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What I Like About Kijiji

kijijiIn the last month we bought a beautiful solid maple bedroom set with side tables and a wardrobe along with a brand new espresso maker – all from Kijiji.

Not that long ago, we wanted to change the loft bunk bed in my son’s room to something a little more grown up. On a Friday night we sold the set for $150 and by Saturday afternoon had bought a replacement bedroom set for $150. It didn’t cost us a thing other than the gas to drive across town.

What I love about Kijiji / Craigslist

  1. It’s free! – It’s free to post an ad. It’s even free to reply to an ad. You have the option to upgrade your ad for a price but in our experience, anything we’ve posted the free way has still sold within the day.
  2. There is nothing to mail and no hidden fees – You don’t have to worry about reading the fine print. There are no shipping and handling fees. It’s very straightforward. If the patio set says it’s $100, you pay $100 unless you can talk them down in price and pay even less.
  3. You get to see the item before you purchase it – If the photo doesn’t look like reality, you can just say: “Thanks but no thanks”, and leave. You won’t have wasted anything except for the cost of gas to get there. There are a few things we’ve gone to look at and changed our minds once we saw the item. There are others things that looked way better than the photo showed.
  4. You pay cash – You get to keep your privacy. There are no cheques with your address and bank information. No credit card information. Just plain old cash. I like knowing that I don’t give away any personal or financial information about myself when making a purchase. Even Kijiji has no way of tracking who bought what.
  5. No sales tax -This is my favourite thing about Kijiji. When I buy something from someone directly I pay no sales tax. If I had bought that same item at a consignment store, I would have to pay the tax on it. I like not paying tax legally!
  6. There is little risk – Get buyer’s remorse? Just sell it to someone else. Let’s say you bought a coffee table for $50. You get it home and try it out. It’s not quite the style you were hoping for. It doesn’t look as good as you thought. It’s easy. Take a photo. Post it online and sell it to someone else.
  7. It’s popular – Who would have thought I could find the exact espresso maker I was looking for in a week? I had narrowed it down to two brands thanks to reviews at amazon.com and kept checking every day. There are thousands of new posts that go up every day. One night, there it was. I contacted the person right away and had it within the hour.
  8. It’s a great way to re-use and recycle – Some people don’t even want money for their stuff. They just want to get rid of it and don’t want it going to a landfill. Not that long ago when people wanted to sell something, they’d post an ad in the paper with no photo. They were lucky to get any response at all. Now with free ad posting and photos, it’s an easy way to get rid of things you don’t use any more and make a little money in the process.

My son said to his friend the other night, “You have to try my Mom’s frothed hot chocolate she makes with her new espresso maker. It’s awesome.” I went ahead and made them each a mug of peppermint hot chocolate, frothed and steamed to 130 degrees. When his friend tried it, he said, “That’s the best hot chocolate I ever had!”.

My son replied, “You can thank Kijiji for that!”

Kathryn works in public relations and training for a non profit. In her off hours, she volunteers as a financial coach helping ordinary Canadians with the basics of money management. Her passions include personal finance and adult education. Kathryn, along with her husband and two children live in Ontario.

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About the author: Kathryn has been a staff writer for MDJ since January 2009. During the day she works in an office. In her off hours, she volunteers as a financial coach helping ordinary Canadians with the basics of money management. Kathryn, along with her husband and two children live in Ontario.

{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Craig October 13, 2009, 9:56 am

    Hi Kathryn,

    Thanks from for writing this nice article about Kijiji. Great to hear that you’re finding the service we provide useful.

    Craig
    Kijiji Canada

  • Caitlin October 13, 2009, 10:06 am

    I love Kijiji! I’ve found some great deals on it, and I’ve used it to get rid of some items I no longer needed, but that someone else could certainly use!

    The only difference is that I don’t check Kijiji for free items – I go to Freecycle for those, since everything there is free. When I want to get rid of items for free, they go on Freecycle, because that’s more the go-to place for free items.

    Freecycle and Kijiji work well together.

  • PD October 13, 2009, 12:05 pm

    I have never tried to use Kijiji myself, but clearly there are many benefits. Recently I was talking with a single friend, and we agreed that as single people we have qualms about selling items and having strangers come over to see our home and see we are alone. Maybe I am being paranoid, but it is a real fear.

    I guess one way around this is to have a friend be at your home when you arrange a selling time. Not always convenient, though. I would also suggest taking someone with you if you are checking out a possible buy.

