Monday, January 14, 2013

The Legality (and Morality) of "Diaper Dipping"

Note: This information is primarily from what I have personally seen and heard, and may not have any real legal backing.

Source: via Kimberly on Pinterest

We had this discussion on the Lamb Babies Facebook page a few weeks ago, about  diaper dipping.
I had seen this phrase popping up here and there where certain cloth diaper businesses (small, work-at-home-mom types) would be "dipping a diaper." Wanting to stay on top of things, I researched this phrase.

Here it is in a nutshell:

It works like a raffle.  You can buy a "dip" or a chance to "win" a diaper.  Generally, you would purchase one chance for $1.  So, if you wanted ten chances to win, you would spend $10, sent directly to the person hosting the dip.  Sometimes, the business owner puts a minimum number of dips. For example, if the diaper was a really rare print and they needed to make back their money, there might be a minimum of 30 dips (or $30 put toward that diaper, at least). I guess, there can be maximums too.

Then, after a certain timeframe, a random number is drawn, and whoever has that number (they were the x number person to pay for a dip), is the winner.

The point is: The person paying for their chance to win could potentially get a cloth diaper for only a couple bucks.  Good, right?

Well, apparently, if you live in a state where gambling is illegal, than you cannot by law participate in a diaper dip in any way, shape, or form.  I'm not, in any way, condemning those who have participated...I mean, who knew a harmless cloth diaper could have legal issues?!
Raffles in general, must be for charitable purposes only overseen by that charity itself, and not for the commercial gain of the individual and/or business.  In many states, a special permit is required in order to host a raffle. (  So, these facts basically dissuade against any idea that diaper dipping is okay for charitable purposes.(You could always do an auction instead...?)

Source: via Kimberly on Pinterest

But, I also had a personal problem with the idea of diaper dipping, when the work-at-home-mom (wahm) or small business got the profit.  The person purchasing dips is under the idea that they may only get a diaper for a few bucks, but it is not really specifically outright stated that ALL of the money that goes into the dips goes to the diaper business.  So, let's say there were 50 dips....that's $50 that's goes into the pocket of the wahm.

Even if it's a rare print, that is still a lot to receive for making a cloth diaper, especially when the wahm or business runs with the idea that someone can get a diaper for a few dollars, while seemingly undermining the fact that all of the money goes in their pocket.  Auctions are different though, because there isn't "hidden" money, what the person says they are going to pay, they pay for the diaper.

And I'm not saying this all to be mean or anything.  Afterall, I make cloth diapers and sell them too, and I like to be honest.  Also, although I don't know for sure, I have heard of ramifications for wahms who have hosted diaper dips. I don't want anyone to get in trouble, so now you know!

Source: via Kimberly on Pinterest
Source: via Kimberly on Pinterest
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  1. Completely agree. I also think gambling is wrong, so I have those issues with it-not just legality issues.

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