Tips for Buying on Kijiji

I’m a pretty typical Manitoban – I love a deal! Sales, discounts, coupons, and occasionally, used items. Anything to stretch my dollars farther. Since Christmas is right around the corner and you may be thinking about buying some of those large-ticket items second-hand to save some money, I thought it would also be good to put together some tips for buying on Kijiji. Also, if you haven’t, check out my tips on Selling on Kijiji.

  1. Buyer beware – Scammers are on both sides of the Kijiji transaction, both buying and selling. Be sure to read the description carefully and look closely at all the pictures. Request more pictures if you think the person doesn’t actually have the item. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Be aware of stolen items – People steal stuff and then sell it on Kijiji. If you buy something that is stolen on Kijiji, at the very least it is going to be confiscated and you will be out money. If the police think you knew the item was stolen or somehow had a hand in stealing it, the consequences could be much, much worse. Again, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  3. Haggling – Most sellers on Kijiji are open to a little bit of haggling. 10% is a good round number to end up at. Meaning, start at 20% off and hope the seller will meet you in the middle. If not, be prepared to either pay the full amount for the item or walk away from the sale. For example, a women sent a message asking if I would sell my $50 item for $40. I sent back a counter offer of $45. (I haven’t heard from her since so maybe she didn’t appreciate my counter-offer, lol).
  4. Be careful – Try to meet in public places, don’t bring too much extra cash with you, be aware of your surroundings when meeting and if you have any red flags about the sale, walk away immediately. A good deal isn’t worth getting robbed or your life.

Apologies if I’ve scared you. I haven’t had any situations where I’ve bought stolen merchandise or been robbed while trying to complete a transaction. These are extreme examples but it’s important to be prepared in case something goes astray. Be honest and you’ll find some great deals on some barely-used items.

Bought on Kijiji? Good experience? Bad experience? I’d love to hear about them. Happy Shopping!

Tips for Selling on Kijiji

One of my goals for the summer/fall was to clear out excess stuff. We’ve lived in this house for six years and stuff just seems to accumulate. Now some of it is baby stuff. We’re still on the fence about a second baby, so I don’t want to get rid of that stuff yet. But there’s lots of stuff that both Husband and I have from our lives before we met each other. Some of it is still in boxes in the basement…. definitely time for that stuff to go. Anyways, all this to tell you that I’ve been selling things on Kijiji again. Mostly excess yarn this time but also a used aluminum screen door and some candle holders. In the past I’ve sold shoes, baby items, Nightmare Before Christmas memorabilia and recently, my husband sold a car. I love Kijiji but it can be a weird and scary place. So here’s some tips to get you going if you want to sell using Kijiji.

  1. Post clear pictures – First of all, your ad is one of thousands on the site and one of at least dozens in the category. The one thing that’s going to make it stand out is clear pictures. People want to see what they are buying. One, clear picture is all you need. Multiple, clear pictures are great. Blurry pics might as well not be there. And if you don’t have any pics, don’t bother posting an ad.
  2. Use key words – While the description is important, be sure to use keywords that folks may use when searching for your item. For example, I was so busy writing tempting descriptions for my many yarn ads to include skein weight, colour and yarn weight, I forgot to put down the most basic descriptor: yarn! Now if someone was searching for “yarn,” they would’ve missed several of my ads because I forgot to put that in.
  3. Be open to offers – I think Kijiji is the last acceptable place that people haggle on prices for things smaller than cars and houses. I always increase the price for my item a little more ($2-10, for small items, more for larger ones) than I would like to sell them for and add OBO (or best offer) to my ads. I try not to haggle until the person has actually come to see the item as I feel there is no sense wasting your time unless they are really interested. Watch out for folks who will try and talk you too far down. Think about how little you can accept for the item and don’t go any further. I was selling an exersaucer and got several calls and emails asking way, way under the $50 I had posted it for. One person even went so far as to ask me if I would just give it to her, for free. I politely declined but was surprised at her guts. Stick to your guns and you will get the price, or close to it, for the item.
  4. Don’t accept any forms of payment except cash – I can’t stress this enough. If they don’t have cash, they can’t have the item. I don’t care about your sick grandma or kid or how you just have to run to the bank. People who are serious about buying will show up, cash in hand. Which leads me to….
  5. If it smells like a scam, it is a scam – No one, in their right mind, would EVER offer you more for the item than you are asking. EVER. I don’t care how good the offer sounds. My MIL was selling her nice leather couch on Kijiji. She got an offer for more than she was asking for the couch. They sent a legitimate looking cheque that she took to the bank, who confirmed it was a scam. The idea is the cheque looks like it has cashed, you mail the item to the scammer and then the cheque bounces. No money, no item.
  6. Be wary of out-of-town sales – I am not a fan of selling to out-of-towners. Often they are the scammers described above who should be avoided at all costs. I have sold once out-of-town with success so it can be done. First of all, I was upfront with the buyer that they would cover all the costs of shipping the items. I was not paying to ship them. Now, you can either use the Canada Post app to estimate the shipping costs, or you can actually take your items to a Canada Post outlet and they will estimate for you. Don’t forget an envelope or box and include those costs as well. I emailed the estimated cost of shipping plus the cost of the items back to the buyer, who agreed to the sale. She then emailed me money (PayPal works too if you have an account). I deposited it and went back to Canada Post and mailed the item. Get a tracking number. This way you have verification the item arrived to the buyer and they can’t claim they never received the item.
  7. Download the Kijiji app – Everyone has apps nowadays but I find the Kijiji app really helpful. It has a messaging system built into it that immediately notifies you if someone sends you an email/message about one of your items. And you can reply to the person right in the app. No more going into your email’s junk folder to look for Kijiji messages!
  8. Be patient – I would say that everything I’ve ever put on Kijiji has sold, eventually. It may be on there for two days or three months but I’ve always found a buyer. Be patient, especially when you are getting messages from scammers and people who are trying to low-ball you. Don’t feel pressure to pay Kijiji to “Bump Up” your ad to the top when it feels like your items aren’t moving. The right buyer will come along for the item.
  9. Be careful – Keep your wits about you when selling online. If something doesn’t feel right, back out of the sale. Meet in public areas to exchange items/money if you can. If you must give out your home address, never tell the buyer when you won’t be home. Pick a time for them to come to your house and stick to it. Try to have someone else home with you, if possible.

I feel like I ended on a particularly scary note with Kijiji selling but it is easy and fun to do. I myself have sold almost $300 in yarn in the last 6 weeks that was just hanging out in my basement, doing nothing. I’m sure you have stuff in your basement/attic/spare room that would make someone else very happy.

Have you sold on Kijiji? How did it go? Do you have any tips that I missed? I’d love to hear them! Happy Shopping!