    Lastly, do not use your last name on the site. Another friend did that and a man who was desperate for ballet shoes for his daughter simply looked her up in the phone book and arrived at her house unannounced. It was completely innocent, but it did rattle her as to how easily she was located.

    I am all for people using an environmentally friendly system, just be safe and considerate in how you use it. One of these days I may get the courage to sell something.

  • Curtis October 13, 2009, 12:07 pm

    Oh wow. Yes there are many upsides to kijiji…but downsides are plenty too. Fake concert/sports tickets are everywhere. there is the danger of meeting someone in person as you don’t know who they really are, and the risk of buying a “lemon” due to fraud or lying-type behaviour.

    Article makes sense of the pros, but forgets the cons. Not a worthy read.

  • Dharma October 13, 2009, 12:30 pm

    Same experience for my family…sold an old fridge/stove combo one day and used the cash to buy a better than new trampoline for the kids the next day :) I’ve bought small appliances, furniture/ rugs and outdoor gear…cannot beat it! I never go alone to pick up and have a big burly son answer the door for takers :)

  • Sean October 13, 2009, 12:36 pm

    My wife & I buy & sell EVERYTHING on there!
    I currently have a “Kijiji Garage Sale” running. I set up a table in the garage with all the stuff for sale, then posted the items separately on kijiji. Then when people come to pick something up I up-sell them another item!
    I am using the proceeds to fund a motorcycle build.
    Today I am going to check out a new car for my expanding family
    S.

  • Elbyron October 13, 2009, 12:49 pm

    I’ve bought and sold dozens of items on Kijiji. I’ve given away stuff for free (and usually get tons of responses right away, unlike freecycle) but the biggest purchase I’ve made was over a half-million. Yep, I bought my house on Kijiji.

    After choosing a few neighborhoods for their location, safety, and age, I searched the “housing for sale” category for those neighborhoods, and found several houses that looked good. I ended up buying the most expensive one. Unlike most of the others, this house was not even being advertised anywhere else (he didn’t even have a sign out front). Of course, this was not the usual cash purchase, and GST wouldn’t apply anyway, but what really helped save money is that we didn’t involve any realtors. Well, the seller is really the one who saved the money but it was reflected in the selling price. A lawyer did all the work, which the seller paid for, and which cost a lot less than a realtor commission!

  • Kathryn October 13, 2009, 12:56 pm

    I admit that the espresso maker was the first ‘electronic’ item I’ve bought on Kijiji. I usually only buy stuff that I can see it’s quality. I’ve never bought tickets.

    PD: Good point on staying safe. I’ve submitted a post for next week on the tips for buying and selling online and included a section on safety with the same story of the ballet shoes! Clearly we know the same person.

    Elbryon: Great story. I’ve been looking on there for rentals in Toronto but I never thought about the pros for looking for a house online.

  • Ms Save Money October 13, 2009, 2:15 pm

    Awesome – thanks for the article – I never knew about Kijiji before – looks like a real good site to do some business one. :)

    Thanks!!!

  • Audrée Lapierre October 13, 2009, 2:19 pm

    i like it too. Crazy bargains on new stuff around first of july in Montreal!

  • mork October 13, 2009, 2:39 pm

    I’m a Kijiji addict as well. Unfortunately, since it has become a popular platform it is attracting tons of fraudulent activity now as well. it is to the point of annoying already and may eventually become unusable. Also to many commercial postings trying to take advantage of the community as well. Thigns are really bad in the automotive sections.

    Once upon a time I was an eBay addict and walked away from it years ago because find a genuine person selling a used item became nearly impossible due to all of the commercial/fraud/etc. Hopefully eBay has some lessons-learned they can apply to the growth of Kijiji.

    But deals to be found, absolutely. We’ve had almost instant success selling anything we’ve listed as well.

  • nobleea October 13, 2009, 2:42 pm

    i enjoy kijiji as well. i’ve bought and sold a lot of items off there (thousands of dollars worth of GCs, TVs, appliances, building materials, found a renter for my condo as well).

    Lots of no shows is the biggest downside, trying to agree on a time that’s convenient for both. There are a lot of fraudulent car ads ($5K for a 2 yr old BMW M3??) but I always alert kijiji, and they remove the ads.

    Through my experience, I would recommend that you don’t go and see anything without very good photos of it beforehand. Always try and negotiate the price (I’ve never paid the posted price). If you’re selling something, get them to call you before they show up and you can give your exact address then.

  • Canadian CC October 13, 2009, 2:56 pm

    Kijiji is also very practical to sell stuff!

