The Best Things to Sell to Make Cash for the Holidays

Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or something else entirely, gift giving holidays can get seriously expensive! There are plenty of ways to get creative with gifts, but what if all you want is some more cash in your pocket to check things off your shopping list? Well, we took a look at some of the most popular items on Kijiji in December (based on top searches from last year), and here are our top picks of things you might want to consider selling to make some money.

Country Wide

  • Snowblower. Doesn’t matter where you live, this is a popular item once the snow falls. If you have recently downsized, or just prefer shovelling the old fashioned way, now is a great time to sell a snowblower.
  • Snowmobile. If you have a snowmobile sitting unused, there are plenty who would love to take it off your hands before the holidays. Put your old ski-doo or polaris on Kijiji to simultaneously make someone else’s holiday season, as well as make some cash for your own!
  • Gaming systems. If you have a PS4, an Xbox 1, or even some vintage consoles collecting dust, December is the ideal time to advertise them.
  • Skis, snowboards, or other winter sports gear. If you don’t plan on using them this winter, make some cash by selling them to someone who will.
  • Lego and other timeless toys. Has your child outgrown or lost interest in them? Sell them now to make room for the new.
  • Jewellery and watches. Always popular gifts, so if you are thinking of unloading some, before the holidays is an ideal time.
  • Technology. Any item that would be a good gift and is current technology won’t last long at a good price leading up to the holidays. Consider ipods, headphones, tablets, phones, laptops, desktops, and any other electronics you aren’t using.
  • Musical instruments. These are often popular gifts for older children or teens. If you have entry level guitars or string instruments, woodwinds, or brass instruments which you have since upgraded, or some old instruments not getting the play they deserve, consider selling them now. Guitars are especially popular this time of year.

Regional: Maritimes

  • A wood burning stove. If you have an extra or an old one, sell it now, while they are being actively sought out.
  • Firewood. Have extra wood? December is a great time to sell.

Regional: Prairies

  • Ice fishing gear. If you haven’t put it to use in a while, sell now, don’t wait until summer!
  • Mukluks. Sell them while people are still looking for new cold weather gear!

From Calgary to Monaco: The Owen Hart Foundation Leads to The Award of a Lifetime

Landing your dream job isn’t always a walk in the park. It takes talent, determination, and above all – a little bit of luck to make the stars align. However, it also means that sometimes you need to put yourself out there for the world to see. Which is exactly what happened to this week’s Local Hero when he found himself with the gig of a lifetime that started with a Kijiji ad for photography and video services.

Last February, 18 year-old Calgarian Wes Beiko was just an ordinary young man looking for a job. Just having finished up high school at the time, Wes wanted to cut his teeth as a videographer and decided that to build up his skills and demo reel, he would need to get some real world experience in his craft. Wes is a firm believer that if you are passionate about something, you will work even harder to succeed; which is why he decided to step outside his comfort zone and post an ad on Kijiji to take this next step.

A few months later in June, Wes was contacted by a local production company putting together a biographical documentary. Eager to explore the medium, Wes agreed – quickly to learn is was none other than for hometown sports hero, and world champion wrestler Owen Hart, and his legacy as a foundation spearheaded by his wife, Dr. Martha Hart. As Wes recalls it, “my initial thoughts were ones of surrealism. The first day I walked up to Martha Hart’s house it was a moment of pure bliss, one of I finally made it, I finally found what I wanted to do with my life and this is an experience of a lifetime.”

Growing up, Hart was a household name to Wes. His father would tell him stories about the famous Harts and their early stampede wrestling which would inevitably lead to taking on the WWF. Marta, Owen’s widow and his children, Oje and Athlena, welcome Owen and his team with open arms. Then the work began to create a tribute to a man that inspired Canadians coast-to-coast that even a man from the prairies could make it in the big leagues.

Later in the summer as the film came to completion, Dr. Hart and James (Sinclair, the director) decided at the last moment that would attempt to submit the film for consideration in the film festival circuit. With TIFF and Tribeca long-past their dates, the next major contender was the International Film Festival in Monaco in December. While the team realized their independent film was up against many other Canadian heavyweights, some with much larger studios backing them – Wes and his team felt their story, Martha’s profound and inspiring story, could give them a shot.

This fall their hard work paid off, when they found out that The Owen Hart Foundation: A Look Back was chosen as one of 17 films to be screened– and was selected to open the festival last week in Monte Carlo.  Wes was overwhelmed with joy.

