Buying Used Cloth Diapers – A Definitive Guide

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

Buying Used Cloth Diapers (Cloth Diaper Addicts)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?



About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Heather Koen says:

    Thank you for posting this! I am 6 months pregnant and planning on cloth diapering my little boy. It’s aggravating trying to know where to start. I recently bought 4 diapers off of ebay and I’m waiting on them to arrive. I am waiting on this experience to see if I want to order more. 😉

    • Congratulations! And, yeah, I remember when I was first interested in using cloth. (And have the blog posts to refer to if I ever forget what a n00b I used to be.) You’ll get it figured out. Just ask lots and lots of questions and someone will always be happy to point you in the right direction.

  2. I have bought a few diapers secondhand. One was from a friend, so I was not at all the worried. The others were some Best Bottom inserts through a BST Facebook group. I have also sold some used diapers. All of my experiences were great. I second the washing the diapers as soon as you get them tip.

  3. My first stash of diapers is 2nd hand!

  4. I appreciate this post because people really do get SO grossed out or confused by buying cloth diapers. This list will be helpful for them to turn to 🙂 I also always recommend to my friends to strip their diapers because you never know how someone else took care of their diapers, or if they had yeast/ammonia problems that you just don’t know about.

  5. Rachel @ Rachel's Giveaways says:

    I’ve bought a few used cloth diapers (one set from Cloth Diaper Traders and one set from Diaper Swappers). My husband is sort of grossed out by the idea of used, but I plan to wash/strip them again before using them of course. I was a little disappointed because one seller took a month to ship and then some of the diapers had very obvious stains. I’m pretty sure they were described as EUC and not stained, but I will try to sun them out. I could tell she felt bad because she also added in 2 extra free diapers to make up for it. My other diaper was a coveted Ragababe which I got for $25 shipped, and is like new condition. So it’s been hit or miss for me 🙂

  6. Renae C. says:

    I haven’t bought any yet, but thanks so much for the tips!

  7. Jessica Roby says:

    I’m having an interesting time getting started building a cloth diaper stash. My husband is grossed out by the notion of purchasing used diapers. I’ve gotten a few covers so far and they seem good. One tiny suggestion to anyone considering purchasing used. Don’t go by their determination of condition. if you are going to meet to purchase, leave yourself some wiggle room in the price. If you are going to get it in the mail, get LOTS of pictures and make your offer accordingly.

  8. Mindy May Farmer says:

    This is such a helpful post! Honestly, buying and selling diapers really overwhelms me. I’m not really sure where to start with pricing mine and I worry about buying used from people I don’t know. There really isn’t a local community to buy from though.

  9. I feel it would have been wise to buy used to make my money go farther. I think when I find ones I want to just try I will look for used so I can see if I like them.

    • Just know what you’re looking for an who’s selling. 🙂 My first try with a certain diaper had me convinced that it just sucked for us. I got a new one of the same diaper, fell in love, and added five to my stash.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this! I’ve been debating cloth diapering my third (due in October) at least part time, but the cost is scary. Buying used cloth would save tons! I’ll have to check out Cloth Diaper Trader!

  11. These are some great resources and tips!

  12. Alyca Green says:

    I love Facebook for buying used diapers too. I have found a lot of mamas in my area and its nice to just drive down the road and pick some up and I don’t have to pay shipping!

    I did buy some that I specifically asked the mom selling them if they worked for overnight and she told me they did. There is no way. Oh well, live and learn. I contacted the WAHM who made them and she helped me troubleshoot AND sent me new inserts 🙂

    Thanks for this article, very helpful to new cloth diapering mamas!

  13. I wrote up a post not too long ago about what to look for when buying used..

  14. Check local diaper shops for consignment! My local cloth diaper store has a great selection of new and used.

  15. Carissa Whaatt says:

    All of my cloth diapers are bought used, because well, right now we can’t really afford new. I’ve only been dooped once, and that was due to a mis understanding on her part. I asked if the diapers (bum genius) were OneSize and she said yes. Turns out she thought I ment all the same size, not OS diaper. So now I’m stuck with Newborn diapers that I can;t use. but im sure i could sell them or trade.

    • They’ll sell, no problem. 🙂 You should easily be able to get what you paid for them because newborn diapers go through very little wear and tear since they don’t last long!

  16. jbonner03 says:

    This is a great blog article, I am looking to increase my supply as we ar trying for baby #4 and some of ours are not going to make it through #4 and I’d love to save some $$ buying used!

