Be the renter: How to create a great rental ad!

Renting out a house or apartment can be a difficult process for rental professionals let alone the average Jane or Joe with an empty basement. Renting an apartment out is a great way to make a few bucks to pay down that hefty mortgage or supplement your income but sometimes it’s hard to find quality tenants.
How to Create a Great Rental Ad
First things first, you need to get the word out there and what better way than to create a free ad on Kijiji that could be seen by millions of people. Here are some tips to help you generate interest in your rental ad:

Pictures, photos, images!

A picture is worth a thousand… dollars per month? Whatever you want to call them it’s extremely important to have photos on your ads. Ads with photos on average attract 10 times the views as ads without any photos. Try to add a range of photos, preferably at least one for each room. Don’t be shy about adding exterior photos or even a picture of a nearby park, shopping plaza or school to add context.

Your description: Search terms

Be the renter. Think about what you might search that would lead you to this ad. Would you look for a certain neighbourhood? Would you search a particular amenity ie. hardwood floors, balcony? These are these key search terms should be included in your title or beginning of your description in order to attract potential renters.

Speak to the renter

Finding a new home is an emotional decision. You are dealing with real people, not just a building and a dollar sign so remember that when creating your ad. Tell them how much the previous tenants have enjoyed the family friendly neighbourhood or student community and perhaps offer some estimates about walking distances to amenities, bus routes, cycling trails and the like. Potential renters already know their budget and what amenities they are seeking so make sure to offer something more in your ads, it’s the emotional attachment to the property that can make the difference.

Local Heroes Inside Story: Dressed For Success After Losing 45lbs

As active members in their communities, Kijiji users help promote their local Second Hand Economy buying gently used items and giving them a new lease on life. In this week’s Local Heroes Inside Story, we travel to Alberta to visit with Lindsay Lark who shares her tale of challenging herself to lose weight for her health. Using Kijiji as a source of inspiration, she rebuilt her closet without breaking the bank.

Earlier this year, Lindsay decided that before she hit her 30th birthday, she wanted to lose 30lbs. With motivation at her side, Lindsay proceeded in her quest; her mood and self-confidence growing daily until she had hit the magic number. Considering her options, Lindsay felt that with a healthy BMI (body mass index) range in reach, she would continue her journey until she dropped a total of 45 astonishing pounds!

photo 2

Looking back her challenge now, Lindsay remarks how much it has meant to her. “I feel so fabulous that I cannot believe it. I’m wearing jeans now at age 30 that I wore in university at age 19. Everything is better when you feel better.”

Following her significant weight loss, Lindsay had to replace the majority of clothing – from essentials to more expensive items like winter coats. While it was great to be healthy again, it can result in financial hardship having to buy all new clothes, especially when living over 90 minutes away from the nearest major shopping centre.

As Lindsay explains, “I chose to buy from Kijiji instead of retail to save money. Every item I bought was in like-new condition…jackets, skirts, tank tops, shorts and shoes. My friends call me the ‘Kijiji Queen.’ I check my local site every day looking for new items. When I look around my home, more things have come from Kijiji than not!”

She adds, “I think it’s important to buy gently-used because you get more value for your money. I could purchase a new sweater from lululemon at retail prices, or instead buy a pair of jeans, new winter coat, and rain boots for the same price or Kijiji. It also helps the environment as some of the items would have ended up in the garbage.”

photo

Not only does Lindsay’s choice help her achieve her own goals, she’s helping contribute to her community and wasting less. On behalf of Kijiji and others supporting their local communities by buying used, we salute you and your achievements Lindsay! Know a Local Hero in your community? Submit their Local Hero story today!

Buying Second-Hand Designer Bags (and recognizing counterfeits)

Some things in life should be bought first-hand and brand new- most food products, eye glasses, underwear (to name a few.) But then there are many things that just make sense to buy used- especially if the value depreciates over time. Most of the luxury items we buy such as cars, watches and jewelry depreciate as soon as we take it out of the box or wrapping and begin using them.

