What’s a Used Cloth Diaper Worth, Anyway?

Maybe there’s something going on in the planetary alignment.  Maybe Mercury is in retrograde.  Whatever is going on, there seemed to be a lot of stupid drama going on in my favorite cloth diapering groups over the weekend.  On the bright side, this is giving me plenty of things to write about.  In particular, what’s the value of a used cloth diaper?

The simple answer: a used cloth diaper is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.  There’s a range that’s normal on BSTs for certain types of diapers, depending on the brand, condition, original price, and desirability.  There’s also another factor: who’s selling… and who’s buying.  The most important aspect, though, isn’t something tangible at all.  When it comes to determining the value of a used cloth diaper, the most important thing is reputation… and not just the reputation of the diaper maker.


Is a Used Cloth Diaper Worth Your Reputation?

When you’re in a BST (buy, sell, trade) group, with each and every interaction you have, you are building your reputation.  If you are speedy about paying, that’s a good start.  If you let the seller know when you receive the item (if it’s letter mail) or wait a reasonable amount of time before asking about it, that’s even better.  If you’re selling, communication is key.  Be honest about the condition of your diapers, ship promptly, etc.  (Unless you’re me…  because I openly admit that I suck at making trips to the post office and that’s why I try to sell my diapers locally.)  Both parties need to be sure that they are following the rules of BST netiquette.

How you interact when you’re not buying or selling makes a difference, too.  Sure, snark is amusing, and a certain amount of it can be expected.  But there’s a difference between snarky and just plain mean.

Case in point: one of the dramas I saw over the weekend related to a BST group.  Someone was looking for some Really Super Fancy Beautiful Poop Catchers.  She commented on listings to indicate that she was interested.  She posted an “ISO” post.  (ISO means “in search of.”)  Someone shared links to things that she already had listed on the BST.  Then we had drama.

Over the course of a week, the person that she’d told she was interested kept asking her what was up?  Did she still want the diapers?  She didn’t answer.  The seller was getting pretty angry, particularly since the potential buyer was posting all over the board.  With the diapers that were linked in her ISO post, she didn’t make an instant response.  Someone beat her to the punch and bought those diapers.  She got angry with the seller for not holding them for her to reject.

Drama ensued.

How did this go wrong?

It went wrong in a few different ways.

1.) Failure to communicate with the first seller already damaged her credibility.  She’d shown that she’s not a polite buyer and will leave sellers twisting in the wind.

2.) With the first in mind, plus the fact that the second seller had already listed her diapers, there was absolutely no reason why the seller should have been expected to wait any length of time.

3.) The ensuing drama from “calling them out” in public made sure that everyone remembered her and no one would want to do business with her.

Whenever one joins a new group, it’s always a good idea to sit back a bit, try to lurk, and get to know the culture.  Figure out the lay of the land.  If you’re in a group that has no problems slapping someone down, then go hard or go home.  But if you’re in a drama-free group, then be sure that you know how to proceed to minimize drama.

Above all, though, have fun!  If you aren’t enjoying a group or find that you are not a good fit for their culture, then move along.  Remember that you’re looking at used cloth diapers.  Decide what the value is for those used cloth diapers.  Ultimately, they are worth whatever someone is willing to pay for them.  Just be sure that your reputation is not something you are willing to sacrifice in the process.

Have you ever witnessed drama over 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. I’m gonna also add that if you’re lead to a group through another person, let them walk you through at least 1 transaction. Read the FAQ’s (if there are any) & relax. P.S. This lady sounded like she was playing to begin with, so I understand if folks treated her that way.

  2. As usual, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks for the link up!
    Lindsay Gallimore recently posted…This Is The Way I Cloth Diaper at NightMy Profile

  3. Amber Mueller says:

    Well said! I’ve learned to lurk for the most part rather than searching or posting. I was like you, preferring to sell locally, but now that is not really an option as I don’t know the locals or where to post haha I still love you ladies to much and usually give you first dibs as I don’t mind sending to you and know that you’re safe (plus the post office is down the road and they know me well already) 🙂

  4. The only used diaper boards I currently belong to is for Ragababe and yes, lots of drama. I am not particularly looking forward to selling my stash when the time comes.
    Regan recently posted…Winter is a Little Warmer with TruMooMy Profile

  5. I am also a lurker. If I post an ISO and get a reply, or inquire about cloth I am prepared to buy right away. I have seen drama go down on BST threads and it’s crazy!
    Shary recently posted…Nutella Recipe Round-UpMy Profile

  6. It’s so important to have open communication!
    Danielle recently posted…Spread the Love with GIANTmicrobes for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  7. I am sure that this happens in other forums too. If you are seeking something, you should respond as quickly as possible. If you don’t like what someone is offering, a simple I’m not interested or I already found what I am looking for would suffice.
    Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families recently posted…Cupids Arrow Target Gift Card Giveaway Ends 02/19/14My Profile

  8. Im not in any Buying/trading groups, but I am in a bunch of blogging related groups and whenever I join a new group I lurk for a while just to see how things work, how regular people are about posting just to see if the group is going to be a good match for me.
    Diane recently posted…Fancy Feast Classic Seafood Feast Variety Pack ReviewMy Profile


  1. […] WAHMs to deliberately rip someone else off is just plain offensive.  And, really, do we want to sacrifice our ethics over fancy poop […]

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