Thursday, August 29, 2013

Kijiji Etiquette

[Note: This post was originally published on The Mrs on January 28th, 2012. And in the three years since we've moved, we've made $937 from selling gently used items on Kijiji. We've also bought everything from clothes to gym equipment to furniture, too. Uh, and after five years of owning it, we sold the playhouse for $50 more than our purchase price... heh.]

I love Kijiji.

Seriously. It’s great. In the year and a half since we’ve moved, we’ve made $323 from selling items the kids have outgrown.

Yes, I keep track.

And I’ve purchased things from Kijiji, too. Seems to me we discovered the online classifieds site about four years ago, and since then it’s been my go-to for specific items.

Our play house is our biggest score. Literally and figuratively. It’s large and awesome. I’ve had three adults in there with a child, and sure, we were squished, but there was still enough elbow room for us all to be served tea.

New, it was listed on the manufacturer’s website for... a lot. With shipping and taxes. On Kijiji we found the same model for... about $500 less. With a custom wooden deck built for the floor, too.

And four years later? Our boys are still playing in it.

And Mr Lannis got a fancy-schmancy punching bag for kickboxing, gently-used, for $35. That’s about $150 less than what it was selling for at Walmart.

So I have plenty of good things to say about Kijiji.

Of course, the pitfall with Kijiji is aimlessly scrolling ads for things you don’t really need and talking yourself into needing them... but that’s why I try to keep my Kijiji interaction to specific items I would otherwise be purchasing new, or posting ads to get rid of useless junk extraneous stuff.

But as with life in general, you must sift through the mud to find the gold.

And dear Lord, I have encountered some random behaviour via Kijiji. Like, “where did these people come from and who gave them Internet access?!” kind of inanity.

Tuesday I received a response from one of my ads, where the potential buyer stated her husband would come by to look at the item for $20, either Wednesday or Thursday.

Erm. Well, that’s tricky, since you haven’t asked if I’m available those days (and at this point of the transaction, she didn’t have my address), but moreover because the item was listed for $35.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for haggling on a price, but telling me you’re buying it for $20 is not how you open good bargaining... something more polite would have been nice... a “would you consider taking $20?” would have received a “sure thing!” from me.

But the way this person worded the email made my hackles rise. Yep. I’m not (entirely) a bitch, but I am stubborn. You push, I push back. My response? “Sorry, it’s $35 firm.”

Well, she might as well figure out if she wants it $35 worth before roping her poor husband into coming to my house...

So yeah. I have a few etiquette beefs with Kijiji.

Please read the ad.

Is this a lot to ask? I’m pretty descriptive in my ads, and I always post pictures. I hate when I show up at someone’s house to discover what they posted as mint condition has scrapes or stains. (Ugh.) If it’s not perfect, take a photo of the imperfection and damn well say what’s what. Nobody’s going to diss you for honesty — actually, you’re probably more likely to make a sale.

In the same vein, please don’t ask me if there are smokers in my house because my ads always read, “smoke free, pet-friendly home.” And it says “pick up only.” So guess what? That means pick up only!

I’ve had one incident of meeting a buyer somewhere, and surprise, surprise — they were a no show! I blame my own Kijiji naïveté at the time, but now? Yeah, if you want what I have, you can come to my house and get it, thanks.

That said, if we’re arranged a pick up time? Please be on time. No, if something’s fallen through, just let me know, I’m cool with that. But I’m not cool with sitting around my house because someone said they were coming at noon and they don’t show up until 3pm.

Not cool, Kijiji-peeps. Not cool.

Another thing that gets me? People who respond to ads with their phone numbers. It kind of looks like this: “I’m interested in [whatever-this-is], please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.”

Um. Kijiji is set up as a go-between via email. Lord knows I’m a phone-talker under the right circumstances, but I’m not picking up the phone to call a complete stranger to sell something to them.

I don’t like telemarketers, remember? I’m not becoming one because you’re adverse to email. You managed to make it onto the ‘Net to find the ad, you can complete the transaction that way, too.

And guess what? Kijiji is not Twitter.

There’s nothing I hate more than the slapdash reply to an ad, “is this available.....???????”

Hey cowboy, is the ad posted? Then likely it is!

When I see this in my inbox, I want to reply, “yes” and nothing else. But I also realize that if I do, I’m likely to lose a sale, too.

I understand that not everyone studiously deletes ads when they’re no longer current, but you’re likely to look less like an idiot if you tweak your ice-breaking approach with, well, grammar, for one. Full sentences would be a bonus. Is it really that difficult to say, “If this is still available, I was wondering if I could arrange a time to see it?”

And newsflash: Kijiji is not Twitter! Why people scrabble and hold every character hostage is beyond me... using an extra few to say, “hi,” or “thanks,” won’t bloody well kill you!

If responding to an ad, you’re likely to garner a more positive response if you deign to use courtesy. Trust.

Also? Kijiji is not Facebook!

I know, shocker, right? If I post an ad, and you reply, and we get into a discourse about meeting times or price, that’s fine. But I don’t need to know that your husband’s having intestinal problems and has been in the hospital for two days and could I please hold the item for another day until your mother-in-law is back in the country and can come and pick it up...

Seriously. No offense, but I am not your friend. I don’t need to know the petty details of your day to day life. I understand shit happens. A polite, concise email requesting me to hold an item for another couple of days, or saying things fell through and you need to reschedule is fine.

I had a woman once beg me via email to deliver an item to her, because their van broke down, and she had four kids, and could I please-please-please deliver the item to them, she’d pay extra for gas money. It was also implied that I had no heart if I denied her...

This was all over a $5 item.

Not to mention my kid puked the day before and I wasn’t leaving the house to go anywhere any time soon, especially since I’d kept two boys home from school due to said pukage.

Of course I did what any self-respecting defensive mother would do. I replied with a polite email stating child-sickness and sympathy for their vehicle problems, but no, no I wouldn’t be delivering the item. The ad clearly states “pick up only.” It is not an unreasonable expectation!

So... your turn — share, please! Do you have any pet peeves for Kijiji behaviour? Any horror stories to tell? I want NEED to know!

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