Cloth Diapers – How To B/S/T


It seems like a you need a dictionary nowadays, to decipher what all of these acronyms mean.  It was certainly overwhelming to me when I first ventured into the world of BSTing.  BSTing is simply a term used to describe the process of “buying / selling / trading.”  For many, buying cloth diapers secondhand is an excellent way to save a lot of money, while still being able to afford a particular brand or style of diapers that work for you and your family.  Some are initially turned off by it, but purchasing “preloved” diapers and sanitizing them with a 30 minute bleach soak, makes them good as new!

Like everything else, once you do it a few times, and granted you have good experiences, it gets easier and you know what to be on the lookout for.  Here are a few ways to “safely” BST…

When BUYING diapers:

  1. Ask the condition of the diapers (Excellent Used Condition / Good Used Condition).  Though the condition that is mentioned is all relative, be sure to ask the seller a few questions about it.
    • How is the PUL?
    • How are the elastics?
    • How long have you owned them?  Are you the first owner?
    • What kind of detergent do you use?
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for a few additional pictures of the insides, if they aren’t initially posted.
  3. ONLY use a reliable payment method that offers protection for your transactions.  I personally prefer PayPal (hence the small fee you pay when you sell an item).  It’s been around awhile and as a buyer, you DO NOT need a PayPal account.  As long as you have an email address, you’ll receive an invoice / link where you can enter your debit or credit card information.


When SELLING diapers:

  1. Look over the condition of your diaper and try to list the description as accurately as possible.
    • EUC – Excellent Used Condition. Hardly worn, no flaws or issues, typically you’re the first owner of the diaper and can vouch for how well it’s taken care of.  Elastics are almost new.
    • GUC – Good Used Condition. Worn but still has a good amount of life left to the diapers.  PUL should still be intact with no issues.  Elastics may have lost some stretch, but still functioning well.
    • Fair / Play Condition – Used a lot, in which the elastics are stretched out or almost to the max.  The PUL may have holes or cracked, and the diaper may leak.  This diaper would be best used as a “swim diaper,” or if the PUL is functional, the buyer could replace the elastics.
  2. Provide pictures of outer, bum and inside photos.  Then, list a price and state whether the price includes shipping (PPD) or not.  PPD is the acronym for Postage Paid Domestically, meaning the seller agrees to pay for shipping as long as the buyer lives domestically.
  3. When invoicing the buyer, it’s in your best interest to provide details.  What is the name and style of the diaper? What is the condition?  Are you including any inserts? Is shipping included the in price?

**Including all details in your invoice, protects you, as a seller.  When the buyer received it, if there is an issue with “not receiving an insert,” or “not receiving a diaper as stated,” then you have some sort of proof to provide to PayPal during the dispute.  Although the buyer is responsible for reading the invoice and details / condition, they may still challenge it.


When TRADING diapers:

This isn’t done often, but if 2 parties would like to trade diapers, it’s best to do it as follows…

  1. Each party declares the “trade value” of their diaper.
  2. Each person invoices the other person for the amount the diaper costs (i.e. the trade value)
  3. Each person pays their invoice (even if it’s the same amount of money going back and forth)
  4. Then ship your diaper, after payment is received.

*Paying for each of your trades, protects each party, in the instance that a diaper isn’t received or it is damaged.  In that case, a claim to PayPal could be made.

Lastly, if you decide to BST your diapers locally, it’s still recommended that you follow these steps.  I’ve purchased and sold via PayPal even when purchasing or selling locally.  The good news is, odds are typically in your favor overall.  In 3.5 years of doing this, I’ve only had two “real” issue with a buyer — one was resolved directly with the buyer, and the other was resolved with PayPal.

**Diapers in the photo are from Shine Cloth**

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