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Four websites and apps for buying and selling second hand in Denmark

What's the best place to pick up vintage clothes, a coffee table or a bicycle at a bargain second-hand price online in Denmark? Here are four options.

Four websites and apps for buying and selling second hand in Denmark
Whatever you might be after, there are various places to look for a second-hand deal in Denmark. Photo by Artificial Photography on Unsplash

With no Danish edition of eBay, there’s not a single platform which dominates the market when it comes to finding second-hand items or selling on things to a new home.

The four apps and websites listed below can all be used to buy second-hand items and list your own for sale. Some might be more suited for specific purposes or types of item than others.

Reshopper

If you’re looking for a baby jogger, jumpsuit (flyvedragt) or Peppa Pig toys, this is probably your best option. The Reshopper app includes listings by a good number of private sellers and can be sorted by location, meaning it’s often possible to find what you need locally. Some sellers offer postage and in some cases you might need to collect the item in person. If you’re lucky, the seller can drop off the item.

Prices are reasonable – I would say they are more than competitive compared to increasingly expensive charity and second-hand shops, particularly in the Copenhagen area.

Sellers can choose whether to offer shipping and have payment processed through the app, in other cases payment is arranged between the buyer and seller. A messaging function allows arrangements to be made.

There are “Mom” and “Home” sections on the app, but it’s for baby and kids’ wares that Reshopper really comes into its own.

I managed to pick up a baby jogger for 450 kroner from a private seller on the app a couple of years ago. I’ve used it frequently since and it has certainly proved worth the money, only needing a couple of new inner tubes during that time.

In addition to downloading the app, I’d recommend following Reshopper on Instagram. They have recently started opening pop-up stores where you can find great deals on clothing, toys and equipment for kids. This is not restricted to used items – you might find new products that have been discarded because they are from previous seasons or have been returned to manufacturers.

Den Blå Avis (DBA)

The legacy option for buying second-hand, DBA started life as a classified ads paper many years ago and can now be browsed as an app or website.

You can find anything on DBA, from sofas to PC components to cars. I bought my car through an ad on the site and, like my baby jogger, I’m happy to say it’s been one of my better purchases and is still going strong two years down the line.

DBA is probably the closest equivalent Denmark has to eBay but should be used with caution because it doesn’t offer the same level of protection to buyers. Many sales still involve transferring money directly to sellers (often using the MobilePay payment app) and trusting them to ship the item. This might go well most of the time but there are scammers out there.

One way to protect yourself is to make sure you only buy from sellers who have verified themselves using Denmark’s MitID digital ID system, a function DBA introduced in recent years.

Unlike eBay, you don’t enter auctions for items on DBA but you can send messages to sellers whose items interest you.

Facebook Marketplace

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably come across the Marketplace platform. Now popular in many countries including Denmark, Marketplace has challenged and arguably overtaken DBA as the spot most people sell their unwanted items.

Because it’s populated with sellers keen to shift their goods – and possibly less concerned about the price they receive for them – it can be a good place to pick up a bargain. This is something which is harder to come by than it used to be in physical second-hand stores.

Marketplace can be found on the Facebook app or via this link.

Trendsales

As the name suggests, Trendsales is a clothing-focused platform and is in fact the largest Danish marketplace for used clothing as well as lifestyle items.

You’ll find all sorts of clothing there – it’s not limited to designer or fashion items, so you should be able to pick up a comfortable hoodie from H&M or look for a vintage t-shirt and be in luck.

The interface is easy on the eye and user-friendly, and the prices often surprisingly reasonable. Sellers can choose delivery options and may or may not accept in-person collection.

READ ALSO: How to save money as a student in Denmark

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PROPERTY

EXPLAINED: How to restructure and reduce your mortgage in Denmark

Denmark's unique borrowing system has enabled thousands of people to restructure their mortgages this year, cashing in on high interest rates which have caused a drop in market value of covered bonds. We explain how it all works and how you can potentially pay off a sum of your mortgage.

EXPLAINED: How to restructure and reduce your mortgage in Denmark

How does the mortgage system work in Denmark?

Denmark has a unique mortgage model, which is regarded as one of the best in the world.

When you take out a loan to buy a house in Denmark, the bank finances the loan through a covered bond [Danish:realkreditobligation,ed.] What makes the model unique is that you as the borrower know exactly what covered bond is issued to finance the loan.

“This direct link is very special to Denmark,”  Peter Jayaswal, executive director at Finans Danmark told The Local.

