I remember the good ol’ days of used item purchasing. Garage sales were more frequent and attendance was a lot higher than how things are nowadays. If you wanted to sell your bike or car you’d throw a For Sale sign on it and roll it to the end of your driveway hoping someone who passed by would notice and stop by. You’d have actual conversations with people in the flesh and they could see with their own eyes the condition of things. If you were a bit of a stuck up jerk it may deter me from purchasing your car, or if you were a super down to earth fella I may be more inclined to trust you. Along with that you could see how the current or soon to be previous owner felt about the object and that could speak volumes.
I then remembered a step in a new direction fairly early on in my youth. The Super Shopper was a black and white paper that you could submit your advertisements via a phone call and list your items. Anything from old furniture, cars, dirt bikes, and cassette tapes. I remember seeing N64 games listed, free puppies, anything you could think of. They’d have a table of contents and from there you’d have to flip through and find the section you desired. The Entertainment section began to expand faster than I think they anticipated and covered way too much variety for one category.
Then boom. The internet. Super Shopper tried hopping over to a website, it worked but it was a bit clunky. Websites like Auto Trader came into being and just took over the automotive, boat, and motorcycle categories. With this you could filter year, body style, etc which would help you immensely when trying to find that perfect vehicle. Auto Trader was where I ended up finding my first few cars. However with most things on the internet alongside the good, the bad arose and fake advertisements or scams began to pop up. One afternoon I discovered a well coveted vehicle for sale for half of the price they usually go for. The owner claimed it was his late brother who owned it and he lives overseas. So to get the car all you had to do was send him a money transfer and meet one of his friends in Toronto where the car was said to be. Yuck. I was so interested though we even talked to a few bank representatives about the matter and they confirmed our suspicions.
The next step is probably the biggest thing to happen in Ontario at least: Kijiji.
I’d argue Craigslist never really took on over here as much as Kijiji. With the ability to post anything and everything for sale things we’re sweet, but terrible at the same time.
The downfall of internet second hand purchasing:
- You finally found what you want, but there are not very many photos
- You want more information but the seller doesn’t reply to your emails
- The seller didn’t list their phone number so it’s emails or nothing
- The seller sold the item but didn’t remove the ad
The downfall of internet second hand selling:
- You list everything anyone would ever want to know about the item yet you get emails from people asking questions that are answered in the ad
- You get disgustingly low offers on your item (half the value you are asking)
- Sometimes you get attitude for no reason (if you don’t like it don’t bother emailing)
- Someone says they want it but they expect you to deliver it
- Someone says they want it but they don’t come and get it
- Someone says they want it, says when they are coming, but they don’t
- Someone finally arrives to purchase it, they love it, and then offer you less “cuz it’s all they have on them”