PF Weekly Grab a Brew

PF Weekly Grab A Brew #28: Protect yourself when buying and selling online

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I don’t know how many times I’ve read about people getting injured, robbed or sadly killed through buying and selling through online ads. Shopping online for a second-hand bargain is great but not if it comes at the expense of either the seller or the buyer, which for some could end in a not so nice fashion. Car scams keep popping up in the news and it’s about time we took action against these people who just don’t know how to make an honest living without ripping people off.

I’m one who enjoys shopping on Kijiji Canada but I’ve never bought from Craigslist although I’m sure they are one in the same. You can even surf Facebook Marketplace and local online for sale ads in your community on Facebook to buy, sell and/or auction off items you no longer want. That’s great right? You’re making extra money that you can use to put towards your budget or to grow your savings account. So what’s the problem?

The problem isn’t so much what we are doing; the buying or selling, it’s the crazy people out there that are willing to stop at nothing to make a few bucks with these scams. Even if that means to hurt you or rob you of your money when you come to buy. When I was reading an article on Yahoo this morning about a car buyer being robbed of $3200 in Edmonton this past Wednesday when he went to purchase a car it really, fired me off.

On-line Fraud

It just goes to show you that we MUST protect ourselves and even though some of you may think it’s common sense, not everyone has that. We are a trusting society. We can easily be manipulated by someone who is friendly, open and polite when they may just be trying to lure you into a trap. If you ever suspect online fraud you must stay away and contact the website that you are dealing with.

Email fraud and credit card fraud seems to be one of the worst forms of fraud. I get daily emails from fraudsters wanting my personal information or pretending to be someone or a site that they are not asking me to update accounts and credit card information. It’s sad really, but this is what we are dealing with in terms of technology and it’s only bound to get worse. On-line or off-line we must take precautions in all our personal dealings of buying and selling and identity theft.

I this case, the young man, clearly had good intentions to purchase a new vehicle was robbed at knife point, had his money and vehicle stolen after answering the fake ad on Kijiji. Times are getting rough for many and they will stop at nothing and apparently this incident just comes days after an Edmonton guy was robbed and kidnapped then later brought from Edmonton to Calgary after meeting up with buyers for his real online ad on Kijiji offering a vehicle for sale.

You may think I am being harsh when you read what I have to say below but there is nothing in this world that can bring you back once you are gone. Money comes and goes, life does not. There is nothing that can protect you, but you so be informed and drop the tough guy or girl act and be responsible when buying and selling online.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Whether you are buying from Kijiji Canada or any other online entity take the steps to protect yourself so everything goes as planned and you get the bargain you set out to purchase.

Selling online

I always proceed with caution when buying and selling on Kijiji. I talk about selling as well because you never know who will come to your home. Some people freely allow strangers into their homes that come to purchase something. They give out information about when they will be home, when they will be at work and they give their address.

You don’t know the buyer when they come to your house so DO NOT let them in your home unless you have more than one person with you in the home. I know there are instances where items are in the home to be viewed but never do it alone and hide any valuables that might be in plain sight. All it will take is for you to turn your back and it might just disappear on you. If you can get the items you want for sale close to the door, on a porch or even in the garage or back yard it’s better than allowing strangers in your home.

  • Don’t give out personal information
  • Don’t tell them where you work or when you work
  • Don’t tell them if you have kids in the house or their names
  • Don’t tell them anything you won’t tell another stranger you don’t know even if they are friendly to you
  • Set up a pick-up or viewing time and have a friend or family member with you when selling an item
  • Set up a meeting place in public if you can instead of your home if possible
  • Always keep a phone close to you if possible
  • Keep the lights on in your home or outside your home
  • Don’t turn your back
  • Only accept cash
  • Never give the item unless its paid in full
  • Never accept payment options
  • Trust no one

Buying online

If you are a buyer on your way to pick something up that you have scored online at Kijiji classifieds Canada for a great deal you have to take caution. If you think I’m being overly protective, maybe I am but when it comes to your life, nothing will bring you back if you are gone. No one will care how macho or responsible you thought you were.

  • Never go alone
  • Don’t turn your back
  • Don’t give out personal information including banking, credit card, social insurance information … NOTHING!
  • Only pay in cash
  • Refrain from going in a home if you don’t need to especially if you are alone
  • If it’s a huge amount of money, leave it in the car locked up, at home or wait to go to the bank. If they want to sell the item they will wait to get your money. Never carry it on you.
  • Never bring your wallet or any expensive items with you when you go to meet.
  • Never flash your money until the deal is done if you must carry it on you
  • You don’t need to give them your personal information unless it’s necessary for the purchase
  • If you have a cell phone bring it with you and keep it on you
  • Never meet in a dark alley, meet in public areas if you must pick up in a different location rather than a home
  • If they aren’t willing to cooperate, forget the purchase and move on
  • Trust no one

If in doubt simply contact Kijiji Canada and ask their customer service for more information or you can read, “How do I stay safe while using Kijiji” provided by Kijiji Canada. Protect yourself when buying and selling online; it’s the smart thing to do.

What other tips can you add for buyers and sellers of online Kijiji ads?

Top Recipe


If you haven’t had a chance to check out my new Facebook page The Free Recipe Depot please come around and Like my page. It’s a place where I share recipes and only recipes from blogs and websites from around the web. Each week I will feature my favourite recipe from The Free Recipe Depot out of all those recipes submitted to the Facebook page during the week.

Today the top recipe goes to Life Currants for their Mint n’ Chocolate Chip Cupcakes. We grow loads of mint in our back garden and use it for all sorts of recipes. It’s also great in a cucumber radish salad that we make. It really does bring out the flavour. Although this recipe does not use fresh mint I would certainly give it a try and see what happens.

