With the advent of the internet, online shopping has become extremely popular. No longer do us exhausted pregnant folk have to waddle through the aisles of Babies R Us collecting all the baby related paraphernalia we may or may not even use when the little bundle of joy comes..No sirree…
Now, we can simply point and click with the mouse in one hand and a pint of haagen daaz in the other. Pay a little bit of shipping (well worth it at this phase of pregnancy) and voila! Said item appears on your doorstep where you can safely and swiftly retrieve it without any of the neighbors seeing your current “condition” i.e yoga pants and your husband’s tank top.
Pretty great right? I thought so too, and I would have been very content to continue shopping this way forever… little did I know.. it gets even better….
As you may recall, I had my heart set on cloth diapering Tiny from before she was born. Trying to teach myself about the different kinds and how they worked proved to be an extremely daunting task. There are SO many different kinds and they all work in different ways. Not to mention the fact that the initial investment can be somewhat pricy. We kind of forgot about it…
Then one day a friend of mine invited me to a class on how to make your own cloth diaper. It seemed like a pretty neat thing to do and I love crafts so I figured why not? Could be fun! At the very least, I will learn more about these things and maybe get some feedback on which ones work best, in case I decide to revisit the idea.
We got to this girl’s house and it looked like a cloth diaper store! Every shelf was packed with diapers and what I would learn were diaper insert, wet bags, I mean just about everything I had seen on those websites but was too afraid to buy! I asked this girl who would later become one of my very good friends, “Supermom, why do you have SO many of the same diaper?” What she told me, would change the course of my life forever…She told me about co-ops.
I am going to assume that you reader don’t know what a co-op is, or maybe you have heard of it but not in this context. Either way, I am gonna rock your world.
A co-op, is a group (in this case on fb) where a bunch of moms or other crazy shopaholic females get together and agree to buy a minimum of amount of a product (can be anything) from a supplier in order to enjoy wholesale prices. You lost? That’s okay! I was too!
Let’s say you want to buy a Louis Vitton purse…a lot of people like those right? I personally think they are ugly but people are willing to shell out boku bucks for those things. Let’s say it costs $2000. With me so far?
Now say, the folks at LV are cool, and they make a deal with you: If you can find 99 other gals who agree to buy that same purse that you want they will sell them for only $1500 each (still insane to me) Well that is what happens in co-ops. It’s a win win for everyone! You get a sweet deal, and LV doesn’t have to buy a storefront, and pay all that overhead. Not to mention they are guaranteed 100 orders.
So back to co-ops and cloth diapers… These fb groups sell diapers that cost 6 or 7 dollars a piece from the retailer for WAY LESS..I can’t say how much less because each one negotiates their own deals- but it’s a LOT less. And as if that wasn’t amazing enough, they don’t just “do” cloth diapers. There are co-ops for just about every item you could possibly want. Baby items, make-up, jewelry, mens items- anything you can imagine wanting to buy- there is probably a co-op for it. Awesome right?
Well, yeah, if you are made of money! Which sadly this mama is not…so co-ops can be super dangerous… the more you save, the more you justify spending…
I just got an AMAZING deal on Happy Flutes in XXXX co-op and saved like $40~ now I can spend $40 on……
Yeah, it’s scary..
Also, there are folks who don’t like co-ops because a lot of the items are made overseas which a. means they are taking money out of the USA and b. increases the risk for knock offs. Well, my response to this is… then you probably should stop shopping at Walmart, because they do pretty much the same thing, only they keep the profits for themselves…Personally, I would much rather save that money for my family…
Of course there are some items that co-ops just don’t work for, especially customized and hand made items. Despite this, there are plenty of co-ops that still try to sell factory made knock offs of these items. Nothing like getting a crocheted owl hat for $5 right? Yeah, as long as you like that sandpaper feel of assembly line yarn across your baby’s precious little face. For those items, I still patronize my local crafters. There is no substitute for those items no matter how cheap they might be… but for the My Little Pony figurines that cost $10 and end up gooey and hairless and inevitably lost in the bottomless pit that is our girls’ closet? I will buy those for $1 ALL DAY LONG….
So like everything else, there are pros and cons to co-ops. The stuff takes a little bit of time to get to you, there are fees involved..(if you saw everything the co-op hosts do to keep these groups running, you would nominate them for sainthood) but for me, it is well worth it.
My biggest issue like I said, is having the funds to buy the things I want when I want them but then I suppose that is the plight of most moms!