Survival guide: How to survive getting furniture
8 January 2012 - Being an international student in the Netherlands requires a lot of arranging which can lead to frustrations. EM provides tips and tricks to ease your stay in the Netherlands. This week in our Survival Guide: How to get furniture for your new room in Rotterdam.
Deciding to study abroad is a big decision but once you have made that decision, you have to arrange a lot of things before you can fully focus on your studies at your host university. One of those things is arranging a room and more importantly furniture! But, where can you get furniture for a reasonable price? And how do you transport it to you room?
Where can you get affordable furniture?
If you have made the decision to buy your own furniture for your brand new room, you have several options:
The easy way out
If you do not even want to get into the hassle of buying and transporting brand new furniture, it is always an option to rent a room furnished. Several students living in Rotterdam offer their rooms for rent furnished if they for instance, go on exchange or take on an internship abroad.
Tip: renting a furnished room is only cheaper than renting a non-furnished room and thus, buying your own furniture if you are an exchange student for one or two semesters. If you are coming to Rotterdam for an entire Master’s or Bachelor’s degree you might want to consider buying your own furniture.
Second hand furniture
If you do not want to rent a furnished room, there is the option to buy your furniture second hand. There are multiple ways you can find decent and quality second hand furniture.
The Dutch website Marktplaats is a platform for people to sell all kinds of second hand stuff, from couches, chairs and beds till DVDs and clothes. Marktplaats can be compared to websites such as eBay where you can ‘bid’ on other people’s products.
Tip: You need to know a little bit of Dutch to be able to find the furniture you are looking for. However, a lot of Dutch people speak basic English. So, if you have found furniture on Marktplaats using Dutch search terms you can always contact the person selling it since there is a good chance they will be able to communicate with you in English.
Within Rotterdam there are several second hand stores that offer decent furniture. The most well-know is Piekfijn. The good thing about Piekfijn is that they have four stores within Rotterdam, so there is a lot of choice and most likely, always one close to your new room.
Note: Piekfijn offers to pick up second hand furniture and other products for free in Rotterdam if they are still in a decent condition. Therefore, they have new products coming in on a regular basis which will increase the chance that you find the furniture you are looking for.
Piekfijn Prins Alexander
Monday: 13:00 – 17:00
Tuesday – Friday: 09:00 – 17:15
Saturday: 10:00 – 16:00
3. Facebook groups
There are several Facebook groups where students offer a range of products, including furniture, to other students. Often, the price is set by the student selling it. However, it is also frequently possible to negotiate the price and bargain.
There are three main Facebook groups where students and internationals in Rotterdam are selling furniture are active on a daily basis:
Commodity Market Rotterdam
ESN-Rotterdam Market Place
Buy & Sell Rotterdam
If you do not want to buy second hand furniture the best option for brand new furniture is IKEA. Rotterdam has one IKEA store called IKEA Barendrecht.
Tip: Even though it states on the website it is easily reachable by public transport it takes about 45 minutes to get there. So, if you want to stroll around or buy furniture immediately it is better to go there by car, which is significantly faster.
2993 LG Barendrecht
Monday – Friday: 10:00 – 21:00
Saturday: 09:00 – 21:00
How can you transport furniture?
If you need to buy furniture such as a bed, closet and a desk, it is hard to transport by public transport. But, there are several options to transport your furniture easily and as cheap as possible.
Rent a trailer
If you, your parents or friends have a car which you can borrow to transport your newly bought furniture the best option is to rent a boedelbak. Boedelbak is the leader on the Dutch market regarding renting trailers. Boedelbak offers several trailer sizes and in Rotterdam alone they have 8 pick-up points.
Rent a van
If you do not have a car you can borrow or use, there are plenty of options to rent a van within Rotterdam. Two of the most well-known car renting services that are very student friendly are:
Important note: If you are younger than 21 years old you can rent a car from Europecar, but you need to have your driver’s license for at least one year.
Important note: Unlike many other car renting services Multirent does not charge extra costs if you are 18 years old and have your driver’s license and want to rent a car. However, you can only rent a small car, for middle size cars and up you need to be at least 21 years old.
Tip: The price of the van as well as the trailer depends on the size. So, make sure you do not waste money on a larger size van or trailer if you do not need it.
IKEA delivering service
If you buy your furniture from IKEA, you can choose several delivering options.
1. IKEA delivering service. IKEA offers the service of delivering your furniture from door to door. You then pay per kilometer. Prices can be found here
Important note: You have to load and unload the furniture in the delivery van yourself. A maximum of two people can be seated next to the driver from IKEA in the delivery van. More importantly, they deliver no further than 30 kilometer from IKEA Barendrecht.
2. Rent an IKEA trailer. It is possible, if all the furniture does not fit into your car, to rent a trailer from IKEA. The price is per hour 2.50 and the first two hours cost 15 euros.
Tip: If you have an IKEA family card you can rent a trailer for three hours for the price of two hours (15 euros). You can obtain an IKEA family card for free at any IKEA store.
Important note: From January 7th until March 2nd 2013 you get even more discount on a trailer with your IKEA family card. You only pay 10 euros for the first two hours, for three hours you only pay 12.50 euros.
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