Today one of my colleagues, not a parent herself, asked me a great question: “Why doesn’t everyone use cloth diapers?”
One of the answers I gave was that parents are turned off by the initial investment of $20-$30 per diaper. Admittedly, I was also quite intimidated by the price tag of many of the popular brands.
A lot of Mamas looking to start up their stash are drawn to sites like ShopDiaper, Alva and AliExpress to purchase large lots of diapers made overseas at a fraction of the price (usually less than $5 per diaper).
Since starting this blog and becoming a very active member of the cloth diapering community, it has become important to me to promote buying ethically-made diapers from reputable (and accessible) manufacturers. This is not a take-down of “china cheapies:” I know plenty of people who are very happy with their Alva or Sunbaby stashes, and there’s not much of a difference between you buying an Alva diaper that’s only $5 because it’s made overseas with cheap labour and me buying a t-shirt that’s $5 at Target for the same reasons.
What I want to talk about in this post is simply that buying ethically-made diapers from reputable companies doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think it might be. If what you want is BumGenius, AppleCheeks or TotsBots (those are my top 3, by the way!) then here are 10 ways to get them at less than their regular price:
1 – Be Social
The more cloth diaper retailers whose Facebook pages you “like,” Twitter feeds you follow and mailing listings you subscribe to, the more chances you have of being notified of their sales. The maximum sale price you will see on BGs, ACs and TBs will be 15%-20% off the regular price, and usually the manufacturer itself has to authorize these sales.
It’s also a good idea to join a few cloth diapering Facebook groups, because Mamas are eager to share sales with each other (or, as I call it, “enabling”). Your favourite cloth diaper bloggers (ahem… ME) also try to keep on top of the sweet deals and share them with their fans.
I’ve got a pretty comprehensive list of Canadian retailers over on this post… go ahead and “like” them all!
2 – Oh, Well, Save $10 at Well.ca
I give you the run down in this post. If you’re a new Well.ca shopper, you can get a friend to send you a referral code for $10 off your first purchase. If you already shop at Well.ca, post your own referral code for friends and family to use and you will receive $10 off coupons for every successful referral. Well.ca carries TotsBots and AppleCheeks, along with Bummis, RearZ and some AMP products.
3 – Buy More, Save More
If you are starting your stash, then you probably want to buy more than a couple diapers at once. Many online retailers offer a quantity discount.
A few retailers with a quantity discount:
BumGenius also routinely has “buy 5 get one free” promotions that it authorizes through all of its retailers.
4 – Kijiji & Craigslist
I don’t recommend just buying any old batch of 24 brand-name diapers off of your local classifieds site. You never know how they were maintained or what kind of wear and tear might not be obvious in the pictures. What I recommend you do is keep your eyes peeled for a stash of brand-new or almost-brand-new diapers.
Say what?! At least here in Montreal, I see these come up fairly often. Parents either were gifted or purchased a fancy set of diapers, but for any number of reasons, they decided not to use them. I’ve seen listings for diapers with tags still attached or diapers that have only been prepped and not used. They are always listed for significantly less than retail. If you think the price is too high, you have nothing to lose by sending the seller an offer!
5 – Window Shop at Shop.ca
There are various promotions through Shop.ca that could save you money on BumGenius or AppleCheeks. When you first sign up, you automatically have $15 off your first purchase. Sign up so that you’re on the mailing list, and you’ll find out about other promotions (like this one) that could end up reducing the price tag even further!
6 – Take a Second… to buy Seconds
A “Seconds Sale” is when manufacturers sell off their less-than-perfect diapers. There may be cosmetic flaws or imperfect stitching, but the diapers are still high quality and, in my opinion, a better bet than ShopDiaper and co.
7 – Buy Colours That Have Gone Bye Bye
I’ve noticed this particularly with GroVia and BumGenius: when the company discontinues a colour, retailers slash the prices to clear out the “retired” hues.
Right now, CozyBums has the discontinued BG 4.0 Pocket colours for $17.95 each! The funny thing is, once certain colours are no longer available in stores, some Mamas will even pay more to buy them off you.
8 – Shop Around
Although my top three brands have a suggested manufacturer’s retail price, some retailers charge a bit more than others. You should comparison shop the price differences (and take into account things like shipping and loyalty programs) to get the best deal on your diapers. Here’s my chart of various shipping costs and loyalty programs.
CozyBums.ca even offers a price match with Canadian competitors when possible!
9 – Check Your Calendar
At certain times of the year there are some pretty amazing deals to be had at many online and brick & mortar retailers. Black Friday and Boxing Day were amazing in 2014, and Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot even held a Valentine’s Day-themed promotion.
10 – Try Your Luck
You might think you don’t have a chance, but I know lots of Mamas who have scored big in online giveaways (myself included). I have a Giveaway Round Up right here that you can bookmark!
Gotta pay the bills...