Skip to main content

Top Five Ad Mistakes Sellers Make on Kijiji (and How to Avoid Them)

Bruce has experience using Kijiji to sell items and services to people in their community.

What Is Kijiji?

Kijiji is a website where users can place free ads locally to sell items or services and it's a great way to sell items that you no longer use. Think of it as a garage sale without the garage!

Here's how it works: in order to place free ads, Kijiji requires users to create a username and password. Once you complete this process you are ready to place ads and start making money.

More recently placed ads are shown higher on the website. As more ads are posted, your ad moves down in the search results until it's on page 2, and so on. Your ad will get the most traffic when it's on the front page.

With a little strategy, you can avoid the top 5 biggest mistakes sellers use on Kijiji!

Mistake #1: Seller Does Not Include a Photo of Their Item With Their Ad

Potential buyers will simply skip over your ad because they want to see the item. You wouldn't go to your local store and buy a product if the salesperson wouldn't show it to you.

Photo Tips:

  • Use a contrasting backdrop to the item you want to sell to make it stand out (see my examples) against other ads
  • Take more than one photo and highlight the qualities of your item from various angles
  • Use photo editing software, crop, rotate, etc. to get the best quality (I have seen people use blurry photos or photos where I had to turn my head sideways!)
  • Highlight information that may be attached to your item for sale, for example, labels, tags, etc.

Mistake #2: Seller Provides a Vague Description or Gives Little Information About the Item for Sale

You would be amazed at how often sellers do not provide enough information on the items they have for sale. You want to avoid this! The last thing you want is to go back and forth with a potential buyer (wasting time) over the information they could have read in your ad.

Description Tips:

  • Provide useful information so a potential buyer can make an informed choice. Avoid using subjective terms like "gorgeous sofa and loveseat." I know it is hard to believe but, someone may not agree! Instead, provide a potential use for the item such as "ideal for a growing family."
  • Give an honest description of the item's condition: excellent, very good, good, fair, etc.
  • List the benefits (don't oversell here) the potential buyer will enjoy if they buy your item
  • Give the dimensions or specifications of the item. For example, if you are selling furniture most people will want to know if it will fit into their place so you'll need to give specifics on size. Does it come from a pet/smoke-free home?
  • Highlight what sets your item apart. Is it top-of-the-line quality backed up by a quality brand? Perhaps, it has never been used or rarely used. Is it a collector's item?

Mistake #3: Sellers Price Is too High or too Low

How do you price your item?

Pricing Tips:

  • Do your research by looking for similar ads to yours that are listed on Kijiji. If you are selling a coffee maker for $100 and there are 75 other coffee makers listed for $15–$50 then, you are probably asking too high of a price (unless your coffee maker makes waffles too or is in demand like Keurig).
  • List a higher price if your research shows similar items are asking for higher prices. I placed an ad for a friend who was not computer savvy and he wanted $25–$35 for his guitar, case, and extra strings. My research indicated he could get more and he did... an extra $100 for 10 minutes of research!
  • Generally, your item for sale should be priced for the given demand in your geographical area. One exception is for those items that are truly unique or rare and in those cases the more you can document the rarity or uniqueness the better.

Mistake #4: Sellers Misrepresent an Item for Sale

Do not do this! You will lose the goodwill of the people you deal with in your local area. I drove an hour to view a leather loveseat that I thought was a good deal. I asked the seller before I left if there were any scratches, rips, tears, smoke, etc. and he said there was one minor scratch that could be easily fixed. One minor scratch turned out to be a loveseat mauled by his dog's claws! Needless to say, I will never deal with that guy again.

Seller's Tip:

  • Give an honest description of the item to be sold. If it needs work, say so. You'd be amazed at how many people will buy stuff that is less than perfect if, you are upfront about it.
  • The buyer and seller should both feel good about the sale.

Mistake #5: Sellers List Items for Sale That Are out of Season

You probably shouldn't list that snowmobile for sale in the middle of July unless you are desperate for cash.

Seasonal Tips:

  • Put your items up for sale at the height of the season (or just prior) for that particular item
  • Check out your local flyers for hints as to which season is coming
  • Tell your potential buyers that they get a better deal from you than local retailers. Why pay retail prices for a new lawnmower when you can get a gently used one for a discount?

Now You Know!

