Preloved Diapers: Selling Off Your Stash

Have Preloved Diapers You Want to Sell? We have some tips for you!

Cloth diapers are an investment, and one perk is that they have resale value! You took good care of the diapers and are ready to send them on to their new home. And now you are wondering, how on earth to start the process? Read on! This post covers the where, who and how behind selling your stash. 

A note – this is crazy detailed, definitely longer than I expected. But all the information is pertinent. Don’t get overwhelmed. I tried to include everything I get asked, and much may not apply to you.

First, Where To Sell?
-       Local Audience
o   Craig’s List
o   Local Facebook Cloth Diapering Group
-       Online Audience
o   eBay
o   Buy/Sell/Trade (B/S/T) Groups on Facebook - there are a TON, from brand-specific to price-specific and more
o   Cloth Diapering websites/chat boards – Babycenter, Diaperswappers, Hyena Cart’s Spots Corner
-       How to decide? Depending on what you are selling, one or more of the above sites likely will be the best option for you. How to know?
o   How ‘hard to find’ (‘HTF’) or abundant are the items you are selling? Selling diapers is an excellent example of basic supply and demand. Know your audience and market - the more abundant an item, the more you need to be . Have something really HTF? Consider auctioning the item to try to maximize your sale. 
-       Also, decide the legwork you want to put in -
o   Want it all gone in a quick and painless way (meaning, no trips to the post office, no Paypal payments to deal with, etc)? Use Craig’s List and deal only in person. Price it all as a lot, and price competitively.
o   Want to make the max dollar? Try several sites. Brand-specific B/S/T pages will give you the most focused audience. If you are selling a hard-to-find print or color, maybe retired a couple of years ago, people on these boards are looking for that item!! But you will have more legwork (negotiating price, arranging payment, shipping).
-       Selling Etiquette (more on this below under ‘Be a Good Seller’)
o   Be sure to read a site’s selling rules before posting your items. Some require prior selling feedback (e.g. Diaperswappers), while others will have specific requirements where and how you should post photos.

Getting Your Listing Up
-       Photograph and describe the items well. Including a lot of information builds buyer confidence and protects you in the case the buyer has issues with the diaper(s) upon receipt.
-       What to cover in your listing?
o   Describe each diaper by its full name (avoid abbreviations, many reading these listings are still learning terminology and all the brands and options out there) – e.g. BG4.0 Snaps-Zinnia written out bumGenius 4.0 One-Size Pocket with Snap Closure in Zinnia
o   Condition (this can be very subjective, which is why it is important to stipulate the following information, and include good photographs)
o   How were diapers washed and dried? Detergent, additives, line-dried, occasionally machine dried?
o   Any flaws or issues with the diapers? 
o   Used in a large rotation? Used only for a few months? Washed but never used? 
o   Will you take offers? Prices Firm? Discounts for buying in lots?
o   Inserts included with Pocket diapers?
o   If you are selling online, include what their purchase includes (Delivery Confirmation? Insurance? Signature confirmation?).
o   Will you ship outside your country? (See more on this under ‘Protect Yourself as a Seller’) 

How to Price
-       Price is dictated both by the condition and how hard to find an item is
-       For most readily-available items, here is a general rule of thumb - 
-       Excellent Used Condition (‘EUC’) 80% of the original retail
-       Very Good Used Condition (‘VGUC’) 70-85% 
-       Good Used Condition (‘GUC’) 50-70% 
-       Well Loved 25%+  
(these metrics are quite subjective - scroll around the forum you are considering to figure out what their 'EUC' item looks like - in general - EUC means almost like new, VGUC is the average 6mo stash, and GUC is anything beyond there. Well-loved refers to diapers that need a good dose of TLC to be useable)

Be A Good Seller
-       Be Honest – don’t hide anything in the listing
-       Communicate quickly and succinctly with your buyer. When relevant, include reply times in your listing (e.g. ‘I am only at the computer in the evenings, and will reply to any inquiries then.’)
-       Ship the items in the manner stated (first class, priority) and in a timely fashion – provide the DC# to the purchaser (more on DC# below)

Protect Yourself as a Seller
-       Be upfront in your listing – do not try to gloss over any flaws or issues with the diapers, this only creates issues for yourself further down the road
-       Tracking Information/Delivery Confirmation (this term changed recently – you’ll here it referred to several ways – most often you’ll see the abbreviation ‘DC#’): this is a number the post office assigns your package – you must request for first class packages, and will be a small fee; priority package pricing should include this, but be sure to ask at the counter as I’ve had a few people comment they didn’t get the # from the counter (it should also appear on your receipt). Why DC#? This will show where the package is en route, and also show when delivered.
-       So why consider insurance and signature confirmation? Insurance will protect you if the package goes missing en route. Signature confirmation is especially powerful – this proves the package got in the recipient’s hands. Did you know? A buyer can file a claim with Paypal that they never received the package, even if the DC# shows it was delivered, and Paypal almost always sides with the buyer! Meaning, you are out the money they originally sent you (yes, incredibly frustrating!). Hence, signature confirmation!
-       International Shipping: when shipping internationally, you only get a DC# if you upgrade the package to priority - first class shipping does not have the option to add DC#. And priority shipping is expensive! Unless you already have a trusted relationship with the person on the other end of the package, I don’t like international shipping. Too many variables in the postal systems, not to mention zero proof to show whether the package was ever received.

Closing Thoughts
-       In general, the more behind-the-scenes effort you put in to selling, the better the price you will get. For example - sunning out stains, creating nice, detailed listings with good photographs versus a quick somewhat-blurry photo on Craig’s List with a rushed description – you can guess which of those two listings is going to capture more attention
-       ‘Buy, Sell, Trade’ – I am a big proponent of the first two – buy and sell as you need. Trading, eh, I’m much less a fan. There are just so, so many variables. The only time I will endorse a trade is in-person: each person brings their item, they agree, they complete the deal. Two online horror stories experienced by friends:
o   Online, you establish the trade, no payment is exchanged, and each party agrees to mail. What happens when one party mails her/his half of the trade, but their other side does not? Typically Paypal, as the payment processor, acts an intermediary between buyer and seller. However here there isn’t any way to financially claim your possession back. You can still file feedback with the online site on which the trade was arranged, but that’s about it.
o   I’ve also heard stories of people arranging a trade during which the first person mails their item while the other person does not. Recipient waits to get the item, then claims it was not what was stated, and demands to cancel the trade, saying she will not pay to return as the item was ‘not as described’ (when in reality, buyer’s remorse is the only thing at play). The shipper then has to decide if she wants the item back, and now pays to ship again!
o   In either of these scenarios, the price of listing the item outright on a ‘sell’ page, then ‘buying’ the item from the original buyer, is much more conservative and, in my opinion, the more prudent way to go.
-       Should you Sell?
o   Good question, right? Be sure to figure out the price of shipping when deciding if you wish to sell, and also ask yourself if the item has a second life beyond the diapering days.
§   Prefolds and Flats are very dense, and cost a lot to ship. They make great cleaning rags and last for years and years. I always highly recommend keeping both of these items and instead incorporate into other areas of the home.
§  While light and inexpensive to ship, both Cloth Wipes and Wet Bags are items handy to have far past diapering. Cloth wipes make great rags for small hands, and Wet Bags are great for travel, the pool or the gym.
§  Microfiber inserts? Again, pretty expensive to ship. These are a greener option for your Swiffer disposable inserts – wash and reuse.

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