Selling items on Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace in the time of COVID

listing on kijiji and facebook in covid, second-hand selling

That stuff in your closet is of no use to you anymore, and you want it gone

We’ve all been there, you got the latest iPhone and your old one is now sitting in a drawer. That set of snow tires for your old Mazda 3 are still sitting around from 2 years ago, and you’re paying the tire shop to store your new ones. Sometimes it is hard to get up the will power to go take the pictures, type up an ad, and hope there is a person out there who wants your stuff at a decent price. How do you feel about doing all of that with COVID-19 in the mix?

The Facebook Ghost-Town

Whether you choose to list your stuff on Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, or, for some reason you are the last remaining Canadian who likes Craigslist the process is still the same. Get your ad up, and, unless it’s the most desirable thing in the world, you’ll have ten people ask ‘Is this still available?’ until one of them actually replies to your inevitable ‘yes, it is’.

The Second-Hand Kijiji Dance

Now, they ask what your lowest price is, as if you really have an exact number in your head that you’ve been saving just for them. They try to guilt you into thinking  they’re the one person you should do a favour to because they claim to be a student, or they ‘really need it’ or they can get it cheaper elsewhere but really like yours. 

Inevitably, you say make me an offer, and they come in 20-30% lower than your asking price. Now, do you take the risk of losing them and counter-offer higher? Or do you accept? What if they ask you to meet somewhere, aren’t you doing them the favour? Why should you spend your time and gas to go give them the great deal they just negotiated? And how angry are you going to be when they text 5 minutes before you are supposed to meet saying “hey, sorry I can’t make it, how about tomorrow?”

The Pandemic has added a new layer to second-hand selling

This is the internal struggle we all have when selling or buying second-hand goods online. Now, COVID-19 has added an entirely new layer to this exchange with strangers. Will they be wearing a mask when they show up at your door? Can I ask them to wash their hands before they come in to take a look at grandma’s chair? What do I say if they’re not wearing a mask and they’re angry they came all this way?

First off, put a note about this in your ad, anyone who doesn’t want to wear a mask will be turned off right away.  If they need to come into your house, have a spare mask available anyways, and some sanitizer by the door. Better yet, if you have a garage or enclosed space, keep all of your items for sale in there so that you can be in an open-air space. Have a table outside where you can place the item down for inspection, and come out wearing your own mask. This give the buyer a sign they should be wearing one too. They’ll turn around and run back to the car to get it before they get anywhere near you.

Is selling online really worth your time?

Second-hand marketplaces like Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace are a fantastic place to get a deal on something you want. Whether selling or buying, you really need to judge whether it is worth your time. Take into account the time spent communicating with people, but also setting aside the time in your day to wait around for someone, or travelling to meet them. Is selling stuff second-hand holding you off from doing something else?

What is the cost of your own time, could you have been spending that time doing something you have to pay someone else to do? Do you find these interactions stressful, and is it worth the hit on your mental health? If the net effect of all of this is a positive to you, then get that ad up!

Your other options besides second-hand marketplaces

If it all sounds like a nightmare to you, that’s probably why that camera has been sitting in the drawer for a year by now. Unless you have friends and family to give it to, you just don’t want to deal with fifteen strangers to try to get rid of it!

You do have other options though. You can donate the items to your local charitable organization like Value Village. You can call the junk collectors to come clear out the entire room dedicated to your aversion to second-hand selling. Or, you can Get Lendy. 

Lendy will come pick up all those unwanted items, give you your space and your happiness back. You no longer will stare at stuff with the guilt of needing to do something about it, and you’ll have some money in your pocket to prove it. Our team members always wear gloves, masks and smiles!

Feel good about getting rid of your stuff

With our Pay-it-Forward program you’ll be smiling too, knowing you’re helping someone else out at the same time. We sell your stuff through our online store and other channels, and a portion of the proceeds go towards putting food on the table for those who need it most, through Food Banks Canada.

At Lendy, we aim to teach Canadians how to make the best impact with the stuff they already have. Our mission is to help Canadians keep the circular economy turning, and keeping perfectly good stuff out of landfill. To schedule a visit to clear out your stuff fill out this form. Want to help fund our mission? Get shopping over at shoplendy.ca to find some fantastic new stuff looking for a new home.

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