If I have to name one, very Scandinavian thing, I’m sure one of my top 5 things would be loppis. Today I’m taking you to the crazy adventure that my husband makes almost every week and I’m going to explain loppis phenomenon.
What is loppis?
Loppis is a shortcut for Swedish word loppmarknad – flea market. It is one of favorite ways to spend free time in Sweden and it’s not only about shopping or selling. This can evolve into huge community event and a great opportunity to meet friends, neighbors and catch up with their lifes.
Every year, Swedish dictionairy grows with some new words. In 2010 a new word appeard – bloppis. Bloppis is a combination of words loppis and blogg and means loppis in online form of a blog. The verb used to describe “selling something or buying on bloppis” is att bloppa.
The main idea is giving the second life to items we no longer want to have and make space for new. They are extremely popular place to find cheap home furnishings and decorations (extremely useful for students and freshly moved immigrants), books, clothes but also a great way to earn extra money (if you know what to look for).
How does loppis look like?
Swedish loppis can take different forms and I have an impression it’s much broader term than just flea market. When someone says loppis, they can mean:
- Garage sales by private properties – often take place when family is moving out and want to sell their old pieces of furniture or clothing that they don’t want to take with them to their new place. In really small villages, it’s quite common to organize garage sales together with neighbors and invite other people living in a close area.
- Free-hand sales – often organizes by local communities when sellers just present their items on the ground in the neighborhood or just sell straight out of their trunk.
- Rented space for many sellers that rent a place for themselves – huge hall or square where everyone can rent their own space to put their items on sale. They are usually organized during warmer months during the weekends.
- Charity stores – there are few very popular chain charity stores. Most or all of their inventory come from donations. People who work there are usually volunteers, collected money go to specific purpose. One interesting feature in that case are cafes that offer warm and cold drinks and sometimes some snacks or sandwiches.
- Second-hand stores – quite similar to charity stores, the difference is they work as plain businesses, hire people and earn money for themselves.
- Vintage shops – I decided to create new category for places that sell selected pieces, usually renovated furniture, branded clothes or valuable pieces of art. They are not cheap but allows you tu buy unique items and antiques.
What can you buy in loppis?
Even “everything” would be too little to describe what you can find in stock. I’m going to try to sum up the most important product categories on the list below:
- Clothes – one of most obvious second-hand items you can think of. This category covers chain stores clothing, branded pieces from famous designers and some functional clothes (merino wool which is extremely desired).
- Furniture – the second largest group of loppis items. Sofas, beds, bookcases, tables, chairs… You can find there IKEA pieces as well as valuable antiques.
- Decorations and art – paintings, posters, sculptures, vases and others.
- Household items – kitchen appliances but also cutlery, porcelain sets (plates, mugs, cups, bowls), glasses.
- Electronics – Hi-FI sets, TVs, DVD-players, laptops, cameras.
- Hobby items – including sport equipment, instruments, board games, books, movies, CDs and vinyl records.
- Children stuff – toys, dolls, teddy bears but also everyday items such as strollers or baby cots.
Can loppis be a way to earn money?
Loppis can be a fun way to earn extra money in Sweden if only you know what to look for. Tomasz is a hunter of old analog cameras – he buys them, cleans, does a technical check and sells with profit on Tradera. He treats it as a relaxing hobby but vintage cameras are not the only thing you can sell.
Loppises are full of art and vintage branded clothing – if only you know a bit the market, you can successfully start own “hobby” business in your free time (or, who knows, maybe do it full time in the future?).
In Sweden you are able to run something called “hobbyverksamhet” which is a way to earn money from your free time activity and there are specific rules that apply if it comes to taxes from this kind of income. More information you can find on Skatteverket’s website.
Popular chain store loppis
There are some chains of loppis that are visible in many Swedish cities. Most of chain stores are charity second-hands. Below are some examples:
- Myrorna – at the moment of writing this post, there are 33 Myrorna stores in whole Sweden. Online store is also available. This one is mostly about clothes and hobby stuff (books, board games) but you can find there also home equipment and decorations. We consider this one also the most expensive one and very rarely we find there real treasures but we also know many people who like Myrorna and go there very often.
- Erikshjälpen – that’s Tomasz’s favorite one. There are currently 60 stores in Sweden and 2 more in Norway, Erikshjälpen offers also an online store. It is charity second-hand focused on help for children in 16 countries, their lives, health and education.
- Röda Korset – Swedish branch of The Red Cross that owns 266 charity stores in whole Sweden. It is also possible to trade on “Tradera” which is popular Swedish auction website (they don’t own an online store).
If you ever have a chance and see “loppis” sign on the road while traveling in Sweden, don’t hesitate and step by. It’s important part of Swedish culture and for many also a fun way of spending their free time. Even if you don’t plan any shopping, have some Swedish fika with kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) and coffee after a short walk between the shelves.
Loppis map in Skåne
Me and Tomasz are preparing a huge loppis map with stores located in whole Skåne. Map will be regularly updated with new places and will be available soon ❤️ Sign up to my newsletter and don’t miss map’s release!