purchasing cloth diapers
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Preordering cloth diapers has been around for a long time and takes a few different shapes and forms based on different business models. It’s often the introduction to cloth diapers as new parents get invited to random Facebook groups encouraged to purchase diapers at cheaper pricing.
But are cloth diaper preorders a good idea?
What is the risk of participating in a pre-order?
Types of Cloth Diaper Preorders
A cloth diaper preorder group is when someone organizes a collective buy on a specific diaper. This may require a minimum order or timeline to meet the requirements for fullfillment.
The diaper doesn’t get manufactured until the preorder closes.
Many established brands will run a preorder in a reservation style system. The product is already manufactured or shipped, but they open up the purchasing earlier.
The diaper is generally in process, but the retailer doesn’t have it in stock for a few days to weeks.
Made to Order
Locally manufactured brands may opt to use a preorder to indicate the diaper is made to order. There might be customization involved, and the product should be manufactured within 2-4 weeks, generally. This is mostly in the work at home mom, or cottage industry of diapering.
Why do people purchase from cloth diaper preorders?
The preorder system is a great choice for families looking to secure a sought after product or limited quality product.
The preorder system is also great for those looking to acqurie special prints and designs.
What is the risk of preorders?
The risk is the preorder fails, the business ghosts you, or the product you recieve is unsatisfactory.
Many people have been scammed by preorders in the past for a variety of reasons, as its a popular business opportunity for eager parents looking for a low-risk business model.
How does a preorder work?
Many pre-orders are listed on websites for businesses. You simply purchase through the website with the realization the diaper will not ship until manufactured and delivered to the organizer. This information should be clearly identifeable on the website to give you a clear outline.
Some preorders are done through Facebook groups using general communication. This is often done when brands are trying to reduce costs and transparency. It may also be done to sell prints that have violated trademarks, stolen artwork, or patent infringements.
Without a website, it’s a lot harder for the artist community to know their artwork is stolen.
What is a preorder timeline?
Timelines varie from a few weeks to months.
Group preorders can take 3-6 months for completion, and manufacturing delays are common.
Reservation preorders with established brands often take a few weeks, as the product is already in production
Made to order diapers can take a few weeks to months. Be cautious of makers with long lead times.
What do people have to say about preordering?
I asked on my Instagram page, what advice brands and parents would have for new parents considering a cloth diaper preorder, and this is what they had to say. Please share yours in the comment section.
In Stock First
If you’re looking to try a new brand we generally recommend trying to buy from an instock drop or PreLoved before committing to a pre-order. Or only buying one or two diapers the first time you pre-order from a new brand.
Don't get caught up in it
I would tell them not to do preorders. It’s easy to get caught up in them. I was part of a huge preorder “scandal” . It’s nice when there are no delays but if delays and issues start, your in a huge mess and no diapers for your baby
Things to watch for. #1. If the owner updates on the preorder consistently ( your more then likely in good hands) if no updates or random updates on Shipping etc. I’d be concerned. I wish more companies didn’t do preorders but I understand the behind the scenes of it.
I want it now
As a manufacturer/retailer, the pre-order option is great because you are only producing items that are paid for (less risk). But, as a customer, I often want thing NOW. We offer certain products as “made to order” and have occasional pre-order sales, but inevitably we’ll have a customer ask when to expect their order even though we tell them before they order that it will take X amount of weeks to ship. I don’t know if this is helpful for you but there’s my experience.
One company pleasantly surprised one company was a slight burn. I was expecting a better snap pattern and they just don’t fit right (very small)
Established Business Only
I would avoid preorders from WAHMs/small businesses because I was burned. I never got my money back and didn’t receive half of my order. The other half was definitely not worth the hype or price.
But, if it is an established business (like Thirsties or something), I would be willing to try again because I know those products and that particular company has a reputation I trust.
I would tell them if you want to do preorders that they should not expect it to be there as soon as promised. There could be delays etc. Basically only use a preorder if it’s a print you just have to have, don’t use them to order your bulk of diapers.
Professional Cloth Diaper Educator
Bailey brings 5+ years of cloth diapering experience and conversation to the cloth diaper space. She's not just your every day mom blogger sharing her experience - Bailey is immersed in the cloth diaper community learning from other parents and growing as an individual. She wants to find the cloth diaper solution that truly works for you.
Bailey believes we need to stop and listen to cloth diapering parents. We need to recognize our own bias and preferences and focus on solutions that work for you, not us. The Cloth Diaper community needs to recognize the privilege of being able to cloth diaper, and provide spaces for more conversations and stories.
Cloth diapering is not about rules but about our own strength as parents to do the best we can for our children with the resources available.
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