Now you know how to avoid the top 5 biggest mistakes sellers make on Kijiji. Thank you for stopping by and reading my article. Please feel free to make any comments or suggestions and share any ideas that you think may be helpful. Have a great day!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: How can I renew my ad and have it get back up on page one without paying Kijiji or totally redoing all the descriptions?

Answer: Kijiji will allow you to simply re-post after about 8 weeks. They will notify you through the app or via email.

Question: Under ‘Ad Type,’ what is the difference between ‘I want’ and ‘I’m offering?’

Answer: “I want” means that you are looking for a particular item or service. “I’m offering” means you are offering something for sale.

Question: What if your item doesn’t fit any of Kijiji categories? How can you add your own categories to Kijiji?

Answer: There’s no way to add a category so you will have to rely on a fantastic description.

Question: When does the ad appear after placing it?

Answer: My experience is that ads go live within minutes. Kijiji sends a confirmation email to let you know it’s live.

Thanks for visiting and for your question. Good luck!

Question: Is it cool to raise the price on your Kijiji ad after unpredicted high interest makes you realize it's worth more?

Answer: That’s tough to answer because you don’t want to undervalue your item however, you don’t want to alienate potential buyers. You could let potential buyers know that there is high interest and you will take the best offer above the initial list price.


WhyAreAllTheNamesTaken on February 17, 2019:


May I post an ad on Kijiji on the Job category about someone who does not pay the employee? I mean there are a couple people in the trucking business who make people work for free.. May I expose them?

jessy on November 23, 2017:

Well said , thanks a lot

William on July 11, 2017:

Mistake #6: listing your item as "wanted" instead of "for sale". When you're trying to sell something you don't want it, you already have it and are trying to get rid of it. Hello? Anyone?

linda on June 25, 2017:

why when I want to post a scooter for sale it than directs me to shopping cart rather than post add free

CheapieMe on June 19, 2017:

I wish you'd talk about how to get an ad #1 ranked WITHOUT paying for that. You know: hacks!

anonyme on September 29, 2016:

search for another web site to advertise my ad BECAUSE KIJIJI new posting limit.............any suggestion where to go

MonsieurCanadien on September 17, 2016:

I have when people bargin!

Sorry, there is no best offer. Do you bargin at the store? I think not!

Dave on May 03, 2016:

I have taken crystal clear photos with an expensive camera but they upload with a blur to kijiji (not Craiglist). What's the trick to getting them to upload crystal clear? Yours look great.

Dave on November 28, 2015:

Anybody else think Steve (above) obviously listed on kijiji at too high a price. And Lol, one cannot judge themselves a breath of fresh air.

Steve on September 14, 2015:

You forgot the biggest mistake of all which is listing on Kijiji period. Kijiji is frequented by low ballers who try to get everything for at least 25% less than a fair price. It's great for buying, especially if you are like me and just want to get something for a fair price. Dealing with me is a breath of fresh air compared to all of the low balling slime that is out there. For selling, people would have better luck with their local facebook swap and buy page if they want to get a fair price for their stuff.

Bruce A. Beaudet (author) from Canada on February 28, 2015:

Hi Paul,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your Kijiji experiences.

Paul on February 18, 2015:

Thank you for your article! As a frequent kijiji flyer, it's annoying when sellers make these rather obvious mistakes. The furniture dimensions one has got to be the #1 most overlooked seller mistake (as well as taking one photo from 100 yards that's blurry and posted at 90 degrees).

But my personal pet peeve is asking too high a price. One example was a seller posting a 75$ saw for 925$ because, you know, it was "heavy duty".

I can forgive laziness in searching for comps when the seller also acknowledges the price gap after showing them. Live and learn. But sellers will sometimes get angry that people are offering market value. I have receive many nasty emails from people as a result. Some items have been listed at the original asking price for well over a year and a half. They must be a treat in relationships!

I have actually learned how to scan the descriptions for key signs that the seller is going to be horrible to deal with, and avoid them, even if I like the item and am willing to pay said price. Being a jerk may make you feel good, but it also allows you to hold on to those wonderful items you now can't sell.

Bruce A. Beaudet (author) from Canada on February 08, 2014:

Mr. TickleBerry,

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your positive feedback .

Mr.TickleBerry on December 09, 2013:

Awesome post! Now I know how to post a better ad on Kijiji!

Bruce A. Beaudet (author) from Canada on June 16, 2012:

Hi google seo,

Thanks for your comment.

Best regards,


google seo on June 10, 2012:

Your blog post on offers the same submit as another article author but i much like your far better.