Author Archive

Tips for Savvy Garage and Yard Sale Shopping

If you’re a fan of shows like Storage Wars or Auction Hunters, you’ll understand the thrill of finding valuable treasure within heaps of what seem like useless goods and trash. Watching them sift through piles of old, sometimes unclassifiable junk only to uncover a rare collectible from the 70’s or a discontinued style of jeans that’s now worth a few hundred dollars makes us think of all the untapped potential that’s awaiting us in stranger’s homes in our own city or community.

Right now is prime garage or estate sale season! (For those who may not know, the simple difference between a garage sale and an estate sale is that an estate sale is where almost everything you see on the property is on sale, whereas a garage sale is more so a display of what the seller has decided to get rid of after carefully going through everything in the house.) As this season of garage and estate sales goes into full swing, here are ways to make sure you get the best deals and maybe even find your own Storage Wars-worthy treasure!

Tips on Getting the Most out of Garage Sales

1. Do your homework and get there early.

You may be out of school or enjoying a day off, but when it comes to scoring good deals at garage and estate sales, you have to be in the know and you should be there before everyone else. Sellers almost always go through media to advertise their sale, whether through Kijiji or through advertisements in the newspaper. People also post flyers on bulletin boards in local coffee shops and grocery stores. Once you’ve scouted out the sales you want to attend, you should get there early so you can beat out like-minded deal hunters and get first dibs on whatever it is you’re looking for.

2. Zero in on neighborhoods with the “vibe” you seek.

We’re told not to judge a book by its cover (and normally that’s good advice) but when it comes to garage and estate sales, this may be a tip you don’t have to follow to a T. While not 100% true all the time, the more upscale areas in your neighbourhood or city are probably more likely to have a larger amount of “high-end” treasure. Logically, this just makes sense. Now, this rule depends a lot on what it is you’re looking for. If you’re on a specific hunt for furniture, valuable jewelry, or larger ticket items, you’ll want to go to areas that you think will have the type of look or style you’re going for. On the other hand, if you’re just up for an adventure to find what you can find, then you can loosen the reins a bit and explore all neighborhoods.

3. Don’t be shy.

A lot of us cringe at the idea of haggling because it just seems rude to try and negotiate prices down. However, what you should know is that most sellers (especially at garage and estate sales) will ticket items higher in anticipation of negotiations from customers, so really, you’re just fulfilling your duties. Just remember, keep your negotiations polite, try to make conversation with the seller, ask questions about the item and maybe even the history of it, and if you’re not happy with the final price, just walk away and continue your search elsewhere! Don’t underestimate the power of walking away- playing a little hard to get can sometimes motivate the seller if they’re really looking to get rid of the item.

4. Be thorough.

The art of skimming is not your friend at garage and estate sales. Get your hands dirty and really dig through bins, baskets, and piles. Then, if you haven’t found much from your first walk around, take a second walk and carefully go over the items on sale again. The first time you go through a garage or estate sale, your eyes are still processing what you’re seeing, so walking through a second time gives you the chance to take in new things you probably missed the first time.

5. Make life easier for everyone.

This tip is short and sweet, and while it may seem like common sense, it’s worth mentioning: BRING CASH. The reality is a lot of us have gotten used to just carrying plastic around but that’s not going to work at a garage or estate sale since the average household doesn’t have a debit or credit card machine set up for your convenience. (Don’t forget, estate sales generally have higher-priced items, and while SOME may be set up to take credit card, it’s better to work under the assumption that they don’t, so bring cash accordingly.)

Ready to start treasure hunting? Find garage, yard, and estate sales all over Canada on Kijiji!

Categories:Community, Kijiji Tips

Funny Ad Hall of Fame

A well written classified ad can make you see a product in a new light. After the snow blower ad that garnered national attention in 2011, we’ve seen tonnes of hilarious attempts to sell items. We post many of them on the official Kijiji Canada Facebook page as we find them. Here are just a few of our favorite funny ads from the past few years.

funny-PBJ

funny-treadmill

funny-nailer

funny-bieber-fever

funny_used_big_mac

funny_trailer

funny_time_travel

funny_sask

funny_roll_up

funny_ring_enchanted

funny_fartcan

funny_dumpster

funny_dragon_slayer

funny_boyfriendboat

funny_ashtray_car

funny_ark

funny_ants

funny_maple_moose

funny_garbadge

What was your all time favorite Kijiji ad? Let us know in the comments!

