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How We Earn Extra Money: Selling Stuff on Kijiji

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How We Earn Extra Money: Selling Stuff on Kijiji

I recently mentioned that we are saving up for a new vehicle despite having no extra room in our budget.   We have managed to save up about $3000 towards this by finding ways to earn extra income aside from our regular paycheques.  This is one of the ways we've been earning extra money! You can see the rest of the ways we earn extra money here

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a bit about the decluttering campaign that I began once I started my maternity leave.  I talked about selling all kinds of our 'junk' on Ebay and how we had sold all sorts of things from DVDs to USB sound cards to used cloth diapers using this method. I love Ebay because it gives me a great platform to sell small items and reach a large audience.  What do you do if you have a large item though? After all, it's not very practical to ship a piano across the country.

In situations like this, I turn to the one and only Kijiji! That's right- not Craigslist- Kijiji.  Kijiji (OK or Craigslist...) lets you target a local audience which gives you the option of delivering an item, having the item picked up or meeting the buyer somewhere. This year I've used Kijiji to sell my violin, a huge aquarium (that was given to us for free- yay for $75 profits!), tools and Guitar Hero accessories. 

I personally prefer to sell using Kijiji rather than Craigslist as I also prefer to buy using Kijiji. Kijiji has a much better interface that makes searching for items as a buyer much easier than Craigslist.  For this reason I only use Kijiji. (If I were in the States, I guess I'd just use Craigslist by default.)  I don't limit myself to one selling platform all the time though.  I often have items listed on both Kijiji and Ebay at the same time.  If it sells on one, I just remove the listing from the other.  This just requires a good memory or some thorough notes to remember what you have listed where.

There are a few reasons that make Kijiji one of my favourite selling platforms:
  •  I love that there are no fees associated and no shipping fees to be incurred.  If I list something for $20, I get to keep all $20 of it! 
  • Kijiji gives the buyer and seller the opportunity to barter.  Sometimes I wonder if I lose transactions on Ebay because the seller wants to pay $5 less than I have it listed for.  I might very well accept $5 less for it depending on how much interest I have in the item and how quickly I want it gone. I typically list items on Kijiji for more than I'm willing to accept because the buyers almost invariably barter. I expect this and keep an 'actual expected' price in mind to barter back with.
  • There is no waiting around for an auction to end with Kijiji- sales can happen very quickly! In the case of the Guitar Hero accessories, I got an email at 10pm on a Friday night asking if my items were still available. I made a quick reply that they were and the buyer asked if he could pick them up right away! It turned out that the buyers were having a Guitar Hero party and one of their guitars had just broken. They took the whole lot of accessories for exactly what I was asking for them even though they only needed the one guitar controller.  In general, most items that I sell on Kijiji sell within a week unless they are very specific items like the motorcycle seat I have pending pickup right now.
  • You can list services like piano lessons.  I have not done any advertising for piano lessons except through Kijiji. I currently have two students that found me on Kijiji and I've gotten several other calls from my ad as well.
The major drawback to Kijiji is that you have to interact with someone from the big, bad internet. I try to do this as safely as possible. I live on the corner of a busy street and I have a very visible front door and porch. It is admittedly not a nice neighbourhood so cops drive by on a regular basis. I always schedule pickups when my husband is home and complete them on my front porch or in my front foyer with the front door open. I usually try to schedule them during daylight hours (with the exception of the Guitar Hero lot which I felt a bit uneasy about but we had some friends over so there were a whole bunch of us around in case anything went wrong). This can all get a bit difficult if you work a lot. Depending on your job, it might work out to have a buyer meet you at work during your lunch break though.  Otherwise, you could arrange to meet someone in a public place as well.

 Overall, Kijiji (or Craigslist I suppose) is an amazing selling tool as long as you play it safe. I get the most money from items sold on Kijiji and it allows me to sell things that are just too difficult to sell on Ebay (like my husbands Silverwing that we sold off a couple of years ago).  In the end, I've also met some cool people this way! I felt so much better about selling my violin after meeting the cool person that it was going to live with and hearing about all of her other musical endeavours. Now hopefully the guy interested in the motorcycle seat I have for sale swings by soon- I'll take cash in my pocket over clutter in my basement anyday!

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