So you’ve read Part 1 in my series about second hand shopping in Sweden but you’d like some more visual aids and some insider tips? Look no further, Part 2 will be giving you exactly that!

Photo: Faramarz Gosheh/imagebank.sweden.se

I may not live in one of Sweden’s more well known cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö but Borås still has a lot to offer in second hand shops. I’ve arranged a little visual tour of 3 of the biggest stores to give you an idea of what to look for and how to make shopping easier for you in any city. Trust me, going into these stores can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re intimidated by wide selections of things, but some patience and strategy can help make a smoother (and funner) shopping experience.

Myrorna Borås Colour Clothing Display

Before we begin

All of my observations and opinions below are personal, so everything will vary – feel free to adjust these tips according to your taste and location!

  • Check location and trading hours

I listed some stores in my last blog, but I also encouraged you to search for “second hand” in Google Maps for the area you’ll be staying in (e.g. “second hand Lund” or “second hand Jönkoping”). This will help you figure out which stores are easiest to get to, clustered together (so you can walk along one area) and if you’ve already arranged your accommodation, you can check what’s closest to you.

Erikshjälpen Borås Chairs

Photo: Lusanda / Erikshjälpen Borås Chairs

Next, you can check their trading hours to see which stores open/close earliest and maximise your time. You don’t want to waste 3 hours browsing in a store that closes at 19:00 only to find you missed the next store closing at 16:00.

Myrorna Decorations and Trinkets

Photo: Lusanda / Myrorna Borås Decorations and Trinkets

  • Try not to get carried away

Some light research can help you make a plan for browsing day – what I call the first day when you’ll be roaming around wide-eyed and excited about that leather jacket that’s only SEK 90 and all the other awesome items you can barely hold in both arms.

Lusanda in Emmaus Borås clothing section

Photo: Vera / Lusanda in Emmaus Borås Clothing Section

Take it easy, give yourself a day to get familiar with each store, the layout, the assortment and most importantly – ask them about their student discounts. It’s perfectly fine if you find everything you need in one day, but in my experience it helps to take some time to browse and stumble on the cheaper, better, newer item (in your favourite colour) at the store next door, so be patient. But trust your gut, if you find what you need at the first try and it feels good go for it!

Erikshjälpen Borås Ladies Clothing Section

Photo: Lusanda / Erikshjälpen Borås Ladies Clothing Section

During browsing day, take notes of prices of key items and use this as a baseline to help you create a budget. There are some things you can survive without during your first month and a budget helps you prioritise what you need to find first. A handful of plates, glasses and tops at SEK 15 each are definitely cheap, but they can add up quickly if you don’t keep an eye on your budget. It also helps to go in with a list so you don’t get too distracted and forget you needed a pot to cook dinner that evening (it happens).

Erikshjälpen Borås Winter Coat SEK 125

Photo: Lusanda / Erikshjälpen Borås Winter Coat SEK 125

Okay, now the admin is out of the way, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Have a laugh at every strange and wonderful item, imagine another identity trying on clothes you usually wouldn’t dare to and stay open minded! Ready for the tour?

Lusanda Having Fun in Myrorna Borås

Photo: Vera / Lusanda Having Fun in Myrorna Borås

The Tour

I’ll be looking at Emmaus, Myrorna and Erikshälpen  – three of the biggest stores in Borås, and franchises that you can find in other cities. They have a variety of products so they’re each ideal for a one-stop-shop, but they all have their own perks and quirks. My friend Vera came along to do a similar tour for our sustainable student association Hållbar Student Borås. I chatted about second-hand shopping as a sustainable option in Part 1, but you can also read more here. Get cozy, grab a snack and let’s begin!

Vera Browsing in Emmaus Borås Clothing Section

Photo: Lusanda / Vera Browsing in Emmaus Borås Clothing Section

Emmaus

Emmaus has a special place in my heart for being the first second hand store that I went after only 1 day in Sweden.

