Moving to a new city (and for some a new country) means packing efficiently into few bags and only bringing the most essential things from home. Newcomers often plan to buy a lot of things on arrival. Although this might sound costly, there are several ways to find items to fill your apartment and gather suitable clothing for the changing seasons in Finland on a student budget.
Social media groups and marketplace
For each city, there is usually also a Buy and Sell page on Facebook. For Lappeenranta, you can search on Facebook for Buy&Sell in Lappeenranta. This is an open group available for any residents of the city to join, not only students. You should always be aware of possible scams and not share personal information such as credit card numbers with strangers. You should also plan meetups in common spaces, such as at the university entrance or outside of a shopping center.
If you are interested in an item, you can contact the seller via the social media post. Even if the post is written in Finnish, you can usually get a response in English. Sometimes items are listed for free if people have a hurry to move out so you should be quick to act on new items posted. Often near the end of the school year or semester, students will sell kitchen stuff, mattresses, and furniture before moving to a different city or country, and this can be a great time for Newcomers to stock up on certain items.
Another option is Facebook Marketplace. Here you can search for specific items you need or browse to see what you find with searches in either English or Finnish. If you are looking for something specific, you can set up an alert to receive notifications when that item is listed on Facebook.
Check with a Previous Tenant (student housing only)
Many students also try to contact the previous resident of their apartment to ask if they are selling their mattress or kitchen dishes. You can check with LOAS/Lahden Talot/Kouvolan Asunnot/Mikkeli Student apartments MOAS to ensure you enable your contact information to be shared with the previous tenant as this could be an option for newcomers to reach out to previous tenants.
Tori.fi – online marketplace
Another place to find used items is on the website Tori.fi. The website is only available in Finnish, but you can browse items with the help of the Google Chrome webpage translation extension. The site is available to residents all over Finland and you should filter for the product selection in your region and city. You can find small items here similar to Facebook Marketplace, but also larger items like used cars, bicycles, rental apartments, and children clothes/toys. Communication in English to sellers should be okay in most cases and it doesn’t hurt to try reaching out in English.
Secondhand stores in Lappeenranta
Finland has a big culture of buying secondhand, and it is even considered to be a fun activity to spend the day visiting different thrift stores. The typical sandhand store has kitchen utensils, clothes, furniture, sports equipment, games, and more. Below are some stores in Lappeenranta.
Kontti (Finnish Red Cross)
Kauppakatu 61, 53100 Lappeenranta
Ratakatu 33, 53100 Lappeenranta
Kivisalmenkatu 10, 53950 Lappeenranta
Secondhand stores in Lahti
Similar secondhand store options are also available in the city of Lahti.
Aleksanterinkatu 33, 15140 Lahti
Ajokatu 65, 15500 Lahti