Over the last five years, I’ve become a bit of a Kijiji connoisseur. I’ve bought many, many things on Kijiji (everything from furniture to iPhones to crutches), but I’ve sold even more.
For the record, I am a huge fan of living with less. Things don’t stay in our house unless we use them, need them and love them. It sounds cut throat, but it doesn’t matter if something was a gift or if we paid good money for it – if it’s not serving a purpose now, that’s irrelevant. Items are only worth what you can get out of them. So I sell a lot of things on Kijiji. If you’re interested in the whole “living with less” idea, check out Project 333, Becoming Minimalist, Young House Love or The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Friends and family are often amazed by what I manage to sell, and what I can get for those items. They’re always asking how I do it – how I price things, what garners the most interest, and timing. So today, I’m sharing my best tips for selling things on Kijiji.
This is the table I bought off Kijiji as a temporary and inexpensive solution when we first moved into our house. Five years later, it’s still there – and I’ll definitely (eventually) sell it for at least what I bought it for.
1. Price higher than the value. When I say “value”, I mean value to you. If you think something is worth $40, and you’d be happy with getting that much for an item, price it at $50 or even $60 on Kijiji. Why? Well, it’s like anything else – people love a deal, and they love negotiating. So price the item higher, settle for $40 (or more), and make the buyer think they’re getting a great deal. This isn’t dishonest, it’s just smart – bear in mind items hold different value to different people. An item might be worth $40 to you, but $100 to someone else. Multiples of $20 are preferable too, since those are the most common bills.
Take this example – if you’re going for a job, and you want an $80,000 annual salary, you don’t ask for $80,000 – you ask for $85,000 or $90,000, knowing the employer will counter with a lower number. The same principle applies to Kijiji, and any type of negotiating.
2. Do your research. If you’re about to list an item on Kijiji, do a quick search for the same (or similar) item. What is everyone else selling it for? I did a lot of research when selling and buying iPhones (which I’ve done a few times now). If like-new iPhones are selling for $300, price yours accordingly.
Also, be aware of the current purchase price of your item, if it were new (what you paid for the item when you originally bought it). If you paid $800 for an item a year ago, but are selling it in like-new condition for only $400, tell your prospective buyers that. I find including the original purchase price in the Kijiji listing description is a good barometer for buyers, and again, makes them feel like they’re getting a deal.
I sold this Xbox 360 with ten games, two controllers and two guitars in just a couple hours one Saturday morning. I had dozens of inquiries within minutes of listing it.
3. Timing matters. People have jobs, right? So the best time to list items are Fridays and Saturday mornings, so they can plan to meet up to exchange the goods over the weekend. Also, hard-core scavengers spend their weekends going to yard sales, flea markets and estate sales. Kijiji is a gold mine for those types of people, so cater to their schedule. I find I sell items much more quickly if I list them on a Friday or Saturday, compared to a weekday.
4. Provide all necessary details. In the listing, make sure you answer all the questions someone might have about the item. What model is it? How old is it? What condition is it in? What are the dimensions (this is particularly important if you’re selling furniture)? This way, you give buyers all the information up front, and don’t waste time going back and forth over the little things.
5. Use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation. This might sound silly, but it makes a big difference. Personally, I am much more likely to trust and buy from someone if their Kijiji listing is well-written, clear and in proper English. It makes me feel like I’m dealing with someone professional and polished, who takes care of their things. Obviously that’s not always the case, but it’s a good idea to remember your Kijiji listing is a first impression, so put your best foot forward.
6. Always post a photo – a good photo. With smartphones and the Kijiji mobile app, there’s no excuse – you have to post a photo. I would never buy an item – or even commit to going to see it -without seeing a photo first. It’s best if it’s of the actual item you’re selling, rather than from a product website. If you can, post a few photos, especially for higher-ticket items like furniture. Make sure the lighting is good too, and the shot is in-focus, so people can clearly see what you’re selling.
Another example of a good listing.
7. Don’t sell anything worth less than $20. Your toaster, your broken lamp and your old computer keyboard all fall into this category. They’re not worth the effort to put them on Kijiji, because someone could go to a store and buy a new product for a comparable price. The best thing to do with these items is donate them. We regularly drop off clothes and household items at the Salvation Army, and it feels great.
I once – my My Other Half’s amazement – sold an old computer mouse on Kijiji for $10. I had to drive out of my way to do so, and after the transaction I caught myself wondering two things – first (and most obviously), why would someone scour Kijiji for a used computer mouse? And secondly, was taking the pictures, posting the ad and driving to meet the buyer really worth $10? I decided it was definitely not, and resolved to never list anything worth less than $20 ever again.
Here’s a good example of a polished listing. These people are clearly running a business using Kijiji, but you get the point.
8. Don’t have buyers come to your house when you’re home alone. Maybe this is more applicable to women, but I have a serious rule – if My Other Half isn’t home, I refuse to have buyers come to the house. If I can, I wait until he’s with me, but if not, I meet buyers at a Starbucks in daylight. I also never provide buyers with my phone number or address unless they really need it. If your number is in your email signature, take it out before you hit “send”. Nowadays, you can use the Kijiji messenger app, and never even disclose your email address. In my opinion, anonymity is important with Kijiji, particularly for safety.
9. If an item isn’t selling, re-post it at a lower price. Because old listings are less likely to be seen, don’t just change the price – delete the ad and start again, re-posting it on a Friday or Saturday morning. Changing the price is unlikely to help you, unless it’s a very specific item. If I don’t get enough interest (as in, people inquiring about an item), I often take the listing down completely and wait until a better day or season, and lower the price a bit. Or, sometimes you learn there isn’t any interest in your item, which is then a good time to donate it.
10. Be prepared to walk away. Many times I’ve gone to see an item, unsure whether or not I’ll actually buy it. Fact is, sometimes items are not as described. When buying, I always inspect items and see if they work before handing over cash. If the item isn’t to my satisfaction, I’m always ready to say, “thanks for your time, but I’m going to pass”. Buyers will sometimes use the wording “I’d like to come see it” rather than “I’ll take it”, which is a good practice before you’ve actually seen an item. If you’re honest when describing what you’re selling, though, it’s unlikely someone will walk away from your item (at least it’s never happened to me).
Good luck selling your things! I get a weird sense of satisfaction by selling stuff on Kijiji – if you’ve never tried it, give it a whirl and let me know how it goes.