Friday, August 31, 2012

Same Diapers, Different Label?

There has recently been a lot of talk within the cloth diaper community about the "cloth diaper clones" or "China diapers". I have even had some people inquire about the diapers I sell privately and respectfully as well as publicly and disrespectfully. I would very much like to address the topics placed before me and clear up any misconceptions.
First, a little background. After all, wouldn't you want all of the information prior to screaming out a guilty or not guilty verdict?
I had my first child in November of 2010. The moment I laid eyes on her, I was a goner! In the first 2 weeks of my maternity leave I began to panic at the thought of returning to my 45+ hour a week job as a manager in the financial industry. I searched desperately for a way to earn money while still being with her. Many of you know this feeling. I am a very strong believer in God. I believe in praying for miracles. So, I began to pray for mine. After researching HARD to find affordable cloth diapers I came across a bunch of manufacturers in China. I tried as many as I could and finally found a manufacturer that I fell in love with. I ordered my personal stash from them and used them daily. I remember telling my husband that I wished more people could have affordable diapers without having to do all the leg work and research. I considered doing something about this but prayed first. I asked God to either open every door or slam one in my face so I know whether or not I should proceed. Well guess what? Yup, every door opened. I was very cautious, but they just kept opening. So I walked through each one and every step I took I had total faith in God that He was leading me in the right direction. I quit my job about 1 year after I started my company because the hubby and I just happened to pay one of our big loans off so my income was no longer needed to support our meager lifestyle. I could quit and we'd still break even! All I've ever prayed for is just enough. That's what we have and I am SO grateful!
So, on to the issue at hand. I have mentioned many times in various places that I personally found and tested a TON of cloth diaper manufacturers in China. Just about every single one of them used the same PUL patterns, but almost everyone of them had differences in their designs.( I SO wish I had not donated these diapers so that I could include photos to prove my point.) Two thirds of them were low quality and out of the ones I did like, only one had safety certifications and could prove a great work environment for their employees. I was sold! Do they have a standard pocket diaper that they manufacture with any companies label? Yes. Do they manufacture for other companies as well? Of course they do. Most, I believe, sell their diapers for significantly more than I do. (They also most likely pay themselves because of it.) Can you buy a diaper that is practically identical to my "Classic" style for $2 less? Yes, and it will take 4-6 weeks for you to receive it because it's coming directly from China...where it's made. Which is most likely why they can sell it for $2 less than I do. They aren't paying for shipping fees, customs fees, taxes and duties so they can charge a bit less. Do I make any money on my "Classic" diapers? Not hardly, but I will NEVER raise the price on them because I believe everyone should have access to affordable fluff. Since I'd like to stay in business and you can't operate a business without some form of profit, I designed the Rave, the LPD Cover and the soon to be released LPD Newborn diaper. These cost more to manufacture since they are not "clones" and therefor I have to charge more. However, they are still considerably less than others on the market with similar features. I also offer a bunch of accessories like prefolds which look shockingly similar to other prefolds on the market but nobody complains about those.
I'm not out to cheat people or lie. I've always been 100% honest with people. Yes, my diapers are all made in China. Yes, they have been tested for chemicals and lead and fully comply with all CPSIA regulations. Yes, I sell "clones", but I sell them for less than any other company that operates from the US and you'll get them within 5 days or less. I also sell other styles that are not clones, as well as a heap of accessories.
I understand that it can be frustrating to see the same diaper on different sites for $5, $7, $10, all the way up to $29! (That one made me laugh too!) I know it bugs that some say they designed the "clone" diaper. I agree with these points! I never claimed to design my "Classic" style. I have however sent in the specifications for the other styles I sell, as well as my soon to be released newborn design, and had them produced according to my requests.
I just needed to put this out there so that everyone would know that I'm not trying to hide anything or pull the wool over your eyes. I've always answered the questions that have been asked honestly and will continue to do so. I have had so many people show such gratitude for what I provide and it makes it an absolute joy to do what I do! I can't tell you what my customers mean to me! There just aren't words to express how very much every single one of them mean to me. Seriously!!
I am just a mom who has had her prayers answered. I do my very best to provide quality diapers at rock bottom prices with fast shipping times and exceptional customer service. If you don't like my company or products, don't support or buy. It's that simple. There are enough people out there that do, and "enough" is all I prayed for.
(I hope I haven't offended anyone. It's a touchy subject for many.)

17 comments:

  1. I am so sorry that you were put in a position where you felt this post was necessary. BUT I loved reading it and learning more about your company!

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    1. No biggie! I just wanted to clarify.
      Thank you!

