or if you’d rather meet publicly. Because Prince George is a smallish city and enough people know each other, I generally prefer to do pick ups or drop offs at homes. While, yes, it’s safer from crazy people to meet publicly, I’ve found that people who don’t want you to know where they live when they are trying to sell you something are often trying to pass off crap in a hurry. And always inspect your merchandise. If it’s a local sale and it doesn’t meet expectations, then you’re perfectly justified in passing on the item. However, it’s very poor form to show up at someone’s house after agreeing upon a price and trying to negotiate them down lower.
If you’re buying from someone far off, make sure that you are paying them via PayPal. Pay it as a purchase. Never, ever gift it because then if the seller doesn’t send it to you, you have absolutely zero protection.
Keep Your Baby Safe
I also advise stripping your diapers as soon as you get them. There are some exceptions, of course: if a good friend of mine gives me some of her diapers, I won’t worry about stripping because I know her routine and how she keeps her diapers. But by and large, stripping is a very good thing. Some recommend bleach, but I’m not one of them. Strip your diapers with OxiClean to kill anything that you don’t want and with RLR to get out build up issues.
What tips do you have for buying used cloth diapers?