Score! Thanks to our previous blog post, you were able to find some of your favorite cloth diapers for super cheap; but how do you make sure they work properly and have maintained their quality?
Here are some tips for handling second hand cloth diapers:
Inspect them thoroughly. Look closely at the closure – does the Velcro-like closure still hook? Do the snaps fasten tightly? Are any snaps missing? Examine the elastic – is it stretched out? Broken? Study the inside – is it severely stained? Are there holes in the fleece? Many times flaws can be repaired, but it’s always good to know if the owner took proper care of the diapers during their run with her family.
Know the history. Find out (if possible) how old the diapers are and how many children they have been used with. Especially if you are buying online, these could be good clues to the diaper’s overall condition. Another good telltale question is to ask where the diapers were purchased. Make sure they bought from a legitimate retailer. Or, if they tell you they bought them used, be on extra guard to ensure they are still properly functioning diapers.
Get the paperwork. Anyone selling used diapers should be able to produce the original paperwork proving that the diapers are genuine. Unfortunately, there are knockoffs out there of the top diaper brands. Paperwork might include original receipts, original packaging or another proof of purchase (If you can examine the diaper in person, you can also do a side-by-side comparison with labels with diapers you know are the real deal). Another reason to get the paperwork is that some diapers may still be under manufacturer warranty. To get any warranty services performed on the diaper, a proof of purchase receipt is a must!
Comparison shop. Look around online and price out diapers of similar quality. Also, ask other cloth diapering moms (even online friends) to understand the “going” price to make sure you’re not overpaying for secondhand diapers.
Ask why. Ask why they are selling their diapers now. You may find out they tried them and didn’t like them (means you may be getting some barely used diapers). It’s always good to understand motive so you can make a more informed buying decision yourself.
If you do decide to buy used, remember that many diaper “parts” can be refurbished. You can order an elastic replacement kit with the FuzziBunz One Size diapers, for example, or a Velcro-like closure replacement kit with other manufacturers. Also, many stains can easily be remediated too. A good cleaning and perhaps stripping will help – and so will sunning your diapers.
Good luck and have fun hunting down the right used diapers to build up or round out your stash. Buying used diapers doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, it can be downright fun…especially for fluff addicts like us! Remember, one mom’s downtrodden diaper is another mom’s refurbished treasure!
To continue the conversation about the best forums and to find friends to swap with be sure to visit us on Facebook and Twitter. Remember that we often have coupons good towards free diapers at the DiaperShops.com family of stores, including Kelly’s Closet. If you’re not fond of the free diaper you receive you can always swap and trade with friends for that special diaper you’ve always wanted.