Monday, April 29, 2013

Adventures in selling: The loppemarked at Cafe Retro

In an effort to raise some cash and clear my closets of lovely, yet rarely worn items, I decided to sell some clothes at the flea market at Cafe Retro. Unlike the popular ones that largely take place outside, this one was indoors, required only a small fee of 70kr, and sellers can use the tables, chairs, and random nails of the cafe to display their items instead of having to bring their own wardrobe racks. 

I figured the low investment would yield maximum profits and estimated how much I could make if I sold most of my items. I packed my large red suitcase full of the clothes and shoes that I loved for years and made my way to city center, hopeful that each garment would find an owner that loved them as much as I did.

So imagine my disappointment when I arrived and the first words I hear while I'm setting up were, "if it's a nice day, we're not going to get anyone in here. And today is supposed to be really nice." Fuck!

True to the speaker's words, a grand total of 20 people came, and three of them were my friends who came to show support. There would have been one more, but she went to the wrong location and brought a supportive latte to the Cafe Retro in Nørrebro (hi Sarah).

Don't we look busy?
To make matters worse, it was freaking hot. So hot that I actually fell asleep in my overstuffed chair. Also, my boyfriend pointed out that it was the end of the month, meaning that few people had cash that they would want to part with. 

The absolute worst part of the whole experience is the feeling of rejection when people don't want to buy the things that you think are great. I once told a worker at a dry cleaner that I loved my clothes the way people loved their children. And meant it. So I was saddened when the few people that did make their way to my section just looked and walked away without even trying something on. 

How can you not love a yellow suede dress?

I'm a chubby gal with a bountiful bosom and when another seller said that my DKNY coat was beautiful but that she would be swimming in it, I felt like Fatty McFatterson trying to sell a bunch of Walmart styled muumuus. My spirits were lifted when a woman whose cups also runneth over picked up a semi sheer black dress with white embroidery (shown in the first picture). But then hers were crushed when it became apparent that she had too much for the fabric to contain. 

In the end, I sold one dress for 40kr. And bought a Kelly styled handbag for 25. Add to that, the 70kr fee and I made a net loss of 55kr, more if you include transportation costs.

But all hope is not lost. I also signed up for the flea market at Studenterhuset which is much more popular. It's prime location near Stroget means that it sees much more foot traffic than Cafe Retro which is located on a side street close to Parliament. So wish me luck with this one. I'll be bringing a few more random items, including Roskilde supplies and some electronics. If anyone is interested in checking it out, details are available on Facebook


  1. Hope it goes better next time. THere are lots of flea markets going on all the time in Holland, but I think I'd suck at it, so I try to sell my stuff online.

  2. Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone. I actually decided to give up and donated my clothes to charity since I don't have the patience to sell online.