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What is flagging? Why bother reporting ads?

“Flagging” is bringing an ad or reply to an ad to the attention of our customer service team. All ads on Kijiji have a link in the top right hand corner that enables you to “report ad”, which drops down to reveal the following options when reporting:

Scam/Prohibited: intended for ads which are fraudulent or that violate Kijiji posting rules. Ads which are clearly fraud (for instance, an English Bulldog puppy for less than $200) would be an example of when this is an appropriate flag choice. It will be clear to the moderators as soon as they review that this is not a legitimate ad. Drug paraphernalia or weapons is another example of an appropriate time for this report, as those are a clear violation of the rules. If it offends you personally or you had a bad dealing with the poster this is not an appropriate time to use this reason when flagging, as this will not be clear to the moderators.

Duplicate/Spam: intended to call attention to when an individual is spamming an item or service. Spam that is clearly based out of country (for instance, a drop ship service for a given item from China) or duplicate ads posted by the same user are examples of when to use this. This is not intended for ads that you don’t think should be on Kijiji, but that do not violate any rules on posted content.

No Longer Relevant: this is intended only for ads that have been sold, or that are advertising a service, item, or event that is no longer relevant, such as concert tickets to a concert that has already occurred. This option does not bring the ad to the attention of moderators, instead, it prompts the poster to remove the ad if it is no longer available.

Miscategorized: intended for ads that are in the wrong category or location, such as a dog being posted outside of the pets category, a car posted in buy and sell, or a house located outside of Canada being posted in houses for sale in Toronto.

Type a Reason…: intended for times when a flag will need supplemental information for the violation to be clear. If the poster is performing a “bait and switch”, is selling something that has been recalled, or something that they are legally not permitted to sell, these would be appropriate times to add additional clarification when flagging an ad.

What if I accidentally flag an ad or reply? Don’t worry – flags do not cause automatic removals or bans. Since flags are reviewed by humans, if the flag does not make sense it will not result in any negative action.

Finding Reliable Tenants: How Do I Screen Applicants Effectively?

As a landlord, protecting your investment should always be top of mind. A good way to achieve that is to find a tenant that will pay rent on time and take good care of your rental property. That, however, can be easier said than done. Some landlords run into problem tenants who know how to manipulate the landlord and tenant relations rules in each province to cheat landlords out of several months rent. Some tenants have also been known to provide false letters of employment and have even created fraudulent credit reports. As a landlord, you have to choose carefully. Don’t ever let your guard down. It is better to have an empty unit for a month than end up with a tenant that doesn’t pay, damages the property, or both. After all, it isn’t much of an income property if it isn’t generating any income (or causing a loss).

Finding Reliable Tenants

Screening tips
To avoid these bad tenants, you should be taking the time to screen each potential tenant. That means creating a rental application that asks them important questions like how much they make and where they work. You should also ask for some references that you can call to verify the information they have given you, a letter of employment and permission to run a credit check. Take some time to chat with them and learn what they are like as people, and ask some specific questions about their job and their lifestyle preferences to ensure it is a good fit all around. After all, there are reasons that an apartment or neighbourhood might not be right for them, and if you can let someone with severe allergies know that the neighbors have dogs, you can potentially save both parties the trouble of a living arrangement that isn’t going to work out long term, and concentrate on finding someone who will be the right fit for your income property.

Be weary of tenants who seem too good to be true. It’s possible they have copied someone else’s credit report and given it to you. You should look into using your local landlord association as a resource. Often times if you become a member you can get discounts on things like running credit checks on potential tenants. That credit check, provided by a third party company like TVS or Equifax will provide a financial history of the person looking to rent your property. You can find out if they pay their bills onetime and also their dealings with former landlords.

Another way to find a tenant best suited for your rental property is to contact the potential tenant’s former landlords and learn about their character and rent-payment patterns. You may also want to ask them to provide a criminal record check.

What not to do
Even though you may want to know every detail about the potential tenant to help you make an informed decision, you should make sure you aren’t asking questions that may cross the line. Human rights legislation in each province states you cannot select or refuse a tenant based on their race, place of origin, ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, family status (e.g. children) or disability. Make sure you familiarize yourself with your respective province’s human rights code to find out more.

Most prospective tenants are honest and are looking for an apartment and landlord that will be a good fit and a good experience for all involved. While it is important to protect yourself, be mindful of coming across accusatory or paranoid in requests for background checks (particularly criminal record checks), as the vast majority are not out to scam rent, and many would be offended by the insinuation.

