Posts in Kijiji Tips

How to Turn a Basement into a Homey Hideaway

Whether you are looking for basement ideas for finishing your own family room, setting up an income basement apartment suite you can rent out, or setting up your own basement apartment, the challenges are the same. The basement space is one of the most challenging parts of a home to make feel inviting. They typically suffer from a lack of natural light, low ceilings, and less air flow than most would like. Luckily, there are ways to make this space not only livable, but desirable and inviting. Whether you are fully remodeling, looking for ideas to make a small basement space into a getaway, or trying to transform a basement apartment into a space that will attract a high quality tenant, you have lots of options to take any basement space from drab to fab.

Fake it til you make it. Is your basement room windowless? Whether it’s lacking entirely in windows (or just lacking a good one), don’t despair – you can fake it. This tutorial shows a creative way to make a basement room feel bright through faking a window.

Fake Window With LED Grow Lights

Finished Product from This Tutorial on IMGUR

Create height. Are your ceilings low? Floor length curtains (typically curtains that are 96” or 108” will be floor length, but measure your ceilings to be sure) will lengthen the look of your room. Be sure to select a sheer or semi-sheer curtain if putting it in front of a natural light source. Stay away from heavy fabrics that will shut out light entirely. If your window is in a high traffic area, and you need to obscure it for privacy reasons, consider an unconventional window treatment for privacy rather than curtains or blinds that will block out the light more than is necessary. This tutorial shows how you can create privacy without losing much in the way of light (that is easy to remove if you are renting).

Add some green. Dark rooms, especially in a basement, can feel lifeless. Nothing livens up a room quite like plants. They clear the air, and make a space come alive. It can be hard to have plants in a basement, but luckily, there are several options that thrive in the dark. If none of these options are to your liking, or if you don’t have enough natural light to grow plants, consider adding a grow light to add more options. Some ideas for your basement abode (or any dark space):

Peace lily thrives in low light, and makes a dramatic statement. If you have pets or children who might nibble plants, this one is toxic.
Snake Plant

Snake Plant via The Sill

The snake plant does great in the relative dark, though is also somewhat toxic (but not particularly appealing to chew on, as it has a very woody texture).
Spider Plant

Spider Plant via

The spider plant can tolerate low light, and when happy, will produce many “babies”. Spider plants are a great choice to hang near a window.
ZZ Plant

ZZ Plant via Gear Patrol

ZZ plant thrives in the dark, and makes a stylish but low maintenance house plant. All parts of this plant are toxic, and hands should be washed after handling it.

Keep it light. Choose a light paint colour, but don’t create an entirely white space – be sure to add some contrast and visual interest so the space doesn’t seem institutional or boring.

Play with lighting. Create defined spaces with multiple light sources from different angles. Having some floor lamps, table lamps, or candles (real or otherwise) makes a space feel much cozier than if your overhead lighting is all you use.

Contemporary basement bar lighting

This contemporary basement bar uses lighting to define a space. See more at Decoist.

Create a focus. It could be a dramatic piece of art, a mantle, contrasting colours, or some interesting wall paper. If the room has a clear feature to work with (like an exposed brick wall or other visually interesting details), go with it; if not, figure out where the focus in the room should be, and draw the eye in. This could be as simple as some interesting throw pillows, or as elaborate as the fake window above.

Stay away from carpets and rugs. If you are installing a new floor, choose something that will reflect the light. Hardwood is an ideal choice, but this is not always possible in basements. Consider painting a concrete floor with a semi-glass paint, or buffing the floor if you can. Carpets, though warm and inviting, will make a basement space seem smaller (and if your basement is at all damp or prone to flooding, they can get very musky).

Reflect & refract. Add mirrors to make the most of any natural light you might have. Hang mirrors opposite any windows or doors that let light in, or use mirrored tiles to create a cool modern look. If you have a deep window well, you could also experiment with mirrors or mirrored art objects that will catch the light and refract it in in unexpected ways.

Banish clutter. Find storage solutions like armoires and storage chests to keep any knick knacks out of sight – or even better yet, sell them on Kijiji!

Let the sun in. Clear out plants and objects outside in front of windows. It seems like a no-brainer…but if your windows are being blocked by hedges, flower beds, or a fence, clear it out if you can. It will make a big difference to the total amount of light you receive.

Spring Cleaning: How to make money and clean up!

What should you sell when spring cleaning?

What should you sell when spring cleaning?

Spring cleaning can be a daunting task to get through. Being able to sell your old stuff is a great motivator for getting through more stuff (and selling as much of it as possible). Here is our top list of things to look out for when you are doing your yearly purge.

Items with the tags still on (or still in their original box)
Items with the tags still on: sell them!
If the tag is still on, you clearly haven’t used it, and you could use that space for something better. Couple that with the fact that marking an item “New in box” (or NIB if you are down with the lingo), or “new with tags” (NWT) is more likely to result in your ads getting some attention or replies, and this one is a no-brainer. If you haven’t used it, sell it, and spend that cash on something you will use.

