The sound of the man on the meat van on his speaker phone, offering new deals every 5 minutes, and the traders without the speaker phones trying to speak over them and just generally being served by somebody that loves what they are doing, is what creates the great…
The common sense, the “simple part”, the basic, down to the point facts are that markets are cheaper, the atmosphere is better, and they are the best way to support our local economy! In short, that is your answer as to why you should shop at the market over the supermarket.
Supporting the local economy
As mentioned in many of my previous blogs, markets support our local economy, as in where we live, with profits going into our local councils and governments for them to reinvest into us and our areas to make our living better. So my point is that the more we shop at the local markets is the more we are actually putting back into our local community as many markets are council run, so by simply shopping at markets we are encouraging more traders to start trading in our area. In turn, with more traders the more money our councils make, and the less of an excuse they have to not invest back into our community from simple things such as fixing our roads, to building and maintaining youth centres, to funding more houses and shops to open in our local economies as well as back in the market it self. Markets can play a big part in our future as they can help the economy as well as the individual and help us make a saving when shopping which allows our children to have a better chance.
What is good about walking down the aisles at the supermarket? Can you tell me? To me walking down the supermarket aisles are boring and simply repetitive. We see the same things every week with different price tags, they have people working stacking shelves, but not communicating, they have discounts (so they say) but no haggling; I mean come on we can get served by machines that make a thousand mistakes, to the point where we have to call over a human anyway which takes 10 minutes, and when they come they have to call a manager who is normally busy which takes at least another 5 minutes, or end up getting served by a till attendant that has had a bad day and wants to take it out on my items by throwing them past the scanner down the till – I mean come on! Watch what you’re doing – sensitive items please! Or when they serve us and the price on a product is not showing up so they have to call an assistant to find this item to get the price, even though I just told you – what, am I a liar? It’s 69p surely you should know this you must of sold how many of these items today!
The supermarket is pretty quiet in comparison. The most atmosphere I get is wrestling my trolley which is always veering to the left, trying to avoid other people’s trollies or the kids who have been let loose with their parent’s trolley! Let me ask you this: how many people do you know by name and speak to in your local supermarket that you attend every week to two weeks? I bet the answer cannot be no more than 5 out of 100’s of employees but if you go to the market I could assure you, you will know the names of the majority of regular traders after your 3rd visit, and these market traders haven’t been trained in customer services like the supermarket employees have, but hold better relationships with us as consumers than the supermarket ever can. Here, let me give you a real life example: my car broke down once and a trader recommended me to a cheap mechanic as I am not rich, which was very nice of them and I was grateful for the tip. In contrast, nobody in the supermarket talks to me enough to know that my car is broke, let alone recommend me. So you see my point?
Now let me begin telling you what is good about walking down the market aisles. It’s factors such as the noise, it gets my heart racing, my blood flowing and my brain ticking, I can hear bargains from my left, I can hear bargains from my right. I can’t get a clear strategy as to who to haggle with first, I am in my element: I am born for this! So I go to the guy on my left, we’re going back and forth with prices, and in the end I get £2.50 reduced, it may not be much but it fulfils something inside of me that made me feel I got that bargain, almost like a memory of holidays when you’re haggling with the locals.
The banter, now I think I am funny, but many of these traders could be comedians, gift of the gab they call it and I suppose being on the market every week you have to have something about you – these traders definitely do. We all have that uncle who loves to take the micky out of us, right? These traders help us retain these fun memories from our childhood, especially when we go back and forth with no harm caused, it sparks happy memories.
The traders are equal to us as well as they don’t wear uniforms but instead they dress just like us, sometimes they aren’t on their stall and we find our selves looking around for where they are then all of a sudden a man who just bought something from the stall 2 rows down comes up, fighting to get through the market traffic, to come serve us – you see what I like about market traders is they are all like one big family, always happy to help and recommend to other traders as they are both fellow traders and consumers like us, trying to grab a few good deals.
Markets are cheaper
Simple facts. Everybody knows this – markets are cheaper than supermarkets. Although supermarkets get items cheaper there are no set prices on markets and you can actually meet the owner of the products to haggle with them and make it all cheaper. We all know we can go to certain market stalls at certain times, and get plenty of products/produce cheaper because of the day’s closing down sales etc. Supermarkets also do discounts but these are only discounted in competition with other supermarkets. Now if you want to argue that supermarkets are cheap then why is it that smaller shops like home bargains and market stalls, such as a lot of the indoor market stalls, can provide a lot of the items the supermarket provide for a cheaper price? The only time the supermarket charge cheap is to compete and undercut these businesses when they want to stop them for trading. However, the fact is that supermarkets buy in bulk and cut a lot of deals to get their items for next to nothing because they have that financial power and knowledge, knowing other smaller shops and market stalls don’t. They know consumers are ready to purchase whatever they put out for the price they charge as they know us consumers won’t argue, we’ll just pay and play into their puppet-master games.
So I conclude to what makes the markets so welcoming and familiar compared to the supermarket is the combination of smells. You’ve got extreme raw fish, on one side and then some juicy street food on the other side it is mind boggling, the sound of the man on the meat van on his speaker phone, offering new deals every 5 minutes, and the traders without the speaker phones trying to speak over them. Then there’s the competition with other shoppers, and all the activities that you can do as well as actually being out, getting some fresh air, haggling and just generally being served by somebody that loves what they are doing, is what created the great market atmosphere which is something you cannot find in the supermarket.