Sources and more information:
OntarioLandlords.org
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Landlord and Tenant Board

Thinking of Buying a Down Jacket for the Canadian Winter? What You Need to Look For

We all have wardrobe “staples”- basic items of clothing that almost every person has which mix and match to work in every situation. From a structured black blazer and nice dress pants, to a white t-shirt and your go-to sweat pants- no matter what other goodies are added to our closets, these are the basics we come back to.
Buying a down jacket
For Canadians, we also have our cold weather staples to help us get through those long winter months- a warm scarf, thick gloves, toque with a pom-pom and boots of some sort.  The leader of the cold weather wardrobe staples is the coat. However, not all coats were created equal.

When we were younger, we sometimes sacrificed function for fashion, choosing that beautiful cashmere wool coat over the plushy, down-filled long parka because the coat was more “figure-flattering”. Well, as winters get colder and ice storms keep coming, we’ve smartened up. Looking trendy isn’t going to help us forget that our legs are freezing and our faces are stinging from the wind.

Over the past few years, down jackets have established themselves as the new winter wardrobe “must”. These jackets are filled with soft goose or duck feathers which insulate really well. They come in a variety of lengths from short (hitting the waist) to long (hitting the mid-calf), and everywhere in between. Hoods with a good lining (fur and faux fur are popular) also help make sure all your body heat stays close to you.

Depending on the quality and brand, these down jackets don’t always come cheap. With its popularity growing, there are some things you need to know, whether you buy it used or new, to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Think About Your Needs:
We all have different jobs, routines, habits, and interests. All these factors influence what type of down jacket will work best for you. Length and weight of the down jacket are important aspects of the jacket to keep in mind. If you’re out in the cold all day or for very long periods of time or you’re constantly outside doing winter sports, it would make sense to invest in a full or medium length jacket that will shield you from snow, ice pellets, hail, biting wind, etc. On the other hand, if you just need a warm jacket to shield you from the walk from your office building to your car (and maybe a few outings in between), a short to mid-length would work fine. Often, the longer your down jacket is, the more expensive it will be which is why it’s important to know your needs in order to figure out if what you’re buying is worth it.

Along with length, weight is also important to consider. Same rules apply: if you’re going to be wearing the jacket for a long time everyday, obviously you won’t want to buy a down jacket that is incredibly heavy. Heaviness in a jacket also affects pricing, which leads us to our next point:

Fill Power:
Fill power affects the weight and cost of your jacket. The “fill” of your jacket depends on the type of down (feathers) used and also how much is filled per cubic inch. The “Fill Power” is listed on the label or tag. As a general guideline, any number over 550 is usually a good jacket that will keep you warm. However, for optimal warmth and insulation, you would want a jacket with a fill power of 750 or higher. The higher the fill power, the less “plushy” or poofy your coat is going to be. As with the first point, this is something to consider if you’re outside a lot and need to be flexible and moving.

Inspection:
Whether you’re purchasing a down jacket second-hand or from a store, it’s important to carefully inspect it. But what exactly should you be looking for?

The most important aspects of your down jacket are the following:

  • There shouldn’t be any gaps or holes where the feathers stick out.
  • Compress the jacket to double check for unwanted spaces and gaps
  • Look at the material it’s made out of; nylon and polyester are 2 of the more common and durable fabrics
  • Make sure you’re buying a down jacket made specifically for your gender because the stitching is different for men and women
  • If you’re buying used, ask the seller how long they’ve used the jacket, or inspect it for signs of wear to get an idea of how worn it actually is

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Decide Which Features You Actually Need:
When you start heading down the rabbit hole of down jackets, you’ll notice that there are actually A LOT of added-on features that SEEM necessary but can sneakily add on to your cost. Zippers, extra zippers, latches, hoods, hoods with fur trim, hoods with real animal fur trim, buckles, adjustable hems, and Velcro straps are all extra details on a down jacket that can boost its style factor but may not be as nice to your wallet. Do your research and find out how each feature actually affects the function of your down jacket before deciding what you do and don’t need.

Categories:Kijiji Fashion

Finding a Mechanic You Can Trust

Let’s face it, auto mechanics are a lot like lawyers. They’re a necessary evil to most of us, but a good one can actually be worth their weight in gold. First off, you don’t want to hire one of those ambulance/tow truck chasers you see advertising on billboards and bus stop benches. Often you hear of good mechanics online or from their customers recommending them. Happy customers will gladly tell people about their experience with a particular mechanic, and unhappy customers will too – often more so. To get you on the road to comforting competent car care, here are a few tips on how to find a good mechanic.

