The street hawker is a useful member of the society. He brings many articles to our door for sale. He saves our trouble of going to a market or shop. In this way he renders good service to us.
Varieties of articles for sale
Hawkers sell varieties of articles to us. They sell things of daily necessity, such as newspapers, vegetables, fruits, eggs, sweets, confectioneries, chops, cutlets, chanachur, fried ground nuts, ghoognee, ice cream, etc. They sell cloths, garments, bedsheets, napkins, towels, etc. Some hawkers sell utensils of bell metal and aluminium and stainless steel. Some sell articles of toilet. Others sell toys and balloons for children.
Time for sale
Newspapers, vegetables, fruits, bread, biscuits, etc., are generally sold in the morning. At noon come the drapers and hawkers of utensils. At this time the customers are generally the elderly women. The male members are then absent from home. It is the best time for the hawkers to approach the women who like to buy clothes and utensils. In the afternoon we see hawkers with chanachur, ghoognee, chops, cutlets, ice cream, fried groundnuts, etc. These have a good sale and the customers are generally boys and girls. Toys also are sold in the afternoon. Children are their best customers. Some hawkers sell their things at night also. These are generally hawkers of kulpi baraf(ice cream), and garlands of bael and rajanigandha flowers.
Methods of attracting customers
Hawkers have various methods of attracting customers. Some hawk their goods in a funny tone and make funny gestures and sing funny songs in praise of their goods. Some wear peculiar dress to attract the customers. From the different tones of hawking we know what particular articles are sold by those hawkers. Hawking is an art. Some hawkers can draw the attention of customers better than others and they do better in the job.
Mode of selling and hawking
Hawkers generally do not sell things of particular varieties, such as clothes, utensils etc., at a fixed price. They generally demand a higher price than the prevailing market price. If a buyer does not know the prevailing market price, he has to pay more. But a good bargainer can buy at a less price, because the hawkers can sell things at a cheaper rate as they have no establishment expenses. One should be careful while purchasing a thing from a hawker. A dishonest hawker may cheat one by selling a defective thing. We cannot return the thing and get back our money if he is once gone.
Hawkers and children
Children are the best customers of those hawkers who sell sweets, chanachur, fried groundnuts and other articles of food of this type and also who sell toys. Hawker of these things draw the attention of children in various funny ways. When children hear their voice, they come and gather round the hawkers to buy things from them. Parents are often forced to buy things for them. Hawkers love the children and the children also love the hawkers.
Usefulness of street hawkers
Street hawkers do us a great service. We have to go to market or shop to purchase things. We get them at our door. If we know the market price, we cannot be cheated. Rather we may buy these at a less price. Sometimes, there may not be any male member present at home. The ladies of the house can buy the articles of daily necessity. This is a great help.
Street hawkers are generally poor men. They work hard all day long to earn their bread. They go from street to street to get their customers. Some have regular customers. If they do their business honestly, they can earn much. If they live frugally, they can have a fair sum of money to start a shop and by honest labour they can prosper in life.