Uploaded by Azizah Benjamin

NJIT Hum 102 essay

Benjamin 1
Azizah Benjamin
Prof. Arnowitz
Hum 102
April 18, 2016
Garage Sale-Flea Market
Flea market comes from the French term "marché aux puces," a name initially given to a market
in Paris that specialized in shabby second-hand goods of the kind that might contain fleas.
A flea market (or swap meet) is a bazaar that rents space to people who want to sell or barter
merchandise. Used goods, low-quality items, and high-quality items such as collectibles and
antiques are commonly sold. Many markets offer fresh produce, baked goods, vintage clothes, and
plants from local farms. It may be indoors, in a warehouse, outdoors, or a field or parking lot. Flea
markets can be held annually or semiannually, and others may be conducted monthly, on
weekends, or daily. Renters of the flea market tables are called vendors. 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 scouts who roam the region buying items from garage sales and other flea markets.
Albert Lafarge writes that one of the first American flea markets was the Monday Trade Days in
Canton, Texas, which began in 1873 as a place where people would go to buy horses. Later they
brought their goods to sell or trade. Other towns quickly adopted this pattern of trade, but the
modern flea market was supposedly the brainchild of Russell Carrell, an east-coast antique show
organizer. As an auctioneer in Connecticut, Carrell thought to run an antique show like an outdoor
auction, only forgoing the tent because fire hazards were too expensive to insure. Carrell's 1956
Hartford open-air antiques market was claimed to be the first modern incarnation of the flea
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A garage sale (also known as a yard sale) is a casual event for the sale of used goods by private
individuals, in which sellers are not required to obtain business licenses or collect sales tax.
Typically, goods in a garage sale are unwanted items from the household with its owners
conducting the sale. Some items are offered for sale because the owner does not want or need the
item or raise funds. Popular motivations for a garage sale are spring cleaning, moving, or earning
extra money. The seller's items are displayed to the passers-by or those responding to signs, flyers,
or newspaper ads. The place at which the sale is conducted is typically a garage; other sales are
shown in a driveway, front yard, or inside a house. Some vendors, known as "squatters," will set
up in a high-traffic area rather than on their property.
Items typically sold at garage sales include old clothing, books, toys, household decorations, lawn
and garden tools, sports equipment, and board games. More oversized items like furniture and
occasionally home appliances are also sold. Garage sales occur most frequently in suburban areas
on weekends with good weather conditions and usually have designated sales hours. Buyers who
arrive before the hours of the sale to review the items are known as "early birds" and are often
professional restorers or resellers. Such sales also attract people searching for bargains or rare and
unusual items. Some people buy goods from these sales to restore them for resale.
I remember attending Flea Markets with my parents and grandparents when I was younger. I
remember them setting up tables and people coming to the table and buying goods. I also remember
walking around the market with my mother and my brother. My father and mother sold t-shirts,
incense, oils, bean pies, small toys, candy, and bubble blowers. My grandmother had her table
where she sold soap, gel candles, and bathing oils that she made herself. I interviewed both my
parents and my grandmother.
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Q: What was your main selling audience?
A: Our main buyers were young to middle age. Majority were African American.
Q: Where have you sold your good?
A: New York City, Buffalo, Brooklyn, Newark, East Orange, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Q: What is the usual season or time you attended flea markets?
A: Usually spring or summer time, sometimes large winter markets.
Q: Why did you sell those specific items?
A: They were cheap to buy, easier to store and transport. “Low overhead, fast turnaround.”
Q: How many costumers would you get on average?
A: For the whole length of the flea market, 70-200 people.