PF weekly reading line-Up

Here are a few blog posts that I thought were worth mentioning this week from around the web.

Top story: Why I no longer eat cheeseburgers- The Great Jollyhoombah

Have a great week everyone and I hope you enjoyed this edition of my Personal Finance Weekly Grab a Brew #28. Join me again next Friday when we do it all over again.


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  1. Oh, Craigslist creeps me out SO bad. That isn’t to say I’ve never used it. When we have and the item had to be picked up at our home, we invited a bunch of my fiances intimidating friends over. I felt a lot safer, and it would probably make them think twice before coming back to rob us of anything in the future.

    We’ve had really good luck, though. Normal people; no apparent creepers.

  2. I bought something that was never delivered on Ebay once but they were pretty nice and refunded via Paypal. The only bad thing is I lost the exchange rate that had changed quite a bit since. Now with safe payment and seller references you don’t rtake so much risk.

  3. That’s pretty scary, and there’s always stories about the dangers of meeting up with strangers from the internet, whether that’s from ads or just social media. It’s good to know what you are getting into and protect yourself.

    1. That’s true, good point. To be honest unless you know someone, they are a stranger no matter if you meet them online, in the library, at the grocery store. If the tendency is there, it will be there no matter how you meet them.

  4. Mr. CBB, your last bullet point was so well-placed and so important: Trust no one.

    We were on a Craigslist selling spree last year, but we had a really scary caller wanting too much information. CJ got off the phone and said, “We’re done.” We did sell one item after that, but we were very selective about the caller and met him in a very public place with both of us.

    I read a large part of Gavin DeBecker’s The Gift of Fear. Whenever we’re in a questionable situation anywhere, we ask ourselves, What would DeBecker do? If you have to ask that question, it’s usually better to play it safe. I’ve actually put my hand up as people were walking toward me and said forcefully, “No.” If someone approaches you, it’s usually not for an amiable reason. Sad but true. Thank you for the mention. I couldn’t believe it, CBB!

  5. Good tips. I’ve bought a lot of things online and thankfully haven’t had any bad or scary experiences. Definitely meet in public and bring a friend if you’re going to buy or sell something.

  6. It’s so sad but I really don’t trust many people any more. I’ve even read news stories of people leaving car seats at the side of the road with a doll in them so that when someone pulled over to check it out, well I won’t go into the rest. I think these days it’s best to be sceptical and have your wits about you, however sad it may sound. Thanks for the include!

  7. Those cupcakes look amazing! Thanks for sharing. I LOVE mint+chocolate combo.

    I’ve always had great success both buying and selling on kijiji-everything from cars to sporting event tickets. You have to be careful though there are some shady people outt here!

  8. My SIL sells stuff on kijiji often and buys there too. A couple of years ago she advertised and sold our trailer we no longer needed for us. She will have her husband around with her when people come to the house or she goes to theirs…. She offered with the trailer so we were fine with her doing it. We have no clue how ourselves and that is fine with me. After that man was killed taking a couple of guys for a test drive in his truck near Hamilton I don’t think I have any interest in trying to buy or sell things online thanks……
    What bothers me too, are those phone calls when you pick up and there is no one there…. We had an issue with those a few years ago before the older boy came home for the military. We only had one kid at home at the time. Normally with hubby’s night shift there is a vehicle in the driveway most of the day, every day. Hubby and the younger boy went camping for a few days so there was no vehicle in the drive from Sunday lunchtime and I was alone in the house. Within an hour of them leaving I started getting the calls where there is no one there. The entire time they were gone I got 1-3 of those calls every day!!!! They came home Thursday around lunchtime after I had a call in the morning. Funny……. the calls stopped as soon as the car was back in the drive…….. Was I spooked by this??? Hell yes… To the point where I had a talk with the local OPP folks. Nothing they could do but at least they knew about it. Now if I am alone inthe house I carry the cordless with me everywhere, all day and night. I have no problem calling the OPP if I think there is a reason. And they have no issue with some one calling them for any reason……I’ve talked to them about it… I’d rather call unnecessarily and look like a wimp than not just because I’d look stupid….. Stupid is better than dead…..

  9. Thanks so much for the mention Mr. CBB, I really appreciate it! I could not agree more with your thoughts above. We’ve sold quite a bit of stuff on Craigslist and there really are some characters out there. If the item is small enough we’ll even try to arrange a public meet-up. If we can’t do that we always make sure that both of us are home. There are just too many crazy people out there to take on the risk just so we can unload something.

    1. Just drives me nuts how far people will go to get money from people. When it gets to the point of wanting to kidnap or murder someone, walk into a hospital and get committed. There’s just no reason for this. Cheers mate

  10. Thanks for the mention Mr. CBB. Online fraud is a big deal but if you use a little common sense like you show it can go a long way to protecting you.

    1. They don’t prey on the smart people like us. It’s seniors and those that really are too trusting of people. I just hope the more we can spread the word the better especially with technology in our life. It’s only bound to get worse.

  11. Great post! I got very distracted by the Mint N Chip Cupcakes. Go figure I have green food dye and mint chips from my cupboard cleanout -TY for the mention 🙂 Perfect timing for this recipe! A recommendation I have for selling on Kijiji is to always invite a friend along to the meeting. Believe it or not, I actually had a guy ask me for a date from a tech item I had posted to sell. Unbelievable! Even when I told him my “co-worker” friend would be coming along, he still persisted. I had to get pretty harsh, keep telling him NO and then block him. Yikes! You want to be nice but in the end my niceness got me a lot of hassle.

    1. Haha.. wow… never know where you will meet the man of your dreams lol. It’s better to get what you need to get, no small talk.. and walk away. You’re not there to make friends of course unless you fall head over heels for a guy, well it’s hard to tell the heart no. Let me know if you make the cupcakes 🙂

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