Second hand shopping is quite respectable here, and the thrift stores are very nice. Which is good, because retail prices are insane. I buy almost nothing except food here at retail prices, and even some of that I order online! But I enjoy browsing the thrift stores and flea markets for treasures.
Austrian household goods are frankly kitschy. I can’t imagine my whole house decorated in the style, but a few things here and there are fun. I know I’m going to use and love my thrift store finds for a long time. They are great souvenirs of my time here (and I seriously do NOT need any more useless ethnoplunder knick-knacks!)
I buy what I like, but I have noticed that there are some very good deals here as well. For example, Riess enamelware is quite expensive in the States. I looked up the large bowl below that I bought for 5 Euros and was startled to see that it sells for $60 at home. Wow.
Antique books are also relatively inexpensive. Vintage linens (often hand-embroidered) are downright cheap. And I really like the practically indestructible tempered glass canning jars that sell for one Euro each. I keep beans, nuts and spices in them. I don’t know what they would cost in the States, but they are cheaper than Ikea glass canisters, so I’d call that a good deal.
I would not buy items just for resale purposes, but on the other hand, I don’t worry about accumulating too much of it either. It doesn’t weigh much for shipment, and if I unpack my stuff in a couple of years and find I don’t have space for it all, I can always sell some of it on eBay : )
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