Are there any thrift stores or other similar second hand shops in France, in particular in the Lyon area? Different countries tend to have different variations on these types of stores; some have none.

I am looking for ways to affordably purchase basic living necessities such as furniture, basic home appliances, etc. knowing that I'll only stay in France for a limited time. Buying new is much too expensive in the short run.

I am aware of http://www.leboncoin.fr/, but this appears to be an online classifieds site, similar to Craigslist. Buying from there would involve negotiating in French over the phone, and having to arrange separate transport for each piece of furniture, as they're all in different places. This doesn't seem very workable so I am looking for brick and mortar stores when one can walk in and find everything in one place.


A few places you could look for second-hand furniture and home appliances:

  • A “brocante” (name of the shop or activity) or “brocanteur” (name of the person plying this trade) buys and sells second-hand things. The distinction is fluid but the word implies cheaper things than “antiquaire” (antique dealer).
  • A “vide-grenier” or “braderie” is an event (often yearly) where people sell unwanted stuff (somewhat akin to a yard sale) but there are also often professional brocanteurs as well. Here is a site listing some of these around Lyon.
  • A “marché aux puces” is a semi-permanent or regular (open-air) market for non-food products, including second-hand goods. The most famous ones are in the Paris area but I found one in Lyon too.
  • A “dépôt-vente” is a shop where people can leave their stuff. The shop does not buy anything (the goods still belong to their original owners) but takes a commission on any sale.
  • Emmaüs is a charity running second-hand sales called “bric-à-brac”, mostly for clothes but also for household items. People give their stuff to the charity, which then uses this activity to create jobs and make a profit to fund its other activities. I believe the Secours Populaire and perhaps the Secours Catholique occasionally organize similar things as well.
  • Don't rule out buying new just yet. Low-quality furniture is particularly cheap in France compared to many European countries, many people consider IKEA expensive. Look for shops from Conforama, BUT, Fly, Gifi, Foir'Fouille, Bricomarché, Tati, Vima…
  • If all else fails, also think about big-box department stores. France has many large ones with extensive non-food sections (it's much more common than in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands or Switzerland for example). Look for the largest stores (hypermarchés) from Carrefour, Auchan, Cora, Leclerc, Intermarché, Hyper U…
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