“You can follow what the market price is for the bond that is funding your loan in the capital market. A German borrower for example has a mortgage by the German bank issuing a loan using a covered bond. But there is no link, so the homeowner doesn’t know what the bond is.

“In Denmark, you can see it exactly. You can go onto your bank website everyday and follow the market price. That means that we have this early repayment system where I as a borrower am allowed to prepay my loan by buying back at market price the bond that has funded my loan,” Jayaswal explained.

When interest rates are increasing, it means that the price on the bonds is decreasing and this is why thousands of homeowners in Denmark have bought out their bonds this year, at a low market value and paid off a portion of their mortgage. 

READ ALSO: Interest rates encourage Danes to restructure mortgages

So how can I make this early repayment on my mortgage?

The first thing to do is to set up a meeting with your bank so they can assess whether you will benefit from the drop in bond value.

The market price of covered bonds is well documented in Danish media but you can also follow them on your bank’s website or by asking for an appointment with your bank to assess your current mortgage.

“You may at some point in the past have taken out a mortgage of 1 million kroner with a one percent fixed interest rate. To keep it simple, let’s say the loan is without amortisation.  When you took out this mortgage, the bond was issued at 99 kroner meaning that the nominal debt will be around 1,010,100 kroner to give a 1 million kroner revenue.

“Today you can see the interest rates have increased and the price on the bond financing your loan is say 80 kroner. As a borrower you can buy the bond in the market at market price and prepay the mortgage loan. But you only need to take out a new loan of around 808,000 kroner to do this.

“So you can take a new loan out at 808,000 kroner and use this to repay your existing loan and reduce your debt by around 200,000 kroner. This transaction can be done simultaneously by your bank, so you won’t end up with two loans,” Jayaswal told The Local.

What about interest rates on my mortgage?

The interest rate you get for your mortgage can be fixed or variable and they mirror the prices investors pay for the bonds. 

Fixed rate mortgage

Today, the fixed interest rate is five percent. This means that if you decide to buy your bond at the lower market value, you will have to take out a new loan at a higher interest rate.

“Using the example of reducing your mortgage by 200,000 kroner by buying the bond at a low market value, every month you are now paying an interest rate of five percent fixed term, rather than your one percent you had before. So you are paying more each month for the benefit of paying off a portion of your mortgage early and the benefits will decrease over time. 

“You usually break even after around ten to fourteen years but the bank will calculate this for you,” Jayaswal said.

“If you know you’re moving in two to three years, it makes sense to get a new loan with a higher interest rate because you’ll have to repay the loan anyway when you move. But if you think you’ll be in your home a long time, keeping this loan, then you need the interest rate to decrease in ten to fourteen years.

“And that’s the problem because we must be frank and say we can do all the forecasts but in the end no one knows what future interest rates will be, so it has to be the decision of the borrower,” Jayaswal explained.

Variable rate mortgage 

The other option is to take out a variable interest rate mortgage to buy the bond, which today is around three percent. However this carries a risk, as the interest rates are adjusted on a regular basis. F3 loans, for example, are adjusted every three years, while F5 loans have adjustments every five years.

“Changing from a fixed to variable interest rate, to reduce your debt and avoid an increase in interest rate, comes with a risk that you don’t have a fixed rate for 30 years, so you are more exposed and that’s very important be aware of,” Jayaswal told The Local.

On Monday, the company Totalkredit, the largest provider of real estate loans for private homes, auctioned flexible loans with resulting interest rates exceeding 3 percent on the F1, F3 and F5 loan types. That means the interest on these types of mortgages will be at their highest for several years.

According to Finans Danmark, Danish home owners have repaid 337 billion kroner of their mortgages in the first three quarters of 2022. Many of these home owners have chosen to switch to variable interest rates. You can swap back to a fixed-rate mortgage at any time but you also have to be aware that these rates may have increased by then too. 

How do I decide which option to take?

“I always say to people, feel free to go to your bank, ask them to make the calculations for you, so you have the foundation to make a decision”, Jayaswal says.

“Some might think a 30-year mortgage at a fixed rate of one percent is great, especially because today interest rate is five percent. Others won’t mind paying a five percent interest rate for a few years, because they want to reduce their debt today and believe interest rates will decrease. It is up to the borrower to decide.

“It’s not that one option is better than the other, it’s that you have opportunities and this is unique in Denmark,” Jayaswal said.

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