Flea market

Flea market in Hietalahdentori, Helsinki, Finland
Flea Market in Germany
Wolff's Flea Market in the United States

A flea market or swap meet is a type of bazaar where inexpensive or secondhand goods are sold or bartered. It may be indoors, such as in a warehouse or school gymnasium; or it may be outdoors, such as in a field or under a tent. The flea-market vendors may range from a family that is renting a table for the first time to sell a few unwanted household items to a commercial operation including a large variety of new or used merchandise, including scouts who rove the region buying items for sale from garage sales and other flea markets, and several staff watching the stalls.

Many flea markets have food vendors who sell snacks and drinks to the patrons,[1] and may be associated with carnivals or concerts.[2] Some flea market vendors have been targeted by law enforcement efforts to halt the sale of bootleg movies and music[3][4] or knockoff brand clothing, accessories, or fragrances.

Flea market vending, though similar in structure, should not be compared with street vending. The correlation between the two, though existent, is not exact. Flea market vending, as we know it, presents distinct elements setting it apart from street vending. Street vending takes place where a large crowd gathers and relies specifically on impulse buyers to be present, but who are in the area at the time for underlying reasons. The flea market, however, is the arena and the vendors are the show that attracts the crowds that gather for the sole purpose of buying. Flea market vending is also set in a controlled area that is governed by a self-imposed code of conduct. Unlike flea market vendors, and more often than not, street vendors do not knowingly recognize a code of conduct.[5][6][7]


Regional names

Different English-speaking countries use varying names for flea markets. In Australian English, they are called trash and treasure markets, trash and trivia or (more commonly) swap meets. In the Philippine English, the word is tiangge, believed to be a loanword from the Hokkien spoken by Chinese Filipino migrants,[8] or possibly from Nahuatl tianguis via Mexican Spanish. In India it is known as "Gurjari" or "Shrukawadi Bazzar" or even as "Juna Bazzar".[where?].


The origins of the term are disputed, but according to one theory the Fly Market in 18th century New York City began the association. The Dutch word Vlaie, or vlie, with the v being pronounced f, meaning a swamp or valley, was located at Maiden Lane near the East River in Manhattan.[9][10] The land on which the market stood was originally a salt marsh with a brook. By the early 1800's the "Fly Market" was the principal market in New York City.[11]

The phrase "flea market" is also a common English phrase calque that literally translates the French "marché aux puces" ("market where one acquires fleas").[12]

Four benefits

Firstly, save money. By selling the things you no longer needs, you can cover some of the original cost .And with the similar function and a much lower price, Secondly, develop a good habit. Selling the waste things in a flea market can help the sellers to cultivate a good habit of making full use of their belongings. Thus you will think twice before buying a new product next time. Thirdly, foster an intelligence to engage in business. You can learn to communicate with others and promote sale of your products to others at a proper price by doing this. Your practical ability can also improve a lot. Last but not the least, environmental-friendly. Flea market is a place for you to recycle your things. The things you don’t need any more , if you just throw it away ,this action is harmful to our environment.

See also


  1. ^ "How to Become a Flea Market Vendor". StyleCareer.com. Afton Institute, LLC. 2008. http://www.stylecareer.com/about_us.shtml. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  2. ^ Panizzi, Tawnya (July 3, 2008). "Residents flock to festivals, flea markets, concerts". YourFoxChapel.com (The Tribune-Review Publishing Co). http://www.yourfoxchapel.com/herald/article/residents-flock-festivals-flea-markets-concerts. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  3. ^ Mitchell, Bob (2007-08-21). "Police bust nets $800K in pirated DVDs". TheStar.com (Toronto Star). http://www.thestar.com/News/article/248396. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  4. ^ Roberts, Bob (December 17, 2005). "Swap-O-Rama Raid Spoils Christmas Shopping For Bootleg Recordings". WBBM Newsradio 780 (CBS Radio). http://www.wbbm780.com/pages/857.php. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  5. ^ "The Flea Market Vendor Code of Conduct". metalmarkenterprise.com. Metalmark Enterprise. 2011. http://metalmarkenterprise.com. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  6. ^ Jonsson, Patrik (February 14, 2007). "Flood of knockoff merchandise triggers a wider crackdown across US". The Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0214/p02s01-usec.html. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  7. ^ Coleman, Toby (January 28, 2007). "Flea market busted for fakes". The News & Observer. http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/537153.html. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  8. ^ The Philippine Inquirer: Tiangge
  9. ^ [http://blog.aurorahistoryboutique.com/tag/fly-market/ "History Blog Insight into History - A Weekly Instrospective Into The Past"]. http://blog.aurorahistoryboutique.com/tag/fly-market/. 
  10. ^ "Flea Markets in Arkansas". Arkansas Arts and Crafts. Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism. 2006. http://www.arkansas.com/arts-crafts/flea-markets/. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  11. ^ Google books: The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West ..., Volume 3., By Antonio de Alcedo, George Alexander Thompson, p. 409., 1812
  12. ^ flea market. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • flea market — UK US noun [C] COMMERCE ► a market where old or used goods are sold cheaply, usually outside: »Flea market operators worry that they may soon lose much of their business …   Financial and business terms

  • flea market — flea markets N COUNT A flea market is an outdoor market which sells cheap used goods and sometimes also very old furniture …   English dictionary

  • flea market — flea .market n a market where old or used goods are sold …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • flea market — flea ,market noun count a market where old things are sold at low prices …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • flea market — ► NOUN ▪ a street market selling second hand goods …   English terms dictionary

  • flea market — 1917, especially in reference to the marché aux puces in Paris, so called because there are so many second hand articles sold of all kinds that they are believed to gather fleas. [E.S. Dougherty, In Europe, 1922] …   Etymology dictionary

  • flea market — n. a bazaar, usually outdoors, dealing mainly in cheap, secondhand goods …   English World dictionary

  • flea market — noun an open air street market for inexpensive or secondhand articles (Freq. 1) • Hypernyms: ↑open air market, ↑open air marketplace, ↑market square * * * noun, pl ⋯ kets [count] : a usually outdoor market in which old and used goods are sold * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • flea market — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms flea market : singular flea market plural flea markets a market where old things are sold at low prices …   English dictionary

  • flea market — {n. phr.} A place where antiques, second hand things, and cheap articles are sold, and especially one in the open air. * /The local antique dealers held a flea market and fair on the high school athletic field./ * /There are many outdoor flea… …   Dictionary of American idioms

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.