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On Computers, Classifieds, and Kijiji


I’ve been trying to sell my old iMac, but with little luck so far. I’ve
tried various online classifieds like the reliable-if-drab craigslist, and
a few inferior wannabes, but after an interested nibble or two at the
outset, and the occasional scam offer, I never got any feedback.

So I decided to try Kijiji, a new free classifieds website from eBay.
The name, Swahili for “village”, is a bit hard on the eyes, and might
make you react like that guy in the Jig-a-Loo commercial. But the
site itself has much potential.

Instead of a vast international auction, Kijiji has local sites for over
180 cities, including Toronto, where people can post free classifieds.
That has always been the weakness of eBay: because of fees for selling,
and often prohibitive shipping costs, it’s not that good for local
transactions—just the kind you need to get rid of a big, heavy piece
of equipment like a computer. In addition to its cheery look on the
eBay model, Kijiji doesn’t force you to register to place an ad, like
some other sites do. And, unlike eBay, it’s not just buying and
selling, but jobs, personals, and the like.

As Kijiji has only been up a short time, there are still some bugs, and
the selection is a little sparse. But that should soon pass. If Kijiji can
get the kind of web traffic that eBay gets, it could be a great resource
for neighbourhood e-commerce.

Alas, Kijiji, like other classifieds sites, is already trawled by
scammers. Within two days, I got a “response” in broken English
“on behalf of” the sender’s “client” that wanted to know if I would
return the extra money on a wire transfer because the guy
accidentally put on the money for his “shipping agent.”

Ri-i-i-i-ight.

But somebody must fall for these ploys to make them worthwhile.
It’s too bad there isn’t a way to filter out the bogus mail from the
legit. Maybe responders should have to answer a simple local trivia
question (like “Who is David Miller?”) before answering an ad. At
least then the scammers would have to do their homework.

Shameless plug alert: If you’re looking for a reliable computer with
lots of extra goodies, please check out the ad on Kijiji. Mention that
you were referred from blogTO and I’ll throw in all my old
computer games too!


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