Gifts that you never liked in the first place
Gifts you never liked: sell them!
If you don’t like it, why is it still in your house? Sell it and make space for something you do like. We won’t tell Aunt Mable that the duck-themed tablecloth she was so proud of has found a more loving home if you don’t. Clutter that you just don’t care for should not take up space in your home (or your life). If you never liked it, you probably didn’t use it too heavily either, which will be a selling point to someone who does like it.

Things that clash with the rest of your décor
Things that clash: sell them!
Mix-matched or eclectic décor is one thing, but sometimes, there is something that just doesn’t belong. Maybe you love it, maybe you hate it, but maybe, you are just plain used to it. It could be anything from a too-large sideboard throwing off the scale of your room, to an antique Duncan Phyfe table that just doesn’t go with your modern couch and console table, to a space-age sputnik lamp throwing off the balance of your otherwise Victorian home. Do yourself (and someone else) a favor, and find the item a home where it belongs.

Stuff you haven’t touched in months.
With the exception of seasonal items, if you haven’t touched it in the past 4 months, you probably don’t need to hold on to it. It is collecting dust and taking up space, so do you really want to hold onto it?

Clothes that don’t fit
Clothes that don't fit: sell them!
With a few exceptions (kids who will grow into things, pregnant women who are fluctuating sizes), there really isn’t a reason to keep clothing that doesn’t fit or flatter you. If you try it on, and it looks bad, or doesn’t fit right, it probably isn’t doing your self-esteem any favors. Post an ad on Kijiji and find a new home for the clothes you loved years ago, and let someone else love them in the present tense.

Items you are being overly sentimental about
Everyone has different levels of sentimentality, and it can be hard to let go of memories. Ask yourself: why am I so attached to this item? What memories are associated with it? Are there other items with a similar association I am more attached to? Try to determine which item you are most attached to, and find new homes for the extras. Focus your sentimentality on the favorite item, rather than diluting it among all the clutter. Identifying which mementos really hold special memories or make you happy will help you let go of the rest.

Things you have multiples of
Stuff you have multiples of: sell them!
Though there might be a few cases where there is a good reason to have more than 1 of a very similar item, this is generally a good category to find superfluous things. How many classical guitars does one person need? Is there a valid reason you have 4 slow cookers? When was the last time that more than 1 was used at a time? Just keep your favorites and cash in on the rest.

Admit it, when you read this list, certain items came to mind, didn’t they? Identifying which items need to be sold is half the battle. Start posting your ads today, and your home will be spic and span before you know it!

How to price your item to sell on classified sites

Posting an ad on Kijiji may be easy, but that doesn’t mean that selling your item is. We’ve been over the way to ensure that you post an effective, attention grabbing ad, but that is only half the battle. The other half: actually getting the item out of your house!
No one wants to see their ad they spent so much time perfecting languish on the site for months. Ideally, we would all like a quick, easy, drama free sale. How do you go about that?

Kijiji: a refund?
Unless you are selling a new in box sought after item (perhaps a new iphone days after the release or the hottest sold out toy at Christmas time), or a collector’s item, you are unlikely to get back what you paid or above. Ideally, we would all like to get our money back in full when we sell an item, but unfortunately for sellers, the market generally doesn’t work like that.
Barring the scenario that you are trying to sell a very sought after item, there is a good chance that you will have to price your item significantly less than what it sells for new, even if the item is in good condition.

Research the pricing
The best way to determine what an item is going for is to check out the same market that you plan on selling it in. In the case of Kijiji, this means checking the category and area you will be posting in for similar items, and seeing what they are priced at. Are there a lot of ads? Have they been posted for a long time? If so, you might want to price your item a bit lower than those items if you want a quick sale. If you want to price your item higher than the competition, think about what sets your item apart. Is it in better condition? Is the item higher quality than the other ads? Call attention to whatever sets your item apart in the ad to justify a higher price. Buyers won’t bite if they can get a nearly identical item for less.

If you want a higher price, but there is no clear reason why your item would be worth more to a prospective buyer, you may have to readjust your expectations (or be prepared to wait a long time for sale). We’ve created a pricing tool to make it easy to see what some common items are going for on Kijiji, so if you are selling a mobile phone, researching the second hand market just got a lot easier.

Understanding the market
Some people like to go to sites that specialize in new goods to find a price for their item, but if you try and price a used item based on the price to purchase it new, you will likely be disappointed. When buying new, consumers generally have access to warranties and the option of returning it if it does not function as expected. Why would they pay the same amount and lose out on additional buyer protection?

Some like to use a site like eBay for price comparison, which does have the advantage of showing a large amount of used items as a comparison. One thing to keep in mind is that the ebay market is quite different from the Kijiji market, especially for more obscure items. On ebay, you are entering a worldwide marketplace, and collectors from all over may be looking for an item like you have for sale. A large, worldwide market may command higher prices for certain types of items (or lower prices for others), so while it is useful to check eBay or other sites featuring a large used inventory, be sure to consider the differences in the market and adjust your price accordingly.