Case in point: designer bags. We love them, we want them, we scour the Internet looking at celebrities using them, and every so often we’ll let ourselves browse through the designer’s website casually checking out the prices. However, the logic of paying thousands of dollars for a bag that begins to lose its worth as soon as you take it out for a spin seems odd.

Buying second hand a designer bag can be one of the easiest and smartest ways to have the bag you want without putting a serious dent in your bank account. As long as the previous owner has taken decent care of the bag, no one would be the wiser that your bag didn’t come from a store.

The only major con of buying a designer bag used, is the risk that you’re spending a chunk of change on something that could be potentially “fake”, or a knock-off of the original. We’ve all seen the tables or carts set up on the streets of many major North American cities with piles upon piles of “Chanel”, “Hermes”, and “Prada” designer bags lumped together being sold by someone yelling out “DESIGNER BAGS FOR SALE. Hey…are you looking for a Gucci bag?” That happens everyday (minus the tables and carts) online. Smart Kijiji shoppers know that when it comes to buying anything designer, it’s important to know the markers of a genuine item.

Avoiding Counterfeit Handbags

To help make sure you’re never duped into buying a designer bag that isn’t actually designer, here are a few tips on what to look for in a used bag and what to ask the seller before hanging over your hard-earned cash.

1. Look for the “Obvious” Clues First

  • Check for spelling! Knock-offs often will spell just one letter incorrectly and if you’re just skimming the hardware of the bag or the inside stitching, it’s very easy to miss.
  • Take a sniff! Designers use real leather. Real leather smells like leather. You shouldn’t smell glue, rubber, or any other synthetic materials no matter how “used” the bag is.
  • Take a close look! Genuine handbags have a consistent coloration throughout the bag, and if it’s a printed bag or one with a logo, they should be consistent throughout the bag. Also, the stitching on designer bags are almost always with real stitches, not glue or other adhesives. Don’t forget about the hardware! Genuine handbags use quality metal for their hardware so there shouldn’t be severe rusting or discoloration. Any sign of deep damage could be a big hint that the bag isn’t authentic.

2. Know Your Bag Inside and Out

  • Before you purchase the second-hand bag, go to an actual store that sells verified new handbags and take a look at the details. Don’t be afraid to get a little handsy and get a good feel of the leather, the weight of the bag, and the smoothness of the stitching and lining so you can compare it to the second-hand bag later on. Never buy a bag without seeing it in person first!

3. Be Realistic About Pricing

  • A true, genuine bag (even a second-hand designer bag) will be expensive. If someone is offering a Celine, or Birkin, or Chanel for a couple hundred dollars when the real bag retails for over a few thousand dollars, that’s a huge red flag. It may be tempting to seize a deal but in this case, the old adage “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” fits the situation.

4. Get the Proof

  • When buying from second-hand stores or sellers, it’s always safer to buy from someone who can offer you proof of purchase or has a card of authenticity that’s included with the bag when it was originally purchased.

Buying and “Celling” on Kijiji: How to Check if a Phone for sale is Lost or Stolen

Buying a used phone makes a lot of sense. Much like a new car, new phones depreciate quickly. The hottest new phone can only maintain the title of “most coveted telecommunications accessory” for so long before it is displaced by one even newer and shinier – which is exactly what makes them a great buy on classifieds. Whether you are the one always in hot pursuit of the newest phone (and find yourself constantly wanting to unload the flavor of last month to finance your new toy), or you want to score a great deal on a great phone by buying gently used, connecting with another local Canadian to make your money go farther just makes sense.

Many are concerned when buying a new phone that they might not be dealing with the rightful owner – a very legitimate concern, considering no one wants to be unknowingly funding illicit activities, or end up with an unusable phone.

Buying and Celling: How to check if a used phone is safe to buy

How to Check if an iPhone is Lost or Stolen.

