Best places to buy second-hand in Switzerland

Mr. The Poor Swiss | Updated: | Save
Best places to buy second-hand in Switzerland

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

When you want to save money on something, buying it second-hand may be a great way to pay less! Over the years, I have bought many things second-hand, and I could save a lot of money by doing so.

But the question remains as to where to find second-hand items to buy. In this article, I will go over the best places to buy second-hand items in Switzerland. Some places are online, while other places are brick-and-mortar shops.

Emmaüs Shops

My favorite place to buy second-hand items is Emmaüs shops. There are plenty of them in Switzerland. For instance, there is one in Geneva, one in Fribourg, and one in Bern.

Emmaüs is a solidarity community created in France. They are collecting items based on donations. Then, they are refurbishing them (if necessary) and selling them at a fair price. They are employing people in difficulty.

In Emmaüs shops, you can find many things:

  • Furniture
  • Books
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Electronics
  • Clothes
  • And more

Over the years, I have bought tons of books at Emmaüs. You will find many items in these shops at an excellent price, and it is a great way to contribute a little to a community.

For books, I really think this is the best place in Switzerland. It is also a great place for furniture, but there are many good alternatives for furniture.

The advantage of traditional second-hand shops is that you can browse around. And sometimes, you will discover some great things at an unbeatable price. But the downside is that you have to drive there and pick up the items yourself.

There are also some good other second-hand shops in Switzerland. But to my knowledge, Emmaüs shops are the only ones that are all over Switzerland. For instance, we have Coup de Pouce in the French-speaking part. And I am sure you can find some other great second-hand shops in big cities like Zurich.

Ricardo – Online

Ricardo is an online shop where you can sell and buy things. And many people are selling second-hand items on this webshop.

You can find pretty much everything on Ricardo:

  • Computers
  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Collection items
  • Furniture
  • And much more

What I really like about Ricardo is that most sellers will send you the item. It means that you can do everything from home and get the item delivered to you. Of course, this means it is more expensive than some other alternatives. But it also means that you do not have to drive far to get what you want.

And the system is straightforward to use. It is really a webshop, not a simple ad website. It means that you have some (limited) protection in case items are not delivered to you, for instance. And you generally do not have to contact the seller back and forth to get your item. Everything is done by the system, which is great. In most cases, It is just like buying something on any other webshop, you just press a button, and you are done.

I have especially used Ricardo to buy second-hand appliances and tools. I have also bought some computer pieces for my installation. Many companies are using Ricardo to liquidate things they do not need.

Now, with the delivery fees, some things are a bit too expensive on Ricardo. For instance, I very rarely bought second-hand books there. And since it is online, you will not see the object for real before you buy it.

I think Ricardo is great when you know more or less what you want to buy. But I still prefer traditional shops when I want to browse around.

Ricardo is also my favorite place to sell things online in Switzerland.

Anibis – Online

Another interesting place to find second-hand items is Anibis. There are tons of ads for second-hand items on this website.

Just like Ricardo, you can pretty much find everything on Anibis:

  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • Books
  • Cars
  • Tools
  • Tickets

It is important to note that Anibis is not a webshop. It is a classified ad website. It means that you will have to contact the author of the ad to buy it. And then, you will have to organize the payment by email or phone. This also means that many of the ads are outdated. I often contacted a seller, and either I did not get any response, or they told me the item was long gone.

Finally, most sellers will not send you stuff on Anibis. You will have to get it yourself. And you will have no buyer protection if the other side does not respect its part of the bargain. So, overall, buying on Anibis is not very convenient.

Nevertheless, you can find great deals on Anibis. And since it is not a webshop, you have more freedom to haggle. This is why many people are still using Anibis to buy and sell second-hand items.

I still use Anibis from time to time to buy second-hand books and especially collections of books. In this case, the prices are low, and paying for delivery would make it too expensive. And I have also used it a little to sell some things. But generally, for both buying and selling, I have a better experience with Ricardo.

Tutti – Online

If you want one more option, tutti is another good website to find second-hand items. It is very similar to Anibis. But tutti is more popular in the German part of Switzerland than Anibis.

Tutti is also a classified ads website, you will find tons of ads on this. You will have to contact the seller directly and then organize the payment and delivery. In most cases, you will have to go to the seller yourself to pick the item.

You can find great deals on tutti, but I personally did not have a great experience with it. I find Ricardo and Anibis significantly better for my needs. But I know that many people appreciate tutti. So, give it a try if you do not find what you want with the other options!

Facebook Marketplace

One place that is used more and more in Switzerland is Facebook Marketplace. Now, I do not like Facebook, but I have to say that Facebook Marketplace is a great place to find good deals.

