Why Not Buy Secondhand?

2011-01-15. Published in Hands-on Guides
by Gina

If you need something for your new apartment in Gothenburg, like furniture, dishes, games, even textbooks or a bicycle, think twice before buying new. This city is full of used stuff, and you can probably find all you need online or at second-hand stores. Buying secondhand gives someone's old things a new life and saves you money.

For an online classifieds community (some of you are familiar with Craigslist, which is not very widely used around these parts), go to Blocket.se, what I call "Sweden's Craigslist." Don't  freak out when you see that it is all in Swedish, because we've provided some helpful translations below. You may also need a dictionary, a Swede, or Google Translate. Using Blocket, you can find anything from apartments to furniture to musical instruments. Search others' ads for free or post your own for around 100 kronor.

After clicking on your region or city, you can type in a keyword for what you are looking for. Under that, check the boxes to narrow your search. To look for people wanting to buy, check "köpes;" to trade (mainly apartments), check "bytes." If you want to buy something check "säljes," and if you are looking for somewhere to live check "uthyres." To the right is a drop-down menu to narrow your search into categories. The category heads, in order, are vehicles, for the home, living, personal, electronics, leisure and hobby, and business. Common categories you might need are furniture (möbler), apartments (lägenheter), and bicycles (cyklar). If you find something you want, click "Mejla Annonsören" to write them, or call them if a number is listed. If the seller contacts you back, you can go see the object in reality before you make up your mind to buy it. Bring cash with you so you can buy it on the spot if you like it.

For second hand course literature, you should rather check out "boktorget" on Lycknis.se, or andrahandsbokhandeln.nu (only in Swedish). Useful words for those sites is "köp" which means "buy" and "sälj" which means, you guessed it, "sell." If you are lucky you could find what you are looking there. For new course literature the cheapest book stores are those online, like Bokus.com and Adlibris.com

Don't miss Gothenburg's second-hand stores! I checked some out for you as I furnished my new apartment. Holmens Marknad is a family business with a large selection of furniture and housewares. If you want to shop at non-profit shops where proceeds go to different charity missions, here are several options: Kretsloppsparken Alelyckan and Ebbe's Hörna are two of many big stores run by Göteborgs Kyrkliga Stadsmission. A smaller store with very low-priced smaller furniture and housewares is Rescue Mission Secondhand. There I bought a Trivial Pursuit game for only 10 kronor. My personal favorite store was Smyrna Secondhand, for its extra-friendly workers. They went the extra mile and provided great customer service, almost like personal shoppers. There was a great selection of nice furniture, kitchen appliances, and much more, all for very low prices. These are just a few of the bigger second-hand stores found around town. All locations, opening hours and contact information are all found on their websites. You can surely find more second-hand stores just by taking a walk around the city, though they say the closer to downtown, generally the more expensive they are. Be careful at the really cheap stores though, because you might find yourself buying things you don't need just because they are such great bargains. For example, I bought a juicer (for only 25 kronor!!)... Now I'm just looking for a reason to use it.



Editor's note:

Indeed, some very good information there! I'd like to add one place to the list as well, where I've found lots of things at really low prices: The second-hand store run by Saron Church (Saronkyrkan). It's open Thursdays 4pm-7pm (no furniture), and Saturdays 10am-1pm (furniture section open as well). It can be a little tricky to find the place, both the church and the second-hand store, as it's a very 'modern' church without many of the traditional hallmark features of a church. The address is Brunnsgatan 5. Easiest, though, is to find tram stop 'Brunnsgatan'. From there you should be able to see a Hemköp grocery store. The second-hand store is actually on the second story, above the Hemköp store. The church is the building to the right of the Hemköp store.

/Nils, Misi.se 2012


If you are only staying in Gothenburg for a short time, before you leave you can get rid of the second-hand things you bought by re-selling them on Blocket, or donating them to a second-hand store (the same one you bought it from?) to pass on the good bargains or support your organization of choice.

Happy shopping!

/Gina, Misi.se team 2010-2011


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Discovering Swedish

This is a series of ten podcasts designed to introduce you to the Swedish language. We apologize for the poor audio quality of the first three episodes.
Episode 1 - Word order and verbs.
Episode 2 - Nouns.
Episode 3 - Adjectives.
Episode 4 - "What is that?"
Episode 5 - "Weekdays and Time"
Episode 6 - "Weekdays and Time"
Episode 7 - Verbs for 'to shop'

Episode 8 - "Money and withdrawing money from a store"
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