Brockie Houses in Switzerland – Trash or Treasure?
NewInZurich Expat Series
Whether you’ve just arrived in Switzerland or you’re just leaving for pastures new, the “Brockie” or Brokenhaus can be a great help in both situations. It can be a source of inspiration and affordable furniture if you’ve just arrived and don’t want to have your house looking like a design set from Ikea, but on the other hand don’t want to spend a fortune.
Much of the beautiful looking furniture in the showrooms comes with very long price tags (and sometimes very long lead times too) so the idea of adding a few “pre-loved” items to your home can help you create a unique style all of your own. With careful selection there are bargains to be had if you just know where to look.
Brockies are Ideal for Donating Unwanted Furniture
On the other hand if you’re leaving and don’t have the time or energy to put it up for sale and don’t want to take it with you to your next abode, then they are great places for taking gently “pre-loved” items.
Brockies May Pick Up Large Items of Furniture
Some of the Brockies will come to your house and take large pieces of furniture away for free – others will want a fee for doing so. It really depends what you are selling and how much they already have of that type of thing. The best thing is to contact them and have a chat. If your German isn’t great, take some photos with you to help explain. Do try a few though – as they are all different and they all specialise in different items.
Take Small Items Directly to Brockies – and Try a Few!
You can also take small items to the Brockies yourself and they will often take a look to see that the items are not broken etc before they accept them. Again each one is an individual retail outlet – so try a few if the first one doesn’t like your stuff. Don’t be discouraged! I got told by 2 Brockies that they didn’t accept furniture from Ikea, but the third one accepted it with open arms!
Enrich Your Apartment with Unique Pieces
Looking for stuff for your apartment can be fun. Second hand items of all ages, quality and provenance abound in these magic caverns. When you step inside you have no idea what you will find. The key is “variability” – and this is what leads to the excitement of the the “Brockenhaus experience”! Every Brockie has different goods on offer and every day there are different wonders to discover. You often find that it is exactly when you are NOT looking, that you find the perfect item you’ve been searching forever to find.
Please note that you can also donate clothes to the Brockies too – just check that they are one of those that accept clothing. Alternatively you can donate to Texaid – either by putting CLEAN clothes in a waterproof plastic bag and depositing at one of the textile banks or by donating on your doorstep when there is a planned collection. You can check with the Gemeinde when the next textile collection is planned. Even unusable clothes can be donated as long as they are clean as they may be able to repurpose the material.
Where To Find You Nearest Brockie
So where do you start? Well, there is bound to be a Brockenhaus close to you and if you’re not sure you can always ask at your Gemeinde. Alternatively here is a list of some large ones as well as a list of nationwide outlets.
One of the biggest Brockies in Zurich is the one near Zollstrasse very close to Zurich HB.
Brockito in Oerlikon
Address: Robert-Maillart-Strasse 14, 8050 Zürich
Open Monday – Friday 8am – 12 and 1pm – 5pm
Tel: 044 415 64 40
List of Heilsarmee (Slavation Army) Brockies
Address: Zwillikerstrasse 1, 8910 Affoltern am Albis
List of Auszweiterhand Brockies and Flea Markets
List of Remar Brockies Throughout Switzerland
There are over 6,500 places in Switzerland where you can deposit clean, used textiles and clothes.
You can also check locally for places which accept second hand clothing like the Kinderkleiderbörse in Itchnach in Küsnacht. Please note most of the Kinderkleiderbörse only accept seasonal clothing – eg Summer clothes in Summer and Winter clothes in Winter etc. Visit the Kinderkleiderbörse website here.
Second Hand Books – Book Brockie in Enge
If it’s books your trying to get rid of one of the best places to go is the specialist Book Brockie in Enge which is located just behind Enge Railway Station in Bederstrasse 4, 8002 Zurich. It is open from 10.30 – 6.30pm Monday to Friday and from 9am till 4pm on Saturday.
Another option would be to sell your items at a Zurich Flea Market for example at Bürkliplatz or Kanzlei.
So take a look and go on an adventure! Have fun and you never know what you will find. After, all one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
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