Everybody with a Facebook account can access Facebook Marketplace. And you can find a ton of second-hand things (within the limits of Facebook rules):

  • Furniture
  • Clothes
  • Toys
  • Appliances
  • Electronic
  • and more

Now, just like Anibis, you have the disadvantages of classified ads. Some ads are outdated, and almost nobody will send you anything. So, you will have to go and grab it.

But I still find it easier to use than Anibis. People are much more responsive on Facebook than on Anibis. It is basically a better version of Anibis. The only disadvantage compared to Anibis is that browsing it is less practical. It is sometimes difficult to find what you want. But the choice is absolutely huge, and the prices are often great!

We have bought several appliances, toys, and decorations on Facebook Marketplace. You can save a lot of money by using this service. But you may also spend a lot of time on it.

Facebook Groups

Another good place to find second-hand items is on Facebook Groups. Over the last few years, a ton of Facebook groups have been created to sell second-hand items.

Since I am not a Facebook user, I only discovered these groups a few years ago. But many people are using them to sell and sometimes give away second-hand items. Yes, you can even find many items for free.

These Facebook groups are probably the best place to find second-hand items for free. You could find a few on Anibis and Facebook Marketplace, but there are many more on Facebook Groups.

I cannot give you a list of all these groups because there are way too many of them. But there are several groups for each big city of Switzerland. Even for Fribourg, there are at least five big groups for selling and giving second-hand items. There are fairly easy to find. Just search for groups with your city name and for sale or free in the name. I am sure you will find enough groups.

While you can find great things in these groups, it is also the least convenient place to find something. Good items are generally reserved in less than an hour (sometimes in a few minutes). And you have to make all the conversations directly with the seller (or giver). So, you need to check these groups often to find the things that you want.

So, it is a great place to buy things you know you are going to need in the future. For instance, before you move to a new place, you could buy some decorations there. Or if you are expecting a child, you could buy second-hand clothes and toys for your child months in advance. With that, you could save a lot of money. But if you need something quickly, this is not a great way to find it unless you are fortunate.

And you may very well spend a lot of time on these groups waiting for a good item to arrive.

Mrs. The Poor Swiss has found some nice decorations and pieces of clothing on these groups. But you have to stay alert on the groups to find these deals because many people are waiting on them.

Conclusion

There are plenty of places where you can buy second-hand items in Switzerland. And there are even some places where you can get some items for free.

Personally, I still like going to second-hand shops like Emmaüs, especially for books. And for several other things, I prefer using Ricardo because the seller will send the item directly to me. But Mrs. The Poor Swiss has been able to find some great deals on Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Groups.

With these places, you should be able to save some money on your purchases. Buying second-hand items for things that you know you will not need forever is a great thing!

What about you? Where do you buy your second-hand items?

Mr. The Poor Swiss is the author behind thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized that he was falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut on his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. In 2019, he is saving more than 50% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

10 thoughts on “Best places to buy second-hand in Switzerland”

    1. Hi Giulio,

      I have never heard of brokenhaus but it seems many people like tutti. I never found anything there, but I may have been unlucky. I will add it to the article!
      What is your experience with your brokenhaus?

      1. Brockenhaus is the general name for what you listed in Emma’s shop. It’s donation-funded, selling the stuff for (usually) fairly cheap. I can only talk about Lucerne and Nidwalden, but you really need to check them out to see.

        It’s basically random pricing. You might get great deals, you might get absolutely shitty deals, because the dudes pricing it just go by “Pi mal Handgelenk”. I’ve seen stuff for essentially free (nice coffee cups from a brand that cost 10 bucks new a piece for 1 CHF each), I’ve seen stuff for more than new price.

        What’s nice is, that for example, if you go to Caritas Wohnen or Heilsarmee Brocki, all the money you spend is essentially “donated” to Caritas/Heilsarmee.

        1. Thanks for the clarification :)

          Yes, you can get great deals and pretty bad ones. I have found books that were brand new (still in plastic) for 3 CHF at Emmaus!

          We don’t have a Caritas of Heilsarmee nearby unfortunately, hence Emmaus which should also in theory be used well.

        2. Nearly every town has a Brockenhaus; generally run by the local Woman’s club (Frauenverein). Good prices and fun to shop at. The opening hours vary and are not open everyday, but many have websites, so you can check for yourself. The items are donated and the money goes to charity.

  1. Thank you for not promoting the aggressivively advertised classifieds marketplace that shall not be named.

    You know, the one with atrocious search abilities, categories for barely anything at all and completely riddled with useless professional offers from drop shippers.

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