Second hand shops/thrift stores in Geneva and Vaud

List updated Oct. 2010 [To read about vintage and consignment clothing shops read here]

Window display at a second-hand shop, thrift store in Geneva

Window display at a second-hand shop, thrift store in Geneva

Geneva, Switzerland – I must confess; the font of knowledge in our household vis a vis Geneva thrift stores, is my husband. He’s an avid shopper and a true bargain hunter who found several thrift stores while waiting for us to join him in Switzerland and who continues to find great bargain basements in the Lake Geneva region.

I like two thrift stores in particular: The Salvation Army store or Armee du Salut in Geneva a no-frills storehouse which always has treasures in plain-sight, and the Caritas brocante in Plan-les-Ouates which also has great deals and is very well organized and welcoming.

Window shopping at a second-hand store in Geneva

Window shopping at a second-hand store in Geneva

Thrift stores are called brocantes, which is also the name given to privately-owned antique stores selling high-end and expensive items.

The list I provide here, are charity-run stores not antique shops. If you are interested in leaving your clothing for sale on consignment or buy fine second-hand clothing follow the link up top.

List of second-hand shops or thrift stores in the Lake Geneva region

Caritas

  • Caritas in Geneva has one huge brocante, several boutiques, one specialized sports and bookstore, and one kids’ consignment store
  • Its big thrift shop is located in Plan-les-Ouates, and within walking distance of the CSP shop so plan on visiting them ensemble. This is a bright, two-story warehouse full of paintings, kitchen items, furniture, beautiful old plates, loads of books and a small boutique on the second floor
  • Opens non-stop from Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00-17:00 (new schedule updated Oct. 2010).
  • Address: chemin de la Milice 19, 1228 Plan-les-Ouates. Tel: +41 22 884 9999
  • Cards are accepted for purchases over 30 francs
  • The Caritas’ sports and bookstore, called Le Bric-à-Brac is located in Plainpalais and has one of the largest collection of winter sports items available. For example, buy your skis and have them adjusted in the same place. Cash only at this store
  • Caritas also has several stores throughout Canton Vaud

CSP (Protestant Social Center)

  • CSP has two large warehouses in Canton Geneva with all kinds of household items, books and personal items. The one in Meyrin is the largest thrift store in the canton, it is new and carries all sorts of items including a large selection of books in all languages
  • The brocantes open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00
  • Located at Rue Alphonse-Large 19, 1217 Meyrin, and at Chemin de la Cartouchière, 1228 Plan-les-Ouates (near the Caritas store)
  • Only cash cards are accepted and for purchases over CHF30
  • Throughout the city there are several CSP boutiques dedicated exclusively to selling clothing, porcelains and smaller items, but at higher prices. These stores accept cash only
  • The CSP has stores in Lausanne, Morges, Montreux and other cities in Canton Vaud

Emmaus

  • It has almost everything you might need and a large selection of English-language books
  • Opens Monday thru Friday 13:30-17:30 and Saturday non-stop from 9:00 to 16:30
  • Address: 5 Route de Drize, 1227 Carouge. Tel: +41 (0) 22 301 5757
  • No cards are accepted at their store in Geneva
  • An additional store is located in Etagnieres in Canton Vaud, Switzerland
  • Emmaus also has two oversized warehouses in Annemasse, neighboring France, dedicated to selling everything imaginable. The prices are even lower than those in Geneva, a true bargain hunter’s paradise. Unfortunately, public transportation is not very convenient and their hours of service are a bit spotty. Credit cards are accepted in Annemasse starting at 20 Euros, no Swiss francs are accepted

Salvation Army

  • It carries almost everything from kids books to refrigerators, merchandise changes often
  • It is open Tuesday through Friday from 8:30-12:00 (10:00-12:00 on Wednesdays) and from 14:00-18:30; Saturdays non-stop from 10:00-17:00
  • Address: Route de Chêne 18-20, 1207 Geneva. Tel: +41 (0) 22 736 15 80
  • Cards accepted for purchases over CHF20
  • Two special sales, including vintage and brand name sales take place each year, find out when by checking our Events page regularly
  • The Salvation Army has additional stores in Nyon and Lausanne

Vet’Shop Stores

  • The Geneva Red Cross runs several boutiques including a costume rental shop, a fine children’s clothing and toys store, and a second-hand brand-name women’s shop
  • All stores open Monday through Friday from 10:00 to 19:00 and Saturday from 9:30 to 17:30
  • The largest shop is in Plainpalais, at 2 rue Leschot, 1205 Geneva. Tel. +41 (0) 22 321 8384
  • The shops sell Vet, or vetements, only. No household items for sale
  • Cash only

Lausanne’s second-hand shops

If you are looking for second-hand shops, clothing and specialty-items stores, charity and consignment stores, find them on the page created by the city. Stores are not divided in categories.

With this list in hand we hope you enjoy your treasure hunting in Geneva, Vaud and neighboring France!

