Loving Pre-Loved Goods: A Guide to Second Hand Shopping in Switzerland

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A growing number of individuals are looking to second hand stores and thrift shops to buy items they need, because of recent trends which publicize sustainability and cost effectiveness. And whether you’re new to the world of second-hand shopping or have been roaming in it for a while, I’m sure you’ll find this guide to buying pre-loved goods in Switzerland extremely useful.

Why Second-Hand Shopping is the New Trend

Sale items at second-hand stores are typically more cost effective, which means you end up saving money when you purchase second hand. But wait – there’s more! You also get more bang for your buck, and not just in terms of volume. Due to the requirement to offer fast service to clients these days, it’s not unusual for merchandise available at second-hand shops to be made of premium material or showcase production systems that the world hasn’t seen in years, so while you’re perusing the aisles, you might just find a classic vintage piece which is personalized and one of a kind.

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Second Hand Shopping in Switzerland || My Swiss Story

But purchasing second hand isn’t just a fantastic opportunity to show off your fiscally responsible nature and unique taste; it’s also a great method of making a difference in the world by rejecting the requirements of the consumerist-modern market and trying to promote slower sustainable fashion that also protects the environment.

Even if you don’t think you’re making a big difference in the world as a person who buys utilized items, you most certainly are! 

Best Places for Second-Hand Shopping in Switzerland

Despite its modest magnitude, Switzerland has a plethora of second hand stores selling high-quality preloved items. Like me, if you relish thrifting this checklist of second hand stores in Switzerland is for you! 

1. Zurich’s Lost and Found Thrift Shop (Fundsachenverkauf)

People often lose their belongings on Swiss Public Transport and fortunately all those items don’t go to waste. This is an extremely entertaining store that refurbishes and resells all such items.  From jewelry, to a large selection of designer items, the majority of the pieces are brand new with tags . The inventory is constantly changing, consequently you never know how much you’ll find.

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Second Hand Shopping in Switzerland || Image from http://www.fundsachenverkauf.ch

2. Bern’s Bärner Brocki Thrift Store  

This store has a wide variety of items, along with a sizable clothing department. There is also a small cafe accompanying the shop, where you can get refreshments or fresh made baked goods. It’s a brief bus ride away from the primary train station. Visit this shop and make a cute day-out from it! 

3. Geneva’s Numero 6

In Geneva, second-hand does not equal inexpensive, and the same is true at Numero 6. Owned by Jean Marc David, this boutique is famous for its extensive collection of designer items from Geneva’s most fashionable women.  If you’re looking for bargains on slightly elevated-end apparel, this is not the place to go, but it’s a fantastic spot for hopelessly optimistic window shopping. Who knows, you might just find a steal.

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Second Hand Shopping in Switzerland || Picture from official Facebook page of Numero 6

4.  Vêt’Shop

There are three Geneva Red Cross Vêt’Shops, in Carouge, Eaux-vives, and Etuves, and they are all ideal stores to pick up clothes at a good price all while directly contributing to a worthwhile purpose. The cl othes found here are donated by the Geneva community and other clothes shops, resulting in an interesting collection of classic outfits, products, and regular wear. 

5. Caritas Luzern Secondhand Shop

This retail outlet has a nice range of garments and frequently has sales going on. It’s a quick walk from the primary railway station, but can also be reached by a bus ride.  a bus ride away. Caritas is a retail chain with locations throughout Switzerland, including several in Zürich and Geneva.

6. Geneva’s Flea Market in Plainpalais

The largest flea market of Geneva, this is a treasure trove of great deals. Stalls line the  streets surrounding Plainpalais Square, selling bric-a-brac, preloved clothing, and the occasional vintage furniture item.  Antique clothing as well as other wearable items can be found on the opposite end of the tram lines, more toward the university. Wednesdays and Saturdays are the only two days of the week when the  market is held, and it always draws a massive gathering, so get there early to get the best selection.

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Second Hand Shopping in Switzerland || Picture from http://www.geneve.com

7. Ascona’s First & Second Fashion & Art Gallery

The Southernmost canto of Switzerland, Ticino, is not well versed with the concept of secondhand clothing, however this one shop in the lovely town of Ascona is a pioneer. If you look hard enough, you will come across a lot of bling, but also a collection of quality apparel items that you can choose to wear on the idyllic piazza and throughout the city.

8. Basel’s Dorf Brocki

This store provides unique decor and utility pieces which you can use in your home. If you are a fan of all things cutesy and vintage , where everything is reasonably priced, then this store is a must visit for you!

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Second Hand Shopping in Switzerland || Picture from http://www.yelp.com

9. Book market: Marché de la Fusterie

Book sellers descend on the Marché de la Fusterie on every Friday and Tuesday, just off Rue de la Croix d’Or. There are books of all genres on the ten or so stalls, and a few of them have old paintings or drawings of the landmarks in Geneva.  While the majority of the publications are all in French, a good English collection is always available. I strongly recommend a  thorough perusal of the stalls in order to unearth some old literary riches that are frequently hidden among the new fantasy novels.

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Second Hand Shopping in Switzerland || Picture from http://www.geneve.ch

10. Zurich’s The New New

This store boasts of providing the most unique pieces of high-end as well as regular fashion, for all ages alike, where everything is reasonably priced. The store furthermore buys used garments from individual citizens, both in-store and for cash. Basically, you can simply bring your unwanted items into the store, in return for cash or other clothes from the collection they have! If you want to explore Zurich city in general, check out this city-guide we published previously!

Whether you are a student, a citizen or an expat, second hand shopping can be everyone’s cup of tea! Discover unexplored preloved items through this guide, and if you are an avid shopper but have no time to venture out, especially if you are a new expat, check out my article about Online Shopping in Switzerland here.

Are you enjoying our content? We would love to hear your opinions in the comments sections. Stay tuned for more resources, we are talking about – swiss travel, ex-pat living, mental health, nutrition, wellness and women empowerment. Stay well and stay with us!

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