Best place(s) to buy furniture

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My wife and I will be moving to Hamburg from the US in May with our three kids (currently aged 3.5 yrs, 2 yrs, and 6 months) and will most likely need to outfit an entire apartment with furniture (we’re not shipping any of our current stuff). Any tips on where to get the best value for new (or lightly used) stuff? I could go to IKEA, home24, etc., of course but I thought that there might be a better, more “local” option. Ideally we’d find an expat family moving away that wants to get rid of a lot of their stuff.

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In my experience shipping your existing furniture is cheaper (and less time-consuming) than buying it all new. Otherwise, IKEA is a popular option 

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Welcome to Hamburg! Your wife may want to connect with the American Women's Club.  I am not a member here, but was in other countries over the years.  I am sure there are other young families, play groups for young children and parents to connect with. You might want to find out about neighborhoods where American tend to live.  https://www.awchamburg.org/

 
German homes tend to be smaller than American homes. If you have large over sized furniture, it may not work in the smaller rooms. Is your company paying for shipping of household goods? You can bring most items in tax free for a period of time. German homes do not have a lot of storage space either. You might want to look on rental sites to get an idea about the sizes of rooms etc. Do not bring your US washing machine as it will use a lot of water and might not fit through the door. http://www.saturn.de is good for appliances. Germany has a different electric voltage so you will need step down transformer if you have appliance you want to use from the USA.   If you have a good artificial Christmas tree you might want to bring that along. German ones are not as full and are expensive. You can of course buy a fresh one here. I would probably buy new items, you have to consider  transport and assembly, it is probably easier to use the services of a furniture stores, than organizing that yourself with second hand goods. Keep in mind that there are regulations here about moving in times and using official movers.  I would look through all these sites and see how much it costs to replace your existing items.  
 
Here are some links to places to buy furniture and house hold goods. Somethings are better quality than others.  Use google translate. There are several areas where some of the larger firms are located. You will need a car. https://www.bauhaus.info/ is a DYI, home improvement type store. Amazon.de is good also. 
 
 
 
 
 
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3 hours ago, Futura123 said:

 

 If you have a good artificial Christmas tree you might want to bring that along.

 
 

 

Artificial Christmas tree? :wacko:

 

A big no-no in Germany :D

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12 hours ago, Thai said:

In my experience shipping your existing furniture is cheaper (and less time-consuming) than buying it all new. Otherwise, IKEA is a popular option 

 

The quotes we received started at ~$3500 each way (closer to $3800 after delivery fees), so we'd be looking at a minimum of $7000 assuming we'd want to take our stuff home with us. Those quotes were also only for a 20 foot container, which would be enough to ship the basics but not large enough to ship everything we'd need/want, so we'd still have to buy some things. We've priced things out on IKEA and have been in the 3000-3500 EUR range (including delivery and VAT) for enough of the big stuff (couch, coffee table, dinette set, beds, dressers, wardrobes, etc.) to fill a 4 room apartment. I'm sure there'd be another 500 EUR in small stuff (dishes, cheap rugs, decor, etc.). That still puts us quite a bit below what it would cost to ship our stuff and that's before factoring in whatever we could get when we sold our IKEA stuff if/when we leave. I was hoping that there was a cheaper local option such as high quality secondhand shops or smaller furniture retailers that have good prices. I've heard people mention Hoeffner and Tchibo, which were linked to above. Maybe I'll check them out.

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14 minutes ago, ASURay said:

Hoeffner and Tchibo

 

Hoeffner is a huge furniture store. Tchibo is a coffee seller with misc. house tat and clothes around. Small shops.

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Tchibo has also furniture for all rooms, it is sold on the online shop. I have ordered some and been happy with the products. Their bedding is okay too. I bought mattresses from IKEA. You may want to bring pillows if you do a shipment. The pillows are different sizes here and the ones that are more American sized are expensive and may have feathers. The smaller cheap ones are not worth the price. Keep in mind that your big comforters or blankets etc are not going to fit in your European washer. I bought a 12 KG bauknecht . (Whirlpool) I bought it from Saturn.de  https://www.bauknecht.de/produkte-1/waschmaschinen-3/bauknecht-frontlader-waschmaschine-wm-style-1224-zen/858366703010/ It fit through the door. Samsung was an inch off and would not. You have to measure your doors first to buy things here if you have an older dwelling.  You can order stuff from JCPENNY as well but it is pricey and you have to pay import duty. Honestly, most of what you drag over here your children will out grow and you will not be taking it back with you. Purge, purge, purge!  @fraufruit I have some storage places in the house for the tree. I bought a new pre-lit  one this year from this company. They are not exactly as wonderful as our USA version but I am really happy with it and it is cheaper and better looking then the ones in the high end places around our place. http://www.balsamhill.de The USA versions have more lights and they also have the flip tree which the European division does not.

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25 minutes ago, Futura123 said:

Tchibo has also furniture for all rooms, it is sold on the online shop.

 

Oh sorry. I wasn't aware of that.

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Ebay Kleinanzeiger unless it has to be new.  Germans usually take good care of their stuff and I just can't bring myself to pay full price for furniture (that depreciates immediately.)  

 

And no, unless you have a bunch of antiques or expensive taste in furniture, it is NOT worth shipping it!  Ship as little as you can unless your company is paying for it.  

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34 minutes ago, BradinBayern said:

Ebay Kleinanzeiger unless it has to be new.  Germans usually take good care of their stuff and I just can't bring myself to pay full price for furniture (that depreciates immediately.)  