**

Stay in the know, follow Geneva Living on Facebook, Twitter, RSS, by e-mail; or through GenevaLunch News on Facebook.

Comments

  1. Nadine says:

    hello,

    i would like to sell my old skis, do you know where i could do that?

    i love your blog… keep on writing!!

    regards,

    nadine

  2. Laila Rodriguez says:

    Dear Nadine,

    Thank you for your comment, I appreciate the encouragement.

    You are in luck! If you are in Geneva, there are still three big street fairs where you can sell your skis.

    La Ville est a Vous
    La Rue est a Vous in Paquis
    and later on in October the great International Children and Sports Clothing Sale!

  3. Rona Goh-Williams says:

    OMG!!! What a gem!!

    We got here only on 23Sep (staying on France side but trying to get accommdation in vicinity of Geneva) and were ‘lost’ and the days are getting colder and our stuff are still in our previous place aka ‘tropical’ and our prepared warm clothings are still to be shipped over!

    Do I sound desperate and distracted? Lots of things going on …finding accommodation/school/warm clothing etc..

    A big THANK YOU for the information provided. It would help greatly on easing this particular worry.

    Now the challenge is to find out how to get to the addresses given as I will be taking public transport with a 6year old!

    Cheers/Rona

  4. Laila Rodriguez says:

    Dear Rona,

    Thanks so much for writing to us, and welcome to the Lake Geneva Region!

    Your story sounds so familiar :) We also had to go out and purchase sweaters and other items while waiting for our things to arrive.

    Anyway, Geneva is a very, very small town and you will soon find your way around. I hope you are already familiar with the “itineraire” section of the Geneva Public Transport System. Be mindful that sometimes the suggested routes are not the quickest way to get there :)

    I would also suggest the http://www.viamicheline.com site. It gives you step-by-step directions to where you want to go and includes recommended routes by foot.

    And last, but not least, the City of Geneva has an interactive map where you can look up all addresses in town.

    Best of luck and if you are looking for something to do on 11 October check out the international children’s clothing sale and the expat expo (information on our home page).

    Best,

    Laila

  5. [...] It is important to mention that these are privately owned and not for charity stores. To find those see my posting: Second hand/thrift stores in Geneva and Lausanne. [...]

  6. Pina Russell says:

    Dear Laila,

    Thanks so much for this thorough posting. In November I moved here to join my fiance, a working expat. The brocantes are exactly as you described. The staffers are also lovely people, especially at Salvo and Caritas.

    You seem to be THE expat expert here… so I am wondering if you can help me to find an online link to basic services in Geneve. I have searched and searched, but cannot find a link to information about recycling centers and post office locations.

    Thanks again for your informative, well-written blog!

    Pina

  7. Laila Rodriguez says:

    Dear Pina,

    Thanks for writing! First of all, I am terribly sorry for the delay in responding as I am away for the holidays. As for being an expert, that is hardly the case. I get lots of help everyday from locals and expats alike, who help me get through all the Swiss menutia :)
    I wrote a post on recycling (under Geneva institutions), hope that works. Also, check the Ville de Geneve website and the Canton´s site which can really help you sort through most things in the City and the Canton.
    Happy Holidays
    Laila

  8. Milica Malis says:

    Dears,

    I need your help. Could anyone tell me where can I sell my child used clothes and shoes in Geneva or in canton Vaud? Is there any resale shops or second hand shops who will buy used clothes?

    YOURS MILICA

  9. Laila Rodriguez says:

    Dear Milica,

    Thanks for reading GenevaLunch and my blog.

    Here are a few ideas:

    1. Try the World Radio Switzerland classifieds (it woudl be best to wait after mid January as most expats are away and you will probably not sell much.)

    2. Try the Anibis classifieds (French only)

    3. Try any the International Children Clothing Sale or any of the Kids consignment stores (read my blog under: Unusual shopping)

    Hope this helps!

    Happy New Year

  10. [...] prices, which makes your commute hassle free. If you do not have any sports equipment, head to the Caritas sports store in Plainpalais, which has one the largest collection of secondhand winter sports items [...]

  11. Vero Roy says:

    I have quite a lot of beautiful classical clothes (Swiss,Italian and Washington DC boutiques) sizes 36, 38, and 40 (American size 8 and 10). They are all for sale!

  12. Laila Rodriguez says:

    Thank you for your comment! We have posted your comment/classified in our FB page! Good luck with your sale

  13. Pina Russell says:

    Dear Lila,

    I wrote a while back to thank you for your blog, which has proved useful and fun beyond words. I am now wondering if you can tell me of a few consignment stores that sell antiques and furniture. We need to get rid of a few things very very soon.

    Thanks!

    Pina

  14. Laila Rodriguez says:

    Dear Pina,

    Thanks for reading and for your kind words!

    I am afraid that the Caritas’ furniture and antiques consignment store in Plainpalais has closed, and there doesn’t seem to be another one in town where they will take your furniture in consignment. Many antique shops & brocantes will purchase your items but, of course, at a lower price.

