Flea markets are an extremely popular place to browse and purchase items in the US. They can be found in every state, in major cities as well as small towns. Many markets boast their own special aura and unique atmosphere. A day at a flea market can be quite a fun-filled experience. With all this in mind, it is interesting to delve into the origin of this shopping alternative.

History Goes Back to the 1800s

It has been assumed the flea market concept began somewhere in the 1800’s. Some say the first time the term “Flea Market” was used was about a site in Paris around 1860.  The term “Flea Market” is translated from the French marche aux puces, which literally means “outdoor bazaar”.  Apparently, sales of goods out of doors was very commonplace in France during the nineteenth century.

An American Tradition

The first American flea market is thought to have opened for business sometime around 1873. Although the exact location is unknown, it is widely assumed it was somewhere in Texas. The concept caught on like wildfire and today it is estimated there are 5,000 flea markets in the United States.  These venues serve over one million vendors and 100 million shoppers each year.

The flea market is perhaps the purest form of small or medium commerce in America. Vendors without large inventories can amass a collection of items and display them for purchase. Sellers are always looking for improved merchandise and a more efficient way to sell. This also benefits shoppers since they will often have exposure to newer and better products.

In the Chicago suburb of Villa Park, an outstanding place to sell or buy is at 5 Star Indoor Swap Mart . This venue is always busy, filled with people looking for the very best deals. The mart is conveniently located right off I-290, on North Avenue. For more information give them a call today at 630.835.2800 or check out their website.