The Blog

When Did You Last Visit a Flea Market in Norway?

Flea and secondhand markets are no longer only places for buying antiques. They also attract environmentally conscious, modern people and indirectly help nature by recycling used items. Take a look at the 5 best places for shopping sustainably this season in Oslo.

Flea and secondhand markets are no longer only places for buying antiques. They also attract environmentally conscious, modern people and indirectly help nature by recycling used items. Take a look at the 5 best places for shopping sustainably this season in Oslo.

Summer is just around the corner but it's not arriving alone - the flea & second hand markets season is joining too. Fueled by the recent global recessions, flea and second hand markets are booming everywhere.

In Norway the majority of shops are closed on Sundays. This is why flea markets are weekend's most favored gathering places for all ages. Here you can find everything from old tableware (so much loved by Norwegians) to vinyl records and antiquarian books. This is where school bands make money and people get rid of old junk while trying their best to find gold amid the rubble. Flea markets in Oslo are undeniably popular and many of them grow bigger and bigger each year.

But wait, there's more to it than that! A recent research shows that the impact of second hand marketplaces extends beyond money savings and love for vintage clothing as the world's temperatures continue to rise, recycling and living sustainably has never been so important.

What's the fuss all about?

More and more people are buying and selling goods that are perfectly useable as second hand items: DVDs, books, clothes, cell phones, cars, electronics and many more. In times of recession, this model has better return on investment (ROI), since you get an item in good condition for relatively little money.

But it's not only about getting the best bang for the buck. Customers of secondhand market are usually aware of the concepts of recycling, sustainability and environmentalism and often promote these ideologies among their friends and family. Flea market blogger from Norway, Natalie Herland, in an interview to Aftenposten, mentions that it's no longer considered strange to shop at the secondhand markets as it was some years before. Such markets gained a good reputation ever since

people became aware of how to find nice things and got more concerned about the environment and other important humanitarian ideologies. This is not a surprise that flea markets are becoming so important in environmental friendly countries such as Norway, where more than 80% of the expats consider the quality of the environment as good or very good according to InterNations' Expat Insider survey. This tendency can drastically change the way we consume goods and possibly alter Consumerism we know today.

Booming business model

In Africa, the online market for used items is expanding rapidly as new supporting websites appear in many countries around the continent. Sales for the online marketplaces take off, according to PC World. In China, second hand automobiles are rapidly becoming a multi-billion dollar market and the country is well on its way to becoming the world's largest market for used vehicles. In Europe, 2 out of 3 Europeans buy secondhand goods and even in Silicon Valley, home to billionaires and millionaires, used goods is becoming a booming trade. IKEA Norway launched online flea market for used furniture. This country provides a wide variety of second hand shops, many of them - selling even more expensive items than ordinary markets.

With the advent of Internet and mobile devices, second hand shopping became more accessible than ever. With hundreds of websites, groups in various social media, mobile apps and online markets, consumers have endless possibilities to find almost anything they want as a second hand item - then buying it at a knockout price.

The thrill of the chase for a better future

When you shop second hand, you help to recycle alreadymade merchandise, to cut down on manufacturing demands, such as metals and energy, and to give goods a second life.

The experience of going out and rummaging through second hand goods is fun, exhilarating and immensely rewarding.

Swapping goods is yet another successful transaction to reuse second hand items. With swapping, two persons agree to exchange items (usually second hand) because each person wants what the other has to offer.

Find a perfect match in your neighborhood market

I would like to invite you to go out and check few second hand shops and flea markets in your city or community. And if you are lucky to visit Norwegian flea markets paradise Oslo, here are some tips for the best places this season. Most flea markets are organized in schools, but there are also biggest permanent markets:

1. Vestkanttorvet : in Oslo's oldest permanent secondhand

market (since 1989), you can find anything that can be sold from antique to clothing. Its attendance at times can be up to 10,000 people per day.

2. Birkelunden : a market in Oslo's hippest area Grünerløkka sells second hand items

dating back to the 40's, including books and vinyl records, and even small furniture.#

3. Fretex : a social enterprise, established in 1905 by the Norwegian Salvation Army , owns 46 secondhand shops all over Norway. It also collects used clothes from special containers in the cities and exports them to other customers in Europe, Pakistan and Iraq, where they get transferred further to Asia and Africa.

4. Uff : nonprofit humanitarian organization, established in 1979 as an initiative to help

developing countries (Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola). Uffstore is now located in Oslo and sells used clothing. All earnings go to the building of schools in Zimbabwe. There are also Uff markets in Kristiansand and Fredrikstad and a new shop is soon to be opened in Trondheim.

5. Fineswap : is a happy online market for the trendy ones: here you can swap your old things with new ones using only one finger. Dubbed "Tinder for things", Fineswap is a fun and social place to trade in the modern world.

So take a friend or two, cycle your way through and have a great time poking around in a colorful marketplace. I guarantee you that it'll be a wonderful experience!