Emmaus Borås entrance and display

Photo: Lusanda / Emmaus Borås entrance and display

  • Largest assortment of clothes, shoes and accessories;
  • They sort by colour and style so it’s pretty easy to browse;
  • Biggest range of affordable winter jackets and coats – so they’re definitely worth coming back for;
Emmaus ladies ladies and mens clothing

Photo: Lusanda / Emmaus Borås Ladies & Mens Clothing Sections

  • Snowshoes, skis, roller blades and skates;
  • Specialized sport equipment including tennis rackets, biker jackets, snow suits, training shoes etc.;

Photo: Lusanda / Emmaus Borås Sporting Goods section

Video: Lusanda / Emmaus Borås snowshoes and skis

  • Bags, backpacks, hiking bags, laptop binders, suitcases and luggage;
Emmaus bags and suitcases

Photo: Lusanda / Emmaus Borås Bags and Suitcases

  • Electronics like stereos and monitors;
  • Small appliances like toasters and kettles;

Photo: Lusanda / Emmaus Borås Electronics

Emmaus Borås light fittings

Photo: Lusanda / Emmaus Borås Light Fittings

  • Some art – some obscure and some classic, but take your time and be entertained;
  • Some very affordable books – I’ve found more variety of English books here;
Emmaus Borås books and art

Photo: Lusanda / Emmaus Borås books and art

  • Some very quirky and unique trinkets – especially around special occasions;
Emmaus Borås trinkets

Photo: Lusanda / Emmaus Borås Trinkets

  • The biggest selection of kitchen items like plates, cups, cutlery, pots and pans, salt shakers, peelers etc. Take some time to look carefully, you can miss some special things in a rush;
Emmaus Borås Kitchen Items

Photo: Lusanda / Emmaus Borås Kitchen Items

Video: Vera / Emmaus Borås Kitchen and Decoration Section

  • Bonus! They have a loyalty coupon card – you get a free item worth 100 SEK on your 10th purchase!

Including: bedding, tablecloths, holiday decorations, fancy outfits, vintage cameras, scooters, carpets, hats and handbags, and much much more!

Myrorna

Meaning “little ants”, Myrorna is a well known (and well loved) franchise that came from women who collected and donated clothes to their community.

Myrorna Clothing Displays

Photo: Lusanda & Vera / Myrorna Borås Clothing Displays

  • Easy to browse and fun store layout;
  • Smaller space with a very cozy vintage vibe;

Photo: Lusanda & Vera / Myrorna Borås Accessories

  • Colourful and quirky clothing displays;
  • Affordable accessories – sunglasses, jewellry, scarves, handbags etc.;
  • Smaller selection of shoes but wide variety;
Myrorna Borås Clothing Sections

Photo: Lusanda / Myrorna Borås Clothing Sections

Video: Lusanda / Myrorna Borås Clothing

  • Small and cozy selection of furniture;
Myrorna Borås Furniture

Photo: Lusanda / Myrorna Borås Furniture

  • I prefer to buy cushions, cutlery and small kitchen appliances from Myrorna – I got my kettle and pots from here and you can find some special kitchen gadgets like shell-shaped waffle makers;
Myrorna Borås Kitchen Items

Photo: Vera / Myrorna Borås Kitchen Items

  • Bonus! You get a 10% Student discount with your Mecenat student card (20% on Thursdays)
Myrorna Bags and Sports Equipment

Photo: Lusanda / Myrorna Borås Bags and Sports Equipment

  • Heads up: You might need to buy a light! Many unfurnished apartments don’t have light fittings so look around the ceiling when you arrive for a tiny socket and hook nearby.
Myrorna Lights

Photo: Vera / Myrorna Borås Lights

Myrorna Borås Light Plugs

Photo: Lusanda / Myrorna Borås Light Plugs

Including books, crafting kits, knitting needles, yarn, rollerblades, vinyl records, sleeping bags, board games, cute decorations, scarves,  cushions, curtains, jewelry, cameras and equipment and much much more!

