How to Negotiate the Price of An Apartment



Finding an apartment is stressful, especially when the monthly prices for the units you check out comes above your budget! Thankfully, advertised rents are not set in stone – but that doesn’t mean it will be easy to get the rent lowered. How can you get the price lowered on an apartment that you have your heart set on?

Research the rental market. If it is a landlord’s market and there are hardly any vacancies, you might have to be more competitive to find a place in your chosen location, but it is always worth your while to research extensively on classified rental ads to see what the going rate is for similar units nearby. Don’t forget to chat with locals who rent, if possible, asking people in the building or living on the street you are interested in about their monthly rent is a great way to get a sense of what is standard.

Figure out how long the apartment has been on the market. Check the date the apartment was posted on Kijiji, and do some online searches to see if you can find evidence that it has been on the market for longer than that. If it has been over a month, the landlord might be getting worried about having an empty apartment, and may be more willing than usual to negotiate.

Know the landlord. If you are a current tenant who may or may not renew, this is an ideal situation for you – provided you have been a good tenant who they would be eager to keep. If you are looking for an apartment with a new landlord, try to get a feel for their personality, and see if you can figure out if they have many vacancies in their units. If they have a fair number of vacancies, they may be more willing to negotiate.

Pick your time. A landlord is more likely to be open to negotiations near the end of the month if you are moving into a new apartment, as the likelihood is higher that the unit will sit empty for a month. If you are a current tenant looking for an adjustment, make sure to leave enough time that you could actually find a new apartment you will be happy with if negotiations don’t go as planned.
Practise negotiating. Remember that you deserve the break on rent you are asking for. Don’t hesitate or show weakness, and negotiate for smaller items leading up to your planned discussion.

Sell yourself. If you are a new tenant, bring prior landlord and character references. Point out your great credit score (these tactics are less likely to work if you haven’t been good about paying your bills on time in the past). If you are an existing tenant, point out the fact that you take great care of the unit, are quiet, a non-smoker, or whatever it is you think sets you apart and makes you a good choice.

Pick the right number. Say you want a break of $100 on your rent – it might be a good idea to ask for a break of $200, that way your landlord can meet you in the middle and neither of you feel ripped off. Be careful about asking for a price that is too low, as insulting the landlord will end negotiations before they even start. Be reasonable and in line with market rates.

Don’t obsess over a dollar amount. You might be able to get the unit professionally cleaned and painted in your choice of colours, a free storage space or parking spot, or something else to sweeten the deal. Think of these as wins and recognize a concession when one is granted.

Be willing to give. Would you sign a 2 year lease if the landlord meets your price? In a negotiation, you have to be prepared to give as well as take.

Be respectful. If the landlord is not willing to negotiate, drop it or move on to the next apartment.

Consider a broker. Many brokers are paid by the landlords for finding their tenant for them, not by the tenant. If you don’t think you will be able to negotiate a deal, enlisting a professional might save you money.

Going Green: The Ecological Impact of Buying Used Tablets vs. New Tablets


Tablets Enter the Tech Market

Tablets, being the newest up-and-comer tech toys on the digital landscape (well, yes, they’ve been out awhile now, but compared to mobile phones and laptops…), have similarly become one of the newest gadgets piling on as an increasingly major contributor to e-waste. As new tablets (and updated versions of established models) continue to be released on a regular basis, their new and improved technologies make each successive generation more useable and desirable to consumers, so people are updating their gadgets and dumping their old ones at an accelerating pace.

Unlike laptops and desktop computers, it is not easy to add updated chips, more RAM, or other new components to upgrade your tablet to keep up with new technologies, so more and more people simply buy new tablets rather than updating an old one. Older generation tablets are being thrown out, adding to the girth of landfills.

So when buying a tablet, how can an environmentally-conscious consumer choose the option that will have the least ecological impact?

Tablets and the Impact on Electronic Waste

In 2010, an estimated 6 million tons of electronic waste were produced. That number is expected to grow to 25 million tons by 2025. Like many other electronic items, tablets are not easily recyclable, as they contain numerous components (such as toxic metals) that make them hazardous to the environment when stripped down or tossed into landfills.

