Sinterklaas shops in the thrift store: ‘You don’t have to be ashamed’

Grandpa Perry Saasen searches among the cuddly toys that are sold for less than two euros. He is for his grandchildren in the thrift store in Eindhoven. “We celebrate Sinterklaas. I’m here because I watch my spending more than usual. That is also very normal.” More and more people from Brabant are choosing, just like Grandpa Perry, to get their toys from the thrift store during the Sinterklaas period.

They notice this well at the six shops of thrift store chain Het Goed in Southeast Brabant. There, the used toys are flying out the door these weeks. “You don’t have to be ashamed to come here,” explains Grandpa Perry. “It is too expensive for everyone. If you come across something you like and it is affordable, you should take it.”

Many customers think it is a shame to buy the toy new while the used one is still good. Helga van Esch searches among puzzles. She does have a condition. “It has to look fresh.”

Helga also watches her expenses. “This year we are paying a little attention to the costs with Sinterklaas, but we also want to have a sustainable Sinterklaas. There will be some new stuff, but also things we reuse or have made ourselves. That is better for the world. And for the wallet.”

“We have less in the wallet.”

A survey by research agency Newcom on behalf of Omroep Brabant shows that 12 percent of Brabant people look more at second-hand toys, for example online or in the thrift store. The six thrift stores of Het Goed in Brabant sold 23 percent more toys than last year up to and including the end of November:

• In 2021 they sold 97,000 toys
• In 2022 they sold 120,000 toys.

Manager Ad Vogels of Het Goed: “We have no stocks. Each item is unique. Everything is bought. The board games, puzzles, cuddly toys, garages, doll carriages. You often also buy a car second-hand, so not new either. What makes the difference?”

“If you buy something like this new, you still pay 15 euros.”

“We have less in the wallet. Some cannot afford new toys, but we also see that people are buying more consciously. All records are shattered in our stores. We have already sold more at this moment than all of last year, combined. And then we still have December ahead of us.”

Thérèse Bouwens is standing by the cars. She is looking for something for her almost three-year-old grandson. She also watches her expenses. “Especially with toys that are played with for a relatively short time. Then I pay extra attention.” She picks up a dump truck with a $1.99 price tag. “If you buy something like this, you will still pay 15 euros.”

Perry recently became a grandfather again. He succeeded for his brand new grandchild: a huge white bear with ‘I love you’ on it. For 1.99. Satisfied, he walks out of the store.

READ ALSO: We celebrate Sinterklaas en masse, but Sinterklaas does cut back

The toy racks in Het Goed in Eindhoven (photo: Rogier van Son).
The toy racks in Het Goed in Eindhoven (photo: Rogier van Son).

Manager Ad Vogels of recycling chain Het Goed (photo: Rogier van Son).
Manager Ad Vogels of recycling chain Het Goed (photo: Rogier van Son).