This post was originally published on February 8, 2008. I wrote it out of frustration; I had had no problems reselling my two older children’s secondhand cloth diapers, but was experiencing great difficulties finding a place to sell my baby’s secondhand cloth diapers. I still haven’t found a satisfactory solution; although I’ve ended up giving most of them away, I lost a lot of money and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
I made the decision to cloth diaper my children when I was pregnant with my first baby: partly for crunchy granola reasons, partly for economic reasons, partly because I’m stubborn and wanted to be different from the mainstream French, and a little bit for the cute factor. Cloth diapers are better for the environment, easier on your pocketbook and not very well known in France (more on that in a minute). Plus, what’s cuter than a baby with a big ole’ cloth-diapered butt? Not much.
In almost any analysis on the cost of buying and using cloth versus disposable diapers you will find the ‘resale’ factor: the idea that you can offset your initial purchase by selling the diapers after you’ve used them with your kids. I estimate that I’ve bought 10% of my babies’ cloth diapers new, most of them were hand-me-downs, or bought second hand. After the birth of my second son, when I was convinced we were finished having children, I sold the great majority of my cloth diaper stock on Ebay and in doing so, recuperated their purchase price.
As of Summer 2007 (I’m not sure of the exact date), Ebay no longer allows the sale of used cloth diapers, considering them to be used undergarments and thus falling under the ‘mature’ rating. Auctions were cancelled and what was once a flourishing category, collapsed.
Many other sites have sprung up to fill the vacuum, but none of them get the same level of traffic as Ebay. Worse for me, most of them are in the United States. While cloth diapers remain an ‘alternative’ choice in America, in France they are considered ringard, or out-of-date and tacky. The market for them is very small and the resale value has plummeted.
So what are my options? Luckily, I managed to buy a lot of diapers in size 1 and 2 in early 2007. I got a good price on them and maybe by the time I want to sell them, another market will have opened up. Until then, I’ve posted the newborn size diapers that my daughter has already outgrown on another site and they’ve slowly been selling, one by one. I’m even considering listing a few on some US sites and bringing them with me on vacation to ship from there.
What about you? Where are you selling yours? And wanna buy some gently used, good condition newborn diapers and covers?