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Buying and Selling Used Cloth Nappies

One of the benefits to investing in cloth nappies is that, if they are cared for they can be sold onto another user. 

A way to save money starting out is to look at the Cloth Nappy Buy Swap and Sell Pages (E.g Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree) to see if there’s any second hand options you can use if you’re budget isn’t able to accomodate buying everything brand new.

With all things second hand, there’s a few key areas you need to look out for to make sure you are buying a useable item.

Cloth Nappies can reduce in quality over time with use, wear and tear; this process can be increased if people don’t care for them properly.

In this day and age, we buy most things online and the second hand cloth nappy market is mostly an online entity at present.

So how do you know if you’re buying something that is worn out and needs repair? Or if it’s good quality with lots of life left?

Start by researching the brands you are looking at buying second hand. What are the reviews like? Are they known for good quality or are there issues?

 Buying and Selling Acronyms you may come across:

  • EUC - Excellent Used Condition
  • VGUC - Very Good Used Condition
  • GUC - Good Used Condition
  • UC - Used Condition
  • ISO/DISO - In Search Of/Desperately In Search Of
  • PUL - Polyurethane Laminate (water proof layer in nappy shell)

As for the nappies – what should you 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 – if elastics are slack they will need to be replaced, look at the nappy shell lying flat, there should be a clear curve on both sides of the nappy, they should be equal length. If the sides are flat and straight, the elastics are no good and you will need to replace them if you choose to purchase those nappies. If you are unsure, you can ask the seller to film the elastics to see if they are still taut.
  • Velcro: it shouldn’t be curling up at the ends – if it is, then the price should reflect this. Make sure it actually sticks.
  • Snaps: the Snaps 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. Stains don’t affect performance, and you can try and remove the stains later on (no guarantees they will come out). Make sure there are no holes.
  • The inside of the nappy may have some pilling, that’s ok and it won’t affect performance.
  • Ask about the wash routine and how long they have used the nappy for, 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, it is important to know which version you are looking for.

You can offer to buy pending further information from the seller, you are not committed to purchasing if you’re unhappy with closer inspection of the nappies.

Ok, so you found some you are happy to buy and now its time to pay. It is best, wherever you can, to use PayPal to purchase second hand nappies online, using the Goods and Services option means that the sale is protected by PayPal’s buyer policies and if anything goes wrong you can make a claim. Paying by cash deposit has no protection and is easier for dishonest transactions to take place. Insist on PayPal, if you’re unhappy with the seller not wanting to use PayPal, you don’t need to proceed with the purchase, other nappies will come along. 

When you receive your nappies, make sure to sanitise them before using. 


Looking to Sell your used Cloth Nappies?

Make sure to read the above advice for what buyers will be looking for.

Take clear photos inside and out, including clear photos of the elastics and PUL lining. 

Make sure to provide details of wash routine and how long nappies were used for.

Be honest in description of nappies, you want to make sure the buyer receives exactly what they expect from your sale. 

Price nappies according to condition, if they’re not in brand new condition they shouldn’t be selling at RRP. 

Make sure your buyer uses PayPal G&S, use tracked shipping and provide details to your buyer. You need to be able to prove item was posted, just in case it goes missing in transit. A tracking number will help with a PayPal Claim for both you and the buyer. 

Remember, you won‘t always get what you paid for the nappies back, but if you’ve had good use from them you’ve saved money and landfill already, so getting some cash back is a bonus. If you’re not worried about the money, you can always donate nappies to those who want to try cloth through a RAOK (Random Act of Kindness). 


Have we missed anything? Still got questions? Email