I have been asked about how to ship diapers from home vs going to the post office. So I am going to review not only how to do that, but also what to look for and questions to ask when buying, selling and trading cloth diapers.
First let's talk about buying and trading cloth diapers! Buying used diapers can be a great way to add to your stash. Here is our group on Facebook: 4T Chatter, Buy, Sell, Trade. Always see photos of the front, back and inside of the diaper including soaker system. The following comes with each of our diapers.
Hybrids- Shell, Dual soaker system (snake soaker that folds in half and snaps into the bum of the diaper and a Velour topped booster).
Extended Wear- Shell, Triple soaker system (snake soaker that folds in half and snaps into the bum of the diaper, booster with velour top, and bamboo triple layer booster).
Make sure to zoom in on photos, if you need better images to make a fair decision, most sellers are willing to accommodate. Ask about pets and smoking. In the event you notice stains, ask about them, many stains can be removed with sunning of the diapers, worse case, some good ole fashion elbow grease will make them disappear. The choice is yours Batch Tags state the date of production for the diaper, month and year. This is good to know, as you want to know the age of the diaper. In the event boosters are missing, we do sell bamboo boosters in the store.
Example photos to request: Front, Back, Inside, and Snaps
In the event a snap is missing from the diaper, we will repair snaps for free. Simply have the seller send a message to us, we will have them send us the diaper, repair the snap and forward the diaper to you (we charge nothing for repair or shipping).
When you see a diaper for sale that you really want, most buyers are negotiable on price as long as the offer is within reason. Building your stash with new and used diapers is a great way to get diapers you love, yet save money. In the end, as long as you take the time to care for your diapers properly, you will see a return on your investment once you sell your stash.
Trading is between two individuals that have the same or like kind of value diaper. The best way to secure a trade is to Paypal each other an agreed dollar amount, ship your diaper to that individual through Paypal shipping, once the diapers have been exchanged and delivered, you can simply refund the amount that was each sent to you. This protects you both.
Now let's move forward and discuss shipping. What do diapers weigh, do I ship First Class, or Priority, what is the difference and why do I need a tracking number. I can only speak for our diapers, as I know the weights of them already.
Foresight - hybrid 6 ounces, extended wear 8 ounces
Visionary- hybrid 8 ounces, extended wear 10 ounces
What's Next- hybrid 9 ounces, extended wear 11 ounces
First Class shipping within the USA, Canada and International is the cheapest. You can ship in a poly mailer; plastic type of envelope that does not tear easily, you can also use a normal envelope, but it will add weight; approximately an ounce. In the event you are shipping First Class to Canada and Internationally, you will need to make sure your package is under 4lbs, otherwise you will not be able to ship First Class due to weight restrictions. Remember to get tracking, why do you need tracking? It protects you as the seller that you mailed your items to the buyer. Now the USPS has GPS handheld scanners, which means when a package is delivered, it gives the exact coordinates of where it was delivered, lowering the chances of a lost package. This is an additional cost to First Class shipping.
We here at 4T ship all packages within the USA Priority Mail. We use priority boxes and mailers, which are free from the post office locally or you can order them online for free and they will be delivered directly to your front porch. The process is pretty straight forward. You do have to know your weight when using a Priority Mailer Envelope, other than that, flat rate is a great option. Tracking is included in the price.
How do you get a label for your package? You can either visit your local post office, ask for the cheapest shipping option, normally that is First Class for the appropriated weight packages. Or use their Priority Flat Rate Packaging for a flat rate price.
The other option would be to print your label at home. This is simple if you have a computer and printer. You log into Paypal, click on the transaction that needs to be shipped, scroll to the bottom and clock print shipping label, on the next screen it will ask for the type of shipping, enter what you prefer, add weight if requested, and proceed. You will be given a price and the option to move forward to purchase the actual label. Once that processes, you will then print your shipping label. At this point, the tracking number is saved to the transaction, and automatically emailed to the buyer. Super easy right! Tape it to the package and go put the flag up on your mailbox. I always check tracking in the evening to make sure packages are moving forward. Sometimes it takes 24 hours for tracking to appear on the USPS site. In addition to printing labels at home, when you are shipping to Canada and Internationally, you will need to fill out a custom form, the site automatically notifies you of this, you click the link provided, type in the items, and click the agreement. You will want to print three custom forms, 1. for USPS, 2. for the Country being sent to customs department, and 3. one to stay in the clear pocket (photo below, free from USPS). Make sure to write the address on the package, along with return address. After signing the customs form (bottom left corner), stuff in clear pocket and stick to package over the mailing address.
Ask your buyer to kindly let you know when the package has arrived. I personally like to check on packages every other day just to ensure they are moving forward. In the event a package gets stuck somewhere, I like to contact the USPS immediately, this seems to be the best option so packages are not sitting to long, I never listen to the 7 day waiting window, especially if shipping Priority Mail. You will always have to follow up with the USPS, very rarely do they actually make contact with you when they say they will.
Now that you know what to look for when buying, selling and trading, you have options to ship at the US Post Office, or simply from your home. Let us know what questions you may have in the comments section, even if you have additional suggestions, we would love to hear from you.
Wear, Love, Wash, Repeat