Written by: Claire @bigtinyadventure
Factory seconds - most of us have heard of them, but what exactly are they, and how could you benefit from buying them? Let’s find out!
Essentially, factory seconds are anything a manufacturer considers ‘imperfect’ at quality control. These imperfections vary - they can be anything from a tiny blemish, wonky stitch or pattern placement to more visible defects such as snags, tears or weaknesses in closures or fastenings. If you’ve ever bought new clothes at a discount on a major auction site or outlet, chances are, you’ve been buying seconds!
But hold on, don’t reusable cloth nappies have to be perfect to work properly? If they have flaws, won’t they leak or fall apart? Will the elastic ping open and unleash a totally preventable poonami?
The good news is: not at all! While there may be minor cosmetic defects such as small snags in the fleece lining or slight popper misalignment, many flaws are so minor that if you’d bought at full price, you probably wouldn’t have even noticed it was second grade if the label hadn’t been snipped!
Some might require very small repairs, but all are functional either out of the box or with a quick popper change or stitch.
In fact, some nappies are damaged in transit to retailers (permanent impressions on PUL from compression next to poppers) but are still sold at full price to recoup costs. So you could be paying full price for something less perfect than declared factory seconds! As the vast majority of reusable products are sold online, there’s no way to know what you’re getting on that front- unless it comes from Flaww.
Flaww have a simple grading system to help identify the factory seconds products and to know what to expect when you make a purchase - Grade A (non factory seconds), Grade B (Fully functional with usually only one or two minor cosmetic flaws) and the Bargain Box (where all defects are listed in the description)- so you know exactly what you’re getting.
You can shop by grade, allowing you to filter out any flaws you might personally not prefer.
Prices decrease through the grades, making it a great way to build up your stash on a budget or dip your toe in with reusables without the financial commitment.
Another bonus: popular or discontinued prints that can be impossible to find when buying from standard retailers are often available as seconds! Had your eye on that gorgeous pattern, but it’s sold out everywhere? This could be your chance.