For a film that accentuates the work of a foundation whose role is to support those with limited resources tap their unlimited potential, it’s a to see something similar has happened to a young filmmaker with talent who just needed the right moment to find his star.

The hard work and dedication didn’t stop there. On December 5, the Owen Hart story took home four awards from the festival, including Best Short Documentary; Best Short Documentary Director; The Humanitarian Angel Film Awards; and for Wes, the Best Film Editing Short Documentary.

Wes (left) with Martha Hart and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Wes (left) with Martha Hart and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Wes took a chance by posting his ad, and now – less than a year later – is planning his next steps with the confidence he gained from this opportunity. With first award in pocket, Wes feels like he is truly living the dream and is excited for tackling his next film.

Congratulations and best of luck!

Know a Local Hero in your community? Submit their Local Hero story today!

How to Save Serious Money Over the Holiday Season

What is the best way to save serious money over the holiday shopping season? Easy – don’t buy into the idea that you need to spend serious money over the holidays.

Year after year, shoppers still experience some shock when they walk into a store in the fall and whole sections of the store have already been transformed with Hanukkah and Christmas displays.

All this reminds us that maybe it’s time to take back the power. Retailers keep churning out the same merchandise with just little tweaks knowing we as consumers are going to get caught up in the glitter and glitz and buy everything up. Spending your hard-earned money every single year on goods you don’t really need or already have isn’t just a burden on your wallet though- it has some major social and environmental consequences too.

Maybe this is the year to turn it all around and reduce your carbon footprint just a little while showing big corporations (as well as everyone around you) that you can’t be tricked that easily. The holidays can be just as enjoyable (if not more so) without having to line up outside of stores at 6am for Black Friday sales or being pushed and shoved in a stuffy, crowded mall desperately searching for a last minute gift.

Saving Money Over the Holiday Season
Have “The (Gifting) Talk”

Making the choice to not buy a brand new present for everyone in your family or all your friends can present some awkward scenarios. Specifically, what happens if you don’t buy anything for anyone and yet everyone buys something for you? As much as people say Christmas isn’t about the presents, chances are, someone is going to be a little bothered by this. To avoid any uncomfortable situations, just casually mention to the people you usually gift to that you’re going for an anti-consumption kind of holiday this year. Here’s where you can decide if you’re just not going to give any gifts at all, if you want to stick to buying thoughtful used items, or if you’re going to go the DIY gift route- either way, if this is the first holiday season you’re trying this out, just give everyone a heads up.

For parents, it can seem a little harsh to all of a sudden curtail or take the gifting aspect away from kids during the holiday season when all the other children are getting new toys, books, and clothes. To ease them into an anti-consumption way of life, tell the kids that starting this year, all the kids will get one new gift and the other presents will be homemade. Turn it into a challenge if it feels like there’s some resistance. Best handmade craft or present gets some special prize. The transition from the usual routine might seem a little odd at first but think of what a fantastic example you’re setting. One awkward holiday season is all it takes to send the message that you’re going to be doing things a little differently from now on.

Re-use, Re-gift, and Recycle

Don’t be afraid to re-use what still works! Put those glittery ornaments down. We know they look beautiful and shiny but you have a perfectly good set of ornaments at home already. You don’t need it. The same goes for brand new shiny wrapping paper, gift bags, cake trays, cookie tins, lawn ornaments, lights, etc. If you need them or your old ones are actually broken, then go for it- but if you feel yourself gravitating towards the new for the simple reason that they’re brand new, fight the urge. Another anti-consumption tip? Re-gift! That crystal dish you got last year that you never used? Go ahead and give it away. That blue wool scarf you never got around to wearing last winter? Pass it on! Re-gifting presents that you weren’t able to find a use for is not only eco-friendly and budget-friendly, it’s also pretty much a win-win for everyone. Even if the person you re-gift to can’t find a use for the item, they now have something they can use as a gift rather than having to purchase a new present. Last tip: Don’t underestimate the value of recycling. Buying something second-hand doesn’t have to be tacky or cheap if you find something that is sentimental and has meaning to the person you’re buying for. A quick search on Kijiji can reveal thousands of amazing gently used items whether you’re looking to buy a musical instrument for your child, a rare box-set of an old TV show, a vintage piece of furniture- the possibilities are endless. Purchasing a gift second-hand takes time and patience, but at the end of the day, it’s totally worth it when you think about the good you’re doing.

