A street trader is a small-scale retailer who sells goods along busy roads.

Street traders are known to display goods to the full glare of the customers in public places such as busy roads, outside the entrance to a well-known school, church, or even a well-known mosque.

Street traders typically offer a wide selection of one particular type of product or other related products.

For instance, they might sell various clothing, shoe, book, or even food brands like gala or bread

Features of Street or Roadside Trading

1. Located near public places: Street traders are typically located near busy roads, major roads, train stations, bus stops or any other gathering of the floating population.

The reason why street traders are located near places is to increase their sales as more people seeing their wares means more prospects for sales.

2. Low prices: As they are often located in makeshift shops, street traders can sell at a lower price than fixed-shop retailers.

3. Display of goods: Street trader typically place their goods on top of tables, rugs, carpets, or pavements.

After finishing selling, they packed up the thing they laid their goods on and keep it for use next time.

4. Operate at a fixed location: Street traders usually sell their goods at a fixed place, usually in make-shift stores.

They do not move about like hawkers. Indeed, the major difference between hawkers and street traders is that hawkers move about to sell goods whereas street traders sells their goods at a stationary position.

5. It is a form of small-scale retailing: Street retailing is a form of retailing as they have a small scope of operation.

6. Small capital requirement: A street trading business can be started with little money, much like a hawking retailing.

To set up street trading, one only needs to buy goods and set up a makeshift on which to set their goods.

7. One-man business: Street trading is usually owned, financed and managed by one individual.

Hence, it is a one-man business or sole proprietorship.

8. Customers: The customers of street traders are mostly passersby, low-income earners and other casual buyers.

Passers-by and drivers who prefer to buy things while traveling have easy access to food and other necessities thanks to street traders

Advantages of Street or Roadside Trading

1. Cheap goods: Since roadside traders typically sell their wares at low prices, they provide low-income consumers with an affordable option.

2. Small capital requirement: Compared to fixed shop retailers, roadside retailing needs far less money to get started.

This is due to the fact that all one needs to start operating is some basic supplies of good and a small structure.

3. Possibility of self-employment: Street trading gives people the chance to work for themselves, enabling them to meet their basic needs.

4. Flexibility in operation: Roadside or street traders are quite flexible in the way they operate.

First, if a product is not lucrative, they can quickly swap its sales to another.

Second, they are free to manage the company at their own terms. They are free to choose whenever they want to open and close.

Disadvantages of Street or Roadside Trading

1. Prone to accidents: Street traders are exposed to the danger of accidents.

As they usually sell close to a busy road, street traders faced the risk that a vehicle may divert from the road and hit their makeshift structure.

2. A limited number of goods: Street traders can only have a limited amount of goods as they do not have a fixed shop of business.

If a street trader tries to stock a large number of goods, he may face the problem of keeping them at the end of the day's business.

3. Possibility of selling expired goods: Street traders occasionally have goods that have expired and need to be disposed of, but they may choose to sell them anyway to avoid losing money.

This is because they are aware that the majority of their customers are drivers or passerby who do not reside nearby and cannot easily return the expired goods to them.


4. Cost of renting space: Street vendors may pay rent for a little location for their makeshift structure

As a result, the street vendor makes less money because he may have to pay rent whether or not he makes sales.

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