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Where you sell unwanted gifts can have a huge effect on how much you make. On Kijiji, TVs, gaming consoles, laptops, smartphones and speakers are among the most searched items and usually see high price points and quick turnover, especially when new and unused, says the company’s community relations manager, Kent Sikstrom.
Kijiji is also good for heavy items because you can have someone pick them up, without worrying about shipping, says Glenn Mahaney, who sells second-hand goods as a hobby.
As for collectibles and other valuables, he recommends eBay or auction houses. Household goods like plates or glasses that you can easily pick up at Walmart and that someone wouldn’t pay to have shipped or wouldn’t want to drive to your home to pick up are good bets for a garage sale, though you’ll usually have to let them go cheap, he says.
If you’re open to trading, there is the Bunz website, app and Facebook groups, where women’s clothing, perfume, unused makeup, furniture and home decor are a hit, says its community manager Eli Klein. Bunz doesn’t allow trades involving money, but will let people offer items in exchange for anything else. Cases of beer, TTC tokens and gift cards are popular payments.
If you’re selling things online, including clear photos taken in good lighting and from multiple angles gives any post more traction, says Sikstrom. If it’s new, adding BNIB (brand new in box), BNWT (brand new with tags) or EUC (excellent used condition) can also give it a boost, and around the holidays, #giftit or #regiftit, will help savvy searchers find it, adds Klein.
Funny descriptions also help an item get shared more, he says, recalling once seeing a post go viral from someone flogging $ 200 of gift cards for The Keg. “They became vegan, but closeted vegan. Everyone thought they still liked The Keg certificates, so they were trading them for fruits and vegetables, and their post was getting shared a lot.”
When deciding what price to set, Mahaney recommends searching eBay’s sold listings to see what others are flogging the same thing for. To settle on a realistic price, he says “don’t go by the most expensive price something has sold for because people can be a bit silly when buying things and also don’t go by the lowest.”
If what you’re selling is in better condition or is brand new, you can likely ask for more than someone selling the same product that’s used or outdated. Remember that the value of whatever you’re selling might have dropped since you were given it, affecting what you can ask for it, says Mahaney.
As the old adage says, timing is everything, and picking the most popular days to post items online will increase your chances of finding a buyer willing to pay top dollar.
Kijiji searches rise about 10 per cent in January, with the most popular post-holiday search day coming on Jan. 8, said Sikstrom. “The most popular days of the week for searching last January were Sundays, followed by Saturdays and Mondays,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Sunday is the biggest day for trades and offers on Bunz and Klein says anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 items get posted from Boxing Day to the first day of January.
If you’re willing to stow items for a bit, furniture and home decor can be hot sellers in August and September, when students are moving into new homes for the year.
Gift cards are hot items on Bunz and usually sell well on Kijiji and Craigslist.
You can also turn to businesses that will buy gift cards, though you won’t always get the full value for them. CardSwap.ca, for example, allows you to input the value and store your gift card is set up for so it can make you an instant offer online.
The Star inputted a few cards and was offered $ 40 or a $ 40 Esso card for a $ 50 Indigo card, $ 18.75 or a $ 20 Esso card for a $ 25 Tim Hortons card and $ 41.50 or a $ 43 Esso card for a $ 50 Yorkdale Mall card.
If you accept and send out the gift card to the company, you’ll be mailed a cheque. CardSwap guarantees 100 per cent of its purchases by saving the card number in case it is lost in the mail.
You won’t get money, but regifting something can save you time and cash that you may spend hunting for something next time it’s a loved one’s birthday or a special occasion.
However, etiquette expert Carey McBeth says regifting is only acceptable when the item is brand new, in its original packaging and is something “the intended recipient would love to receive.”
McBeth says it’s acceptable, for example, “if you received a book you have already read and you know that your friend absolutely loves that particular author.” Just be sure your recipient doesn’t know the person who gave you the gift originally.
Anything unwanted you received that is handmade, personalized or “something you know the original giver took great care to select or make” should never be regifted — even if it will save you a quick buck, McBeth says.