Survey reveals Canadians are knowingly trashing potential cash

Roughly 10 million Canadians are throwing away unwanted items instead of seeing green

TORONTO, April 13 /CNW/ - As the nation sweeps into spring cleaning action not all Canadians will be seeing green this year, according to a new survey commissioned by Kijiji Canada. In fact, more than 40 per cent of Canadians trash upwards of $400 by tossing unwanted household items instead of selling them.

So, why are Canadians missing the opportunity to turn their clutter into cash? The perceived difficulty associated with getting rid of clutter may explain why nearly half of Canadians simply throw unwanted items out with their regular garbage. In fact, the research reveals that, in general, Canadians would be more inclined to get rid of their unwanted items if there was an easy way to find someone who needed the item (54 per cent), a free and easy way to get rid of the item (47 per cent), or the ability to get rid of the item without having to transport it (35 per cent).

"There's no reason to trash cash," said Jaclyn Ray, Kijiji Canada's Clutter Wrangler. "Once you've taken the first and hardest step - which is letting go of your unwanted items - online resources, like, make it easy to sell household items and turn unwanted treasures into cash, not trash."

"It's also the greener way," she adds. "Selling or donating unwanted items means the item is being reused or recycled and it's not ending up in a landfill."

Turning clutter into cash

In order to turn clutter into cash, Kijiji's Clutter Wrangler Ray suggests these tips:

  1. Detach to de-clutter. More than 50 per cent of Canadians contend that they're "emotionally attached" to their clutter, according to Kijiji's research. Really, ask yourself: what is the worst possible thing that could happen if I didn't have this item?
  2. Seek out the obvious. Clutter, according to the survey, is likely hiding in the basement, a closet, or the garage. In fact, 45 per cent of Canadians admit to storing their clutter in their basement. Look for clothes, office supplies, and collectibles that you no longer want or need.
  3. Love it or list it. If you don't love it or need it, list it for sale using an online classifieds site like It's a great way to sell almost anything.
  4. Pick a price and post a picture. Take a minute to compare the price of similar products to get a sense of what your item is worth. If you're like 67 per cent of other Canadians with clutter who say it's made up of a bit of everything, you may not know its true value. Once you've priced the item, start listing. Always include a photo of your item in your ad. After all, a picture is worth 1000 words or maybe even $1,000.
  5. Start seeing green. Once your ad goes live, interested buyers will start to contact you. To complete the transaction, meet in person at a mutually agreed upon location.

With spring cleaning on the decline - only 48 per cent of Canadians plan an annual spring cleaning, compared with 54 per cent in 2010 - Ray suggests weekly or monthly de-cluttering instead. After all, the longer someone holds on to an item, the harder it is to part with it.

Clutter by community

Who's holding on to the most clutter? Which community has the most entrepreneurial spirit? When it comes to clutter behaviour, the survey also reveals interesting differences from coast-to-coast:

  • East versus West. The Maritimes are the most cluttered, with 30 per cent of Atlantic Canadians admitting to high levels of clutter.
  • There's a certain "je ne sais quoi" in Québec. Quebecers are the most attached to their items, with 17 per cent reporting that they are very emotionally connected to unwanted possessions.
  • Cashing in! Ontarians like to make the most profit, with 33 per cent of them selling their items at garage sales, and 20 per cent selling their items online.
  • Paying it forward? Ontarians are the most charitable, with 80 per cent donating their items to charity.
  • Albertans have an entrepreneurial spirit. On average, Albertans make more money than the rest of the country from selling unwanted items. The average amount earned last year was $421; however 16 per cent of Albertans made between $1,000 and $2,000 selling their unwanted items.
  • British Columbia and Ontario residents are fighting the most. Fifteen per cent of residents in each province report that they argue frequently or often with family or friends over clutter.
  • We're seeing environmental differences. Atlantic Canadians are most likely to throw their items away (57 per cent), while Quebecers are the least likely (32 per cent).

"According to additional research conducted globally, the average person throws away 10 items each year which could have been sold instead," said Zachary Candelario, general manager, Kijiji Canada. "As Earth Day approaches, we're reminding Canadians that there are no more excuses for simply throwing things away. With 99 community sites across the country and no posting fees, Kijiji is a free and environmentally-friendly way for Canadians to turn their clutter into cash. In fact, in the last year alone, Canadians have posted $2.1 trillion worth of ads on"

To start turning their clutter into cash, Canadians should visit or download the Kijiji Canada iPhone app directly from the App Store.


These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between April 1 to 4, 2011, on behalf of Kijiji. For this survey, a sample of 1,030 adults from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and political composition to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Kijiji Canada

Kijiji, which means "village" in Swahili, is the number one classifieds site in Canada, connecting nine-million buyers and sellers each month. offers Canadians a free, easy, and local way to buy, sell, and trade goods and services in their community. With local sites for more than 99 cities and towns across the country, Kijiji makes it easy for Canadians to find exactly what they're looking for in their own community. Kijiji Canada is part of the eBay Classifieds Group, the global leader in online classifieds with a global presence in more than 20 countries and 1,000 cities.

SOURCE Kijiji Canada

For further information:

For further information, media please contact:

Amy Clark
Environics Communications on behalf of Kijiji Canada

Gema Rayo
Environics Communications on behalf of Kijiji Canada


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