Our Top 10 Thrift Shops – Classics, Insider’s Tips, and Everything in Between

From a 1950s retro radio to a crystal set from grandma’s cabinet: a good Brocki (Swiss German for thrift shop) is a true treasure trove for vintage fans and bargain hunters. We proudly present: our Brocki guide!

There are of course countless other thrift shops in and around Bern in addition to our top 10. If by now you’re anxious to start thrift shopping, here’s a list of additional stores.

6 Tips for Thrift Shop Fans

Not yet an expert bargain hunter or thrift shop pro? No need to worry, we’ve got you covered with these six tips.

🔁 Go regularly

Regularity is the magic word. It is how bargain hunters and collectors force their luck, get to know the selection, and see when new items have arrived. And, in the best case, frequent visitors can make friends with the people who run the shop, securing a clear advantage when looking for something specific that’s harder to find.

📝 Make a shopping list

If you wander around a Brocki without a plan, you run the risk of buying wonderful, but completely unnecessary items. Treating yourself to something pretty is nice, but it can also be dangerous (for your wallet and the space and order at home). So, for targeted thrift shop tours, it is best to keep a list of items that you need: nutcracker, kitchen appliance, leather jacket, camera, cast iron pot ... This makes browsing thrift shops fun and organized.

🚗 Leave the city centre!

What’s popular in the city might be a shelf warmer somewhere else, which is why it’s worth leaving the city sometimes. When you go off the beaten (hipster) track, the chances of finding a real bargain (the unrecognized 60s armchair, the trainer jacket that is so trendy in urban areas ...) are so much higher. Rent or borrow a car (if you’re after the big pieces), plan a day trip, google Brockis in the area, and off you go!

🕙 Check the opening hours

Thrift shops in rural areas have the best finds, but often also impossible opening hours ("every second Friday of the month from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m."), so be sure to check the opening hours beforehand! For especially ambitious Brocki fans, we recommend keeping a list or to entering the times in your calendar.

🤝 It’s a give and take

Thrift shops survive on donated goods. Going through your home twice a year, sorting out stuff you don’t need anymore and dropping it off at a Brocki is relieving – and it’s a good deed. It’s also less cumbersome and time-consuming than selling everything individually on Tutti. And in some thrift shops, you even get a small token of gratitude in return, such as a drink voucher at the Bärner Brocki, for example.

📷 Take home photos instead of objects

For true Brocki fans, discovering a treasure is already half the fun. Do we really need to bring home yet another pretty teacup? Every once in a while, try photographing a gem and just enjoying the fact that such pretty things exist.

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