Adjusting expectations
If you find your items aren’t selling and all the offers you receive are low balls, you might have your items priced too highly for the market. Try imagining that the item is not yours, but belongs to a neighbor who is trying to sell it at a garage sale. Think about what the maximum price is that you would be willing to pay in that scenario, without considering any additional sentimental value you may have attached to it when coming up with your initial price. The right price for the item in a market like Kijiji is likely a blend of whatever you would pay at a garage sale for a similar item and what it would go for in a larger market.

Tonnes of replies?
On the flip side, if you post your item and your inbox is flooded with interested parties wanting to buy it right away, you may have priced your item too low. If you want a fast sale, that is the right move, but if you are in no rush, you could probably increase your price and still move your item (while making a few extra bucks than you initially thought).

Specialized items
Sometimes, a buyer can be slow to materialize because the item is very niche. If you are posting a highly specialized item, these considerations may be less relevant, as you may simply have to wait for the right person to happen across your ad. If this is the case, do your best to promote your ad to communities that may have buyers. You may want to share your ad on a forum, tweet it with a relevant hashtag, or share it with a specialized subreddit (for the uninitiated, that is a community on the popular site reddit) full of other enthusiasts. Find the people who would be seeking your item and promote it until you find a buyer.

What’s With Mandatory Postal Codes?

At Kijiji, our ultimate goal is to facilitate successful neighborhood transactions. To help buyers and sellers connect, we have introduced mandatory postal codes in many of our categories. This will help you search within only the area that you are actually willing to travel for an item when buying, and help you connect more easily with those in your area when selling.

Now, you will be able to restrict your search only to your immediate vicinity if you want to only go within walking distance, and the ads that show up as nearby will actually be ads from your neighborhood. It is easy to combine your transactions with your evening dog walk, or pick up an item on your way home from work. Kijiji results can be restricted to be as local as your neighborhood street sale, or they can include everything within driving distance if you are seeking something a little harder to find.

Postal Code Map View

Entering only the postal code will indicate the general neighbourhood on map view.

Address Map View

Entering anything into the street address field will indicate the specific address.

If your existing ads are showing a more specific location than you want to provide, you can get rid of the pin on the map by editing your ad, and removing everything from the “Street Address” field. Having information in the street address field is now an indicator that you would like to provide more location about your location than only the neighborhood, so if you are bothered by the pin showing a specific location, just remove everything from the optional field, only supply your postal code in the required field, and the location will zero in on your neighborhood, but not indicate a specific house or building. That way, buyers will have a good idea of where you are located, but won’t know exactly where you live unless you choose to tell them.

If you want to share a specific location, enter an address. If you just want to share your area, only enter a postal code.

If you want to share a specific location, enter an address. If you just want to share your area, only enter a postal code.

If you are willing to travel far and wide to find your item, the distance slider is now even more effective than before. Change the distance slider to your postal code rather than the city location, and your results will include accurate distances for every result in your search.

The Distance Feature is Now More Accurate Than Ever

Enter your postal code in the distance slider to get the most accurate results yet.

We believe that a more specific location based search will help sellers sell, and cut down on inquiries from people who just want to figure out how far away the item is. These changes will help sellers save time and sell their item with minimal back and forth. These changes will help buyers save time by avoiding items that are too far away for them to travel to. Providing accurate results when sorting by distance will help everyone on Kijiji find more connections within their local area, whatever their personal definition of “local” might be.

Top Items You Need in Your Car during Winter

Winter in Canada can be unpredictable at times! Be prepared for anything by having these essential items in your car at all times (even after winter).


Winter Gloves


Nobody likes cold hands!


Blanket / Extra Clothes (Socks)


If your car won’t turn on, it can get cold really quickly!


Extra Windshield Washer Fluid and Wiper Blades


Your windshield can get extremely dirty quickly when winter driving.  Keep some extra windshield washer fluid in the car so you are not driving blind.  Sometimes, wiper blades can get stuck to your window with ice and break right off!


First Aid-kit

first aid

To always be prepared for anything.


MAP (Not a GPS)

road map

Your car may not start and you may need to conserve your cell phone battery.


Ice Scraper / Snow Brush

ice scraper

It is not safe to drive with ice and snow on your car.  You should scrape off the ice and brush off the snow on your car before driving.


Small Shovel / Carpet



A shovel is very useful for digging yourself out of the snow.  You can also use car carpets to get traction under your tires if you get stuck.


Snacks / Energy Bars


Even if you don’t end up getting stranded, these can be super helpful if you get stuck in a traffic jam (not everyone is a safe winter driver).


External Battery Charger / Charging Cable


If your car is functioning normally, you might be able to charge your phone or any other electronics with your car.  However, if you cannot use the car battery, an external battery can mean the difference between getting home and being stranded.


Jumper Cables

car jumper cables

No one wants to have to depend on the kindness of strangers (hence the battery), but sometimes you may need a good Samaritan and a pair of cables to get back on the road.

Did we forget anything essential? What’s in your winter driving kit? Let us know in the comments!


Categories:Kijiji Tips