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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cheap marketing

As you are moving into university life, you may find that there are a few things you would like to have with you.  If your parents cannot bring it to you on a soon-to-come visit, you may be looking somewhere else to find it, i.e., a store.  But wait!  do you need new? If it came from your parents’ home, it may not be new.  So why not see if someone in the neighbourhood has one.

Although second-hand stores used to be the primary source of used (and cheap) items, the world is now digital and much selling and buying is done on the internet.  So yes, Goodwill and Salvation Army are still prime resources all students should know well, using the internet helps tremendously too.
Where I live, Kijiji is much more active than Craigslist.  What is Kijiji? a free ad website owned by eBay.  You can post ads there for free, wanted, selling, trading, giving away ads.  As well, you may be able to find a place to live from an ad on Kijiji, or a buyer for your old textbooks.  Kijiji works by physical proximity so every large Canadian city has a page where to find things.  All transactions are done in person, in cash (unless you are signing a lease, etc.).  This also means that you can ask a person to come to you if you need to buy something but do not have transportation to go get it (although most sellers are not keen to do this, some will).  You can also advertise the stuff you need to get rid of when you move or graduate, including textbooks (this is also a great place to find used textbooks). Craigslist is essentially the same.  Having your own account makes things much easier and is free. I once found a parking space close to campus via Kijiji.

Freecycle is even better.  Freecycle is a set of Yahoo groups (so you need to request membership in your university city) and you cannot browse the ads without being a member.  However, the one rule about Freecycle is that everything listed must be FREE!  So members offer free items and others request items for free – it’s like a large generous community.  I belong to my local Freecycle group and I have given many of my kitchen ‘extras’ such as pots and pans, some furniture, some clothing, and even some food I bought and did not like (such as herbal tea).  Joining is free and you may even meet a few like-minded students in the group!
Facebook is another great resource – you can announce to all your Facebook friends what you need for university; as well, you can go onto your university Facebook page to search for textbooks and other supplies you need.  You can also advertise for housemates for the next year, find a frugal place to stay, etc.

Finally, not all students are as techno-savvy as you are; paper posters are still an effective way to advertise for used books or when you have an available room to fill – look at the posting area on campus, there are often more than one!
When you need something or someone, use ALL your marketing resources.

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