Cloth diapers have definitely made a huge comeback in recent years, and there's no questioning why. They are cheaper than disposables (even with coupons and sales), more adorable than ever, and environmentally friendly!

In addition, cloth diapers are arguably easier to use than disposable diapers. So, why do more than 90 percent of people still use disposables? It's mainly because they've heard the horror stories of the older styles, or they are intimidated by the upfront costs involved.

That initial investment doesn’t have to cause a huge dent in the family’s finances. Many frugal moms buy "slightly flawed" or “gently used” cloth diapers and accessories. While that might seem unsanitary or just plain gross, it’s actually safe, smart and definitely frugal! Reputable cloth diaper companies clearly define their standards when it comes to selling used and flawed diapers. Some are diapers that have been returned and were never worn. Diapers that were worn previously must go through a process called "stripping" (sanitizing) to maintain quality, durability and safety. Several companies sell used diapers, including the following:

Diaper Swappers

Parents join this online community to buy diapers and other items in addition to sharing advice and offering support for other parents. Diaper Swappers is set up similar to Craigslist, except you can comment directly on the "thread" or ad. There are several different ways to get diapers through this site: Contact the buyer with a list of the items you want to purchase, or participate in an actual swap (you literally trade diapers with groups of parents on a regular basis via mail). Diaper Swappers is completely free to join and is not scam or spam friendly. In order to sell on their site or participate in a swap, you have to meet several requirements to ensure validity:

  • Make a minimum of 500 posts to swap and a minimum of 1,000 posts to sell
  • Have a membership for at least three months
  • Have a minimum of 10 positive reviews in at least two different places (Diaper Swappers, eBay, etc.)
  • Have a FSOT badge (FSOT means “For Sale Or Trade”)

Kelly’s Closet

Hands down, Kelly’s Closet is one of the most recommended sites to use by other moms. There is a huge variety of brands, as well as accessories and products. Gently used diapers can also be purchased here.

Cotton Babies

Similar to Kelly’s Closet, Cotton Babies is a website that sells a variety of cloth diapers and accessories. One thing that they offer that Kelly's doesn't is a "seconds" category. Seconds are slightly flawed products that the manufactures can't sell for full price due to cosmetic issues like a logo in the wrong place or getting labeled as the wrong size.

They usually sell for between $2 and $5 cheaper than other diapers, and if you're lucky, you'll end up with diapers that were just returned but are still brand new! Most of the time they aren't covered by the return policy, but if you read the reviews beforehand, you'll see that that's rarely an issue. The majority still get five-star reviews despite their flaws!

Fuzzi Bunz Seconds

Only factory seconds are sold at Fuzzi Bunz Seconds. The diapers are specifically the Fuzzi Bunz brand, but they have small imperfections. The diapers are not covered by the Fuzzi Bunz warranty like the regular diapers, but, again, that's rarely an issue. Plenty of parents will buy these as emergency diapers but then include them in their regular diaper rotation after seeing how great they are.

If you are still reluctant to buy used diapers, consider getting hybrid diapers instead. Purchase new inserts (the part that touches your baby) for practically nothing, and all you'll be buying used is the  "shell" or "cover" ( the part that doesn't touch your baby) to keep them leak proof. I personally just purchased diapers that were gently used (only worn once) for 65% off and was so pleased I'll likely never buy new again.

Regardless of what group you decide to go with, you really can't go wrong. They all offer great deals on the diapers new or used, and are just another great way you can save even more. One of the best things about cloth diapering is that you can easily sell your diapers for 50% to 85% of their value on sites like the ones mentioned above, thus making them even cheaper. And, if selling them isn't your thing, the majority of them will last for several years and multiple children, making diapering virtually free for your family. Lastly, don't forget to look on your favorite brand's facebook page or for a "diaper community" in your area. Plenty of parents use those pages to make trades or sales just like the other groups.