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?