Experts Column

Shopping is one of those words that can either make people happy or sad. Everyone has to shop, whether they like it or not. Although the internet has given shopping a whole new meaning, there's nothing quite like the experience of visiting a flea market, trying items on, and eating meals from roadside cafés. Not to mention the most enjoyable aspect of shopping at flea markets: bargaining! We Indians adore bargaining, and the true taste of it can only be obtained while buying at a market!

A flea market (also known as a swap meet) is a type of bazaar in which anyone can rent space to sell or trade products. Used goods, low-quality items, and high-quality items such as collectibles and antiques are all frequently sold. Several markets sell fresh food and baked items, as well as plants from local farms and antique apparel.

These markets provide opportunities for aspiring and local entrepreneurs to showcase their skills. Investing in an offline or online firm as an entrepreneur involves a substantial financial investment. In addition to investments, it is a risk element. As a result, heading to flea markets helps them to get a taste of their business without investing a lot of money, do market research for their start-ups, and develop direct connections with clients. Customers flock to it because they want to see and touch the items they buy, which they can't do with an app or at their local mall.

The Women Entrepreneur Magazine has compiled a list of 10 Flea Markets in India where every Shopaholic can hone their bargaining skills in their own way through a shopkeeper's obstinacy, which is as rewarding as a substantial dinner after a hard day's work.

Sarojini Nagar Market, Delhi

Sarojini Nagar Market, or simply "Sarojini," is the place to go for the latest fashions, a reasonable price, and a mind-boggling variety. Whether you're looking for elegant handbags and totes, unique hair accessories, earrings, modern clothing, shoes, or pillows, and soft toys, Sarojini Nagar Market is your one-stop store. Don't forget to try the tangy chats and samosas, the lassi and masala shikanji, and all the other street dishes that make Delhi renowned.

Ima Market, Manipur

Ima Market is one of the oldest and most beautiful markets in India. Ima Market, which translates as "mother's market," is Asia's largest (and perhaps only) all-women's market. The self-sufficient women offer everything from handicrafts to seafood in a way that is both unusual and difficult to obtain elsewhere. It is, in fact, one of the country's oldest women's empowerment organisations, dating back to the 16th century.

Gariahat Market, Kolkata

Gariahat Market is the epicentre of street shopping in our country's east. Gariahat Market sells everything from bedsheets to curtains to everyday clothing, including sarees, shoes, bags, junk jewellery, kurtas, jute products, crockery and glassware, home items, and kitchenware. Gariahat is generally closed on Sundays (except in the month leading up to Durga Puja). During the rest of the week, this market is frequently packed with shoppers, window shoppers, and young people searching for mehendi or to try the delectable puchkas and kathi rolls offered by street vendors.

Janpath Market, Delhi

Another well-known flea market in Delhi is the Janpath Market. While 'Sarojini' is more popular with college students, Janpath is more popular with visitors to Delhi. The outer market is brimming with oddities, antiques, traditional stoles and scarves, shawls, and carpets. A few steps further in, you'll find a few street vendors and small businesses selling apparel and leather goods like handbags and shoes. In the winter, these retailers carry a selection of denim, and faux leather coats, as well as locally created sports shoes. Haggling is a big part of shopping in Janpath, just like it is at Sarojini Nagar market.

Laad Bazaar, Hyderabad

If you visit Hyderabad, the Laad Market is the one destination that everyone will recommend to you. Expect to see a wide variety of bangles here, from glass to lac, metal to wood. Aside from bangles, there are stalls offering real and imitation pearls, jewellery, traditional clothes, shoes, and satchels. Bargaining is an important part of the shopping culture here, although there are some excellent deals to be grabbed. There are local Biryani shops, in addition to the innumerable street food vendors that serve Hyderabad's famed rice dish.

Kitsch Mandi, Bengaluru

This is a relatively new addition to India's list of well-known flea markets. The market, like everything else in Bengaluru, is jazzy and accompanied by music and dancing performances. New artists exhibit their work, and while being a well-organized flea market, Kitsch Mandi keeps its uniquely ethnic vibe. It's the ideal location to go for home decor, children's toys, and ethnic accessories.

Johari Bazar, Jaipur

The Johri Bazar is a centuries-old market in Jaipur that dates back to the era of the Amer dynasty. As the name implies, this is the location to go for traditional Rajasthani Kundan and Meenakari jewellery, as well as precious and semi-precious stones. But that's not all. Bandej sarees and clothes, ghaghra choli, lightweight blankets, sequined bags and purses, juttis (traditional footwear), carpets and rugs, chandeliers, puppets, and ethnic home decor are just a few of the items to look for. You may also try some scrumptious Rajasthani kachauris, lassis, sweets, and other street delicacies there.

 Jew Town, Cochin

Jew Town, a tiny antique market near the Mattancherry Fall synagogue, is a favourite haunt of Cochin's shopaholics and antique enthusiasts. This area was formerly home to a lot of Jews who relocated back to Israel, and their belongings were restored and sold as antiques in the town. In addition, there are Jewish homes in the region that can be explored by wandering down the narrow alleyways. Antique aficionados will enjoy visiting Jew Town, which features antiquities from not only Jews, but also Indians, Chinese, Arabs, and Europeans.

Anjuna Flea Market, Goa

Those who love Goa know that shopping for breezy beach clothing, flip flops, bags, and other trinkets is as much a part of the traditional Goan experience as partying on the beaches. The Anjuna beach flea market on Wednesdays is a great place to find your favourite stuff. The Anjuna Beach flea market, like any other Goan market worth its name, is brimming with western clothing, chunky beady jewellery, spices, guitars, tea and coffee carts, street food carts, and raucous sellers. The best time to visit this bazaar is at twilight, when music is playing and waves are crashing on the shoreline.

Pondy Bazaar, Chennai

Pondy Bazaar is the shopping hotspot. It's a haven for non-branded watches, knockoffs, mobile phones, high-end and low-cost footwear, tops, kurtas, shirts, handbags, and other accessories, as well as high-end and low-cost footwear, tops, kurtas, shirts, handbags, and other accessories. All you need to do is fill your bags with all those wonderful tiny souvenirs. You may acquire these at a very low price if you know how to haggle. Pondy Bazaar is home to a thriving flower market, the famous Naidu hall, and Rathna shops.