How Craigslist and Kijiji Saved Me $14,500

Jeff Graham

My wife and I recently sold almost all of our earthly possessions on Kijiji, and reduced what we had down to two wooden shipping pallets. Since we are a family of five, there was a lot of stuff to sell. Couches, coffee tables, beds, toys, kitchenware, a blender...

In total we made about 40 transactions on Kijiji and recouped about $6,000 en route to Abbotsford, BC from Ottawa, ON (which is a journey that spans two-thirds across the second largest country on the world). Selling everything saved us about $8,000 in moving costs, and we are now having a lot of fun picking out new things for our life on the westcoast.

Moving this way was hard, but honestly, I’m amazed at how much money we saved, and that what we did was even possible.

Buying And Selling Used Things Helps Create Abundance through Avoided Cost

Over the years most of our possessions were originally acquired on either Craigslist or Kijiji. After selling everything, when we did the math, we had definitely paid more money originally than what we recouped... but it wasn’t by much.

Most of the used items we had bought originally ended up selling for around the same price, and we actually sold some for more than what we had initially paid. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that Craigslist and Kijiji saved us a fortune:

  1. I didn’t have to pay to move my things across Canada (estimated savings of $8000)
  2. I didn’t have to pay commission, or pay for classified ads, to sell my things (estimated savings of $500)
  3. I didn’t have to originally buy my stuff new (estimated savings of $6000)

For those keeping track, that’s $14,500 saved. This would have been very difficult to do pre-Craigslist and Kijiji.

Craigslist and Kijiji Extend the Useful Life of Items and Improve Cashflow

We sold at least a dozen items that we no longer wanted or needed. We offloaded a retro Gameboy, an old Czech crystal ornament that had sat in a box for 10 years, and some of my old hockey cards. There were also some things we sold that had utility, but were collecting dust, like our Breville Juicer, some kids toys, and a fit-bit.

Pre-Craigslist and Kijiji, these items would have likely sat in a closet somewhere, slowly deteriorating. Instead of hoarding them, we were able to get the items to someone who could use them, and immediately extend their useful life. We got money for something we didn’t need, and the buyers received items at a cost much lower than retail.

What this means on a macro scale, is that there are less goods wasting away in storage, less need for manufacturing, and more consumer choice. It also releases money that’s tied up in assets (which improves cashflow) and requires less human effort to connect buyers and sellers of used goods.

Classified Sites Help Optimize the Housing Rental Market

How many tenants or landlords do you know that don’t use either Craigslist or Kijiji? The sheer volume of real estate inventory on both sites is staggering. Prior to either of these sites existing, landlords would have to pay for expensive advertising and / or a realtor to find a tenant. This cost, in turn, was often passed down to the tenant.

Now, both parties can connect with each other for free, and can focus more on finding a tenant or a property that fits their needs.

I am Grateful to the Creators of Craigslist and Kijiji

If you don’t use Craigslist or Kijiji much… you should. It’ll save you money, it will help conserve resources (both financial and physical), and it will likely prompt you to really question how much you need to get by.

I am grateful that I live in a time where I can do all of this for free. I’m sure to some of you the above will seem somewhat obvious - but more than anything, just consider what an amazing time you live in, and that this is just one of the many incredible things the internet has enabled that makes our lives better.