Selling Through Kijiji? A Few Pro Tips from Clutch

The Halifax region is known for its car culture. With limited taxi services (and no Uber!), a car is essential for the majority of daily commuters. While there are many new car dealerships in Halifax, in the pre-owned market, many buyers still resort to Kijiji when they’re looking for their next car. As this process can be nerve-racking, Clutch is here to provide you with a few tips that will help you avoid surprises along the way.

Check out these 8 tips that are essential next time you’re in the market:

1. Have an Idea of What You’re Looking For

With a number of cars being posted on a daily basis, it can be an overwhelming challenge to sift through the riff-raff. Your first step is to make a short list of potential makes and models that suit your everyday needs. This can be challenging in itself! A 2-door convertible may make your friends jealous; however, for most, that’s not a practical solution for that camping trip you’ve got planned.

Next, you need to figure out which features are important to you. Narrowing this field can help save you a lot of time! Once you have your basic checklist in order, it’s time to start searching.

2. Understand Price

For many buyers, price is the most important consideration (all-in or monthly payment). It’s important to do your homework here – year, trim package, mileage, features and previous accidents are some of the main drivers of price differentiation.

There are many car buying guides online, but it can be hard to find a source that encapsulates all the history of a pre-owned car. Your best bet is to look at multiple listings and gather more data points – the more information you have, the better!

3. Third Party Opinions

As trustworthy as the seller may seem, it’s always a good idea to get a report outlining the car’s history. Most sellers will pay for a CarFax report. A report typically outlines:

  • accident, collision, and damage detail 

    1. lien status (CarFax Verified Report supports this) 

    2. Canadian registration and branding 

    3. stolen vehicle check

    4. import records 

Similar to the pricing discussion above, having more information keeps you safe as the buyer. Kijiji has a built in CarFax widget where you can request it from the buyer – definitely something to act on!

4. Photography 

You know the old saying of “a picture is worth a thousand words?” At Clutch, we think this statement still holds merit. Usually, the pictures will give you an inside look at how the owner has treated his/her car. Snow covered hood, taken in the back of an alley? Probably not your safest bet.

The simple way to look at it – the quality of the seller’s photos gives a good indication of how he/she have treated the car in the past.

5. Mechanical Inspection 

While a CarFax provides you with great information regarding the car’s past, it doesn’t give you any indication of how the car was driven on a daily basis. Think about a mechanical inspection like your yearly visit to the doctor – usually a hassle, but better safe than sorry!

Very basic inspections have a large visual component to them. It’s recommended that the car undergoes a detailed inspection. This usually involves raising the car on a lift and checking the components underneath, a mechanical and engine check, as well as an assessment of additional systems.

6. Take it for a Test Drive

Test drives are an important part of the car buying process. After all, I don’t think you would purchase a home without examining its interior and exterior.

A really good test drive can take up to 30 minutes to feel comfortable with the car. Drive it like you would on a daily basis. For example, test the braking and check out the features you would regularly use.

7. Smell / Odour 

A test drive usually solves this; however, before you waste your time heading to a location, it’s a good idea to talk to the seller on the phone to ask about the car’s previous use. Was the car being used as a delivery vehicle (old smelly pizza, no thanks!) or did the owner frequently smoke in it?

Sometimes this is overlooked and while it may seem small, it can have a big impact once you’ve been handed the keys!

8. Make Sure You’re Comfortable 

The car buying experience should be an exciting one. Think about the upcoming road trips and fun adventures – all made possible by having a car. Unfortunately for many, it can be a daunting task.

With a number of postings on Kijiji it is possible to find the car that is right for you. It’s important to do your due diligence and not be afraid to ask the “dumb” questions. If you aren’t familiar with something, it is better to ask the seller upfront, rather than regret it later. Also, don’t always assume the seller understands everything either – this may be the first car they have ever sold!

A big reason we started Clutch, was to address the issues outlined above. We like the idea of being transparent and providing full disclosure. Head over to Clutch to browse our inventory. If you have any questions, feel free to send us an email at support@clutch.ca. We’re happy to help!

– The Clutch Team


Trish Roberts