One of the best ways for consumers to go green is by reducing the number of tablets that enter market. This can be done in two ways: first, they can purchase used tablets when possible, and second, they can shop for tablets smartly to extend the amount of time they use and keep the tablets they purchase.

Determining What You Need in a Tablet

One of the best ways to start on the path of an environmentally sound purchase is to consider how much you really need your tablet to do. A person who will use a tablet for just basic uses – e.g., internet access, email, and a few standard apps – can do so with a less-powerful model than those who require a higher-powered device with greater capacities for gaming, media, work applications, or other processor-straining functions.

When in doubt, go for less. The temptation typically is to buy more than one needs, which, while ego-satisfying, often ends up with a consumer buying a more expensive device with far more capability than they need. Plus, not only can you do yourself and the environment a favor by buying based on your true needs, but in many cases you can be eco-friendly (and wallet-friendly) by purchasing a used device.

Buying the Best Used Tablet

When buying a used device, there are things shoppers can keep in mind to make the most of their purchases. Remember that tablets have a tendency to become slower over time – a fact that has not been remedied with newer generations of tablet devices. For most buyers, the best option is to purchase a used device that is under two years old. Many sellers offer refurbished tablets that function just as well as brand new devices, so they can be a good option for those who don’t necessarily need the latest and greatest in tablet tech but want to ensure they receive a device with a lengthy lifespan.

Should I Buy a New Tablet?

For many buyers, there are plenty of reasons why purchasing a new device may be the most environmentally sound option. Those who require more functionality from their tablet may be better served by purchasing one that will last them for longer than a few months or a year, thus keeping it from adding to the stack in a landfill.

Another great option is the “phablet,” a mobile phone between the size of the typical tablet and a smartphone that can replace both items in terms of usability.

Recycling Old Tablets

By shopping smart, consumers can reduce their environmental impact while still enjoying the latest offerings technology has to offer. For example, by purchasing a used tablet that is only one or two generations old, a buyer can get all the advanced technology they need while keeping if from going to a landfill.

Another way to ensure a greener outcome is to sell your older devices when replacing them rather than throwing them away or banishing them to a closet. Additionally, there are plenty of recycling programs that refurbish electronic items like tablets, so finding and utilizing a local electronic recycling program can be a good option for green-conscious consumers.

Categories:Go Green!

The Perfect Laptop Makes Homework Simple


Choosing the right laptop for “homework”

Whether they are in kindergarten or university, students these days need more than a pencil and paper to do their homework. They need the latest gadgets to type essays, check in with class websites and forums, and do extensive research. Unfortunately, gadgets like computers can be expensive, but choosing a quality laptop that can see a student through their next few years of schooling can be a wise investment. So, how do you sort through the hundreds of laptops on the market to find the right one for homework?


Size, Durability, and Mobility

Laptops are meant to be portable, but not all laptops are the same size. The average laptop weighs between 1kg and 3.5kg, which may not seem like much, but 3.5 extra kilograms is a lot to carry when you are already carrying 10 kilograms of textbooks in your backpack. On the other hand, a small, thin laptop might be portable but a little too delicate for a younger student who accidentally bangs it on his or her desk regularly. Generally, something that falls somewhere in the middle is ideal for any age. If it falls within your budget, consider a laptop with a metal cover instead of plastic.


Battery Life

When you have a classroom with 25 students using 25 laptops, they cannot all plug them into the wall at once, so you may want to pick a laptop with a long battery life. One that lasts at least 6 hours, about the length of a school day, is ideal. A long battery life also helps students who need to do homework in a library or other quiet place where an electrical outlet may not be readily available.


Feel of the Keyboard and Touchpad

The student who will use the laptop needs to test the keyboard and touchpad before making a final decision. This is purely an individual choice. Note that younger students with small hands may have a hard time with certain laptops. Some may simply be too uncomfortable.



You may think young students do not need a laptop with much storage space. However, take into consideration that the students will ultimately use the computer for more than homework. They probably want to store photos, games, and music on the laptop unless it is strictly for schoolwork. Also, the homework may require extra software. At least 6GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive is recommended. Make sure the student has a backup storage drive available as well.