    We recently sold most of our baby stuff (cribs, toys, clothes, etc.) on it.
    We were able to sell our items much faster than through a the classic garage sale!

    There are obvious cons from buying online from another individual. However, I have never ran into any troubles so far. I guess you just have to be careful while shopping!

  • Kathryn October 13, 2009, 2:56 pm

    I didn’t realize until this post all the fraudulent activity on there as I’ve only had positive experiences thus far.

    I’ve never bought anything off of e-bay. I just never trusted it. But when I can see the item and pay cash AND not pay for shipping, it seems like a great way to go.

    What else can we do to avoid fraudulent activity?

  • Elbyron October 13, 2009, 3:36 pm

    Anyone who is insisting on payment in advance (especially electronic payment) should immediately throw up some red flags. There’s recently been a few scammers selling hockey tickets at incredible prices, but they convince the victim to send the money with an email money transfer, and then are never heard from again.
    So, a good way to avoid fraud is to only pay using cash in person, and only once you know what you’re getting. For buying tickets, make sure to verify with the ticket issuer that they are valid and that the seller owns them.

    I also agree with nobleea that no-shows are a big problem on Kijiji. When selling something, I won’t hold it for somebody because they often will never come. So it’s first-comer gets the deal. Even then it can be frustrating when somebody appears to be interested and never follows up. I understand that people will often be looking at several options, but if you went to the trouble to express your interest to me, please be courteous enough to follow up and say you aren’t interested anymore!

  • Alex October 13, 2009, 3:53 pm

    Another service to sell/buy locally is Craigslist, which in my opinion has a cleaner interface and better search/filter capabilities.

  • O.H. October 13, 2009, 4:55 pm

    I love Kijiji. I was in the market for a DSLR camera and I told myself I would not spend any new money, only that from items I sold. With the help of donated items that I sold from my brother in law, I’d didn’t spend a dime and even had money left over! Overall very positive experiences.

    My only suggestion to those who are buying and selling, always pick a nice public place to meet (Tim Horton’s plaza, mall plaza by the front, etc..). I know this may not be feasible with larger items, but as for me, I still am not comfortable bringing strangers into my home.

  • O.H. October 13, 2009, 5:00 pm

    @Kathryn,
    even though my experiences are mostly positive, I did see fraudulent activity first hand. I’d say MOST is easy to spot.

    There are often out of town or even out of country, willing to pay a ridiculous amount for shipping and even overpay what the item is selling for. They often want to pay via money order.

    I just kindly reply and say, sorry I only meet in person and deal with cash. I’m sure they suck people in with phony money orders.

    Also, these requests are usually urgent and/or on behalf of another person (e.g., need for birthday gift right away, ship express, etc…)

    Another tip, if you think the person is not legit, copy the email and search Google or Kijiji forums. On every occasion, the text was recycled with different cities/countries so I knew it was fraud.

    Always meet in person!

  • Briefcases October 13, 2009, 6:16 pm

    I don’t really use kijiji, but I am a big fan of craigslist. I can find pretty much everything I need on there. Not only do I buy and sell stuff on there, but it’s also my first stop when looking for a new job.

  • Katherine October 13, 2009, 11:56 pm

    Do you realize that if you’re looking for something free or looking to give something away that there is also ReUseItnetwork (dot) org??

  • Canada Deals October 14, 2009, 12:27 am

    I know someone who sold something on kijiji and is now being sued. Make *sure* you do up a bill of sale.

  • Ben October 14, 2009, 5:32 am

    Katherine,

    I’ll take a look at your site as I find it somewhat ironic how difficult to simply give away valuable goods. I hate sending stuff to the landfill.

    FREECYCLE.ORG is a great website hosting trading communities by area. You have to jump through some technical hoops like get a yahoo account, but it’s definitely worth the fuss. I have been shocked over and over again what people are giving away….

  • matt anrey October 14, 2009, 7:34 am

    Through my experience, I would recommend that you don’t go and see anything without very good photos of it beforehand. Always try and negotiate the price (I’ve never paid the posted price). If you’re selling something, get them to call you before they show up and you can give your exact address then.

  • Stephen October 14, 2009, 10:09 am

    I use Kijiji a fair bit as well and have had mostly positive experiences. I used to be a huge Ebay user until it became mostly useless and too much of a hassle. My wife insists that I meet people in public places and if they have to come to our house that they aren’t allowed to see inside the place. She can be slightly paranoid about things, but I definitely think it is safer doing it that way in this case.

