Wholesale Cloth Diapers
Looking for wholesale cloth diapers? Whether you are thinking about starting up a cloth diaper retail business, or you are interested in setting setting up a buyer's co-op to order cloth diapers at a discount, this article has more details and helpful links for you as you start out.
Creating a Buyer's Co-op
Facebook, Diaper Swappers
, and other on-line parenting communities often host diaper co-ops, but in some cases, they can be risky or questionable. Most of the big-name cloth diaper manufacturers will not allow co-op orders or buyer's clubs to buy wholesale cloth diapers, but you can get lesser-known brands this way.
Cloth Diaper Geek has a detailed explanation of co-ops, how they work, and the risks you may experience should you decide to buy wholesale cloth diapers from a co-op here
Some cloth diaper brands allow buyers co-ops, including the following:
You can find established co-op groups on-line or start one of your own.
Starting a Cloth Diaper Retail Business
In order to buy wholesale cloth diapers, most manufacturers will request proof of your cloth diaper business. In fact, many of the bigger brands will not allow you to place your first order until you have your business is registered, fully running and your website or bricks-and-mortar store in place.
Cloth diapers are a niche/specialty product, so unless you have a lot of experience with them and are knowledgeable about various brands and types, you will be unlikely to succeed. The ABC Kids Expo, which runs in October each year, is attended by many manufacturers and can be a great place to get more familiar with the brands and products in person. You can find out more on their website
Choosing Which Brands to Carry
Look for high-quality brands that have brand recognition. Consider products in various price ranges too, as customers will come from all walks of life and budget ranges (unless you want to pigeon-hole yourself to catering to specific crowd).
If you are interested in starting up a cloth diaper business, you will want to consider:
- Manufacturers that don't allow co-op orders or buyer's clubs, since you may find it hard to sell these products at full margin and compete with those who are selling them for less than suggested retail
- Brands that don't sell to big box stores, since you may not be able to compete with their assortment and cost structure
- Brands that don't sell to deal of the day websites such as Zulily, MamaBargains, making it harder for you to sell at full price (and full margin)
- Whether the brand will allow you to sell on 3rd party website such as Amazon.com and eBay
- Products with excellent warranty and customer service - you're going to have to deal with both!
Some manufacturers such as Cotton Babies (bumGenius), Sustainablebabyish/Sloomb, and others, have retail price maintenance policies. This means that you will be required to charge the same price on these goods as all other manufacturers, and you can't have unauthorized discounts or sales. These companies dictate regular and sale prices, and even when sales are available.
Challenges for Cloth Diaper Retailers
Many small cloth diaper retailers have faced the same challenges:
- People that go to your showroom and then search for the best price on-line
- Low profit margins - especially since the retailer typically pays shipping both ways
Overheads for advertising, shipping, staff, insurance, tax, and other charges
Retailers must carry high levels of inventory. Most manufacturers do not offer drop-shipping, and many have minimum order levels. You will also want to carry enough choices for parents that are looking to test-drive multiple brands so they can save on shipping and don't need to look elsewhere.
Moms are, for the most part, very connected with other moms. Most successful cloth diaper retailers have a great business plan, are good at book-keeping, marketing, and advertising, and are active with social media through blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, forums, and other activities. They are also usually well-connected with other local moms.
Wholesale Cloth Diaper Manufacturer Links
- BumGenius, Flip, and Econobum
- Bummis & TotsBots
- Glowbug Cloth Diapers
- Gro-Via US
Also allows co-op purchasing (60 or more diapers)
- Mother-Ease - US and Canada
- OsoCosy Wholesale
Fitteds, Prefolds, Flats, Wipes, and Diaper Sprayers
- Sugar Peas, Baby Kangas, BerryPlush, JamTots and Others
- Sustainablebabyish (Sloomb)
- Green Team Enterprises
Loohoo wool dryer balls, Lunette cup, Lunapads, Grandma El's, Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics, & Little Comfort Diapers
Starting a Bricks and Mortar Store
If you want to start your own store, you'll face more challenges. Your sales will need to be high enough to cover your overheads: building rental, staff salaries, insurance, taxes, and other bills.
Some ways to differentiate your business from the big-box stores can be:
- Play group for kids
- Toys - train table, other - to keep kids interested while parents are browsing
- Gently used diapers and clothing
- Eco friendly baby products
- Diapering, baby-wearing and other classes
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