You may be thinking “eww” or “why would I want to buy used cloth diapers”, but when you initially start using cloth diapers it can be pricy if you buy all new diapers. Buying cloth diapers can be scary at first, but if you keep a few things in mind, you can buy used cloth diapers and get by with them for a little while.
Why would I want to buy used cloth diapers?
This is often one of the first things people ask and there are several reasons why you would want to.
To start, cloth diapering can be a challenge and some people just are not cut out for cloth diapering. If you start with used cloth diapers you will have less of an investment in your diapers and be out less money if you decide you just can’t do it.
Another reason is that cloth diapers can be expensive initially and you can get about twice as many used cloth diapers for the same amount of money, meaning you can build up your supply quicker and cheaper.
You can easily purchase several different types and styles of diapers and find which one you like best. For example, some people prefer all-in-ones, while others prefer pocket diapers. Wouldn’t it be horrible if you spent $200 on diapers just to discover that you don’t like that style, so you try a different one? If you buy used cloth diapers you can avoid this by spending a few dollars on several different brands and styles, then when you discover which ones you like, you can purchase more of those.
Are there downsides to buying used cloth diapers?
As with everything, there are a few downsides to purchasing used cloth diapers.
The biggest turn off for most people is that you are purchasing something that another human has peed and pooped in. You can easily prepare the diapers though by washing them with very hot water, bleach, and soap. Ensure you run an extra rinse or two to get everything out of the cloth. This really is not different than buying new diapers though because you still have to wash them a few times.
You may not be able to sell the diapers when you are finished. One of the upsides of using cloth diapers is that you can sell them if they are in good condition when you are finished. Chances are, if you purchase your cloth diapers used, they have already been through at least one, or more, children, add on your child and you have a minimum of 2 kids that have used the diapers. Usually by that time the diapers have been washed so many times that they are just worn out. If you are able to sell them, it will most likely be for just a few dollars each.
Tips for buying used cloth diapers
Buying used cloth diapers can be overwhelming, just like buying anything else used, but there are several things to keep in mind that will help make it easier for you to get a great used diaper and get the most out of your used cloth diaper.
- Keep in mind not everyone is honest. For the most part when you are buying used cloth diapers, moms are honest, but keep in mind that there are still going to be scammers out there so you need to follow these tips.
- Ask a lot of questions. The only way you can figure out anything about the diaper is to ask questions. Some questions you should ask:
- Why are you selling the diaper? Did it work for you? This will tell you a lot about the use of the diaper. If they are selling it because their kid(s) are out of diapers then great, it must have worked for them. If they are selling is just because they didn’t like it, ask what they didn’t like about it. It may help you determine if you will like that style of diaper.
- Did you buy the diaper new or used? How many kids used the diaper? This will help tell you a little about the potential condition of the diaper. If they bought the diaper new and only used it on one child, you would expect the diaper to be in better condition than a diaper that was used for 5 kids. It will also help you determine how much you should pay for a diaper. In general, diapers in great condition that were purchased new can be sold for $10-15, but if the diaper was purchased used and used for several children, it may be worth only about $5 as the diaper may be in need of repairs.
- How was the diaper cared for? This means asking how the diaper was washed and dried and if any diaper creams were used. If the diaper is not washed in a cloth diaper friendly detergent they may not be as absorbent. Diaper creams can also affect absorbency. Knowing how the diaper was cared for may influence your decision to buy or not to buy.
- Is there any staining? Cloth diapers are made to catch poop, meaning there is the potential for poop stains in the diaper. Having stains can be an indication of how the diaper was cared for. This doesn’t mean that if it has stains it wasn’t cared for, it just means that if it doesn’t have stains it may not have been used as much or liners were used.
- Ask to see pictures. If you are purchasing online, make sure to ask for close up pictures of the elastic, snaps, velcro, and the inside and outside of the diaper. Ask for close up pictures of every inch of the diaper. If the seller is serious about selling the diapers and honest, they won’t have any issue with this. If they don’t want to send you pictures, don’t purchase them.
- Know what you can repair. Just because a used diaper is in bad condition doesn’t mean you can’t purchase it. In fact, if you know how to sew, you can get diapers that need the elastic repaired really cheap (around $5 each), saving you a ton of money! If you can’t sew though, you don’t want to purchase these diapers because they won’t work for you.
- Check seller feedback. If you are buying used cloth diapers online, make sure you check the seller’s feedback. If the seller has a lot of great reviews that is a good sign that you will have a good experience as well. If there are a lot of bad reviews, then it may be a good idea to avoid buying your diapers from that seller.
- Make sure you know the return policy. As I said, not everyone is honest, meaning that you may still end up with a product you didn’t order. Make sure you know the return policy, or use PayPal to purchase your item, which will help protect you to an extent.
- Don’t wash the diapers if you have any issues. When your diapers arrive in the mail, inspect them thoroughly prior to washing them as once you wash them, any defects can be considered something that happened in your washing or drying process.
- Purchase in person. If you know someone who is selling used cloth diapers, try to purchase from them in person. This way you can inspect the diapers before you pay for them and make sure they are what you want.
- Use reputable used cloth diaper sites. There are many sites that are set up just for the sale of used cloth diapers. Just a few are:
Buying used cloth diapers comes with some risks, but keeping these tips in mind will help protect yourself to the best of your ability.
Did you buy used cloth diapers? What tips would you add?