  17. Christy Garrett says:

    This sounds like fantastic tips on buying used cloth diapers. I never used them because I didn’t want to deal with the extra laundry. I do think they are cute on a babies bum and make for great photos.

  18. Carrie Barron says:

    Thanks for sharing. I’m pregnant with my first so don’t have any cloth diapers yet. Two friends are giving me some, but they haven’t arrived yet. I have a question regarding stripping. In your post, what does RLR stand for? I’ve only briefly researched stripping so don’t know much about it. But I would definitely want to make sure that any used diapers I get are safe to go on my little one.

  19. Rachel A. says:

    Thanks for letting me know about stripping with oxiclean! I haven’t bought any used diapers yet, but this is good to know!

  20. Brittani Welch says:

    This is such a helpful article for us newbies. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  21. Marisa Shipley-Courter says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am trying to start my four month old daughters stash and this has great advice!

  22. Thanks for the advice. I didn’t think to strip used diapers but I will from now on.

  23. Jennifer H says:

    Great advice — I just bought some used prefolds (actually prepped but unused) from a mom on Diaperswappers for the first time.

  24. Rachelle Sharp says:

    This is wonderful advice! i cannot afford to buy brand new alot of the time, and this is my first time cding.. all the advice i can get i appreciate!! Thank you!!

  25. Eryn M. says:

    Thank you for this information! I’m very new at the cloth diapering and our little isn’t due for awhile. We are planning on buying a little at a time to break up the cost. I’m still nervous about buying online but I’ve been lucky to find some great people in the KC area.

  26. Jennifer Marohn says:

    That is a wonderful post. I only buy used diapers from our local natural parenting store (yes there’s only one in the WHOLE area), but I was thinking about branching out to facebook and beyond. I am so glad I read this, so I know where the best places to look are. Thank you so much for posting it.

  27. Amanda E, says:

    This is so helpful! My stash is made up entirely of the same brand, and have been wanting to try out some others, this will definitely help me when looking at used diapers. Thank!

  28. Megan Real says:

    Most of this is actually really great advice for buying any specialty-type product online – with a few wording changes, this could apply to most things! I do a good amount of buying and selling online, and I think this actually might be the best article I’ve ever come across in that category.

  29. breyanna brandenburg says:

    this is an awesome and useful; guide!

  30. Krystin Kutler says:

    Thank you so much for this advice! I have started building a used stash and some have been good purchases, others not so much.

  31. Darlene Ysaguirre says:

    You can find so many great local diapering groups through facebook. And like you mentioned you also get to make friends in the process.

  32. Maman Loup says:

    The only tip missing is to buy all your second-hand fluff from Maman Loup! I am the worst for being too embarrassed to tell someone an item from Kijiji that I’ve gone to pick up (diapers or otherwise) doesn’t meet my expectations. I’ve been burned and have (I think) finally learned my lesson.

  33. Amanda Saucedo says:

    I like buying used diapers a lot of the time. I’ve been lucky enough to not get burned yet, but I know plenty of momma friends that weren’t so lucky. That’s why reviews of sellers are so important!!

  34. Great post. I bought a bunch if my diapers used. Craig’s list was a good place to find local deals, and I bought a used wool cover off eBay. I did strip my used bumGenius diapers with bleach,but since that is part of the manufacturers recommendations I didn’t worry about it.

  35. Brianna Sherman says:

    I never even thought about using Facebook to buy diapers and I love what you call “the shaming factor.” Hubby and I aren’t pregnant yet but we have decided to go the cloth diaper route and this is so helpful – I’ve already bookmarked this page! 🙂 Thanks!

  36. Badhan saha says:

    i have many branded garments cloth which you can buy at a cheap rate
    from Bangladesh.If anyone interested please mail

  37. Tanya Seibel says:

    I should have read this a few weeks ago. I bought a giant lot of used diapers on eBay. Was soooooo excited until they arrived and I opened the box and was almost knocked over by the smell of urine. I stripped and washed those diapers about 15 times… They don’t stink anymore and I know they’re clean, but I’m still nervous about putting them on my baby.


  1. […] the idea, you can always start out with used cloth diapers.  There’s absolutely no harm in buying used cloth diapers.  In fact, I have a few used cloth diapers in my own stash that I bought because I wanted to try […]

  2. […] disposables.  And you know what?  That’s okay, too.  There are ways to save money through buying used cloth diapers.  You can try using flats, flour sack towels, or prefolds with covers.  And there are even […]

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