A Pennypinchers Guide to Home Shopping in Holland

Moving to a new country means decorating a new room. This can be an extremely exciting part of the relocation process. Creating a space that makes you feel safe and happy is critical when living away from family and friends. Potentially, you’ll have to buy a new bed, kitchen appliances, furniture and/or decorations and if you don’t know where to look, this can be costly. The Netherlands, however, has some great home shopping stores for students on a tight budget. In the inspiring words of Oscar Wilde, “Anyone who lives within his or her means suffers from a lack of imagination”. There is no need to break the bank or leave your apartment empty. Here are 6 great ways to furnish your Dutch home with bargains.

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1. Kringloopwinkels

In the UK they call them charity shops, in the US thrift shops, in Australia Op shops, and in the Netherlands Kringloopwinkles. These 'recycle shops' are great for finding bargains: books for 50cents, kitchen appliances for 5 euros, and tables for 10 euros are all common finds inside Kringloopwinkles. They should, therefore, be the first stop for anyone looking to furnish their home on a budget. The products are diverse and often of great quality.

2. Marktplaats

Marktplaats is the Dutch version of eBay. Established in 1999, the website facilitates more than 2.1 million people in the selling and buying of a diverse range of new and used products and services. Like eBay, Marktplaats brings buyers and sellers together. There are approximately 350,000 new advertisements uploaded each day so there is never a shortage of household items.

3. Facebook Pages

Facebook has made home shopping easier. These pages are ideal places for purchasing cheap second-hand products from other students. For example, check out “Leiden Housing.” These sites are often the first place students leaving The Netherlands go to sell their household belongings. It can also be an easy platform to negotiate prices.

4. Rommelmarkten

home shopping at Flea markets

Kind of like a flea market or a yard sale, rommelmarkten are places where people bring possessions they wish to sell. They are popular in the Netherlands. Your city is bound to have one. Probably one that is on regularly! IJ-Hallen is a rommelmarten located in Amsterdam and it's the biggest flea market in Europe.

5. Action

Action is an international discount store-chain located throughout the Netherlands. It sells low-budget nick-knacks to satisfy all your homely needs. This is a great store for finding lots of cheap, small objects to decorate your room. For example, candles, mugs, pots and pans, paintings, bedding…the list goes on.

6. Home Shopping at Ikea

Everyone has either been to or knows of Ikea, however, it is nevertheless a good reminder that this store is perfect for buying house essentials: beds, desks, chairs and the like. You’ll find quality items that aren’t super expensive and that will be easy to resell later.

Happy house shopping!

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