Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Cloth on a Budget: Buying Used
When it comes to cloth diapering on a budget, there are MANY ways to help you save money. One way I often suggest is buying used. If you look in the right places, you can often get your diapers MUCH cheaper than buying brand new! Personally, I prefer to buy used diapers in person so I can see exactly what it is I'm getting, and can generally get them cheaper since I don't have to pay for shipping. If you have an option to buy local, awesome. Unfortunately, I know for many this isn't possible. So today, we're going to look at a few tips to buying used diapers online.
Research/Know the Value. While this post will primarily focus on buying online, this is a tip that goes for buying used all around. I have many times seen or heard of 'china cheapies' going for the same price used as they do new, and new to cloth mamas paying it thinking it's a deal. So, my first piece of advice is to see how much the diapers you are looking at go for new. Some brands/styles do hold their resale value more than others, so decide on how much YOU are willing to pay for used vs new.
Ask Questions. When interested in buying used diapers, never worry about asking too many questions. Because you cannot see the quality in person, you want to get the best idea possible of exactly what you are getting into. A few specific questions to consider- PUL condition? Stains? Elastic condition? Hook and look condition? First or seconds quality? Any leaking/stink/issues? How were they washed? How long were they used? Also ask for detailed pictures. The more you know about what you should be getting, the better. It's also a great idea to save these descriptions in case there should be any issues! If possible, look for feedback on sellers as well.
ALWAYS use Paypal. Unfortunately, there are many cloth diaper scammers out there to watch out for, so always be sure to pay for your purchase via Paypal using an invoice or paying for goods. This will insure that both parties are protected should you come across a scam. You don't want to be out diapers AND money, so Paypal is an absolute must. NEVER send money as 'family and friends' or as a gift unless you personally know the individual you are purchasing from, as these transactions are not protected.
Don't Get Caught Up in HTF. Don't get me wrong, if you like the thrill of the hunt and have the money to do so, by all means, buy all the diapers. But if you're using cloth to save money, a solid diaper holds pee and poo just as well as a Jules. I know I am personally in many BST groups that are filled daily with HTF going WAY above retail value...and as a new cloth diapering mom trying to save money, I can only imagine how overwhelming that must look. (How is this going to save money if people are paying $50+ for ONE diaper!?) They may be cute, but they aren't a necessity!
If It Sounds Too Good To Be True... Well, you know! Every once in awhile, you truly WILL stumble upon an amazing deal that you cannot pass up. But more often than not, be cautious. Follow the steps above to make sure you know what you're getting and are protected in case of issues.
Wanting to SELL your used diapers? Stay tuned for some tips from the OTHER side!
What other tips do YOU have to buying used diapers?