The Basics of Buying and Selling on Kijiji

Here’s some valuable information on how to have a smooth, hassle-free experience on Kijiji.

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With more than 6 million live listings at any given time – and two more being posted every second – Kijiji has enabled a lot of transactions! With instant chat and easy search, members of our community have been buying, selling, communicating, negotiating and meeting up since 2005. Whether you are buying or selling, there are ways to make the process super easy, from first contact to the exchange! Here are some helpful tips on how to avoid any hassles and have a great time, starting with initial contact.


Always meet in person

There are many reasons why we always recommend buyers and sellers meet in person. This is particularly important if you are buying because it gives you the chance to inspect and try-out the item you want to purchase. This is especially true for very popular small tech items like phones and bigger-ticket items like cars. So, meet in a neutral, well-lit public area like a coffee shop or a shopping mall and give your potential purchase a test run.

Ask questions

For some items, it’s not practical or possible to test the goods before you buy – a dishwasher or a blender, for example. In these cases, we suggest you ask the seller to show you a recent video if possible of the item in action and be sure to ask some key questions, for example:

Is the item in good working order?

Why are you selling it?

Buying tech

iPhones and other tech are extremely popular on Kijiji, as you might imagine. If you’re interested in a new tech toy, always ask to inspect the item, even if it’s being sold as “new, sealed in the box.” Ask the seller to remove the packaging so you can see the item before you buy it.

Other phone-specific tips include:

  • To see if a phone has been lost or stolen, ask the seller to send you the phone’s IMEI number. This is obtained by dialling *#06# from the phone being sold. Once you know the IMEI number, you can use it to check if the phone been lost or stolen on this website. Since it can take up to 48 hours for a phone’s information to be posted on the site, you may want to check the number again before you meet up.
  • Check for signs that the phone is in lock mode or if it’s been erased remotely. In both cases, an activation lock would prevent you from using the phone.
  • To avoid any potential malware and viruses, it is best to restore to factory settings any second-hand phone.
  • Ask the seller to open the phone’s sim card slot. If it doesn’t open, the phone is probably fake.
  • Ask the seller to unlock the phone. If they’re unable to, it’s likely the phone is stolen or a fake.

Know before you buy

Note that most private sellers do not offer money back guarantees. In fact, no third party to your transaction offers guarantees, including Kijiji, so it’s important that you take the time to meet the seller, check the goods, ask questions, and try it out. Some people choose to ask for receipts if they are paying with cash.


Initial contact

When a potential buyer first contacts you, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Does the person’s email address look legitimate or is it filled with lots of numbers and letters?
  2. Did they call or text using a private number and then request you email them back?
  3. Is the communication filled with grammatical and spelling errors?
  4. Do they want you to post your ad on their website or offer to sell your item for you (for a fee, usually)?
  5. Offer any other kind of service (a “shipper” will come pick up the item, they’ll send you a wire as payment) or ask you to do something (provide your bank details, cash a cheque, etc.)

If any of the above appears in your contact with a potential buyer, simply stop communication and report it to Kijiji.

Always meet in person

If the communications with the potential buyer have gone smoothly and it’s time to make the sale, we always advise you meet in person, in a neutral, well-lit public space. If the person is hesitant to meet you locally, makes excuses as to why they can’t meet you or want to send a third party to make the purchase, it’s best to say no. Meeting face to face is the best way to ensure a hassle-free, easy transaction.


Once you’ve met the buyer locally and they are ready to purchase your item, the next step of course is payment! You can accept cash of course, but e-transfers are another popular option. You can even list your contactless transaction options as part of your Kijiji listing. Be very wary of anyone who offers to send you money before meeting you in person.

In short…

Selling on Kijiji is designed to be a straightforward, easy experience. If you feel the potential buyer is hesitating to meet-up or trying to direct you to do something or move the discussions to another site or location, stop communicating. You will hopefully find plenty of other interested buyers from our large community!

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