Kijiji and the Art of Selling

That title is very misleading. I will, in no way, teach you the correct way to sell on Kijiji or any other online pawn-shop. Instead I thought I’d share my experiences.

Simply put, Kijiji can be a huge pain in the ass. It may depend on your personality type but being the passive aggressive people pleaser that I am I don’t like haggling. I like going into a store and, know the cost of something, and pay for it. With online selling I know I’ll have to face back-and-forth offers until a price is agreed upon. Now I know, that’s the price you pay for selling stuff yourself and that’s not really the “bad” part. The bad part comes when they show up at your door, after you’ve already worked out the details (through email for me) and they begin haggling to your face. I’m sorry man, but we agreed on a price, that’s what your paying. In all fairness this doesn’t come up too often, but because it has, I’m always weary of it.

The last time this came up, and I really shouldn’t complain when I think about it, I was selling our old stove. One of the burners wasn’t working but it didn’t really bother us, rarely needing all four burners at once. But when the top element in the stove went we called a repair guy. $70 later we discovered that the element was fine but the circuit board had a fried transistor (or something, I’m not a repairman, it could have had a broken rubber band and I wouldn’t have known the difference). Long story short the part would’ve cost $300 plus $70 for the element and we’d already paid $70. Now if you’ve ever had anything repaired the warranty on the replacement parts is not always the longest, in this case probably 90-days. Screw It! I declared and we went out a bought a new stove for less than $500.

Then I had my old stove sitting in the kitchen. It was tucked away decently enough and I promised to sell it online. Due to my powers of procrastination this took longer to post than it should have (I’ll admit it here but don’t tell my wife). When I did post on Kijiji it took a couple of weeks to get a bite. “Bites” for me are when I get any inquiries about the product I posted. I had a few tire-kickers when eventually a guy looking for a cheap stove for his camp replied. I’d had it posted for $50 and he was coming to get it. When he arrived he offered $30. Screw YOU! I thought. You see I can be incredibly stubborn. All I wanted to do at this point was telling him to take a flying leap… but it was a pain in the ass having it in the kitchen and it was worth more to me out of the house than in. We settled on $35 which was still better than getting my buddies pick-up truck and paying $20 to drop it off a the dump.

Was it a bad experience? Not really. As I reread the above I want to tell myself to suck it up man, you got some money. But I greatly dislike setting your expectations you’re going to be getting X-amount of dollars and then being disappointed when you have to compromise. Maybe that’s it. Kijiji is compromise. You’d get a lot less from a pawn-shop, scrap metal place, ect than you do selling directly to a buyer. But you have to be prepared for the challenges of running a store. You have to be quick to reply to inquiries, available to show the product and answer any questions. Hmmm.. really it’s a small price when I reflect on it. And maybe that’s why i wanted to write this. Work out some of the pros and cons of Kijiji.

On a much more celebratory note I had great success recently trading  on Kijiji. That’s right, you can offer Trade/Swaps and often this will get some interesting bites. Recently I’d finished an excellent casual Nintendo 3DS game; Fantasy Life and decided I would post for trade in the hopes someone would offer something equally time-consuming and fun. And they did. I did an even swap for Monster Hunter 4 a game which would have cost me $40+tax at EB or a pawn shop cost me nothing.

I’ve even sold a classic NES cartridge for $30 recently. It’s difficult to move collector’s items on Kijiji because it’s really best used for local sales. And that’s why my next venture will be eBay. If I’m successful I’m going to start moving items throughout Canada (and maybe the states if i can figure out this shipping nonsense). If that works I’ll be cruising Flea Markets and garage sales this year for gems.

Thanks for reading (even if there was no real point to this essay at least I’m typing again, right?). Let me know your experience with selling on Kijiji in the comments.

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