    I do have a funny story to illustrate that all kinds of people are interested in saving a buck on Kijiji. I had one guy call me interested in buying a microSD memory card from me. We agreed on a selling price of, I think, $20 and I asked him if he could meet me at Tim Horton’s. We actually had to coordinate a day/time about 2-3 times for our schedules to work so that proves he was really intent on getting this card from me. Finally, I asked him what kind of car he would be driving so I could spot him at Tim Horton’s. He responded with “I am driving an Audi TT”. That just about floored me because, for those who don’t know, it is pretty expensive sports car.

    It gets better though. I get there to Tim Horton’s and his car sticks out like a soar thumb as nobody else is driving nearly so nice a car. I walk up to his window and see both him and his wife inside. He had previously told me that they would be stopping to pick this up on the way out for dinner. Well let me tell you they were a very good looking couple and they were DRESSED UP. I swear he must have been wearing a tux and she was wearing a high end black dress with some pretty significant jewelery. I almost laughed out loud right there on the spot but I restrained myself! I was wearing my bum around the house type clothes, nothing fancy at all. Anyway, turns out the card was for his wife, he pops it in her phone, tries it out, gives me the $20, and then they drive away.

    So there you have it, even really rich people will take time out of their busy schedule to buy something off of Kijiji that they probably could have picked up new on sale for the same price at Futureshop. I’m still amazed … but honestly glad to see it. That was my most amusing transaction to date.

  • TC October 14, 2009, 11:01 am

    Interesting article in one of todays media reports

    Woman Victim of Apparent Apartment Scam: RCMP

    “A woman from Musgrave Harbour has been bilked out of more than a thousand dollars after an alleged apartment. RCMP say she found an apartment for rent on kijiji.ca, a classified listings website, which showed an apartment on King’s Bridge Road in St. John’s with photographs and contact information. The owner told the woman he was living in the United Kingdom working and was renting it out. Police say she sent him $1,150 through Western Union and would send her the keys in the mail. The keys didn’t show up and when contacted he agreed to send back the money, but would need her full name, address and phone number. The woman gave him the information but to date hasn’t received her money back or the keys to the apartment. RCMP are reminding the public to be cautious when engaging in these types of transactions over the internet.

  • Elbyron October 14, 2009, 1:52 pm

    Since craigslist has been mentioned here a few times, I’d like to share my thoughts on how it compares to Kijiji.
    Though some people (such as dial-up users) like the simplicity of the craigslist design, to me it just looks bland and unprofessional. With knowledge of HTML, you can format your ads, but Kijiji makes it so much easier with their feature-rich ad editor. A huge disadvantage to craigslist is that you cannot delete your ads, which means the item may already be sold and duplicates will often get posted. Another missing feature is having thumbnails displayed with the listings. And your listing only lasts for 45 days, wheras it will stay for 90 on Kijiji. But craigslist does have one nice thing: no sponsored ads. It’s not hard to skip over them in Kijiji, but it’s still annoying. Also, using Flash technology makes Kijiji unfriendly for browsing on cell phones and slow for dial-up users. Kijiji also censors certain words like “shipping” and “courier” because it’s meant for local ads and they want you to use eBay to sell globally. Some people hate this, but I actually think it’s a good idea to keep the site focused on local transactions.

    The most important aspect of a classifieds service is popularity. Sellers want to post ads where they will be seen by lots of people, and buyers want to search where there are lots of ads. In my city, craigslist gets a few hundred postings per day, but Kijiji often numbers in the thousands. So whether I’m buying or selling, I will always try Kijiji first, and only use craigslist as a last resort.
    I should also mention the Bargian Finder (buysell.com)? Though they’ve given up charging fees for posting regular ads, they’re a bit too late in entering the free classifieds market. It’s unlikely they’ll ever become as popular as Kijiji.

  • Kathryn October 14, 2009, 2:59 pm

    There are some great stories! Someone should compile a list of them and write a book Craigslist or Kijiji stories. There are both funny and scary stories out there.

    Thanks Elbryon for your reply about which one you like over the other. I agree with you. Although we use both, I find Kijiji more attractive and easier to sort through with the thumbnail photos. I also find more things available on Kijiji – or at least the kind of things I’m looking for.

    However, I also understand this to be a regional thing. In some areas, Craigslist is far more popular. For it to be REALLY great, perhaps one company should buy out the other and bring the best of both worlds together.

    It really is intended for local use only. People shouldn’t be shipping things or sending money anywhere!

