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Diaper Supply Co-operative - Co-op Information

Cloth Diaper Supply Co-operatives - Hints & Tips

Enter new groups with caution. Upon joining, spend a few days perusing the available databases and reading current and past messages. Pay attention to the warning signs. If many group members seem to be disgruntled and questions arise regarding packages never received or not received in a timely manner, you may want to unsubscribe. Be wary of moderation. If messages are being moderated by the owner, this may be an indication that group members have posted or are posting messages that show discontent, and they are trying to hide them!

Ask questions!! If you don't know how the group works or what items are available at that moment...ask!

Pay attention to the rules and be a good buyer! Upon joining a group, read through all the group files regarding policies, payments, fees, etc, before placing an order.

Ask BEFORE you order about how it will be shipped to you. There are some co-ops that only ship via a certain carrier like USPS, Fedex, or UPS. Co-op groups that offer a variety of shipping methods can save you a lot of money.

When ordering supplies at a certain price, make sure to ask if the price includes your share of the shipping to the co-op owner. Many times you will pay a unit price, plus shipping to the owner, plus shipping to you from the co-op owner. Ask questions and find out exactly what you will need to pay when payments are called in.

When paying for a co-op purchase, place your order in the notes section. This will help ensure accuracy for both parties.

Technically, it is a no-no to ask the consumer to cover credit cards fees, since major credit cards companies and third party payors, like PayPal, prohibit it. However, since a co-op is not a business, and the owner cannot afford to pay fees out of their own pockets and still afford to run the group, it is an acceptable practice to ask that co-op members using credit cards add the fees to their totals. This is not the case with pre-order groups and other for-profit groups. If the seller is making a profit, they have no business charging you for credit card fees. Anyone doing so is opening themselves up to a lawsuit, and it is just not a wise thing to do since CC fees are tax deductible.

Beware of co-ops that want to charge a monthly membership fee or charge a fixed percentage for co-op fees. If a co-op is charging you a flat rate of 10% for co-op fees, then they are making a profit and you should NOT have to pay CC fees. Also, beware of co-op groups that ask you to reimburse them for time spent away from their family - your money is better spent elsewhere.

Do your research! Find out what the wholesale price for the item is before you order. Some co-ops may be hiking up the prices, and in some instances, you would be better off buying the materials direct from the wholesaler yourself.

Want to know about co-ops gone bad? We'll help you avoid them!