Millions of Germans now buy, sell and swap their used items – sometimes quite classically at the flea market or online via Internet marketplaces. flustix explains where to find the best clothes, toys, electronics, books or even stuffed animals on the Internet – and shares a few gift ideas.
Secondhand, still good: skates, baby toys, Lego, Bobby Car
With some luck, classics like LEGO, Carrera track, Gravitrax, Playmobil, Kappla wooden plates, Barbie dolls or Schleich animal figurines can be found much cheaper on the Internet. Very convenient: prices are easy to compare. But there are many more ways to discover used toys.
- Skates, snowboard, wetsuit, snowsuit. Sometimes they are already too small after one or two seasons and can be bought secondhand for much cheaper than new ones.
- Puzzles. Mostly perfectly well preserved, because everyone assembles them only once, or as it happens with puzzles for smaller children, the motif quickly loses its attraction, and/or a larger puzzle with more pieces should be purchased.
- Video games and console games. When new, are usually very expensive. Sometimes you can find second-hand bargains, especially for older consoles. But here it is important to have a good understanding of the thing.
- Social games. Usually are not played so often after all and are therefore often well preserved to find. Be careful with quiz games: The questions could be totally outdated.
- Baby toys such as activity arches, building blocks, play blankets or Bobby Car. Anything that is easy to clean can be easily bought pre-owned. The baby will not notice.
- Bulky toys such as a store or play kitchen can perhaps be found in the neighborhood.
- Books. The sturdier, the more suitable for passing on. Be careful with children’s books with flaps: If the half is torn off, the disappointment will be great.
- Plush animals. You can find particularly original animals when buying second-hand. Buy in time, so you can wash them again secretly.
The best platforms for used Christmas gifts
The gigantic classifieds market was founded in 2009 and now has more than 35 million users. Every day, about a million new ads are put online. There you can find just about everything that could be used as a gift: Currently, there are almost four million offers listed in the “Toys” category alone. What’s practical is that the offers can be filtered by region. With a bit of luck, the gift you’ve been longing for is “around the corner” at a neighbor’s house and can simply be picked up. That is naturally also the most pollution-free option. The use of the portal is free for both buyers and sellers.
Nine million users at clothing exchange in Germany alone
The former clothing exchanges Mamikreisel and Kleiderkreisel have been integrated into the platform “Vinted”. More than nine million users in Germany are already listed here. There you can find clothes, accessories and cosmetics.
Tip 1: Especially small children grow so fast and at the same time get so much clothing as a gift that most parents still have almost unused things to give away. Clothing packages with several pieces in one size are particularly effective – this reduces shipping packages.
Tip 2: If the child has a well-fitting favorite jacket or pants, you can specifically look for the same model in another color or the next size – which will be guaranteed to become a favorite piece of clothing again, even if it is not brand new.
The store was called Ubup until January 2021, and since then continues as Momox Fashion. Thousands of used clothes can be filtered and viewed by brand, size and condition. The special feature: It is not a platform for individual private sellers, but a store that has previously purchased secondhand treasures and stored them centrally. One can order several pieces of clothing at once – and has 30 days right of return.
Used electronics up to 50 percent cheaper
Re-Store from Ebay
Used smartphones, returned furniture, checked game consoles – Ebay’s new Re-Store (formerly B-Ware-Center) is becoming one of the most popular online shopping malls: since the pandemic began, demand for refurbished electronics products, furniture or PC games has increased by up to 49 percent. The store has 420,000 visitors per week! All products are tested, in working order – and up to 50 percent cheaper than new. In addition to the categories mentioned, there are also others such as books, toys or clothing. Perfect for Christmas shopping: Customers can choose between 18 different item conditions: from “New” to “New without label” to “Certified – Refurbished”. Categories such as “Damaged” or “As a spare part / defective” should logically be excluded.
ebay.de (continue to Re-Store)
Books, movies, music or video games – at Medimops you can find real bargains. The portal offers tested, used media products up to 70 percent below the original price. From 19 euros purchase value, shipping is free.
Tip 1: The popular TipToi books are inexpensive and often in very good condition because the pages are usually made of sturdy cardboard.
Tip 2: Beware of cheap games: do not just take Fifa19 instead of Fifa22. Parents need to be really well-versed in the games of choice.
Tip 3: Check reviews on other portals like Amazon using the ISBN number of the “target object” – and pay attention to the year/edition. A 20-year-old children’s encyclopedia doesn’t really add much.
There is a virtual animal home for stuffed animals
Plush Animal Home
The virtual plush animal home takes in stuffed animals, prepares them gently and then passes them on. Interested parties can filter hundreds of animals and dolls by animal species, brand or habitat (“water world”, “fairy world”), size and condition, and view photos. There are even XXL animals, brand new ones with labels or animal cushions. Especially sustainable: 50 percent of the proceeds are donated to real animals in real animal shelters.
You can also find pre-owned gifts offline
With a little luck and skill, you can of course find used gifts offline. Here are a couple of ideas from the flustix editorial team:
- City libraries sell sorted-out CDs, books, games and magazines at discount prices
- You can often find toy bargains like Pokemon cards or creepy toys at a school or kindergarten bazaar.
- Second-hand store. But please pay attention: Some stores are designed primarily for those in need.
- Once again, go through a flea market – with a gift plan in mind: maybe you will find unique original Christmas gifts.
- If you have friends who want to sell at the flea market themselves, you can buy something from them in advance.
- There are new goods offered at handmade or Christmas markets, though, but more individual, plastic-free and from regional craftsmen and -women.
- If you can take the time, you can also get active yourself and sew or bake, craft or build a gift. Paint a flower pot or a wooden box, anyone can do that by the way.
- In some places there are exchange corners where you can simply put or take used things, for example, book phone booths.
- Household liquidations or garage flea markets can sometimes offer great treasures like small dressers or cool lamps.
A low plastic Christmas is important, but after the vacations, it goes on with school. That’s why it’s worth it for all parents of school-age children to take a look at this article.