Finally, consider connectivity. While schools are becoming more and more technologically advanced, not all of them offer Wi-Fi throughout their classrooms just yet. Try to find a laptop with an ethernet connection option.

Categories:Back to School, Students

The Complete Guide to Buying a Hockey Helmet

Stay safe on the ice this season

Hockey poses some inherent risks for all who play it, and that is why safety equipment like padding and helmets is so important. Finding the right helmet can be a lifesaving move, so it makes sense to take the process seriously. Luckily, the task isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Shopping for a hockey helmet is a matter of determining the right size and fit for your needs. Whether buying a helmet for yourself or one of your kids, follow these steps to get the best protection for your head.



Hockey helmet sizes may vary by manufacturer, so a good first step in knowing the right size for your helmet is to measure your head and know how many centimeters it is in circumference. Get a flexible measuring tape – a cloth tape measure used for sewing is a good choice – and place the end that starts with the lowest numbers about 2.5 cm over your eyebrows on your forehead. Then wrap the other end of the tape around your head. The point where the wrapped end meets up with the low-number end will give you your head circumference measurement. Make sure the measuring tape is snug against your scalp as you measure, but don’t pull it so tight that it hurts. Make sure you get an accurate idea of what your head circumference is. If it’s too tight or too loose, this will affect the way your helmet fits. If possible, have someone help so you can be sure the tape is aligned evenly around your skull. If you are on your own, stand in front of a mirror to make sure the tape is properly in place. Write down your exact measurement and take it with you as you shop.


The helmet’s fit is one of the most important selection criteria you have during the shopping process. Even if your head circumference measurement says that a certain helmet size should work for you, this may not actually be the case, so make sure you try before you buy. One manufacturer’s helmet may not work well for your particular head shape, while another may fit perfectly. Try several different brands to see which one fits the best and feels the most comfortable.

Put the helmet on your head. It shouldn’t be too tight. If it feels uncomfortable, try the next size up or opt for a different brand. During a game, a helmet that is too large may slip around on your head, obscuring vision or failing to properly protect your head.

Fasten the chin strap when trying on the helmet. Adjust it so it doesn’t cut into your skin, make you feel choked, or impede your movement. The chin strap is an important element in keeping the helmet in place, and the helmet should not shift around as you turn your head. You want a snug, secure fit that feels comfortable. If the helmet has adjustable screws, loosen them all the way, put the helmet on your head, then tighten to get a proper fit. If the helmet doesn’t feel right or moves around no matter how much you adjust the screws and the chin strap, move on to a different model or brand.



Youth hockey players are required to have face protection attached to their helmets, and some adult players also opt for this added safety feature. The two main options for facial protection are plastic face shields, which are translucent, and wire cages, which have large enough holes to allow the player to see well. The fit of the face protection is very important, as a shield or cage that doesn’t fit properly can actually cause injury to the nose, mouth, or jaw if it is too small. Usually, hockey players are able to opt for facial protection that is the same size as their helmet, but some players’ face shapes require that their shield or cage be either smaller or larger than their helmet size.

Each mask type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Plastic shields are lighter and offer unobstructed vision, but can fog up as the player sweats and breathes. Wire cages do not have this problem, but they do tend to be heavier and the view is slightly hindered by the cage’s crossbars. Both types should be attached to the helmet securely by carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to attach any additional equipment that accompanies the facial protection piece. For example, a cage may have side clips that actually help stop the cage from collapsing into the player’s face in the event of facial impact with a puck, stick, or another player. If the helmet you are looking at doesn’t have these side clips, do some research to find out if they are needed.

hockey helmet

Brand and Certification

There are multiple sporting good brands that manufacture hockey helmets, and no one brand is necessarily better than another. Different brands may have different shape or size standards that work better for one individual than they do for another. More important than brand name is certification. All hockey helmets sold in Canada must be certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The certification sticker must appear on the helmet and may be prominent on the helmet’s packaging as well. This certification signifies that the helmet’s manufacturer adheres to safety and quality control standards endorsed by the CSA and is a way to ensure that you are getting the safest helmet possible.


