Thursday, 29 March 2012

How to buy preloved

If you are looking at buying pre loved nappies its important to be aware of how to buy.

There are numerous pre loved cloth nappy sites on social networks as well as on auction sites and listing pages.  They will each work slightly differently, some are the first to comment is offered first dibs, others are auctions so it goes to the highest bidder within a timeline and others are offered at a a set price and the first to agree that price. There is also the more risky lucky dips system which is pretty much gambling and definitely one I avoid.

If you see a nappy you like state your interest and then start asking questions. If you can comment and private message your questions so they have the best chance of being seen.

The first thing to ask for is a photo of the nappy inside and out. You want to see exactly what you are buying and if it looks like the description that has been given. 

Next ask if there are any stains that have not shown up in the photo. People do sell stained nappies but that shouldn't but you off you can easily sun out most nappy stains. But I would expect to pay less for stained nappies.  I have learned that sellers have no issue with selling you badly stained nappies without a care.  If you don't ask they won't tell you.

Search for similar nappies and see what prices they are selling at before making an offer.  If you cant see any then ask on forums and nappy boards what the going rate is for pre loved nappies of that make.

Ask if there are any holes or damage or wear and tear on the nappies and if the nappies crinkle or squeak - if they nappies are made with pul its possible these have delaminated and should be avoided unless you are a nappy maker yourself. If a nappy has a hole though it some sellers will say it shouldn't affect the performance but think about it, if it has a hole the wee will leak through it!

Ask if the poppers work and are all attached or if the applix has become less sticky.  Applix over time can wear down but usually its just because it hasn't been kept clean and it has a load of fluff in it.

Always pay by paypal and agree who is paying the fees upfront. You need to pay the fees to be covered by paypal.  Paypal covers you if the nappy doesn't arrive or isnt as decscibed you can open a dispute - this needs to be done within 45 days. 

Take a photo of your nappy when it arrives and keep the packaging in case you don't get on with the nappy and want to sell it on again.  

If you have already purchased a nappy and you realise its not in the best condition yet you haven't asked about it then don't fret yet. If its a Minky nappy and its a little rough try brushing the material with a tooth brush to make soft again.  

If your cotton nappy purchase is a little scratchy try running it through a warm tumble dryer or rub together. 

Stained nappies need sunning out on a washing line to get rid of the stains.  Any nappies that leak or smell foul should be washed on a hot wash with a double dose of washing powder or a drop of washing up liquid then washed and rinsed several times. If nappies still smell then a little white vinegar or a drop of tea tree oil in the drawer should kill any lingering nasties.

Don't be afraid to buy pre loved nappies. Its an ideal way to bag a bargain and also to try different makes of nappies before investing heavily.  If a nappy doesn't suit then sell it on again.


  1. This is such a straightforward and comprehensive post! Thank you. I have a question on the leaking front. I bought some second hand bum genius a while back and they always leak but didn't when I first got them. I use liquid detergent rather than washing powder. Could this be the problem you think?

  2. Hi, it could well be, I have never used liquid myself but on some of the forums I searched there are mixed reviews on it. Some people have no issues and say its because they always rinse after a wash too. Do you do an extra rinse? If you use too much or have a super eco machine that uses less water to wash then you would need an extra rinse to remove all the detergent that builds up. It could be other things too though, if your little one has grown or changed shape then you may need to make the nappy bigger - although if you use other nappies too you would have noticed this. Let me know how you get on or if I can help! Sarah

  3. No, I haven't done the extra rinse usually. I have tried just rinsing them though maybe I need to do that a couple of times and then see? I guess I'll also switch over to powder. Do you have a favourite powder?

  4. I was using bold 2 in 1 as it has a clay based fabric softener which is fine for cloth (unlike lenor) but have just switched back to fairy to see if its any better and they both work the same. We had been using Fairy for our clothes previously. We have very hard water so use the full scoop of powder. If you in a soft water area you can use soap nuts too instead!

  5. Sorry, I'm confused. First you said "Any nappies that leak or smell foul should be washed on a hot wash with a double dose of washing powder", then you said " If you use too much...then you would need an extra rinse to remove all the detergent that builds up".

    A lot of manufacturers tell you to only use about half your normal amount anyway because it increases your need for a strip wash and THAT can cause smelly nappies???

    You've given conflicting advice here.

  6. Apologies its not clear, smelling nappies need a strip wash - a one off super wash ie with lots of washing powder or washing up liquid. This is a one of wash to rid the build up of either powder from not regularly rinsing enough or oils that collect on the nappies from not being washed in enough powder. After that all washes are likely need to an extra rinse as a lot of machines today use less water to be eco friendly - this isn't rinsing away the powder though that clogs the nappies. Some people advise to use less powder int he first place so it doesn't clog the nappies but unfortunately this doesn't get the nappies clean. So yes it stops them clogging up but doesn't clean them properly. Hope this helps, Sarah


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