Generally, I avoid calling out specific sites. Yes, there are stores out there that I love and will flog to anyone who will listen… but I’ve only come across two cloth diaper stores that are so darned gross that I never want anyone to shop with them. Ever. The first was Shop Diaper. Lindsay of Maman Loup’s Den did a wonderful post explaining what’s so awful about them. So did The Anti-June Cleaver (and her readers’ comments). They did it so well that there was no need to reinvent the wheel; they said it all. Today, I learned about a new gross place. They are ClothDiaper.Us.Com. I won’t link them because I don’t want anyone to click to them from my site.
ClothDiaper.Us.Com Lures You In
When I took a look at ClothDiaper.Us.Com this morning, the first thing that I saw was their home page. It’s not an ugly site by any stretch of the imagination. Not to my tastes and not using a shopping cart that I like, but it looks like a legit site when you first take a look. And look! Such great deals!
1.) High quality pocket diapers from $4.79 – Limited time offer
2.) Up to 73% off + Free Pocket Diaper insert – Today Only!
3.) Free shipping world wide $49!
4.) 3% off for new customers
Incredible! What a great opportunity to save! I have to give them credit: they’ve done a great job marketing their site to appear to both have great deals and to create a sense of urgency. With all of these short term offers and 3% off and a low global free shipping amount, it looks like something the consumer can’t miss out on.
But when you look a little deeper…
That “high quality pocket diaper” banner? It looks like it should click, but it leads to nothing.
The “73% off” banner also takes you to nothing.
Sure, the free shipping sounds great, but what are they shipping? Same with the 3%. Critical thinking is important. A business exists to make money. Yes, of course, a lot of businesses are owned by very nice people, but if the business doesn’t make money, they can’t afford to stay open. How is ClothDiapers.Us.Com able to have such deep discounts and still turn a profit? After all, $4.79 for a “high quality pocket diaper” is less than wholesale on a reputable brand of diaper.
Since nothing flashy is clickable, scroll down.
Then You See It’s Overpriced Garbage
ShopDiaper diapers are unreliable, cheaply made diapers that are really not much better than disposables. That 64% off price? It’s not a discount at all. It’s the same price at ShopDiaper.com (with the same “limited time discount” that never goes away). Sunny Baby are the exact same price, too.
When chatting with my fellow fluffy bloggers, one of them thought that it was the same garbage site as ShopDiaper.com, just a redirect. The WhoIs information on who actually owns the websites indicates that they are different shady site owners.
And the “specials” aren’t that special.
Check out that gorgeous “Alva Sunflower Printed Waterproof Reusable Washable One Size Pocket Cloth Diapers” image. 68% off sounds like a SMOKING hot deal that you should jump on. But… as much as I don’t recommend China Cheapies in general and have no love for AlvaBaby in particular, I hate people being ripped off even more. You can buy an AlvaBaby diaper direct from their website for less than $6.00.
As for the “reduced from $22” nonsense… for $22 US, you can buy premium brand diapers such as bumGenius, Thirsties, and Bottombumpers, all of which are ethically made in the United States.
But the “not actually a deal” specials aren’t limited to AlvaBaby.
Not even close.
Have you ever heard of Happy Flute diapers?
Wow. That looks like another AWESOME deal that you just can’t pass up… except that you should. Why? I can’t speak to the quality of those particular diapers since I’ve never tried them, but I can tell you that they do not cost $16 US. Not even close. You can get them for $6.15 direct, and it does include free shipping.
But ClothDiapers.Us.Com is American, right?
A lot of people don’t want to buy direct through Alva, Sunbaby, Happy Flute, JCTrade, or any other brand of China Cheapies because they don’t want to deal with a Chinese site. They want to buy their diapers from an American site because it just feels like it would be more secure. And the name implies that it’s American, so they’d be protected by American laws… including quality and safety standards. Right?
Except they wouldn’t be In spite of the name, ClothDiapers.Us.Com is not an American site at all.
Click the thumbnails to see the full size. What you see are thumbnails of the whois information for the ClothDiapers.Us.Com website. The whois information is the domain registration information, and that’s all related to who bought the website.
The circled section all shows that the site owner’s name is Asian (I think Chinese, but I do not speak Mandarin or Cantonese, so I’m not going to guarantee it), but the address related to the business are all in England. The only part of the information about the website that is American is the “sponsor” information. All that means is “the bigger company that does the registration for the smaller guy.” It means that part is bought through an American company. However, it has absolutely nothing to do with who owns the site or where the site ownership (or the products that they are selling) are located.
But the “About Page” looks legit!
When you read the “About Us” page, it sounds like you’re shopping through a reputable, reliable site that’s been around forever. Except for that part about how it hasn’t. The whois information shows that the site was first registered in 2013, so it’s only a year and a bit old. I have diapers that have been in my rotation for longer than that. As of Friday, June 13th, ClothDiapers.Us.Com had an Alexa ranking of nearly 4.5 million. That tells me that they are most certainly not doing the type of traffic that makes them a “leading online store,” let alone the “leading online store.” Their “designs” aren’t based on anything since they don’t actually design anything… but if they did, all that would really mean is “we rip off designs of established cloth diaper companies.”
Yes, I’m a cynic. Especially when I see that a “leading online store” has only 20 Facebook fans.
When I know that I can get my dog more than 20 Facebook fans in under 20 minutes, I really have to doubt the veracity of their “leading online store” claims even more.
Fancy Looking Logos at the Bottom…
The logos across the bottom only add to the appearance of legitimacy.
1.) See those circled shipping company logos? Those are companies that are trusted in various places of the world. However, when you look at the actual shipping options, none of those shipping companies are actually listed as methods that you can use to have your product shipped. (One is the US Postal Service, which is, for some reason, listed as having “worldwide service” when it doesn’t. Once a USPS package makes its way to another country, it’s handed off to that country’s postal service or an authorized shipper, depending on the nature of the package. In Canada, it either gets handed off to Canada Post or Purolator.) The other is a company that I’ve never heard of.
2.) Check out those social media links! This is a company that’s internet savvy and wants to connect with its customer base! Except how it doesn’t. Yeah. 20 fans on Facebook (see above) and both the Twitter and Facebook buttons just take you to Facebook.com.
3.) Look at the USA Today, NBC, and Today Show logos! For a company to be discussed on all of those major outlets must mean that it’s legit. After all, they wouldn’t be proudly showing off that those outlets declared them to be scammer sites to be avoided, right?
Well, you’d think… but those logos don’t actually link to anything. They’re just slapping those logos on their page (and without permission, I’d wager) in order to add to the appearance of legitimacy.
The Bottom Line
The way I see it, any company that has to just try so hard to look like it’s a real, established, legitimate company with absolutely nothing to back it up is not a company that you want to work with. They aren’t cheaper, they aren’t selling amazing diapers at great prices, and absolutely none of their claims about themselves and their position in the cloth diapering industry hold merit. I’d rather do business with a company that will be honest about who they are and what they represent instead of a site based around smoke and mirrors.
Before you think that I’m saying that you should only buy diapers from AppleCheeks or AMP, I’m not. I understand that there are all kinds of budgets to work with. If you must go China Cheapies to build your stash, save yourself some money and work directly with the manufacturer. Either way, it’s still coming from China. And remember that low income doesn’t have to be a barrier to using cloth diapers at all; there are orgs to help you.
Have you ever ordered from ClothDiapers.Us.Com? What was your experience like?