1.        Ask Around

The absolute best way to find a reliable, experienced mechanic is to ask people you know. Friends, family, and co-workers are the best place to start. Nearly everyone with a car has used a mechanic at some point, and former customers can tell you first-hand what it’s like to deal with a particular auto mechanic. Ask if the repairs were performed correctly. Did they have any further problems with the car once it was repaired? How long did it take the mechanic to perform the repairs? How expensive were they? What did they like about the experience? And finally, ask the person if they would use that mechanic again?

 

If you’re new in town, or your friends, family, or co-workers don’t have any recommendations, don’t worry. Try asking a professional driver, such as a taxi driver, tow truck driver, or a limo driver. They have to keep their vehicles in good running order, and they’ll often tell you not only which auto mechanics are good, but also which ones aren’t.

2.        Look on the Internet

Some of the best places to find mechanic recommendations are in car-specific owner forums. A simple web search will give you many. For example, if you drive a Honda Accord, Googling “Honda Accord forum” will give you a list of numerous forums and clubs dedicated only to Honda Accord owners. Post your question(s) on various owner and club forums, and you’ll get answers from numerous people. “Car guys” tend to be really particular about their rides, and they’re usually glad to share their experiences.

 

Other good places to look are online classified ad websites. Again, a quick web search will supply you with several. It doesn’t matter if the mechanic has a website or not. If they’re a legal business, you’ll likely be able to find listings for them when you search online. It’s also a good idea to read what people have to say about different repair shops. Just because a mechanic has a high rating doesn’t mean all of his customers have been happy. To see what people are saying about mechanics in your area, type in something like “auto mechanic <your city / post code>”.

3.        Check Out the Shop

Once you’ve narrowed down a list of potential mechanics, go by and check out their shops in person. A good mechanic is a busy mechanic, so if their shop and lot are full of cars it’s a good sign. The shop itself should be relatively clean, organized, and buzzing with work being done. Next, tell the mechanic about your vehicle, ask them what they’d recommend, and how long it’ll take them to perform the repairs. If they tell you that it will be a few days before they can even get to it, don’t fret. A good mechanic is a busy mechanic, and a good one will be worth waiting on.

 

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Tips for Buying a Used Couch

Your couch is one of the most important pieces of furniture you can buy. It needs to be that special place you can flop into at the end of a long day and unwind. It is important to find exactly the right couch for you. What do you need to think about when buying a couch second-hand?

Buying a Used Couch

Size matters. It’s important to know your measurements in advance. There’s nothing worse than taking home a brand new couch, only to find it doesn’t quite fit where you were picturing it. Consider how it needs to fit alongside your existing furniture and how much free space you’ll need to move around. Also, if you have a staircase with a bend in it between the door and where you hope to place it, measure the space to make sure you can physically get it into the right room!

Try before you buy. Don’t be shy when it comes to making sure it is comfy! Sit on it, lie on it and make sure you’re comfortable with the feel of your new sofa. Sharp springs and sinking seats do not make for comfortable lounging, so don’t forget to look under the cushions and check for structural issues (or deal breaker cleanliness issues).

Follow your nose. There are some clingy odours that never seem to want to leave. If a couch doesn’t smell quite right when you inspect it, think twice before taking it home with you, unless you’re prepared for some serious airing out.

Picture the entire room. The colour or pattern of the couch you choose is very much an individual choice. Think about how it’s going to look against your walls, carpet, curtains and other furniture. If you can bring fabric swatches with you, or even photos of your existing furniture, it will help you decide whether your new find is going to look right in your existing room. The last thing you want is to turn your comfy new couch into a living room eyesore.

Don’t judge a couch by its cover. Sometimes a lounge may have a shabby exterior, but a quick reupholster can make it look like new. The key is to look for a sturdy frame that’s going to go the distance; hard woods tend to last longer than pine, for example. (Handy tip: a build-it-yourself couch probably isn’t going to be worth reupholstering.)

Don’t forget to bring plastic sheets and lots of rope to transport it home. Moving a couch can be an ordeal, so make sure you are properly prepared.

There are thousands of second-hand lounges, sofas, and all kinds of living room furniture on Kijiji, so have a browse through the listings and find one that’s right for you.