Although many would argue that the customer is always right, there are definitely some common courtesies that I believe buyers on cloth diaper swap pages should try to adhere to. I’m also including some steps to take to avoid being the victim of a scam. These steps also apply to purchasing from a WAHM’s business page!
- If you want to buy a diaper for sale in a swap group, comment on the posting and also send the seller a private message to carry out the transaction. Let the seller know you’ve sent a PM so she knows to check her Others folder.
- If others have commented before you, it is appropriate to say something like: “I’m interested if the sale falls through.”
- If you don’t like the price listed, it is not your place to criticize it. You can make a polite offer, but do so tactfully, and don’t be obfuscated if the offer is refused.
- Before commenting on something, take a second to make sure you truly want it. If you need more details before following through on the purchase, get those details sorted out ASAP so the seller can move on if you’re not interested.
- If it’s a brand you’re not familiar with, use your Googling skills to make sure it’s what you’re looking for.
- If these issues are important to you, make sure you ask up front about how a diaper was cared for, if there are pets in the home, etc. etc.
- If you’re not sure you have the funds, check first! If you won’t have the funds until a later date, at the most you can comment that you’d like to buy it but only after pay day… it’s up to the seller whether she waits for you or not.
- Ask questions! Check out this post to find a list of 6 questions you should ask before buying second-hand diaps.
- Don’t leave the seller hanging. Most sellers like to go in order of comments, so don’t leave her replies unanswered for days on end. If you do, don’t except her to have waited for you.
- Pay immediately! It takes mere seconds to go through the process of paying via PayPal or EMT. There’s nothing more frustrating than thinking you’ve sold your item only to find out two days later that the buyer has changed her mind or doesn’t have the PayPal funds like she thought.
- Protect yourself: do a “goods & services” transaction via PayPal if you want buyer protection.
- Confirm your address is correct in PayPal, or else provide the seller with the right address.
- Confirm the shipping method. If the seller is sending via letter mail, accept the risks of a letter mail diaper: no insurance, no tracking, no guaranteed delivery date. When mail doesn’t make it, let’s face it, we’re disappointed! As a buyer you will most likely win a PayPal dispute since the seller has no tracking number to prove she mailed your item. That being said, if you accepted to have the item sent letter mail, I believe that you also accepted the (albeit low) risk of the diaper getting lost. Many generous sellers refund for diapers that don’t arrive, but I don’t feel like this is required of them. You can very quickly establish the trustworthiness of the seller if you suspect she’s just taking your money and keeping her fluff: a friendly post in the forum asking if others have received her items will usually let you know that it’s CP to blame and not the Mama.
- When you receive your diaper, take a moment to send the Mama a PM to let her know it arrived safely.
- Follow up politely if you have any issues with the diaper. Consider how serious the issues are and if they merit a refund or partial refund. Consider what you paid, as well. If you sent her $6, she pocketed less than $3. If there’s a faint stain that you could easily sun out, it’s probably not worth it to complain. That being said, if you paid for a functional diaper and what you received is far from that, start by contacting the seller politely! If you think you’ve been scammed, definitely contact the admins of the group and open a PayPal dispute within 45 days of the transaction. I find the best approach is to assume it was an innocent mistake: there’s no need to attack your seller via private message or within a given group. “Hey Mama, I just got the diaper! Thanks! In your description you didn’t mention the staining, and I couldn’t tell in the picture. I’m going to try sunning, but I’m kinda disappointed.” The vast majority of Mamas selling their second-hand fluff aren’t trying to rip other Mamas off. Sleep-deprived eyes might have missed a stain, even the wrong diaper in the same print could have been grabbed by mistake. Most sellers, I think, would give a partial refund if your concerns were justified!
Happy Fluff Buying!
Related links: Check out The Inquisitive Mom’s list of general fluff forum etiquette