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Meet the Man Who’s Revitalizing Vancouver’s Vintage Scene

Kijiji's new web series follows Daniel Fu as he explores Vancouver’s thrift and vintage scene.

May 15, 2017

By Luke Ottenhof / Photo: Caley Vanular & Gavin Drummond

Locals know it all too well: Vancouver is expensive.

That’s part of the reason why Kijiji is working to make living in the west coast city an exciting, collaborative and — most importantly — affordable experience for residents.

The classifieds site is injecting Vancouver’s second-hand economy with fresh purpose via the second season of their web series, Second-Hand Van. The series is hosted by OLN’s The Liquidator co-star, Daniel Fu, and follows Fu as he explores the secrets of Vancouver’s thrift and vintage scene.

Along the way, Fu shows us how Kijiji offers opportunities to shop sustainably for second-hand finds, all while building connections in the community.

Second-Hand Van showcases Fu’s journey through transactions with Kijiji; each episode tells the story of a different object found on the site. It’s about “the journey of the item, and where it takes you,” Fu says. “Each episode, it’s like, ‘okay, we started off with this, where is it going to take us?’ At the end of the episode, you’ll find out.”

For example, in Episode 3: Surf’s Up, Fu heads to the west coast of Vancouver Island with a surfboard he bought on Kijiji. His purchase spurs him to connect with the Tofino surf community and head out on the water for his first ever surf lesson.

The adventurous nature of the project made it a natural fit for the energetic entrepreneur. “That’s been my whole life, buying and selling stuff,” he explains.

Beyond the simple act of buying and selling vintage items, the web series showcases the unique experiences that Kijiji facilitates for Vancouverites. It’s a community in and of itself, woven into the city, that provides a catalyst for interaction and activity in a place that offers a bounty of both. “We’re solving problems that people have, and we’re trying to find products on there that benefit us in life,” Fu explains.

Whether you’re looking for instruments, tools, bikes or appliances, the site has you covered. Fu even recently helped outfit someone’s van for a cross-country road trip, exclusively using parts from Kijiji to upgrade the vehicle.

Fu admits he finds most of his own recreational equipment on the site. Besides being a one-stop shop for virtually anything one might need, it’s almost always guarantees a discount. “If you can save 50 percent off, and the item is in good condition, why not?” Fu reasons.

Photo: Gavin Drummond

Kijiji’s impact extends to the environment, too. “The second-hand economy is about sustainability,” Fu says. When people sell on Kijiji, not only are they potentially making a profit, but they’re keeping items in circulation instead of sending non-biodegradables to the dump. “One item that’s taken away from the waste is one less item that’s going to landfill,” Fu asserts.

Ultimately, Fu sees the site as an opportunity to refocus on person-to-person connections. If you’re looking for a skateboard, and you connect with someone selling one, you’ve just met someone with the same interest as you. “That same person, you have a shared commonality and an interest with them,” Fu says.

Kijiji offers a plurality of rich, exciting histories, passed from person-to-person. By exploring our city’s second-hand economy through their site, you might just find yourself on a new adventure.

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