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  2. Beautifully put. Your honesty and clarity are surely appreciated. It is sad that you've been put in this situation. As a fellow woman of faith, I applaud you for your openness about your faith and your willingness to follow God. Thanks for all you do!

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    1. I'm not pushing for sympathy. I just wanted people to get where I'm coming from. Thank you though! :)

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  3. I don't know what prompted this post, but good for you for spelling everything out. I just found this site yesterday when looking for affordable cloth diapers for my daughter who is having her first and wants to cloth diaper from the start. I do plan on ordering from you, just waiting to have her check out the links I sent her.

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    1. Jane, although I have cloth diapers in my stash from various companies, some of whom are "bigger names" than Melissa, I have to say that her customer service far surpasses any other. She is incredibly prompt with her responses and her business ethic is spot on. I have four of her diapers, and a year and a half into cloth diapering, they're working just as well as any of the other pocket diapers we have (and were bought at a much lower cost). She isn't kidding when she says she tries to make them affordable!

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  4. Melissa! The more and more I learn about you and your products the more I fall in love! We are eagerly awaiting our 2nd babe this December ( as I've already shared with you ) and I will admit that the notion of cloth diapering, for the first time mind you, is a bit daunting, but you have already been tremendously helpful! I love my collection so far...from your classics to the Rave and I can't wait for the newborn's ~ hopefully just in time for my bub! ;) I respect what you do and what you stand for...and having faith never hurt anyone. Great post.

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  5. Elizabeth Alley LongtinAugust 31, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Ps: Idk why it published as anonymous. I'm happy to provide my name: Elizabeth Alley Longtin :)

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  6. I have a stash full of the China diapers and the ones I have purchased from you are definitely my favorites, better fit and better quality, so thank you!

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  7. Thank you Melissa for sharing your point of view. I have purchased your diapers and they work really well. I've also purchased diapers made by US manufacturers and WAHMs. I would like to hear your opinion as a small-business owner about what prevents US manufacturers from offering the same low prices. Again, thanks for offering great quality fluff at an affordable price.

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    1. One of the obvious reasons is that you cannot get workers in the U.S. to work at the same wages people overseas will. It's just a fact of life. I've lived in many countries during my short life, and it's just the plain truth that, in general, you'll find people working harder for less outside the U.S.

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    2. Actually, Rick Santorum looked at the numbers and wages aren't really a big factor. It is primarily our tax and regulatory structure that is the issue. We have one of the highest corporate income taxes in the world and that impacts smaller companies the most because they don't have the influence to get special tax breaks like a big company like GE does. My daughter learned in her Business of Fashion class (she's a fashion design major) that there is a lot more loss when you manufacture overseas and when you factor in transportation it would be possible for American manufacturing to be very competitive (without lowering wages) if we changed our tax structure. If you're interested in a great alternative you can check out www.fairtax.org.

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  8. i bought prefolds first but you were my first order of pockets i bought the classics first i fell in love with your site and made huge purches of classics ans a few bunffetties.
    then a third order just as big. i have bought others from eBay just to see the differnt pattern and styles that are out there. i love yours

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  9. I currently am interested in your diapers! The covers are what I am most interested in, I would love to learn more about the covers themselves. I saw that they come in a few colors on your site, but the "blue" diaper had a picture of a red diaper...do you sell blue? Thank you so much for this post! I have not purchased your diapers yet as I am researching diapers still. The previous diapers that I purchased did not work out for us, so I am a little nervous about the next cloth purchase. We are currently using Thirsties covers and a couple Grovia which are working great, but the price tags are too high for us to buy more of those.

    Lauren S

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    1. Hi Lauren!
      I fixed the error a bit ago. Thank you so much for notifying me!
      I hope you've had a chance to purchase from us! If not, just know you can do it without fear! I have a 10 day wash and wear trial! You have 10 days from receipt to try them. If not satisfied, return them for a refund less shipping!
      I hope you enjoyed your holidays!

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  10. I am new to LPD's but I want you to know that I found you because one of your satisfied customers (a dear friend of mine) suggested you to me and even sent me my first EVER 2 cloth diapers--LPD's of course! She also raved about how she loved supporting you because you are a Christian woman who is about trusting God and providing affordable fluff--I see in this post how right she is! Thanks for what you provide & for your honesty. May God continue to bless you, your family and your business! <3

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    1. Kristi! Thank you so much! I'd love to know who recommended LPD's to you! I appreciate my customers so very much as well as their word of mouth advertising!
      I hope you enjoyed your holidays! God bless!!

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