On my quest to live a more sustainable lifestyle, I started exploring the sustainable side of Denmark through my core course here at DIS, as well as during my free time. After returning from my study tour in Spain last Friday, I spent the last of my days in Aarhus, Denmark. It was there that I got to get an inside look at loppemarked (flea market) where people resell their unwanted items. Now I know this is something we have back in the United States, but here it seems to be quite popular. I find that flea markets are a great way to circulate and re-use unwanted items, which in some ways can be good for the environment. If people keep reusing already made items then the timeline from manufacturing to being thrown away is extended.
Lucky for me, my all-knowing Danish pal has just the expertise in these sorts of things. Not only is it his hobby, but his whole full-time job surrounds the purchasing and reselling of various items for the home, toys, gadgets, clothes, and other miscellaneous items. My attention has been drawn to the “flea market culture” all thanks to my friend. In the past, I was able to experience weekend flea markets where we drove to several locations and browsed the various items put up for sale. My very kind and patient friend. Andreas talked me through what to look for when he decides if an item is good quality and profitable enough to resell. I never realized the process that went through all this. After getting a little taste of adventure by our search through various markets, I experienced my first flea market as a seller rather than a buyer. Andreas and I spent two days selling items that he had purchased and collected over several months. He carefully curated what he thought would catch buyers attention and then packed everything up into moving boxes. On the first day of the market, the two of us arrived at the community hall and set up our stall. We had seven tables worth of items to display and so we spent a good amount of time carefully unpacking each item. A lot of it was glass so I was pretty nervous unwrapping the items from the paper that cradled them. I’m still very much an amateur at these markets so I had to ask Andreas a lot of questions about the items and where they should be displayed.
Once everything was all set up, the two of us sat in chairs until people needed our help. At this point I felt pretty helpless because a lot of the items I did not know what he had priced them as, as well as the language barrier. A lot of shoppers were older and therefore not as fluent in English so whenever I was overseeing the stall, I needed to call Andreas for help. The two days were pretty tiring, but I surprisingly had a really fun time. Not only did I get to spend some time with my friend, but I got to understand more about the resale culture here in Denmark. I can certainly say that I’d love to learn more and perhaps try reselling items for myself in the near future. At the end of the weekend we made around 5,000 Danish kroner (roughly $740) and for all the hard work, we treated ourselves to some delicious Chinese food in the center of Aarhus.