The best way to buy cheap furniture
IKEA: Who doesn’t like buying new things for affordable prices? With that business model, IKEA has established itself as the true furniture tycoon, operating in 40 different countries – including the Netherlands.
Fortunately, there is an IKEA store in Groningen, too. If you want something to refurbish your den, IKEA probably has it. If you stock up on many items, make sure to arrange a car or rent a ‘bakfiets’ – a delivery bike – in advance.
Mamamini: This second-hand store is a uniquely Groningen establishment. People can bring in various household items they no longer use, from coffee cups to couches.
Unlike IKEA, the furniture here is not mass-produced, and volunteers ensure that the items being resold are good quality. Mamamini is ever-changing with daily updates to its offerings, unlike its larger competitors. There are two Mamamini stores in Groningen and each one sells different stuff, so make sure to check both of them out.
Facebook: While you may be a newcomer in Groningen, students who have been here longer often need to sell their old stuff – and fast, especially if they’re moving away! That is why the many different groups on Facebook are excellent forums when looking for cheap, used furniture.
These groups take on a life of their own as there is enough furniture to go around for re-using. Try joining these groups: Groningen Market, *FOR SALE* in Groningen, for sale in Groningen and For sale in Groningen for everyone.
Marktplaats: This online trading website has become the Netherland’s largest online marketplace. People all over the Netherlands post information about things they want to sell here. The barter system is robust: sellers either set a fixed price for an item or allow for haggling among several potential buyers.
Making an account is intuitive and easy. The payment system is based on trust: the buyer first wires the payment to the seller before either shipping the item or having you come pick it up yourself. It’s best to know in advance what you’re looking for here in order to find your needle in the haystack (especially if you’re looking for a needle – or a haystack, for some odd reason).
Subscribe: Finally, you can subscribe to different furniture outlets’ Facebook pages and catalogues in order to receive updates about discounts and deals.
Here are some companies in Groningen to check out: Seats and Sofas, Woonboulevard and Kuipers Meubelen. Dutch people love their ‘korting’ – discount – so make sure to join in and get a bang for your buck, too!