If you’re new to the capital, the chances are that you’ll be needing a few items before you’re settled and you’d rather not pay full price. If you’ve been here a while, you’re probably ready to make some space in that bulging wardrobe and maybe clear out the excess on those cluttered shelves. And if you’re getting ready to bid Abu Dhabi adieu and head back home, then there’s a long list of odds and ends that you’d love to get rid of, preferably while making some cash on the side.
The business of buying and selling personal items in Abu Dhabi has never been livelier. On Facebook alone, there are multitudes of sites dedicated to helping you nail that bargain.
This week saw the debut of the Baby Bazaar Market Day in Abu Dhabi, where mums were able to both make some money out of selling their children’s second-hand items and bag some incredible bargains shopping for their newborns’ layettes.
Even The National has got in on the action: our daily Marketplace advertises properties for rent and for sale, as well as recruitment ads, vehicles for sale, wanted ads and sections on everything from technology to lifestyle and leisure.
To make it easier for you to keep track of the abundant bargains of the capital, and to help you out with all that Christmas shopping, here’s our guide to buying and selling personal goods in the capital.
If you’re looking to sell a washing machine, TV, table lamp or the complete Harry Potter series, begin by taking a picture of your items and uploading them on the right pages.
The most popular pages or groups to buy and sell personal items on Facebook are:
• Abu Dhabi Buy Sell Trade — an eight-foot Christmas tree, still in the box, for Dh250 will probably get sold in no time.
• Abu Dhabi Infant and Children Supplies Marketplace — someone’s looking for babyteething necklaces on there, so if you have any to sell, join this group.
• UAE Swap and Shop — there’s an outdoor waterslide for kids going for Dh500, a Ferrari car-seat with a five-point harness for Dh150 and a 2010 Honda CRV for Dh69,000.
• EY Marketplace Abu Dhabi — large, silver curry boats advertised for sale on there, each for Dh250, as well as a nifty-looking bicycle for Dh3,000.
Checking out the pages set up by your community, or in the area you live, never hurts either. For example, there’s the Reem Island Market page, the Al Reef Village group page and an Al Raha Beach group page.
Just over two years ago, the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort on the Corniche hosted its first indoor flea market in the Arzanah Ballroom. The market became a regular event every few months and has grown in both popularity and reputation as a treasure trove of bargains. Several of the flea markets organised by the hotel have partnered with local charities.
The next flea market is almost upon us, on November 30, from 9am to 3pm. Exhibitors can reserve a table by calling 02 677 3333 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dubizzle began as something of a Dubai institution and has since branched out to cover the entire country, as well as 10 other countries in the Middle East, including Algeria, Bahrain and Jordan. The community website has an active Abu Dhabi classifieds section where you’ll be able to easily sell anything and everything.
Personally, I've advertised numerous items on the site in my five years living in Abu Dhabi, and it has never taken more than 12 hours to receive a call from a buyer ready to make a deal. They even have a page dedicated to "free stuff"; right now, someone's looking to get rid of an aquarium, a baby cradle and several large canisters of Jordanian olive oil, all for free. Trust Dubizzle's magic abilities. Visit abudhabi.dubizzle.com.
Here’s my secret confession: my treasured pair of Louis Vuitton flats? Preloved and purchased for Dh800. And those towering Dolce & Gabbana platforms? Also preloved, and scored for Dh500. All thanks to Souq — the biggest online retailer in the Middle East.
It's kind of like eBay, but without the auctioning. Both retailers or individuals can advertise products for sale on the site and when you, the customer, decide to buy it, the item is delivered to your doorstep for a small fee. Bonus? It offers cash on delivery. Visit www.souq.com.
Never underestimate the power of a typed-at-home “For Sale” ad. The community noticeboard in Spinneys Khalidiya is a popular spot for expats looking to sell personal belongings and cars, as well as announce available language lessons, cleaning services, nannies looking for a job and so much more.
Look out for noticeboards in your place of employment; the best way to get rid of your kitchen appliances is to sell them to a newly arrived colleague desperate for a fridge.
• The St Andrew’s Thrift Store, located in St Andrew’s Church in Al Mushrif, sells “quality used and unwanted goods — of all types — to raise money for charitable projects”. This is not one for sellers; the Thrift Shop thrives on donations. But for the buyer looking for a good rummage, the shop is open om Sundays from 8.30am to noon, Tuesdays at the same time as well as from 3.30pm to 5.30pm, and Fridays from noon to 2pm.
• Pipsqueak Chic is a consignment store in Al Raha Gardens that sells "quality, preloved maternity and childrenswear". It's currently on the lookout for girls' items from age six months and up to the age of 10, and boys' items from birth onwards. The best way to see the goods, or to drop off your own stash, is to book an appointment and arrange a viewing time. Visit www.facebook.com/pipsqueakchic or call 056 202 1312.
• Check out Marketplace, every day in The National. To place an ad in Marketplace, call 02 693 6666