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Flea market: Map


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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 used merchandise, 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, and may be associated with carnivals or concerts. Some have become infamous as outlets for bootleg movies and music or knockoff brand clothing, accessories, or fragrances.


The origins of the term are disputed, but some have observed that buyers and sellers may be as active as fleas, or that the original people and goods were infested. According to Word and Phrase Origins, the term was derived from the "Vallie Market" of Manhattan.

The original flea market may be the Marché aux puces ("market with fleas" in French) of Saint-Ouen, Seine-Saint-Denismarker, in the northern suburbs of Parismarker. It is a large, long-established outdoor bazaar, one of four in Paris. From the late 17th century, the makeshift open-air market in the town of Saint-Ouen began as temporary stalls and benches among the fields and market gardens where ragpickers exchanged their findings for a small sum.

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