Used items in Germany: where to sell or buy, how they cheat

Last Updated on October 26, 2023

It’s a pity to throw away good used things, slightly scratched toys, once played puzzles, etc. At the same time, there are people who would like to save money. At least in theory they exist. Lately, I have begun to strongly doubt this, because even giving something away for free is extremely difficult. But this topic is not about the strange behavior of buyers who are so tired of inflation that they don’t take things for free, but about where you can sell/buy, how to find markets and how to avoid cheating schemes.

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Where to buy / sell used items

Flea market (Flohmarkt / Basar)

The best option is the market: Kinderflohmarkt, Kinderbasar, Babybasar, Frauenflomarkt, Skiflohmarkt, Fahrradmarkt and so on.

Season: active in September – October, sporadically in November, then active in February – March and less active in other months until July. Rarely / not organized during the holidays. Those who want to sell should start looking early, as otherwise there are no places left.
Ski and bike markets are held once a year, they need to be checked in advance, as the month can be unexpected, like February for bicycles.

by topic – children’s separately, women’s, skiing, cycling, for collectors, general
by sales method – sorted, regular, with paid entrance, street, online, garage, mobile

Regular (with table rental) and street (with car space rental) do not raise any questions. You reserve and pay for a place or table, bring things and sell them. The cost used to be around 5-8 euros, now it’s mostly 12-15 euros, and there is also sometimes an additional fee for booking a place in the amount of 2.50 euros. Sometimes you can save money by providing a cake for sale. However, making a cake now is also not very cheap (at least 4 euros, according to my estimates).

There are usually markets for collectors with an entrance fee, such as the model railroad market.

Sorted market (sortiert / auf Kommissions-Basis) means that you:
get a number
print stickers with the number and barcode,
stick everything
hand over your things
not present during the sale
you get money, minus interest, and unsold items back

Sorted markets are being held more frequently than before. Homemade programs for labels have given way to online services for organizing a sorted market (for example, Bazarlino). You register on the service, track your market and wait for registration to open, get a number, enter your list of things on the website, print the generated labels, stick them on things and boxes, and deliver the things at the right time.

The cost of a sorted market is higher — usually 20 percent of the sale, sometimes plus a registration fee — but the sales rate is also higher.

Please note that markets have different rules. They may limit the number of shoes, jackets, and large items sold, require special drop-off boxes (for example, laundry baskets only).

Online-market – new from last year. The same as a sorted market, but without a market 🙂 You send your list with photos to the organizer’s website, they put things up for a week, just like in a regular online store. As a buyer, you can choose and pay for your cart. At the end of the week, sellers bring their sold items, and buyers take away their completed baskets.

Garage flea market (Garagenflohmarkt) – is a market of a single-family or neighbors held close to home. Here you can buy, but hardly sell.

Mobile flea market – This is a little-known variety to me. I saw the ad, but didn’t visit.

How to find a flea market in Germany

  • You search Google for the your flea market variety plus the region (for example Kinderflohmarkt Frankfurt). Several sites will immediately appear that collect information about markets. For sorted markets add “sortierte Kinderflohmarkt” (auf Kommissions-Basis). Look through the ad and look for how registration is organized. If this information is not available, type the name of the market into the search and look for an advertisement on the website of the city or other organizations.
  • Read announcements in thematic groups on Facebook.
  • Read advertisements in the local newspaper (not suitable for sale, since there is too little time left). These advertisements are also available on online newspaper websites.


Until recently, part of eBay, now an independent site is one of the good places to buy/sell, although the likelihood of selling something is much less than on the flea market.

Unfortunately, postage has now become very expensive, so buying something here is no longer very profitable. However, whoever is looking will most likely find – careful selection still allows you to find something inexpensive, especially for Lego, toys for films and series (Paw Patrol and Co), carnival costumes, furniture in your region.

Thematic groups on Facebook

Search on Facebook for the words Flohmarkt, Kinderflohmarkt, Babysachen, Schwarzes Brett plus region.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to sell something on Facebook; you have a better chance of buying something. But these are things in your region and you can pick them up without having to pay for delivery.

Announcement on a stand in a store (Kaufland)

Suitable for large items. Oddly enough, it still works, people are watching.

Sales guarantee

There was already a separate topic about the guarantee – what words (not) should be written in the ad – and also about when the tax authorities will be interested in your sales: Sale of used items (Privatverkauf). Private warranty

Fraud Schemes

The schemes are new every year, so I do not claim to be comprehensive. A characteristic feature of all fraudulent schemes is that they respond to the ad as soon as it is published. It is mainly the sellers who suffer. Although buyers also have problems: one smart teenager managed to get money for a fictitious products for some time, until the police caught him.

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1. The service “they will take your item because I’m away and can’t pick it up myself.”

They tried to pull off this scheme with me, but I immediately decided to check what kind of strange option they were offering me.

It all starts innocuously with a simple question: “Is the item still available?” Of course you answer yes. You just published this ad. Then they tell you that they would like to buy it, but they cannot pick it up.

Ich würde es gerne an Wochentagen abholen, konnte es aber nicht abholen, da ich gerade beruflich unterwegs bin, also würde ich die Transaktion gerne über den DPD-Abholservice abwickeln, der den Artikel abholt bei Ihnen zu Hause und zahlt Ihnen am Tag der Abholung vor Ort in bar aus, funktioniert das?

Which you doubt, because this is the first time you’ve heard about this. They start convincing you.

Ich erkläre es Ihnen, ein DPD-Servicemitarbeiter kommt zu Ihnen nach Hause, um Ihnen einen Umschlag mit Ihrem Geld zu geben, und sobald Sie Ihr Geld überprüft haben, geben Sie ihm den Artikel, damit er ihn mir nach Hause schicken kann, es funktioniert ganz einfach. Ok, wann kann der Kurier vorbeikommen? Wenn es möglich ist, kann es auch morgen um 16 Uhr sein, dras hängt von Ihnen ab?

The cunning scheme results in you paying your money and/or losing your goods.

The recipe is simple – don’t react to strange schemes.

2. Offer of courier delivery with Internet address fishing

Another type of courier scam. They give you a link to a “courier delivery” page that actually collects your personal data.

3. Secure payment on Kleinanzeigen

A new deceptive way to lure data from you, including your bank account password: when making a payment through “secure payment”, they start asking you for a phone number, supposedly at the request of Kleinanzeigen itself, or an email and then they take you to fishing pages where you must enter your data.

None of your data is needed to process a payment via Kleinanzeigen. Any attempts to take you outside of this platform are a signal that they are scammers, even if they look quite convincing.

4. Refusal of payment on PayPal

Deception works both ways:
if the buyer has chosen “send money to a friend”, then he is deprived of the opportunity to cancel the transaction if the goods were not sent
if the buyer chose “send money for the goods”, then he can take the money back, although the goods were delivered.

Choose “send money to the account”, although this takes longer, and wait until they are in the account before sending the goods, or arrange to pay for tracking the parcel.

5. Substitution of advertisements

Actuel only for popular products, because scammers need to immediately find a second buyer. They duplicate your ad. Having found a buyer, they negotiate payment with you and forward the payment details to their “buyer”. “Buyer” pays, but the fraudster receives the goods.

Select “secure payment” on Kleinanzeigen.

6. Replacing a working device with a non-working one

Well, let’s also not forget about this old circuit for devices. The scammer has a broken device, buys a working one from you and claims that you sent a broken device.

Record the device numbers.

Other topics for #New in Germany
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