Monday, 02 March 2015 17:59

Vide Greniers, Brocantes, Trocs....

Written by  Juliet Boella
How exciting – you have moved or are planning to move to France. The dilemma now is, do you ‘make do’ with your existing furniture which doesn’t ‘go’ in your new house, maybe you haven’t enough furniture, or even do you want to bring furniture all the way from the UK?

Help is at hand and it can also be fun! All over France there are shops well worth looking at before spending a fortune in expensive shops in the Périgord/Dordogne region namely:

·         Troc or Dépôt-Vente, and

·         Halle d’occasion

brocante 2These two are primarily second-hand shops. You might find almost anything there from light fittings to beds, from bicycles to kitchen units (you might even find the kitchen sink!) and lots of ‘bits and pieces’. Many items are in extremely good condition. Here you will find traditional and modern furnishings, fixtures and fittings. These shops may also carry a selection of new items, e.g beds and mattresses. Unlike in second-hand UK shops here you can also find electrical goods, such as microwaves, cookers, fridges, freezers, hoovers, heaters etc., etc. Prices can be extremely attractive. It might not be possible to bargain but it mightbe worth a gentle try. Many, but not all of these shops have a delivery service, priced according to distance to destination.

1.    Dépôt-Vente (Depot of goods for sale)


2.    Troc (Literally means barter, exchange, swap)

In these shops items are deposited by clients to be sold on their behalf. You might find some new goods as well. A time limit is usually specified for the period during which items will be held for sale. Items displayed can vary enormously in quality. You could find interesting styles from antique to modern although you might also find some items that you would consider rubbish. If you are selling a commission will be charged for the sale of an item.

hall de occassion3. Halle d’Occasion (Secondhand Market)

Here secondhand goods are sold but they will (normally) not sell items on behalf of clients. In other words goods on display will have been bought from auctions or from clients and therefore all items belong to the business. The price put on items is entirely at the discretion of the owner of the shop and they only buy at a price where they believe they can make a profit.

So the upside is that you can find almost anything and everything you want and need from these establishments and additionally if you have something to sell that you don’t want you can always approach them in order to do so. So if you buy an item and change your mind or decide to replace it later on, you can always negotiate and re-sell your previous purchase. (We have found numerous and exciting bargains in these shops – and have even completely furnished a gîte (now let). We have also temporarily bought furniture then sold it again.)

Now apart from the above three establishments there also other options for finding that ‘something missing’ or special piece of furniture/decoration to brighten your home.   There are privately owned Brocantes as well as markets with this nameand from time to time you will also find advertised Vide Greniers.  

4. Brocante (flea market, secondhand market)

This is very like the Halle d’Occasion and can operate from a shop or from market stalls. Sometimes items are claimed to be antiques.   We have found these shops and markets interesting to look around but, be careful, prices can be high (but not always). You should be able to bargain for an item you fancy.

vide grenier5. Vide-Grenier (car boot/garage sale, or literally ‘Empty loft’)

These are held at various times throughout the year. In summer there are many. You never know what you might find – often very well priced. Apart from household goods, china, nick knacks and perhaps furniture, you are likely to find lots of children’s clothes and toys, as well as clothes for adults and all sorts of weird and wonderful odds and ends.

These two markets are very sociable events and attract a lot of interest. You will usually find stalls selling food as well. So why not take time stroll around and stop for a meal/drink too.  

How do you find Trocs, Dépôt-Ventes, Halles d’Occasion in the Périgord/Dordogne region? Look them up on internet or in Pages Jaune (part of the French telephone directory) of the Périgord/Dordogne region under Dépôt-Vente, meubles, equipments pour la maison. Brocantes and Vide Greniers will be announced in local papers or advertised on local billboards. You can find a diary of market Brocantes and Vide-Greniers throughout France including our region in the Périgord/ Dordogne region at this website:

So happy hunting, enjoy your search or just have fun looking.

Another article written by the team at Perigord Property - the Dordogne and Limousin property people

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