Recently there have been a whole crop of new cloth diapering stores that are opening up online. I say great! You know, as long as more people are hearing about and using cloth diapers, I really don’t care where they buy them from.
I love browsing the new sites and seeing what they offer, whether there’s anything new or interesting.
What I do mind are those new cloth diapering stores that try to sell their products by publicly throwing mud at other online stores or their products. I really think it’s rude and not very good business practice. I mean, if your brand of cloth diaper is so fantastic – you don’t need to mud-sling for it to be successful. Gradually word will spread and more and more customers will refer friends to your site and then – voila! Success! Is it really necessary to bring others down in order to pull yourself up?
Many of the new cloth diaper stores are now getting cloth diapers from factories in China or India, where the cost per diaper is extremely cheap (v.s. the cloth diaper stores from the last 2 years who got established branded cloth diapers from the USA or Australia or Singapore) . Those factories try to copy the designs of the ‘established’ brands to varying degrees of success. Yes, it’s possible that you will get a cloth diaper very cheap and it will be good for your baby, but it’s also possible it will be a dud. I discussed this earlier too.
The reason why imported cloth diapers (i.e. those made by WAHMs or even those made in China but are quality monitored and designed by “big” established cloth diaper brands) are so expensive is because it takes a lot of work to get a quality product. Furthermore you pay for marketing, you pay for fair wages, you pay for shipping charges and you pay for brand assurance.
Yes, you can definitely buy a bunch of really cheap cloth diapers – but you seriously do get what you pay for. Anyone who has seen a Rumparooz Microfiber insert for example knows what I mean. You just can’t compare that with the normal microfiber inserts you get with the cheaper generic China brands.
Which isn’t to say you should stay away from generic China brands. If you’re on a budget, if you are only going to be cloth diapering one child, if your child is close to potty learning, if the generic china brand happens to fit your child like a glove – go for it! It’s honestly a great way to cloth diaper for cheap.
But if you want a CD to last a long long long time and to absorb a LOT of liquid while still being trim – well, then you have to pay for it. Just like with any other product on the market, customers pay for quality.
So back to what I was originally trying to say. This new CD store I just saw, posted this on her About Me section :
What? Actually as far as I know all of the online cloth diapering shops here in Malaysia are owned and run by a single person. I wasn’t even aware that there were “big guys” in the cloth diapering world. I think it’s sad that this new store owner thinks that the cloth diapering market in Malaysia is so toxic. I know for a fact it isn’t. I’m on good terms with at least three or four other online store owners and we all collaborate and talk to each other not infrequently so we can compare notes so to speak. I really don’t think any of us are that much “bigger” than the other…
Except I guess The Baby Loft, but can’t really fault Audrey because her store really is too big for her to handle 100% of the customer service herself – but even there, when I bought something from her last year, it was Audrey I communicated directly with (and no, she didn’t know I was the Tiny Tapir store owner).
Definitely when you call Tiny Tapir, you will, 90% of the time, speak to the owner (i.e. me). Same goes I know for when you call Lil Danzell and I’m sure also Miabambina and all the other long time online CD stores. (OK i admit last 4 days my response time is really slow compared to before, but that’s because I’m overloaded with work as well as setting up the new Tiny Tapir Baby retail store).
So really, I’m perplexed… who are these Cloth Diaper store “big guys” and their staff, and how come I don’t know about them?!