If you use Kijiji or have ever utilized the second-hand economy—and we’re assuming you have because 82% of Canadians took part in some way last year alone—then you know the ‘Kijiji rush feeling’ well. It’s the excitement of having just found the exact item you were looking for at a great price or just having sold an item you no longer need to someone else who is excited to call their new purchase their own.
Oh yeah, you feel us. Kijiji is downright addictive.
This month, as we ease into the freshness of September, the Brazen editors are busy immersing themselves in the second-hand economy by taking part in a #KijijiFind Challenge. While Randi is all about selling her no longer needed items to make more space in her house (and earn a little extra cash, oh ya), Mara is buying furniture to redecorate a room in her home.
How’s it going for each of us? Here’s the play-by-play.
Seller Randi’s Kijiji Rush
As a new Kijiji user, I recently had my very first sale and I’ve gotta say, it felt damn good. Who knew that selling a clarinet could be so thrilling?
How it all started
Kijiji was always a mystery to me; I knew it as the online marketplace that everyone uses, because let’s face it, after donating, selling unwanted items in the second-hand economy is Canadians’ favourite way of passing on stuff they no longer need. But the obsessive pack rat that I am, I hadn’t tried it. Until now.
The first step was by far the least fun: cleaning out a room so packed with stuff that I could hardly squeeze through the door. But I braved the mess, spent the time required to separate everything into those classic ‘keep, sell, chuck’ piles, and ended up with a bunch of goodies that would be better off in another home—including clothing, furniture – two of the top traded categories in the second-hand economy – to an even barely used musical instrument that was basically buried treasure.
The next step was the tricky part: deciding on price tags. Hmmmmm…
For some items, I knew what I’d paid and what I’d be willing to part with them for. With others, I had to engage in a little online research on Kijiji to help me predict what they might be worth to someone else. I wanted to sit in that sweet spot between setting a price that buyers would find too good to pass up, while still feeling like I was making some good money for my honey pot.
What happened next
After I determined that the clarinet that was gathering dust could be bought for $250 new, I priced it at $125 (a total savings of 50%), and while I sat at the beauty salon with dye on my hair and brows, my phone blew up. Shocker, my clarinet was a hot commodity. And one smart mama named Wendy was savvier than the rest. Rather than sitting around waiting for me to respond through the Kijiji app, she took it upon herself to use the cell number I had posted. When I got her text, I texted back right away, and she told me her story.
Wendy is a single mom of 9-year-old twin girls, one of whom was in tears. Hannah needed the clarinet for school on Monday, and although last week, Wendy had secured a well-priced one through another Kiji ad, the seller had committed to her then sold it to someone else.
All it took was one text convo for me to be sure of Wendy’s intentions and to promise her the clarinet. We agreed to meet the next day in a safe, public area and agreed that a grocery store would be ideal.
I walked in carrying the clarinet in its case, straight to Wendy and Hannah, waiting at the checkout. We hugged when we met, and Hannah thanked me for saving the instrument just for her. Then she handed me the cash in exchange for the instrument, and we started chatting.
Unlike me, Wendy is a pro. She knows her way around Kijiji like nobody’s business. In fact, she not only buys on Kijiji but she also sells her items at the same time every year so that “her customers” (some of whom have become friends), can shop from her. They know she is honest and will give them good deals.
The Second-Hand Economy Index shows that Canadians made an average of $1,037 selling in the second-hand economy last year, and Wendy is right in there. Get this: over the years, she has made $20,000 from Kijiji alone. Talk about impressive. So being the Kijiji newbie I am, I hit her up for pointers (um, yeah!), and we promised to stay in touch.
I’m only a week into my Kijiji selling gig, but so far, I have made $125 on the instrument, $500 on a Burberry coat, and am in negotiations with a woman who wants my dining room set, which may net me around $8,000. Even more exciting, I’m having a blast free-falling into the future and letting go of that wound-up woman who holds onto the past.
I’m making friends, making money, and feeling that Kijiji rush. Wouldn’t you, if you got this note? Yep, I’m hooked.
What other adventures await me? Stay tuned to find out everything I learn about how to sell like a pro on Kijiji.
Buyer Mara’s Kijiji Rush
I’m no stranger to the magic of a #KijijiFind. After all, I furnished my main floor with some pretty amazing treasures a while back. There’s so much to choose from online. Last year alone, Canadians exchanged an average of 78 items in the second-hand market. And according to the Second Hand Economy Index, Canadians believe they’d have to pay more than four times for new furniture over used.
This time around, I was a little more strategic in my hunt. I was looking for some very specific pieces to turn my spare bedroom into a home office/guest room. While I had direction when decorating my living space and had faith that Kijiji would deliver the goods, I knew exactly what I wanted now: a small desk and chair that will give me a home base for work, plus some storage to keep all my bills, papers, and other detritus out of sight when I have visitors using the bedroom.
So did I score? You bet. How did I do it? All it took was a little patience and a head of garlic. Let me explain.
I started with a simple search for ‘desks‘. You’d be surprised how many other items will pop up too, and for the first few days, it took patience and a lot of wading through ads. I had faith even though nothing came up that caught my fancy. I was keeping my search area pretty local as I’m not good at measuring and I knew I would need to go see the items in person to know if they’d fit my space. So I trusted in the Kijiji gods that something would come up that would suit, and lo and behold, with persistence and creative searches, a few did.
For the first time, I made use of the ‘favourites’ feature. I pressed that little heart on several desks while I was scrolling, and then settled on three that were worth a message. The one I really dug came with a chair too, but needed a little refinishing. To my dismay, when I sent the seller a note, they replied that they had someone coming to see it and asked if they could message me if that connection fell through.
Why course, I replied. You know, Kijiji is just a little bit like online dating. If one match doesn’t work out, you just move on to the next.
Guess what happened? Just like the other times I’ve successfully landed treasures on Kijiji, I know that if it’s meant to be it’s yours, it is. The other suitor didn’t show and the desk was mine if I wanted it. For $75 bucks, if you can believe. If I bought a desk and chair new, I’d be in for $300 plus tax—at the very least, saving me around $225!
All I had to do was go have a look-see and make room in my truck for the desk. I spoke to the man on the phone and determined that it was safe to go by the house for a viewing. Once again, I got lucky. I met the nicest older couple who don’t believe in bank cards or the internet (I guess other than Kijiji) and who had a house full of antique treasures. Of course, I stayed longer than I needed to and had a look-see around their home. I couldn’t leave without this vintage phone ($35) whose provenance as an original from the Saskatchewan Board of Education made it extra interesting.
And Grandpa made sure I went home with one of his homegrown, fresh-from-the-garden heads of garlic (FREE!).
And here’s the desk, which was in their now-grown daughter’s bedroom and is as Marcia Brady as it gets. It’s going to be stunning once it’s given a paint job and new hardware.
I’m still searching for just the right storage or shelving. And figuring out how to refinish the desk for a more modern look (looking for ideas since I’m a bit of a DI-don’t. Please leave advice in the comments).
So stay tuned. Because the hunt for the perfect #KijijiFind is never over.