The rise of the internet era has made selling your used stuff a lot easier. Gone are the days of piling up a bunch of junk (albeit, someone else’s supposed treasure) in your garage or basement for your yearly one day yard sale. There are now websites that are dedicated to selling your used goods, which will keep your house junk free and give you the potential on huge savings.
Now that you don’t have to scan the local papers and put hundreds of kilometres on your vehicles going to yard sales every weekend, there is huge potential to save money when you’re in the need of something new (new to you anyway). When I find myself in need of something, my first line of defense is always look for used items first. A lot of times you will get luck and find what you’re looking for.
Below I’ll go over some of the different ways to search for used goods:
Kijiji – It’s owned by EBay and the most popular choice in Canada. Kijiji is very similar to Craigslist, which is very popular in the US, but never gain the same level of popularity in Canada. Anyone you talk to in Canada will turn to Kijiji first. Their categories cover everything you could possibly want.
From a personal standpoint, I was recently in the need of a new unit to store my A/V electronics for my surround sound system. I found a really cool unit with pull out shelves and file drawers for $50. It’s in excellent shape and most likely would have cost well over $200 new. The image at the top of this page is that particular unit. I was also in search of a tonneau cover for my new Ford F150. The one I wanted sells for $1400 new, and I didn’t want to cheap out on another style because I find the rest very ugly. I set up a search alert for any new listings for the search term ‘2016 Ford F150’ in my area. I was notified weekly of any new listings that fit that description. Within a couple of weeks the exact cover I wanted popped up for only $700 that was 3 months used. I quickly contacted the guy and scooped it up. A few of the other items I’ve bought include 2 cars (and I’ve sold 3 on Kijiji), a hot tub, bar stools, tools, lawnmower, and various electronics. It’s also the source I use to fill all my rentals.
EBay – Anything small that I need I will usually try EBay after Kijiji. The reason I tend to stick with smaller items is that 95% of the time the items are not local and will require shipping. I’m not saying I haven’t bought anything big off eBay, but you have to pay particular attention to shipping and import charges. If after adding those charges to the price of the item it’s still a good deal I will pull the trigger.
I tend to buy a lot of clothes on eBay. It’s definitely a gamble considering you can’t try it on, but I’ve had about a 90% success rate with clothes. The best clothing item I bought was a 3-piece suit for $99. It fit perfect, and the only thing I had to do was get the pants shortened. I got a lot of compliments on that suit! I also buy a lot of car parts on eBay as I find there are pretty well zero companies in Canada that do aftermarket parts.
Facebook – This is a fairly new one over the past couple years. My area has a yard sale group where people can post items for sale. It’s really great. It’s similar to Kijiji in the sense that the items are local, but of course not the magnitude of Kijiji. It’s a pretty simple platform with no categories, so you need to be looking on a daily basis to make sure you don’t miss any new items….the good ones go very quick!
I’ve had a few really good deals because I just happened to be browsing at the right time. I got a barely used garage door opener with all the hardware for only $50! The people found it super loud so they wanted to get a quieter one. I really don’t find it that loud at all! I also got a Stanley rolling tool box for $40. The regular price on that item is $100, so I was thrilled about that. It makes moving my tools around so much easier.
So there you have 3 options for searching for used items before going new. Kijiji and eBay is a definite for everyone, and be sure to check Facebook for a local selling group in your area. My area alone has 4 of these groups, so there’s a good chance there’s one in your area as well.