I purchased one diaper - a Thirsties All in One - to see how I liked the whole cloth diapering concept. I figured just one diaper would help me save at least one disposable diaper per day in cost and in landfill space. It was shipped to me from Arizona, and I waited on pins and needles to see how I would like it. I loved it! My next purchase was a FuzziBunz Perfect Size diaper, and so on. Each time I would purchase a diaper I would wait for it to arrive, try it, see if I liked it, and then purchase more.
One thing I had not considered in my cloth diaper search was visiting a manufacturers' website to see if there were any cloth diaper retailers located close to my hometown. Now that I am a retailer myself, I think it is a great option that many may not be aware of. Many manufacturers list their retailers on their websites, and you can search by zip code or state and find a retailer close to you. Just as an example, you may view Happy Heinys' retailer location tool here.
Why might this be of benefit? Besides keeping dollars local which can be a great stimulus to local economies, many cloth diapering retailers offer cloth diapering classes. I personally offer monthly cloth diapering classes where customers can come see, touch, and feel the diapers before purchasing. I try to bring at least one of every item on my website to each class. Families can ask questions and learn exactly what they will need to use cloth on their babies. Many customers have come to the classes not sure if they would use cloth but have left 100% committed to making cloth work for their family.
There may be additional resources that your local cloth diapering retailer may offer as well. For example, I offer free shipping through my website. But if someone in NW Ohio puts in an order, I am very likely to try to incorporate a trip to that person's home the next day to get it there quickly and save myself the shipping cost as well.
Again, the Internet is a wonderful resource and an excellent tool. There are many amazing websites that can answer any question you may have about cloth diapering. If you'd like to check with your local cloth diapering retailer and see what types of additional resources they may offer beyond their website, click here for an excellent map that will allow you to zero in on that retailer nearest you. Happy cloth diapering to you!