Lifestyle & Culture

Second-hand shops provide 1st Class bargains AND you contribute to the circular economy


Most of the times we think about second-hand goods in terms of clothing, but there is so much more to it. Whether you need a new cupboard, table or simply want to buy a new board game, you can always find something amazing and affordable.

For me, a university student, shopping second-hand has always had some sort of a thrill in and of itself. Will I find something that fits right, or I will find something that is totally hideous? (See the video below.)

But there’s more.

Shopping local thrift stores also contributes to circular economy. Or what I like saying is, I give a new life to things people find useless.

Pre-loved items are often in a great condition, and they can serve their purpose for a few more years.

So, there are so many advantages of shopping second-hand. Not only is it good for your wallet but is it also great for the environment and local business. And some, such as Mamamini, donate proceeds to charity.

Here is my list of four second-hand shops in Groningen that are worth paying a visit to:


  • Damsterdiep 307
  • Noorderbinnensingel 100
  • Helper Oostsingel 29

Mamamini has three different locations in town, which makes it more accessible regardless of where you are located. Mamamini is great because there you can find anything – kitchen pots and appliances, clothes, furniture, and even foreign language books. You can always score something great for cheap and this is perfect for students or people who are shopping on a budget.

Opening times may vary, depending on which shop you’re visiting. The universal rule is that it is closed on Sundays, but double check the working hours before stopping by because they may be closing at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday, for example.

Their website has an English version.

Thrift Store What’s in?

Ulgersmaweg 141, Groningen

What’s in? is the epitome of an amazing thrift shop. There you’ll find friendly staff and a huge assortment of anything you can think of. You can easily score something great for just a few cents or euros.

While the location of the shop one the northeast edge of the city isn’t particularly great, it is worth the biking trip because it’s has an extensive inventory that changes regularly. Personally speaking, I love paying a visit because I never know what I will find. The bad thing about it, I always come out with a bunch of things I barely have space for, but hey … a great deal is a great deal after all!

Similar to Mamamini, What’s in? is open from Monday thru Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Photo by Polya Pencheva

Appel & Ei

Oosterstraat 25, Groningen

Located in the heart of Groningen, Appel & Ei is part of a franchise that is strictly fashion orientated. Still, if you want to buy something fashionable and score a great deal, you can pop in at Appel & Ei and try your luck.

One of the things about this store that makes it so attractive is the boutique vibe it gives when you enter. The design is stunning, the staff is friendly, and you will most likely find something great.

You will find the store closed on Sunday, but you have the chance to enjoy it during the rest of the week. Keep in mind though that on Mondays, they don’t open until 1 p.m. which is something typical here in the Netherlands.

Appel & Ei’s website is in English, Dutch and German.


Gedempte Zuiderdiep 93, Groningen

This is another local second-hand shop where you can find clothes for him, for her and for children. Additionally, they have a great selection of shoes and jewelry, which can at a certain point become great presents. And due to their great selection, finding something great for yourself is not hard at all.

2ndcloset is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays while during the rest of the days it works from noon till 5 p.m.

While you can buy things from these places, most of them also accept donations of clothing and goods you don’t need or want. So if you happen to be moving out, you can just give whatever you may not be using anymore including pots and pans, boardgames, towels, furniture and anything else that you have cluttering up your place.

Read more here about Groningen here in Dispatches’ archives.

Polya Pencheva
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Polya Plamenova Pencheva is a young Bulgarian journalist based in Groningen, Netherlands. Polya holds a Master's degree in journalism from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and loves writing and telling the untold stories of interesting people. You can find her dining at cute café, shopping at markets, scouting second-hand shops or just chillin' at home with something great to read.

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