Pot-Luck Instead of DIY

The holidays can be a scary time for your waistline and even scarier for those brave souls who volunteer to host the many dinners that happen during this season. Even though some of us have this vision of serving an epic feast single-handedly and being dubbed the Martha Stewart among family and friends, the reality of this vision is that it takes a lot of time, money, and energy. Save yourself the stress and shopping by spreading out the duties. Pot-lucks are incredibly fun as long as it’s planned properly. Assign rather than let people choose what to bring – sounds kind of bossy, we know, but even if you just assign them a type of food, it’ll limit your chances of having 10 people show up with pies.

Prepping for House Guests

Between the work of getting ready for the holidays, and the labour of cleaning your home until it meets the exacting standards you assume guests have for dust, it can be easy to forget to attend to the details. Here is our checklist to make it easy!

Stock the bathroom. Make sure you have extra, and accessible toilet paper, feminine products, and anything else your guests might need but be embarrassed to ask for. Put some shampoo and soap in the shower, have some available toothpaste, and make clear which towels are theirs by putting some clean ones by their bed or in the guest bathroom.

Clear space in the closet or a chest of drawers. Make sure that your guests have a place to unpack their clothing, and some hangers to keep their clothes looking good over their trip. Make sure there is space for heavy jackets, suits, and a place where they can primp in private, preferably a full length mirror near the guest space. If you don’t have a lot of space, at the very least, has a space where they can put their suitcase and if possible, provide a suitcase stand.

Set up a primer or FAQ. Leave out some paper with your wifi password, any explanation needed for operating the television or blu ray player, and some ideas for interesting nearby destinations or day trips. If they will be using public transit, include instructions and some tokens to get started.

Stock the fridge. Make sure you check on any allergies or dietary restrictions and have some appropriate food and drink options ready for them. If you have pets, include any need to know information (don’t let the cat out) on your list.

Make up & test the guest bed. If you are using an air mattress, make sure it isn’t leaking. If a regular bed, make sure the amount of blankets are appropriate for the season and there are ample pillow options for different sleep preferences.

Make a spare key. You’ll be glad you did when they aren’t ringing your doorbell every time they arrive.

What is Modern Day Recruiting?

If you are looking for a job, or even if you aren’t, chances are you will encounter recruiters at some point. You may have received some unsolicited LinkedIn messages, and wonder what exactly it is that they do, and why they are contacting you in the first place. How is dealing with a recruiter different from a hiring manager when starting out on a new job?

A modern recruiter likely does not fit the stereotypes of a HR professional you may have. A recruiter makes it their business to understand trends and changes in the work force, and is often very outspoken. Recruiting was once considered a process, but for many, it has become a lifestyle. A good recruiter is always expanding their network, looking for new talent, and having conversations.

As recruiters will often have resume screeners to do the sifting through papers, their role has shifted to something akin to a sales consultant or brand ambassador for a company as a whole. They tend to spend very little time reading a resume, focusing instead on speaking with candidates to determine if they are a good cultural fit for the organization. Conversations are a key tool recruiters use to judge candidates and those within the organization for new roles. Showing a genuine interest in the business, understanding the vision of a company, and being a brand ambassador are ways to stand out as a great candidate when dealing with a recruiter. While they are looking to fill a role, they are also seeking to find someone who will grow with the business. Recruiters help shape public opinion at a grassroots level when talking to candidates and expanding their networks; they deliver a message about the company while selling a role and making an organization look attractive to outside talent.

Recruiters have to have a strong understanding of the business they work for so they can collect research for internal hiring managers. Part of their job entails being able to see if a candidate would be a better fit for anther department. If you deal with a recruiter when looking for a job, and feel good about the conversation but don’t make it past the hiring managers, the recruiter may keep you in mind for other job openings in the future. Relationship building is key to what a recruiter does, so if you feel a great connection with a recruiter but don’t get the job that time, keep in touch on appropriate social networks. Engaging with the status updates they post is appropriate to keep yourself top of mind (but be careful not to come on too strong – they key is a subtle reminder, not to have your name popping up on their notifications like clockwork). Being sociable and expanding their network are part of the job, so having accessible social media is par for the course for recruiters, but, understand which networks are appropriate for networking (Twitter and LinkedIn are generally expected, Facebook is not appropriate for many).

Do you want to be a recruiter? Our recruitment specialist tells us to screen resumes quickly, checking mainly for skills and red flags. Follow up with quick, standardized emails asking for a 15 minute chat with everyone who makes the cut. Think of 2-3 questions that would help you understand whether or not they could do the job, and benchmark in a high volume way. A conversation can tell you much more than a standard interview, so when screening, email everyone, and look at personality fits; checking off requirement boxes may lead you to overlook some great candiates.

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