This morning, I was perusing eBay. Sometimes I go through to see if there are any hard to find cloth diapers on eBay. Maybe it’s something that I’m looking for (like an AMP Very Cherry) or it’s something I already have and I’m curious what I could realistically sell it for when the time comes. Or, you know, maybe it’s just because I’m cloth diaper obsessed and have too much time on my hands. Whatever.
Either way you slice it, browsing for cloth diapers on eBay is something that many do. Sometimes it’s the veteran cloth diaperer like myself who knows what to look for. There are also times that it’s the brand spanking new person who is trying to build her stash in a cost effective manner. But then she’s heard a bit about how a certain brand is the best… so if, let’s say that bumGenius is “the very best” (and it is something that I recommend to newbies because of how broad the appeal is) and eBay is the place to find deals, then she might find herself making a decision that’s not so great.
Like this listing: (click to enlarge)
Premium Cloth Diapers on eBay Aren’t Sold by Authorized Retailers
Unless you purchase your cloth diapers from an authorized retailer, you do not have the benefit of manufacturer’s warranty. So if your diaper’s stitching comes undone, snaps break, or elastics come un-sewn, you have no recourse. Hopefully you’re one of those people who can fix things yourself. If it’s delamination on a diaper you’ve had for a week, then you’re just plain out of luck. No warranty, no ability to repair.
Premium Cloth Diapers on eBay Aren’t Always Authentic
There are unscrupulous folks on eBay who will sell counterfeits as the real deal. So, not only are you not getting warranty protection, you’re possibly not even getting real product.
Cheap Cloth Diapers on eBay Are Often Cheap Quality
I explained last week why I don’t recommend China Cheapies to newbies. Some of the China Cheapie cloth diapers on eBay are the worst offenders for just being crap. (Yes, Baby City, I’m talking to you.) That means that someone trying to start cloth diapers ends up with garbage… and lack of support, and then often gives up.
Cloth Diapers on eBay Aren’t Always Honest
Now to pick apart the listing that I found that prompted this blog post.
1.) Yes, it’s a new diaper. But, no, it’s not even remotely hard to find. While it is a Genius Series diaper, it’s the only one that’s not at any risk of becoming hard to find; it’s still sold in stores and has been available in those stores for around two years.
2.) For $45 USD? No. Just… no. That diaper is still available at bumGenius authorized retailers. I can get a Flip for $17.95 CDN in the Great White North… but Americans can get the Flip for $14.95 USD. The most expensive bumGenius product, the bumGenius Elemental, is available in this print for $30.95 CDN or $28.95 USD.
3.) You’d think that the “top seller” badge and the high feedback would mean that this is a great seller who won’t rip you off. Since she’s marked this diaper up 100% and you get zero protection beyond eBay’s PayPal dispute, you’d be hooped. I doubt you could argue that the hard to find label falls under “product not as described.”
4.) This is the only part of the listing that I don’t find offensively scammy. Yes, it’s a bumGenius Freetime… but a diligent buyer will know that it’s a readily available product.
The moral of the story? If you decide to buy cloth diapers on eBay, do your research. Make sure you check out actual stores (even if it’s only online and you have no brick and mortar locations within several hours of your home) so that you can learn a bit more on what it’s all about.
Have you ever bought cloth diapers on eBay? How was your experience?