Guide to Buying Preloved Nappies

Buying nappies preloved is a great way to save some cash and also resources, as the nappies are passed from one child to the next! This is something you can do to test out several brands or types of nappy before committing to a full-time stash, for instance. It’s particularly interesting for a newborn nappy stash, as newborn nappies are generally used for short periods only and can be found in excellent condition!

Below, you’ll find a few tips for buying preloved nappies without being duped or disappointed.

I’ve already bought quite a few – most of them from mums I know and trust (I know how they cared for them), but I’ve also bought on online groups and have been “duped”. I always assume that this is a community where people don’t trick each other, but I did buy a nappy with botched elastics, that I replaced, and another one that was heavily stained, yet this wasn’t showing up in the pictures.

The first point then is where to buy?

There are several Facebook groups for the purchase and sale of cloth nappies, simply put in a search. You can also buy eBay (I’m afraid I’ve never tried), on second-hand sale websites, from online retailers who are selling off prior trial kits or from mums doing destashes on social media.

I’ve bought from Facebook groups, which I recommend because the page admins can generally act as mediators, and I’ve also bought from destashes.

Which leads me to a second point: how to pay?

The safest way to pay is PayPal because they can act as mediator in case of any problems, and you can cancel the payment. I’ve also used PayPal friends and family, which is almost like a bank transfer. I’ve paid fees on both of these types of transaction, and it’s up to you to discuss with the seller if the fees are included or not (if the price is all in, they should be). I don’t recommend the use of credit cards, but you can always set up a virtual credit card in the amount of the transaction in question. There’s also the option of paying cash in hand (picking it up) or upon receipt.

The price should mention if postage is also included and whether it’s all in or not.

As for the product itself – what should I look for?

The post/ad must be as detailed as possible and with photos that clearly show what is being sold. The pictures should be of the both the inside and outside of the nappy. It should mention the condition of the nappy and if there are any flaws. If so, these should be clearly visible in the photos. If you have any queries, feel free to ask the seller, who should be willing to send your more photos if need be.

Pay attention to:

  • The condition of the PUL. Check that it is not damaged or cracked. You can ask the seller to take pictures against a light, to see the condition better.
  • Check the elastics – they shouldn’t be slack. If you need to, ask the seller to film them and see whether they are taut.

  • Velcro: it shouldn’t be curling up at the ends – if it is, then the price should reflect this. It’s normal for there to be some bobbling. Make sure it actually sticks.

  • Poppers: the poppers should all be in place – none missing or broken.
  • The inserts should be as stain free as possible; if they are stained then the price should reflect this. It does not affect the nappy’s performance, though, it’s just a matter of looking nicer. Make sure there are no holes either!
  • The inside of the nappy may have some bobbling, that’s ok and it won’t affect performance.

  • Ask about the wash routine and how many children used the nappy if this is not stated in the post or ad.
  • Look out for different versions of the nappy, for instance through indications such as V1 or V2. There are often differences between different versions (and not necessarily for the better!)

You can put in an offer to buy and then ask the seller any questions.

There are plenty of acronyms flying around, which makes it look like you’re buying something highly exotic, for instance:

EUC – Excellent Used Condition

GUC – Good Used Condition

DISO – Desperately in search of

ISO – in search of

HTF – Hard to find (normally for limited edition prints! Be prepared to pay more)

RTB – Right to Buy.

And now… what do I do when I get the nappy?

Wash it thoroughly. Wash at 60ºC with an appropriate amount of detergent (for an effective

wash routine click here. You can also play it safer and sanitize the nappy using Dettol or a nappy freshener such as Bambino Mio’s Miofresh.

To sum up, a good cloth nappy ad or post should:

  • Have good photos of the nappy(ies), inside and out, and the seller should be willing to take more if asked
  • Have a clearly marked price, stating if it’s all in or not.
  • Have a detailed description of the nappy and indicate any flaws.

Happy shopping!