Categories:Hall of Fame

Popping The Question? Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy an Engagement Ring

As if finding “The One” wasn’t hard enough, finding THE ring for “The One” can be an even more stressful and confusing ordeal. The thing is, it shouldn’t be! The whole process should be exciting and teach you new things as well as open up the doors to a whole new chapter in your life. To get you prepped and looking forward to the ring finding process, here are 4 areas to take into consideration before you really jump into the search.

Popping the Question? What you need to know before buying a ring

1. The 4 C’s

Jewelers throw around the 4 C’s as if everyone in the world should know what they are, when in truth, most of us who haven’t needed to go diamond shopping before have no idea what a single C is or what the C means.

Without going into every intricate detail, the short version is this: The 4 C’s stand for Carat (the unit in which the weight of the diamond is measured), Clarity (how flawless or devoid of scratches and imperfections the diamond is), Colour (exactly what it sounds like), and Cut (the width and height, as well as the symmetry of all the faces on the diamond).

Each C has its own grades and levels which affect it’s pricing. Obviously the larger the diamond, the more perfect the clarity, the clearer the colour, and the more intricate the cut, the more expensive the diamond is going to be.

When choosing a ring, your budget determines which C’s are your top priorities. For most of us who don’t have a money tree growing in our backyard, it’s helpful to figure out which C matters more to you. This is all based on personal preference as well as the taste of the person you’re buying for. Some people are willing to sacrifice on the size of the diamond if it means the clarity and colour of the diamond are higher whereas others believe size is more important since the naked eye can’t always see the imperfections of a diamond. Then there are those who feel like the cut is the most important since it can make even a smaller diamond seem more brilliant by the way it catches light and sparkles. Ultimately, it really is about personal preference.

2. The Alternatives

We’re raised to believe that THE ring has to be a diamond ring, but we live in an age where there are a lot of other options that are just as, if not more eye catching and beautiful than a diamond. Other than for the purposes of tradition or status, diamond alternatives can make the engagement ring truly unique (not to mention save you quite a bit of money.)

Here are just a few diamond alternatives that are growing in popularity and are definitely worth looking into as part of your options.

  • Moissanite: A lab-made stone that sparkles as well as any diamond and is almost as hard, making it quite durable and worth the money. It is significantly less expensive than a diamond. Where it lacks slightly for some is in colour. Moissanite tends to be less white than a diamond, but they are able to be made in a variety of colours.
  • Asha: Even less expensive than a Moissanite, this diamond alternative made from diamond carbon bonds is a step up from a cubic zirconia (probably the lowest end of the clear coloured diamond alternatives), but quality wise, it does lack in the durability and sparkle department.
  • Precious Stones (Sapphires, rubies, emeralds, topaz, amethyst): so much attention is given to diamonds that people forget about how gorgeous and outstanding precious stones can be, especially with a beautiful setting and maybe accent diamonds on the side if you really want there to be diamonds somewhere on the ring. They come in colours that diamonds just can’t replicate, and like the other diamond alternatives we’ve mentioned so far, you’ll be spending far less on a ring with a precious stone versus a classic diamond ring.

 

3. The Options

Just like the stone in THE ring, you have plenty of options when it comes to WHERE to get THE ring. People tend to run straight towards chain jewelry stores found at the nearby mall when they really should be exploring all their options in order to get the best deal.

  • Second-hand rings shouldn’t be overlooked! Although this option requires you to be very careful and to do your research extensively, getting an engagement ring second-hand from sellers on Kijiji can not only save you money, but get you one of a kind or antique rings that just aren’t found in stores.
  • Buying online is also another possible cost-effective option, however, just like with the second-hand ring option, the key to a successful online ring-purchasing experience is asking as many questions as you can, researching the right type of questions to ask, and checking out reviews as well as asking around for people who have used this method.

 

4. The Style

Last but not least, consider the style of the person you’re buying THE ring for. Ask their friends, snoop around their closets, take sneaky pictures of jewelry they already own and use all these clues to find out what type of ring they’re going to gravitate towards. Rings don’t just come in one style- there are modern rings, celebrity imitation rings, vintage-style rings, deco-rings with intricate designs, two-tone rings (mixing metals), or classic rings, to name just a few. Knowing the style of the ring you want is crucial because the way the stone is set, the designs on the band, and the overall look of the stone is based on the style. It’s not only about the stone in the center of the ring.

At the end of the day, The One is going to love whatever you pick because it came from you, but if you’re going to be shelling out a significant amount of money, you’re going to want to think about all your options and really do some thinking and researching before you choose your final ring.

