Burned on Preloved?

by - February 28, 2018

I bought a handful of diapers before Vivi was born, and I ended up really regretting the purchase. I got a few WAHM (Work at Home Mom) diapers for around $20, which sounded like a great deal, but what I didn't realize at the time was the elastics and PUL was pretty much shot on all of them. Luckily, the cost was low enough that I didn't take much of a hit, but I hate the idea of anyone else going into a situation uninformed like I was.


I've got a checklist that I use now to make sure from the beginning that I know what I'm getting into before purchasing anything. 

  • What brand, size, and print is the diaper?
  • What's the condition of the diaper?
  • How are the elastics and PUL?
  • Are there any stinks or stains?
Knowing exactly what diaper you're considering is obviously important. Do a search for the particular brand you find to see what they sell for new and what their typical resale values are. I've seen people list diapers they got for $2 off the Wish app for much higher.
Size is something you don't want to forget to double check! You don't want to accidentally buy newborn diapers for your toddler because you didn't think to ask about size.

Diaper conditions are commonly listed as NIP, EUC, GUC, Play/Swim. 
NIP or New in Package means something that has not been washed or worn. This is the same as if you were to buy a diaper directly from a retailer.
EUC or Excellent Used Condition means something has been used but is not visibly worn. Elastics are as springy as a new diaper. There aren't any stains. The diaper is clean and fresh.
GUC or Good Used Condition means something doesn't have any major flaws, but there may be some beginning relaxing of the elastics or a scuff in the PUL of a cover. There may be some small stains that haven't had an attempt made to sun them yet. 
Play or Swim Condition means there are major flaws. The PUL or elastics are extremely worn. Sometimes these issues can be fixed, but if it's a PUL issue you're probably going to be stuck using the diaper for swimming or other instances where the waterproof barrier isn't necessary.

Elastics, PUL, Stinks and Stains are all things you need to know the condition of, but they may not be automatic deal breakers. Relaxed elastics can be replaced. Minor scuffs in a cover with double PUL is no big deal. Stinks and stains can typically be taken care of with a strip or some time in the sun. These things can be worked around, but if you're going to be investing time into repairing diapers the price needs to reflect the sacrifice you'll be making.

Once you know what to check for, it's time to look for some deals! 
I check local listings often to watch for good deals that I don't have to spend money getting shipped, and I like being able to inspect the diapers in person to verify the condition. Facebook Marketplace is great! I've got an alert set for diapers through it, so any time something is posted I'll get a notification within my Facebook app.
Most of the rest of my purchases come from Facebook groups. There are typically BST (Buy, Sell, Trade) groups for each brand. Turn on your notifications for any brands you love so you can catch the best deals!
I love (and hate) the $1 Cloth Diaper Auction group. I've found some really amazing deals, but I've also impulse bought things I didn't really need. When I'm trying to stock up on diapers I'll check the new posts every couple of days to catch if there are any great deals I can snag. When I'm on a diaper buying freeze I have to unfollow the page so that I don't get caught up bidding on auctions that pop up in my news feed. 


Now that you've bought your diapers you're ready to sanitize and use them! You can do a strip on them, but most likely that's unnecessary. You should always do a sanitizing soak on used diapers though. Fluff Love has some great guidelines to help you know WHEN you should strip/sanitize and how you can do that.

What do you look for when searching for used diapers? How do you keep yourself from being disappointed?

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