Erikshälpen

Keep note of trading hours, the Borås branch is only open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Vera Outside Erikshjälpen Entrance

Photo: Lusanda / Vera Outside Erikshjälpen Entrance

  • Biggest second hand store in Borås – its huuuuuge;
  • The quirkier option – you can find some super unique antiques like grandfather clocks, decorated plates and trinkets;
Erikshjälpen Antiques and Trinkets

Photo: Lusanda / Erikshjälpen Borås Antiques and Trinkets

  • Best for furniture – they have a very large assortment and some rare vintage finds, including rocking chairs, sofas, standing shelves and dining tables;
Erikshjälpen Borås Vintage Furniture

Photo: Lusanda / Erikshjälpen Borås Vintage Furniture

Erikshjälpen Borås Shelf and Rug outside Fitting Rooms

Photo: Vera / Erikshjälpen Borås Shelf and Rug outside Fitting Rooms

  • Some specialised sports equipment for skiing, diving, cycling, boxing etc.;
Erikshjälpen Sports Equipment and Luggage

Photo: Lusanda / Erikshjälpen Sports Equipment and Luggage

  • Student discount delivery options (ask an in-store employee);
  • Very large selection of art and books which are very beautifully laid out;
Erikshjälpen Borås Books

Photo: Vera / Erikshjälpen Borås Books

  • Smaller curated clothing selection – they have some really good quality coats and blazers;
  • They also renovated recently so the clothing layouts have gotten much more interesting!;
Erikshjälpen Borås Coats and Mens Clothing Section

Photo: Lusanda / Erikshjälpen Borås Coats and Men’s Clothing Section

  • Some more lights – you can find some fancy chandeliers!;
Erikshjälpen Borås Fancy Lighting

Photo: Vera / Erikshjälpen Borås Fancy Lighting

  • Bonus: They have their own cafe! So you can grab a fika to relax after your hours of browsing (their pastries are really delicious);

Including crafting tools and materials, kitchen stuff, postcards, mirrors, antiques, typewriters, sculptures, a store magazine, restrooms and much much more!

So that’s the tour!

Remember this is just a guide from my personal experience and every store will be different, but there’s no wrong way to go about this. Stock changes more often than you think, so come back once in a while for extras like a cheese grater or cushions. Return for seasonal items like winter coats and boots because the options are better at the time they’re most needed.

Erikshjälpen Borås Shoes

Photo: Lusanda / Erikshjälpen Borås Shoes Summer and Winter

If you’re moving with your family, it’s good to note all these stores have children’s sections with clothes, toys, books and strollers.

Borås Emmaus, Myrorna and Erikshjälpen Childrens sections - Toys, Prams and Clothes

Photo: Lusanda & Vera / Borås Emmaus, Myrorna and Erikshjälpen Children’s Sections – Toys, Prams and Clothes

Remember to double check:

  • any stains on clothes or pots and pans or bags that might be too hard to remove;
  • wear and tear – the soles of shoes; wheels on suitcases, any adjustable parts etc.
  • look at the inside of your clothes for any torn linings;
  • buckles, zips, clasps, drawstrings and buttons all work properly, in case you’re not able to fix anything. If you have the skills, or can find an affordable repairer, go for it!
  • plugs and sockets on any electronics  (make sure you find the right light bulb)
Erikshjälpen Borås Clothing Display

Photo: Lusanda & Vera / Erikshjälpen Borås Clothing Display

Next it’s your turn to go out and explore, so enjoy and make sure to take photos of some quirky ornaments – until then, you can keep reading more Second Hand, student savings and packing blogs here:

Sweden: A second-hand paradise

Packing for Sweden: the essentials

Packing for Sweden: Clothing

Sustainability challenge #1: Second hand shopping

Cost of living and budgeting tips for students in Sweden

Confessions of a second-hand shopaholic in Sweden

Would you like to see a Part 3 of this series, going through my personal second hand treasures and an apartment tour?

Please let me know on the comments down below!





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