Renting in a Landlord’s Market: Scoring a Great Apartment when Vacancies are Down

Low vacancy rates are great news if you are a landlord, but significantly less so if you find yourself searching for a new apartment. Finding a good apartment at a reasonable price is significantly more difficult when rental units have a low vacancy rate. Not only will the prices for accommodation be higher, but the competition between renters to land a choice apartment can get fierce. What do you need to do to land a great pad when vacancy rates are low?

Finding a Great Apartment When Vacancy Rates are Low

Be realistic. If you are moving out of your parents’ house, moving into a new city, or switching to a more central or expensive neighborhood, you may be in for a shock at the size of apartment your budget gets you, or the sticker price to live somewhere up to your current standard. Spend some time browsing apartments similar to what is within your budget on Kijiji before going to a showing so you have a good idea of what the market is like before you start going for showings – that way, you can identify a good deal when you come across one.

Separate wants from needs. Before seeing any apartments, figure out what you consider absolute must haves, and what you can live without. Is central air conditioning really a must have if you see a great unit that has good airflow? Do you need in unit laundry if there is a Laundromat in the building? Knowing what you will and will not compromise on before your search will help you make decisions on a tighter timeline.

Figure out the prices of all the things you think you need. Maybe you feel you need access to an underground parking spot, but have you looked into what the cost is for street parking in your city? How does the premium of having a reserved spot compare to a monthly parking pass in the area of the building? If parking is easy to come by in the blocks near your apartment, is it really worth shelling out the difference?

Be prepared to act. If you see a great place, assume landlords are telling the truth when they say they have a lot of interest. If you want to move in, be prepared to negotiate and lock down the agreement on the spot. Research what is standard in your province for documents required to sign a lease, and bring it with you to every showing. This may include a copy of your credit report, a letter of employment, bank statements or pay stubs, and the contact information of your current or past landlords. A reference letter from a prior landlord stating that you were a good tenant and paid on time may help you be more competitive as well.

Familiarize yourself with signs of rental fraud and local laws. Scams become more common when the competition for apartments is tight, because fraudsters know people are under pressure to lock down a good deal. Similarly, unscrupulous landlords may demand things that they have no right to, such as cash deposits before any binding agreement is signed. Be wary of any requests for cash or other similarly untraceable transactions. Stick to cheques, credit cards, certified cheques, and other traceable forms of payment, and never send money online for an apartment that you haven’t seen.

Tips for Traveling with Toddlers

Everyone wants to get away during the summer, but having wee ones in tow can make it significantly harder. What are some strategies to make the process of getting from point A to B more enjoyable when bringing toddlers along for the ride?

How to Travel with Toddlers

During Travel on a Plane: airports and airplanes can bring out bad behavior even in mature adults. For a toddler, it is even more confusing and overwhelming. Build anticipation beforehand by explaining air travel, pointing out planes, or giving them an airplane toy. Once in the airport, give them their own child sized suitcase to pull around to help get rid of some excess energy, and calmly explain in detail what is occurring during security checks. Make sure you have both familiar toys and activities and a new toy to distract them once on the plane. During takeoff and landing, explain the process to help them understand the strange new experience, which may reduce the chance of acting out, and remember to bring something to help with the ear pressure, like a lollipop or a sippy cup. If possible, book only nonstop flights, and try to time it so that their usual nap time occurs while in the sky. If you do have a stop over, use the opportunity to get them to run around as much as possible. If you aren’t bringing a car seat with you, find a car service in advance that will pick you up and drop you off that includes a car seat.

Taking a long Car Trip: plan games, stories, and activities in advance. If only one child is present, consider having an adult sit in the back with them if possible to distract them for at least part of the trip. Plan to make rest stops frequently, and if possible, time them to be in fun places, like a park or green space to run around in. Bring some outdoor toys to amuse them at rest stops, too – maybe a ball, skipping rope, or a frisbee. If you have an iPad or tablet, load it with plenty of kid-friendly apps beforehand that don’t require an internet connection to keep them occupied for longer drive times.

Sleeping Overnight in an Unfamiliar Environment: unfamiliar locations, especially after a long trip can be trying. If planning to stay with family or friends unfamiliar to your child, show them pictures and tell some stories about these individuals beforehand to get them used to the idea. If staying in a hotel, show them pictures of inside the rooms so that it will seem more familiar upon arrival. Try sticking to your usual routine for bedtime as much as possible, as will likely help ease the process (as well as give you more time for some grown up socializing).

What do you do to help ease the stress of travel on young kids? Let us know in the comments!

Categories:Holidays