Once you’ve made the big decision and commitment to cloth diaper your little one, it can be daunting to research and choose a brand and style from the myriad available. Most likely, you realize that although cloth diapers save money over time, the initial costs can run all the way from $100 to $500 or even more. The good news is that you can get deals on cloth diapers, if you know what to look for.
One of the cheapest ways to cloth diaper is to buy the diapers previously used. You should do this with caution, however, since you could be inheriting someone’s staining, repelling, or stink problem, which you may or may not be able to fix. Local consignment shops often carry cloth diapers. Diapers are often listed on Craig’s List too. The advantage, of course, is this allows you to view the diapers before purchasing them.
Occasionally, you may find a diaper swap in your area where moms and dads will meet up at a designated site to swap or sell diapers and other baby items. Also, check Internet sites like eBay and Diaper Swappers, both well-known sites. Keep in mind that buying used diapers over the Internet does pose a potential risk in regards to quality. Perhaps the best way to purchase used diapers (but not necessarily the cheapest way) is to purchase certified pre-owned cloth diapers from stores like Diaper Junction and Cloth Diaper Outlet.
Some stores purchase gently-used diapers from customers to resell. Others have a 30-day money back guarantee on new diapers. In this case, you could then purchase a barely-used diaper for less.
But perhaps you prefer new diapers over used. Some of the cheapest, brand-new diapers available are those from China. You should know there is controversy in the cloth-diapering world over “re-branded” diapers. Certain diaper manufacturers in China may sell the same diapers to different companies, who then slap their label on the diaper and charge a different price. If you do purchase one of these diapers, make sure you’re not paying double or triple what you could for the same diaper under a different brand. Research before you buy. The Internet is your friend!
Co-op groups are a great way to purchase many different diaper brands for less. The co-op members pool their money to purchase new diapers for a wholesale price.
You can also find clearance diapers on discount sites like Zulilly, Baby Steals, and Eco Baby Buys. Again, research before you buy. You could be snagging a great deal or you could overpay. Similar to the above, you could purchase a voucher from a site like Plum District to spend at an online store like EcoMom that sells cloth diapers. I once used a $10 coupon code towards a $15 voucher worth $30 at online store. So in the end, I paid $5 plus shipping for a Swaddlebees cloth diaper retailed at $30! Another way to purchase cloth diapers for less is to look for discounts, sales, and deals from diaper stores. For example, Diaper Junction currently has a deal where they will give you a free pocket diaper with a purchase of $49 or more. They also have a “Daily Diaper Deal.” BumGenius Freetime diapers are currently being sold in stores as “buy five, get one free.” These are just a few examples of what’s available. Reward points can also score you free or cheaper diapers. Many diaper stores offer a customer awards program where you receive points for every purchase. These points can be redeemed for free diapers or other baby products. Finally, you can win free cloth diapers through online giveaways (sweepstakes). The odds of winning depend, of course, on the number of entries, but if you keep entering giveaways, you may eventually be lucky enough to win!
Am I missing anything? What are other ways you can save on buying cloth diapers?
Elisebet is an Army reservist and former English teacher, now a full-time Navy wife and cloth diapering mommy to her baby boy. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, photography, and blogging at My Life: A Work in Progress. Note: This post contains affiliate links