Look at the lock screen.
If the iPhone offered for sale has been erased remotely or put into lost mode, it should show either that or that it is lost or stolen on the lock screen. If it says that on the lock screen, this is how you can verify that the phone is being sold by the rightful owner.

Ask the seller to reset the iPhone while you watch.
They can do this by going to Settings > General > Reset >Erase All Content and Settings. The process should take a few minutes in which the apple logo and a progress bar will be on the screen. If the seller refuses to do this, do not buy the phone! Claims that the password is forgotten or they are in too much of a rush are big red flags.

After they reset, go through the phone set up with them – make sure to select, the language, location, and network. After that, it will ask you to enter your apple ID and password (hopefully), which means you are safe to buy the iphone.

If there is not a prompt for you to enter an ID and password, and instead it asks for the previous owners ID and password, or a message that says that the phone was lost and erased, something is wrong. Ask the seller to enter the credentials. If they cannot get past this screen, you know that the phone was found or stolen.

What about other smart phones? How do I know if an Android, Blackberry, or Windows Phone is stolen?

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (or CWTA) has set up a page to check whether IMEI numbers belong to cells that are available for sale before you buy. Seller doesn’t know their IMEI? It is easy to find (and replicate to verify that they gave you the right number). Open the dialler and enter *#06#, which works on most major smart phones including BlackBerry, Android, iOS and Windows Phone, as well as many other cell phone brands.

As the list is populated by reports from carriers after their customers report phones lost or stolen, there can be a lag of up to 48 hours before an IMEI number appears on the list. If you are replying to a newly posted ad and meeting up same day, ask the seller for some verification that they bought this phone originally (or if it is an iPhone, just follow the steps above). If they can’t demonstrate that this is their phone, set a meeting time that will give enough time between the ad being posted and the CWTA list being updated to ensure your peace of mind.

To learn more about mobile phone theft and how to protect yourself, visit the GSMA website.

Local Heroes Inside Story: Back To School With Kijiji

As we head into September, the focus on back to school becomes a priority; whether it’s our kid’s first day of class, heading back to campus ourselves, or especially for the teachers who have spent the last few months tirelessly preparing lesson plans for the new semester.

At Kijiji, back to school has always been an important time for us as we help individuals get the supplies, furniture, services and resources they need to make the next year a successful one. To recognize these individuals, this week’s Inside Story celebrates not one – but three – Local Heroes who use Kijiji to make their trip back to class a community effort.

The first of our stories comes from Vivian Bang, a new college student in Toronto. In her Local Heroes submission, Vivian remarks how college students today have a lot on their mind while striving for academic achievement and making ends meet. As she tells us, “Being a college student, life isn’t easy. You have to balance school, grades, work, money, and have a social life! But the highlight of my day is Kijiji. Kijiji helps me find plenty of things that I love in my budget and far less than retail price. And on top of that, during my lengthy breaks at school, I sell many things that I own, so I can earn some cash as well.”

Our second submission for this week tells the story of a couple from Ottawa, who helped to make a single mom look like a hero in her son’s eyes. Last fall, Paulette and Don posted a computer to give away on the free listings section of the website. Shortly after, the couple received a call from a local single mother who was wondering if the computer was still available for her son. Replying yes, Paulette and Don received a visit following day from the woman and her son came to collect the PC, and were extremely thankful to receive it for the start of the school year! ‘Just in Time’ as they say.

Back to School

The final story for this week was submitted by Nicole from Toronto, who wanted to recognize her mother as a Local Hero. In her entry, Nicole explains how her mom is a school principal here in the city and uses Kijiji’s services not for furniture or supplies, but for the most important part of the classroom: the teachers. Nicole’s words describe it best, capturing how the best teachers are the ones who empower us to be unique and care about those around us in our communities. “[My mom] does not just look for how qualified a teacher is, but also looks for how unique and inspiring the teacher is for the students and school community. Kijiji helped her find teachers who are inspirational, and turned the students into a superhero themselves!”

Nicole, we couldn’t agree with her enough! Know a Local Hero in your community? Submit their Local Hero story today!