    There’s one option in Annemasse, neighbouring France, not far from Geneva center. It is called the ABC depot. They offer to work with you to find a price that is mutually convenient, they also offer a merchandise pick-up and if you purchase from them, delivery of your furniture.

    Another great feature is that you can send them a picture of the items you want to sell for an initial evaluation, thus saving you the trip.

    I have never been there so if you do go, please let us know if it is worth the trip.

    Best,

    Laila

    Here’s the link again: http://abc-depot-vente.pub74.com/depot_vente_haute_savoie_produits.html

  15. haresh says:

    Hi Laila,

    i will be there in geneva end of July to drop my son off to Les Roche at Bluche. needed to know where I could find a place that we could spend just one night at , at geneva. we are 3 — my ife, my 17 year old son and me. So we just need a place for 1 night as next day we will join the school’s bus that will take us to the school.

    manythnaks

    warm regards

    haresh

  16. Laila Rodriguez says:

    Dear Haresh,

    Thank you for writing. I am sure there are plenty of ideas out there in travel sites for affordable lodging in Geneva – I could tell you where to go camping near Geneva center but not much when it comes to other lodging :)

    Anyway, I was planning on researching a resource recently recommended by a Geneva native: a Salvation Army-run hotel for families.

    It is located in Old Town and is supposed to be specifically thought for families staying a night or two in Geneva. I have never been there so I cannot yet recommend it.
    http://www.hotel-bel-esperance.ch/fr/frames_pre.html

    Thanks again,

    Laila

  17. Halid says:

    Hi

    I want to know where they buy and sell ancient arts in Geneva. I have a collection of it and I want to sell it.

    Regards

  18. Laila Rodriguez says:

    Dear Halid,
    Thanks for reading Geneva Living.
    Here’s a link to some of the brocantes that buy and sell antiquités as they call them here. Of course, they might be more but here’s a good place to start.
    Best,
    Laila
    http://www.kouik.ch/search/Commerce_et_services/Antiquit,233s,044_art,044_brocante/Gen,232ve/

  19. Jo says:

    Hi, Love this article, thanks. I’m in Lausanne for about 3 weeks and wanted to bargain-hunt for vintage womens clothes, shoes, handbags etc. The sort of European stuff that you can’t get in Op-shops in Australia. Can I ask what stores you would recommend, either in Geneva or Lausanne surrounds, that would be good for womens clothing? Preferably with a chance of stumbling across some designer labels? I’ve been to Portobello vintage shop in Lausanne, which is fab for vintage designer lables, but very pricey.

    Many thanks!

    Jo

  20. Laila Rodriguez says:

    Dear Jo,

    Thanks for reading GL!

    I am sorry to say (and a bit ashamed too) that I do not know Lausanne well enough to recommend any store there (Maybe you can share your findings with us).

    I agree with you, there are great fab vintage stores in the region but, as almost everything else in Switzerland, they’re very pricey. Forget about finding bargains to die for.

    However, if you are a diligent shopper you may find a few things here and there.

    If you want to find our list of private vintage shops around Lake Geneva read here.

    Have a great time in the region and a safe return!

    Best,

    Laila

  21. [...] remember that thrift stores in Geneva, Vaud and neighboring France carry loads of items you can mix and match for a truly outstanding, and low-priced [...]

  22. Njeri says:

    Hello,

    Thank you so much for all the usefull information, you do a good job!

    I’ve just recently moved to Geneva and I’ve been searching for a second hand electronics store, i’d like to purchase a used/second hand laptop (one that is still in good condition). Would you know of any store i could visit?

    Regards,

    Njeri

  23. Laila Rodriguez says:

    Dear Njeri,

    Thank you very much for your kind words and please excuse the delay in responding as it seems I don’t get notified when new comments are made :~.

    I would suggest a few places to look for used laptops:

    Anibis.ch (free classifieds, in French, with a large number of ads)
    Ricardo.ch (the Swiss ebay with local vendors advertising tons of deals, in Fr & German)
    Don’t forget the glocals and WRS classifieds.

    If you are into Mac then see the specialized listing at Annoces.ch:
    http://mac.annonz.ch/geneve-GE

    I have two more resources to share but I don’t have the information handy. I will update my comment and send you a reply once I do.

    Good luck!

    Laila

    As per stores, check out the

  24. Nina says:

    Hi Laila,

    I have some quality large items I would like to donate, ie pram, rocking horse – do you know if any of the above mentioned charities would come to collect them from me?

    thanks, Nina

  25. Laila Rodriguez says:

    Dear Nina,
    Yes, they all collect. Some of them have long waiting lists so call them all to see which one can pick them up the soonest!

    Best,

    Laila

  26. [...] Thrift stores, second-hand boutiques in Geneva and Vaud Don’t just throw it away Posted by :: Marie Joséphine Guillet on 10 January 2012 at 10:59 | permalink This work by genevalunch.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.         Post Comment     [...]

  27. [...] Also read my review of the above stores to see what they sell. [...]