Thinking About Buying Used Cloth Diapers? Here’s What You Should Know

Tips for buying used #clothdiapers via @KellyWels ambassador @chgdiapers

Post contains affiliate links. Buying used cloth diapers can be a great way to beef up your stash on the cheap, or find that hard to find print you’ve been dying for. Whatever your reasons are for shopping the used cloth diaper market, there are some things to consider to make the transaction go smoothly.

Where will you buy? There are lots of places you can buy used cloth diapers. Buying from a retailer like Cloth Diaper Outlet, Diaper Junction or Kissed By The Moon may cost a bit more than buying from an individual, but it may be worth it (depending on your goals). Most retailers who sell gently used have stringent standards, and some even have a satisfaction guarantee. Buying from a person can be less expensive but sometimes riskier. Consider shopping via a buy/sell/trade board that offers seller feedback or ratings.

In what condition is the diaper? Based on survey results, most buyers have the same expectation for used diaper condition terms such as EUC, VGUC, GUC and others. Unfortunately that’s not always the case with sellers, and what is sold as “VGUC” might look more like “UC” when received. Ask specific questions about the condition of elastics, pul, inner, and closures.

Have you seen photos? Ask for detailed photos in good lighting and consider asking for a photo of the inside of the diaper’s PUL. You may even want to ask for a photo of the tag’s reverse, to make sure it isn’t marked as a second or donated diaper.

Have you asked the right questions? Don’t assume anything. Does the seller have pets? Do they smoke? What detergents and additives have they used? Have they used rash creams? Do the diapers have stains, or are they second quality? Ask lots of questions about the condition of the diaper.

What’s it worth? Do you know what a used cloth diaper is worth? What have similar diapers sold for? If you’re buying in a lot, what is the cost of each diaper? Are you saving enough to make buying used worth it? Be sure to note whether postage is included in the asking price.

Have you protected yourself? If you’re buying in person, meet in public place. If you are purchasing multiple diapers, examine each one carefully before handing over your money. Paying with Paypal? Send the money as goods, not a gift, so you can dispute if the diapers don’t arrive. If you’re trading, both parties can send an equal Paypal payment equivalent to the diaper value, to protect each person in the event that someone doesn’t follow through.

Do you know what you’re getting? Have you used the brand before? Will you know what’s normal when you get it?

Is this your very first diaper purchase? While some might disagree with me, I recommend buying your very first cloth diaper brand new so you can really get a feel for what a good quality cloth diaper is like. You might be turned off if your introduction to cloth diapers is via a used diaper with relaxed elastic, worn inserts or some other issue.

Do you buy cloth diapers used? If so, what one tip would you give others?

About Maria Moser

Maria is a 30-something married mom of 3 kids, including a cloth diapered 3-year old. She began more than 5 years ago when she switched her middle child to cloth diapers, and had no idea she'd fall so in love with fluff!
Tags: buying used cloth diapers, by maria,, cloth diapers, used cloth diapers

10 Responses to Thinking About Buying Used Cloth Diapers? Here’s What You Should Know

  1. alyssandra church says:

    The tips in the article is going to help me when I’m purchasing used cloth diapers I don’t really have then money and all the cloth diapers I’ve got are from my sister in law so I’m really thankful to her and locally there’s a shop that sells New and used cloth diapers so this will help greatly

  2. Rachel says:

    I think that’s a really good point about buying new first so you have a reference point.

  3. Hayley Elliott says:

    This is very helpful since I am planning to buy most of our future diapers used. I am in so many facebook groups and I have a local baby store that sells used cloth.

  4. Jennifer Beggs says:

    thanks for posting this. i’m looking to build my stash with some used and this helps me know what to watch for, especially what tends to get worn out.

  5. Kristina L says:

    Wish I could have read this before I went out and bought used diapers. Great tips.

  6. I’ve only bought covers used, so I don’t have to worry if they have stains or build-up. I love that in general, the good cloth diaper brands strive to make a good quality product that will last for years and years (and even through multiple children). It’s just not something you find in every industry, and I applaud them for it.

  7. Des Nance says:

    It’s great if you are near a diaper service business it is worthwhile to check with them. I was able to purchase prefolds that were past their prime (stains that sunned out, a small hole or two) for a considerable discount. Any business that does rentals or allows trials usually resell those gently used diapers for a fair price, as the post mentions. Itsy Bitsy Bums even lists them online (not just prefolds either, AIOs and so on).
    For anyone starting out (and on a tight budget) I would still recommend buying new though, if possible. I’m glad I was able to get some “loved” prefolds, but I also searched for discontinued covers from trusted brands. You do get your money’s worth if you stick with it.

  8. Mindy Glazer says:

    I just can’t imagine EVER purchasing used cloth diapers…I would have to pass on that one! I am past the age of having babies…but I wouldn’t let MY kids do this for my grandchildren. I know things are expensive, and disposable diapers are more costly…so if you are saving money by using cloth diapers, then you have to invest in buying them NEW in the beginning! That’s just MY opinion.

  9. cassandra dyer says:

    We don’t have much to spend on diapers so at least half of what we do have is used, I am pretty picky about condition and have got pretty lucky so far!

  10. Elizabeth Hall says:

    A good overview of how to get started cloth diapering.

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