 

And no, unless you have a bunch of antiques or expensive taste in furniture, it is NOT worth shipping it!  Ship as little as you can unless your company is paying for it.  

Can I get delivery with EBay kleinanzeiger? I don’t have access to a truck/van.

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Kleinanzeiger are usually private people selling their stuff. Sometimes you can arrange delivery with the person selling it. I did a couple of times.

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12 hours ago, ASURay said:

 

The quotes we received started at ~$3500 each way (closer to $3800 after delivery fees), so we'd be looking at a minimum of $7000 assuming we'd want to take our stuff home with us. Those quotes were also only for a 20 foot container, which would be enough to ship the basics but not large enough to ship everything we'd need/want, so we'd still have to buy some things. We've priced things out on IKEA and have been in the 3000-3500 EUR range (including delivery and VAT) for enough of the big stuff (couch, coffee table, dinette set, beds, dressers, wardrobes, etc.) to fill a 4 room apartment. I'm sure there'd be another 500 EUR in small stuff (dishes, cheap rugs, decor, etc.). That still puts us quite a bit below what it would cost to ship our stuff and that's before factoring in whatever we could get when we sold our IKEA stuff if/when we leave. I was hoping that there was a cheaper local option such as high quality secondhand shops or smaller furniture retailers that have good prices. I've heard people mention Hoeffner and Tchibo, which were linked to above. Maybe I'll check them out.

 

I think you would have to pay at least Euro 10,000 to fill a 4 room apartment, even with IKEA. But someone made a good point that American furniture may be too bulky for German apartments. Consider taking those pieces of furniture with you that you really like that that would fit into many apartments. 

 

BTW, my IKEA shelves made many moves and are still good. 

 

You can get 2nd hand furniture from charities, sometimes even for free, but it's often old-fashioned furniture from older people who died. Almost nobody wants 2nd hand furniture. 

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You can often pick up wardrobes, beds, sofas, etc. right here on TT for pretty good prices.

 

Check out the advert section in the Hamburg forum.

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Do you have a relocation allowance? Is your position 'unbefristet`? Some flats do not come with kitchens so there goes a few thousand EUR or more...

 

What about transport back being covered? If that is not in writing then I would want to avoid moving much here.

 

I know two engineers who got relocation paid for to come to Hamburg but then got canned right before end of their 6 month probezeit and got no help to move back (was in both cases within Germany any way but...) 

 

If you got a good budget to move stuff over but might want to start fresh to get stuff that matches Germany, and what will match will depend upon your home so nice to see it before you select what to get,  then imight ask HR if instead of a big movng allowance for transport firms to instead some transport and the rest for other items under a certain specified amount.

 

 

Furniture stores in Germany have showrooms but then you usually have to wait up to 6 weeks for delivery (they place the order through someplace they met on alibaba and have to order often 5 pieces at a time so wait for a couple more orders) and then a few weeks later you get an email tellig you it will take a few weeks more and... well takes a while which is one reason peple get IKEA even if they are sick of it: they can get it fast.

 

Whatever it is you might get taxed on it after a certain tax free amount, have no idea what that amount may be.

 

If you buy on ebay klein anziege you can get the transport people through there too to bring the items to you.

 

40 foot container might not cost much more than 20 foot, usually it will NOT be twice the cost, so might want to ask.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Thai said:

I think you would have to pay at least Euro 10,000 to fill a 4 room apartment, even with IKEA

 

Is it possible to spend 10000 at IKEA :) ? We priced things out at ikea.de and were at less than 4000. A sectional couch is like 699, a bed frame is like 249, beds for the kids are like 299 each, etc. We'd have to buy a fridge, dishwasher, washer/dryer, most likely. I wasn't counting that, though (I don't think I'd get those at IKEA...).

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23 minutes ago, sonazeit said:

Do you have a relocation allowance? Is your position 'unbefristet`? Some flats do not come with kitchens so there goes a few thousand EUR or more...

 

What about transport back being covered? If that is not in writing then I would want to avoid moving much here.

 

My company has given me a flat 4500 EUR for relocation. That won't cover much beyond airfare and a few months of a temporary apartment while I look for permanent housing. We have enough of our own savings to cover the rest, though. As for the return home, after my postdoc I would find another job and that job would come with a relocation stipend (at least that's the idea).

25 minutes ago, sonazeit said:

40 foot container might not cost much more than 20 foot, usually it will NOT be twice the cost, so might want to ask.

 

We could certainly get our stuff in a 40 footer but the price of a 20 footer, even (including shipping things back the US eventually) seems like it would be a fair bit more than just buying new stuff.

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Kitchens are very expensive, even at IKEA, this one costs 4,869€ including installation (and that price doesn't even include the oven):

5aa3c95fc27c0_20181_come03a_01_PH145421s

 

If you get an apartment with a kitchen, the fridge and dishwasher (if there is one!) will come included. The washing machine maybe, or there may be a communitary washing machine for all tenants in the cellar.

 

Regarding a dryer, let me introduce you to the way Germans dry clothes.

The Leifheit ones are the best quality, e.g. the Leifheit Capri 100cm: https://www.idealo.de/preisvergleich/OffersOfProduct/962889_-capri-100-72700-leifheit.html

91eqcDuWDDL._SL1500_smaller.jpg.2764d174

 

But for 2 years, you may as well get one of the less stable ones that are sold for 10€ in every Baumarkt (= DIY store), or the IKEA Mulig at 15.99€:

5aa3c7f5e7e07_0406651_PE567227_S5smaller

 

 

 

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