Street Vendors and Flea Markets, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

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Life in the USA
Public Services I
Shopping

Street Vendors and Flea Markets
Street vendors and flea markets can be excellent sources of goods, but of course, quality can vary widely. Flea markets don't sell insects; the terms refers to an organized group of individual sellers, perhaps moving from one place to another on a regular schedule, who will sell under a tent or in a parking lot. Street peddlers do the same, whether licensed or not, selling from tables or carts on the street, in towns and cities, or out of vehicles on roadsides in suburban and rural areas.

Some flea market and street sellers operate as part of the underground economy on a strictly cash basis, often neglecting to charge their customers sales tax. While many offer genuine bargains, some sell damaged or inferior goods, and there is always the chance that the product is inexpensive because it has “fallen off a truck” (meaning it has been stolen). You'll have to use your judgment when dealing with these shopping situations. Once you buy, you will rarely have the chance to return or exchange the product.



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