Thursday, June 17, 2010

Second Hand Information

I am a confirmed bargain hunter. I loath paying full price for anything, and I would much rather buy something used rather than new. This is for two reasons: often, you get better quality in an older item than something new carried in the stores today; and you almost always get a much better price.

Given this, one of my Berlin excursions has been to locate some thrift stores. It's interesting to note that there aren't very many here. I finally tracked down a nonprofit secondhand chain, rather like the Goodwill or Salvation Army in the States, called Humana. They have several large stores around Berlin, so I made a visit to the two largest on separate occasions.

There was a legitimate reason, as the weather here has been much colder than expected and my wardrobe was not entirely adequate. So I went hunting for sweaters in late May, hoping to catch a winter clearance. As an aside, I happened upon just such clearance sales back in Alabama in April at my favorite consignment and thrift stores and stocked up on some beautiful designer label wool and mohair sweaters for $1 and $2 each! So imagine my surprise when all the used sweaters, blouses, and tops here in Berlin were priced around 8-12 Euro! And that's Euros, which is anywhere from 1.4 to 1.2 times the dollar at the moment. The store was very clean and orderly with several floors of clothing, furniture, books, household items, etc., but everything seemed overpriced. So I will consider our Goodwill and Craigslist and yard sales as another blessing of living in the States. My closets and house would be barren if not for the abundance of lovely, inexpensive used items we can obtain in America!

Four floors in this building are for the thrift store; maybe they're paying too much for real estate!

The orderly (but expensive) racks of used clothes


  1. Wow; I'm the same way when it comes to second hand. (Sometimes I even wonder if I got my body second hand ;)! That's remarkable!

  2. Hi Sarah :)

    That is one huge store! I am definitely a bargain/discount/flee market/sale hunter! I feel so happy knowing how much is saved and I agree that the quality on older items are certainly of higher quality. Infact alot of items on sale seem pretty much close to brand new anyways.
    I remember that I ALMOST turned down a date once because there was a massive one-day sale on ladies tops and blouses going for less than $1US and I had been anticipating that sale for 3 weeks since it was advertised. Needless to say the date was worth it!
    We should create a club and call it the "Bargain Hunters Addict Club", just kidding.
    Oh and by the way... I so wish I could visit Prague one day, the architecture is just simply beautiful.