x

Economy

Greeks Turn to Thrift Shop Bargains, Buying Second-Hand Clothes

September 12, 2022

ATHENS – Memories of diving in dumpsters for food and scrounging to survive during an eight-year-long economic and austerity crisis as part of international bailouts that ended in August, 2018 haven’t been forgotten in Greece.

In the waning COVID-19 pandemic, with record inflation, and soaring energy prices that doubled electric bills and a 24 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on food, more households are buying second-hand clothes and vintage goods.

That had long been shunned, said the Chinese news agency Xinhua in a feature on the habits of Greeks and their shopping styles, reporting that experts and retailers are seeing a rise in the practice.

The thrift stores popped up like crocuses in the spring when the first wave of austerity hit in 2010 and lasted another eight years, bringing big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings, and they’ve hung on.

Speaking to the news agency they said that the pandemic pushed more people toward online shopping but the economic hurt on many families has them rummaging through second-hand clothes again for bargains.

It will take more than two years for the economy to get better, said the 67.3 percent of respondents in the latest survey of Vendora.gr, a classifieds platform linking second–hand buyers and sellers in Greece in the past five years.

“One out of three respondents stated that selling things they don’t need anymore to make some extra money actually is a good way to tackle the inflation,” Kimon Tousmanof, Head of Marketing at Vendora.gr, said.

“Greeks not only start seeing that buying and selling second–hand has financial benefits, but they also see the environmental benefits of the whole thing,” Tousmanof said.

The survey of more than 800 people found that 49 percent of people in Greece turn to the second-hand market to save money, 15 percent for variety and uniqueness and 10 percent out of concern for the environment.

“We’ve been seeing a trend going on these past years in Greece that Greeks are embracing more and more second-hand buying and selling. And it’s estimated that until 2025 the market, the industry of second-hand buying and selling will double in size (compared to pre-pandemic levels),” Tousmanof said.

Some 80 percent of Greeks are looking for bargains and half have purchased one second-hand item within three months, showed another survey conducted by local polling firm Focus Bari earlier this year among over 6,000 people.

Vendora.gr registered a 40-45 percent increase in traffic during the pandemic. And the market is also growing offline.

Tatyana Todorova, a Bulgarian who moved to Greece in 2007, has owned a second-hand/vintage store in central Athens since 2015, her family having operated them in their homeland for almost 30 years.

While the Greek economy is on a path to grow more than 5 percent and jobs going begging in many sectors, she said that the most vulnerable in society still can’t make ends meet and more thrift shops are opening in Athens.

‘More and more people realize we shouldn’t constantly buy new clothes. Not only for financial reasons but also for quality and environmental protection,” Todorova said.’

“Among my customers are people who are wealthy and interested in the quality of garments. Many of them are seeking vintage clothing from the 70s-90s”” she told Xinhua of a trendy idea that’s caught on.

Eleni Gerontak, one of them, said she doesn’t like current fashions for their quality and lack of natural fibers and can find what she wants in vintage stores that have cotton and wool.

‘I never buy synthetic clothes. Always made of cotton or viscose, good quality fabric, and I find it here. Do you know how many beautiful items I discovered? Fine products and very affordable,” she said.

RELATED

ATHENS - A law enforcement agency being called a version of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is being set up in Greece to try to deal with fighting mobsters after a Greek police operation called Clean Hands couldn’t do it.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany  — Jude Bellingham scored to give England a winning start at the European Championship by beating Serbia 1-0 on Sunday.

BALTIMORE  — Gunnar Henderson hit his eighth leadoff homer of the season, and three more Orioles also went deep off Zack Wheeler to help Baltimore beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-3 on Sunday.

OBBÜRGEN, Switzerland  — Nearly 80 countries called Sunday for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine to be the basis for any peace agreement to end Russia’s two-year war, though some key developing nations at a Swiss conference did not join in.

ATHENS - Four years after the COVID-19 pandemic shut international travel and kept tourists away from Greece, the government now wants  to limit how many cruise ships can dock at popular islands because there are too many tourists.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.