Second Hand shopping in Finland is super popular and a lot of fun! It’s been great to see the second cycle movement grow stronger. In Finland, the recycling culture has always been active and present, and it shows from the re-use mentality in any kind of consumer goods all the way to repurposing buildings rather than new construction. Second-hand shopping is widely popular and encouraged, and possible both online or offline in stores. Here are my favourite tips for second-hand shopping in Helsinki, both in-store and online.
I’ve always enjoyed browsing flea markets and second-hand shops, but especially in the last two years and now recently when we moved into our first own apartment, I’ve really put a lot of time and effort into both selling things and finding new bits used.
Also when it comes to giving gifts and buying presents, it’s good to give it all a rethink. While many of us, myself included, are starting to move away from the thought of gifting random material items, I’ve started to put more thought in the presents I give. For many of my friends especially, I don’t give anything at given times, but rather buy something that I see as perfect for them whenever it happens to come along!
Tori.fi has selected 3 top used gift ideas, which are Arabia items (I love all the mugs, tea- and coffee ware), Kalevala jewelry (check out the Lumikukka line with which you basically can’t go wrong) or as top pick the classic Artek stool – I would recommend checking out their prints for a more affordable option.
– UFF: UFF has a bunch of stores around town that resell clothes that have been donated. You can also donate your items in-store or in collection containers. Most locations of UFF are in Helsinki, but there are several further around the country.
In many UFF stores some special things are sorted separately, such as Marimekko items, silk garments or brand clothing items, which is great is you’re looking for something specific there. They also have vintage specific stores, others are better for basics.
Keep an eye on their social media for the “uusi valikoima” dates, which is when their new stock arrived, or also for the “tasarahapäivät” that happen shortly before. Then, all existing stock is sold for very little money – 1€ only on the last day!
– Relove: with two beautiful shops in Töölö, Stockmann and Punavuori, Relove has quickly become a local favourite for finding second-hand treasures from private persons. Here, anyone can rent out a clothing rack and put up their clothes for sale. The shop then takes a commission in addition to a rental fee. Here it’s a great spot for items of higher quality or from brands, and it’s pretty wonderful to browse through. Both places also have a café with great coffee and snacks (and breakfast).
– Frida Marina, Hoochie Mama Jane, Penny Lane & Play it again, Sam – true vintage gems with fantastic service as well. For Finnish retro garments and high quality dresses, or also some oddities, these are your best bet.
– FIDA: Fida is great for home and interior stuff, but I have also found some great clothing pieces here. Most locations also have furniture on offer. My favourite one is the Sörnäinen location, as it’s absolutely huge, and you can find whatever you need there. Also, the Iso Roba shop is great.
– Punavuoren Patina & Helsinki Flea Market: Other favourites, which are both the same type of flea markets where each seller has a rack and shelf to display the items that are on sale. In both of these, you can find both clothes as well as household items and all kinds of very random things. Which is kind of my favourite kind. These types of places need more patience and time to find the real treasures, but it’s worth it in the end!
-Kierrätyskeskus: I have found great household items here, they also have furniture for sale. Most items here are from donations, so the quality is sometimes not the greatest. For every visit with a great find, there were plenty where there was absolutely nothing for me. But: everything is very affordable, if you need to just get things (great for students, everything from my first flat was from here). This is a great place to go. I personally don’t recommend it for clothing. The locations are huge, and therefore mostly out of the city centre. My favourite is the Suomenoja shop.
– SPR-Kontti: the second hand outlets from the Finnish red cross, similar concept to the Kierrätyskeskus one, large stores and a variety of household and clothing items.
– Otherwise, search Google Maps for “Kirppis” in the area you’re looking.
– Tori.fi: the main marketplace that is used in Finland
– Facebook Marketplace: Is very popular here, but I recommend checking the neighbourhood specific groups instead (see list below).
– Zadaa app: similar to Vinted in other markets, wonderfully easy to browse and buy directly through the app without having to interact with a seller. I have found some lovely items on all of these! Great filters which make it easy to find what you’re looking for
– Mjuk: for online furniture second-hand shopping. They also deliver!
– Franckly: an online marketplace for pre-owned design items. The alert-setting is really handy if you are looking for something specific to be sold.
…There are plenty more, for different areas and cities, keep looking 🙂
Look for specific things: most of the time when I see an item I want to buy, I search on all those online platforms for exactly that. An item of clothing in a specific colour or size, or even material; the exact model of the chair, aside from just mentioning the type of item or brand. You’d be surprised how much this helps your search results.
Search your radius: sometimes I forgot to set my search radius accordingly and was then disappointed when my glorious find ended up being in Oulu or something. Be realistic with where you search, depending on your options you might be able to pick your things up with public transport, or you might have have to get a car.
Area-specific groups: especially on Facebook, the generic Marketplace has not been the most successful for me. There you run the chance of coming across scammers, but it’s also over-crowded there. My tip: join the neighbourhood-specific Facebook groups. Also, for you, if you, for example, live in Eira, join the Eira recycling group, and you’ll only find things that are sold in your area. Greatly helpful, especially if you’re looking for or selling furniture! Also, there tend to be more serious offers and buyers in those smaller groups. Most of them are okay with English communication, although the posts tend to be in Finnish.
Search with typos: this is just a bit sneaky and can work sometimes – if you’re lucky (as the buyer, at least), but when sellers put typos in their item headline, you can sometimes find some lost treasures in the grammar trenches. Worth a try.
Make a purchase request: on Tori.fi for example, you can make an announcement with the intent of purchase. Instead of just selling something, you can this way put it out there that you’re buying something in particular (“Ostetaan”), and whoever has that for sale can contact you directly, without bothering to put it up for sale, to begin with. Has been greatly helpful!
Put in Search-alerts: at tori you can put in e-mail alerts for your searches, for Facebook marketplace it works too. This is great for specific items!
Be fast: not exactly a magical piece of advice, but if you are looking for something specific, you need to be fast, refreshing that page a lot and don’t hesitate with messaging that person asap. Things sell quickly around here.