The second hand culture in Denmark

Denmark, just like all the other Scandinavian countries, is very well recognized for its design and exclusive brands. And we aren’t taking here about IKEA, we are thinking about those very big names such as Arne Jacobsen, Georg Jensen or even Royal Copenhagen. Their amazing designs have transcended generations, still captivating the new ones with some very traditional objects to place at home, at the office and even to wear yourself.

However, what I have learned over these years in Denmark is that not absolutely everyone buy all these items or even the normal brands from the actual shops. Many Danes and internationals are part of a very strong second hand culture, that for many coming from other corners of the world might seem somehow unusual.

From clothing, bikes, furniture and more, this is a trend that will be seen all over once you come to Denmark.

Don’t feel pressured

When living in this country and once you have been here for a fairly good amount of time, you’ll be able to start recognizing a lot of patterns every where you go. Even more, once you get to know Danes a bit closer and you visit their homes or work on a Danish workplace. Most of the times both the people and the locations will share similarities among each other as the decorations you see in every house resemble from one another, just like the clothes, the scarfs, the prams and the children accessories people use on their everyday.

The pressure to acquire some of these goodies can happen, however once you realize how much many of these things cost you become a bit discouraged to do so. But don’t feel pressured or discouraged, there is actually ways for your to do it slowly if that is your wish or to be able to acquire some of the good things for more affordable prices.

Use reused

One of the biggest learnings for me over these last years in Denmark is that purchasing second hand products is not only normal but almost an indicator that you are actually adapting and merging into the Danish society. So far I haven’t met anyone here not doing it, and the purchases go from big things as furniture, bikes and house appliances, to more personal things as clothes, accessories and children gadgets.

Here are some of the most common physical and online places were both Danes and internationals do this clever shopping:

Second hand stores (Genbrug butikker): You’ll find these shops all around any Danish city. Seriously if you haven’t been in one before you’ll be surprised how useful they can be. You’ll also learn that some of them will be specialized in some products such as furniture, women or children’s clothes, such as LopMoreKids etc., reason why it’s a good idea to visit some over time so you find the right one.

Facebook groups: In Denmark there are countless of groups where you can find used/new things for sale or trade with others. These can be area focused or even all around Denmark.  Try combination of words such as ‘Køb og Salg’, ‘Marked’, ‘Genbrug’, ‘Gives bort’ among some others together with your area of residence. Most surely you’ll find several groups where to check some good deals. In case you are looking for children’s items there are some special groups as ‘International Mothers in Aarhus Buy, Sell, Swap‘, ‘Copenhagen Parents‘ or those in Danish like ‘Køb og salg af børnetøj…’.

Mobile Apps: Some good and clever apps have been developed for this sole purpose. Although they will be in Danish, you’ll be able to learn how to navigate them with a little bit of practice. The most popular and general one is DBA, which can also be used on the computer. Tradono and Trendsales are other two good resources when finding special brands and items. Last but not least the best app developed for families: Reshopper. Take a look at all of them and find the one that suits you best.

Flee Markets and Bazaars: For sure a big tradition in this country. All year round you’ll find these events/arrangements happening in your local area, libraries, schools and more. Be sure to check around with your group of friends or Facebook for the events happening around you.


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