  • Sampson October 14, 2009, 7:48 pm

    Kijiji is king in Calgary.

    I’ve used both sites for buying and selling, and for listing my rental property. In Calgary, the number of hits from Kijiji are probably 5-10X higher than Craigslist.

    Some pointers I have for first time users.

    Sellers – take the absolute best pictures possible – many people are persuaded easily, you’ll get more hits, and a higher selling price. Make sure you do research into the market value of your item. Compare with ebay, or any retail store that sells new/used goods.
    ALSO – don’t raise the price after you’ve accepted someone’s offer and realized its market value is higher – this is not cool.

    Buyers – negotiate price, unless you really want the item, let it sit for a day or two, you’ll get a sense of how much interest there is for the item, then strike when you think the seller is willing to soften their stance.

    For everyone – meet in public places. Timmies has become my favorite meeting spot. Enjoy a yummy double-double while giving yourself/them a chance to look over the item. Safe spot and no need to give people your address.

  • Jimmy N October 16, 2009, 8:12 am

    I also like Kijiji because it allows you to receive alerts in your email inbox whenever something that you wants to buy get posted.

  • PtheG October 16, 2009, 11:00 am

    I stumbled upon this blog via the G&M, and I too am a huge Kijiji fan.

    I’m still an active eBay user, but I’ve had plenty of success selling larger items locally through Kijiji. Mattresses, change tables and other baby accessories are just a few of the items I’ve sold.

    And I’m always surprised by how quickly I get a potential buyer.

    Really an underestimated, under-utilized resource.

  • Lorrie Chow October 16, 2009, 3:12 pm

    I’m in Calgary and find very much fewer scams and non-local ads on UsedCalgary.com than on Kijiji.

  • Ms Save Money October 16, 2009, 3:26 pm

    Blah – so I tried using Kijiji & it turns out I can’t use it because I put my address in a different city & even thought it’s close proximity they took it off.

    That was a bad experience.

  • Kathryn October 16, 2009, 5:46 pm

    Ms Save Money: That’s strange. I don’t understand. I never put my address in at all. I’ve never even registered. I just post ads and then when I get an e-mail I reply to the e-mail and then give them my address.

  • cannon_fodder October 19, 2009, 12:23 am

    I’ve used eBay, Craigslist and Kijiji. The worst thing about Kijiji is that it is harder to type. ;-)

    I’ve been spoofed on eBay (you win an item from a legitimate retailer than you receive an email asking you to send the money to someone else who is out of town) but never on Craigslist or Kijiji.

    I actually prefer Kijiji to Craigslist – it looks more professional and my wife and I have both bought and sold successfully on Kijiji.

    I also use redflagdeals.com to sell/buy goods. Go RFD!

  • You Suck At Kijiji November 11, 2009, 1:19 am

    I loooove Kijiji, too. Bought stuff, sold stuff. Sometimes a hassle, but well worth the effort.

    Some of the ads are too funny, though. So many reasons — bad ads, bad spelling, bad sellers, and so on.

    I’m blogging the worst of the bad kijiji ads at http://www.yousuckatkijiji.com and posting ’em on twitter, too, at @yousuckatkijiji …

    Snowflaking along the way on my maybe-less-than-a-million-dollar journey. :)

  • cashback cards December 23, 2009, 1:01 pm

    What is there not ot like about Kijiji!! This site is awesome and you can find some serious bargians with out sales tax and like you said even with a picture before you purchase the item. Plus the whole service is fee…where else are you going to be able to find something like this.

    I love this post….Excellent!

  • neo January 22, 2010, 6:49 pm

    i love kijiji.. but there’s a situation that i came across that i have an iphone 2g for sell and this guys.. he’s the lawyer.. want to buy it off me.. at first he ask me if it’s unlocked and then he want to see it.. so we meet up.. i told him that this phone is unlocked/jailbreak and nothing wrong with the phone.. the reason i’m selling it because i couldn’t get it to work on my telus network and i got this phone of some1 else too.. i gave him hard cases and pouches.. we made a deal and we took off… he call me back the next day saying that my phone that i sold for him’s not connecting to his bell network.. i have no idea why is that and he ask me again if this phone is jailbroken.. i told him yes..! now i just found out that bell and telus that upgrading their network to 3g so the first and second gen of iphone will not works… now he want his money back and trying to sued me.. lol can he actually do that..?

  • Charmaine December 1, 2015, 8:09 pm

    Hi Kathryn.. thanks for the post. I’d like to know how you made that hot chocolate your son enjoyed so much. :D

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