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Car-Boot Sales and Flea Markets

Car-boot sales and flea markets can be defined as transient, informal forms of exchange. They have affinities with the street markets that characterize developing countries and are of interest since they are types of exchange that Max Weber argued would disappear in rational modernity.

Car-boot sales are primarily a U.K. phenomenon. They emerged around the late 1980s and early 1990s. Although there are no accurate data as to numbers or frequency, qualitative research suggests that these events peaked in the mid-1990s. Although they continue to occur, they have been affected by the subsequent emergence of virtual secondhand exchange, notably eBay. Car-boot sales require vendors to have access to a car, which works both as the means to transport goods to the site of sale and as ...

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