Modern hockey helmets tend to have high-tech foam padding and lining on the interior. Dual-density vinyl nitrile (VN) and expanded polypropylene (EPP) are two examples of modern foam materials that are often seen on the interior of hockey helmets. Some brands have proprietary materials with high-tech names, but ultimately, is not necessarily better than another. It is all a matter of fit and comfort.

Think about fit, and don’t get taken in by marketing that tries to make one high-tech foam seem better than another. Pick a material that doesn’t have too much give and that fits snugly around your head. Foam that is too dense or too soft can lead to unsafe gapping between the helmet and the player’s skull. You do not want a loose helmet that moves around while you play. If the helmet shifts back even a couple inches, it could expose very sensitive parts of the skull making you more susceptible to a traumatic head injury.

New or Used?

If you are on a budget, it may be tempting to buy a used helmet. Certifications and warranties often become void when a helmet is resold, so double check with the manufacturer to find out its policy. When buying a used helmet, be very selective.

Do not buy a used helmet without first holding it in your hands and visually inspecting both the inside and the outside. If it is cracked or damaged in any way, do not buy it. Once a helmet is damaged, it can no longer be guaranteed to provide the proper protection and should be discarded. If in doubt, move on to the next option. Compromising your safety is not worth saving a few dollars. If, on the other hand, you find a used helmet that has only been worn once or twice and looks to be in almost new condition, it is worth consideration. With careful inspection and a proper fit, a used option can save you money and offer protection. The best advice is to use common sense while shopping for a used helmet and put safety first.

Categories:Community, Kijiji Tips

How to Purchase a Used Baby Car Seat

Consider safety first when buying a used baby car seat


Having a new baby can be expensive, even before the baby is born. You spend so much on clothing, diapers, toys, and other gear as you prepare for your little one’s arrival. Luckily, you can buy many of these items used from garage sales, thrift stores, friends with older children, and on websites like Kijiji. This is a smart way to save money. However, with some items, like car seats, there are things to keep in mind to ensure the gear is safe.

Crash History

When possible, ask about the history of the car seat. If it has ever been in a car crash or damaged in any way, it may not be safe for continued use. Most car seat manufacturers suggest throwing any seat involved in even a minor car accident away. If you buy the seat from a friend or relative, or even from someone selling it online or at a garage sale, you can ask about the history. But if you buy it from a thrift shop, there is usually no way to know about the usage history. If you see cracks or loose parts, these are good indicators of a previous accident, and a sign that you should pass on the seat.



Another important factor to consider is the age of the car seat. Manufacturers are always developing new technologies to make car seats safer and more reliable, so an older model may meet current safety standards. If the seller cannot guarantee the age, you may need to do a little extra research. In some cases, you can tell how old it is just by looking at it. Many companies put an imprint or sticker on their car seats, indicating the date it was made or the date after which you should no longer use it. Some companies even have hot lines you can call to ask about the age of a seat by providing specific model details. As a general rule, car seat manufacturers suggest no longer using a seat six years beyond the date of manufacture.


Before buying any car seat, new or used, you will want to make sure it has not been recalled. Transport Canada is a reliable source for public notices about seats with defective or dangerous parts. You can also contact the manufacturer of the car seat to see if it has been recalled at any point in its history.

Instruction Manuals

If possible, try and ask the owner if they have a user manual.  This is important for correct installation of the car seat and to ensure that all the parts you need are there.  If the original manual cannot be obtained, ensure that you can find one online or by calling the manufacturer.   For added security, there are many free clinics and paid professional car seat installation services that you can bring your car seat too.


Overall Condition

Finally, it only makes sense that you would not want to buy a car seat that is in poor condition. If it is missing parts, has broken parts, or looks worn, it is probably not going to keep your baby safe in your vehicle. It is best to buy a seat that comes with its original labels and instruction manuals so that you can familiarize yourself with the seat and how to use it. Remember, your child’s safety is the most important thing to consider when shopping for a car seat. If the condition of a seat makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, do not buy it no matter how great the deal is.


Do you have any other tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!