Common characteristics of Itinerant Retail Traders

Under this heading are included all those retail traders who do not possess their own fixed premises. They move from place to place and sell the goods in the process. More important of them are:

a) Hawkers and peddlers

b) Cheap Jacks

c) Market Traders

d) Street Traders

Their common characteristics are summarized as follows:

i) They have no fixed premises

ii) They carry very little stock.

iii) They operate with a very small amount of capital

iv) They need not stick to any particular line of business throughout the year.

v) They may operate as regular dealers throughout the year or only during a season.

vi) They can operate with the minimum of the establishment expenses and therefore, sell at prices lower than charged by fixed shop retail treaders.

This type of retailers are particularly suited to deal in seasonal products like fruits, vegetables and other perishable goods such as fishes, milk, eggs, etc. They offer very tough competition to the small- scale fixed shop-retail traders.

Hawkers and Peddlers

These retailers move from door to door in the residential localities with their wares which they carry either on their heads or in wheeled vehicles. Hawkers carry their goods in wheeled vehicle (usually hand cart) or on back of animals. Peddlers carry them on their heads or backs. Apart from goods seasonal or perishable in nature, they sell goods like pens, readymade garments, toys etc. According to the prospects of sales they go on moving from locality to locality.

Cheap Jacks

Cheap jacks are those retailers who do not stick to one place of business. They differ from the hawkers or peddlers in the sense that while hawkers and peddlers do not have any place of business, cheap jacks do hire small shops in residential localities wherein they display their goods. They shift from locality to locality according to the prospects of getting business. Generally they deal in household articles, readymade garments and other low-priced goods.

Market Traders

These are retailers who open their shops at different places in different localities on certain fixed days known as "market days". Usually, these traders display their wares in front of the shop when they remain closed at weekends. They may sell their wares in the weekly markets or on occasions.

Street Traders

The number of such retailers is on the increase. Even in smaller cities we come across such retailers with their wares spread over a carpet just on the roadside, particularly near picture halls, bus stops, railway stations etc.