Adventures in Kijiji-land

Where can you buy a piece of art for $3 and a bag of buttons? Or sell an ugly pink chair for $5 and a loaf of bread? Or trade your book for a toilet? Kijiji!

Those are just a couple examples of my local online transactions this summer. In fact, some have even called me the Kijiji Queen (or in less-nice times, the Kijiji Nut). Here are some things I’ve learned:

1. As at thrift stores, garage sales, and Walmart, there are ridiculous people on Kijiji. I had one woman who wanted to buy a $5 bookshelf from me. After a flurry of emails getting dimensions and bargaining down the price (which I did because she ran an animal rescue program) she had the gall to ask me to drive it all the way to the other side of town because she didn’t drive and her boyfriend was very busy. I still haven’t figured out how to vote people off the K-island, but she’s first on my list…

2. There are serious buyers and casual trollers. To show you’re serious, include your phone number, that you will come pick it up, and what you’re willing to pay. If you really want it, pay full price or offer more – in cash. That’s how I got a $1500+ value Jasper getaway package for $495. My competition was offering to trade a Brick’s gift card and some beer… but that won’t pay the expensive divorce lawyers!

3. There are people on Kijiji called Tiger, Candi, and worse. I’m not kidding.

4. You can start your art collection for $10 if you cruise the site regularly and are willing to drive half an hour.

5. If you’re like me and hate cigarette smoke, you should always ask if the item is coming from a smoke-free home. I have walked into places that had obviously been hot-boxed for years. But if the deal’s good enough and the items don’t hold the smell – like my bamboo room dividers and bar fride – then you may have to make a judgement call.

6. A coat of paint – whether low VOC latex or toxic spraypaint – can transform anything. Hence my $10 oak night stand turned printer stand; my $40 bed frame; and my $20 t.v. stand.

7. Use the map function and target the nicer neighbourhoods in your city. That’s where you get your discounted Pier 1 items because the domestic diva likes to shop a little too much. Or where you get a patio set because they only really use one of their balconies and don’t need their second set. Or where you get the great gift cards that were freebies at the last Porsche event.

8. Before you buy anything at Ikea check Kijiji. Chances are a student or young professional purchased that exact piece you wanted 8 months ago and needs to find it a new home.

9. I have found the best time to post items is around 10am on a Thursday. I don’t know why, but I suspect it has something to do with at-work cruisers who are winding down for the week and looking to pick things up over the weekend.

10. The best time to get good deals seems to be earlier in the day, earlier in the week. So grab your coffee Monday morning and get ready to peruse the new ads!

I’m still not sure if I should eat that loaf of bread Crazy Candi gave me in exchange for the chair, but I know that my house would be a lot more empty – as would my bank account – if it weren’t for my adventures in Kijiji-land!

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