Everything in existence is changing – nothing disappears, it only shifts its form. And, despite the rapid information and technology development of our civilizations, the market exists, fulfilling its primary, historical mission – the exchange between buyer and seller. The market is considered from different points of view, but we will study its original meaning, namely retail space, where there are a multitude of buyers and sellers.
A market is a place where an exchange between seller and buyer takes place (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, 2003). The traditional form of the market scene is a part of the city or town where there are many stalls in order for customers to be able to browse, taste and choose merchandise.
The market has existed since ancient times and is an integral part of everyday life and global trade. It changed its form over the centuries and today markets vary in size, location, type of participants and the method in which proposed goods and services are exchanged.
Markets can work temporarily, one or two days a week, but still, most markets are open every day (Aspers, 2011). In expansive markets, you can find almost any product – from food to equipment and furniture. Some of the large markets have become permanent institutions comparable to shopping centers. The Roman term for market today is used in a related concept as a forum.
Shopping centers can be considered as an extension of this idea.
Access to the Internet has allowed the creation and prosperity of online markets, as it makes the connection between buyers and sellers from different regions of the world possible. Also, the social and economic trends contribute to the fast development of online markets.
Some believe that shops, supermarkets, shopping malls, and online stores have replaced markets. But we can say that these are the same markets, but in a different form.
As for me, I do not like markets, as there are always crowds of people and an excess of noise. Each seller invites customers with loud slogans and advertisements about their products. It is understandable, since a market is a place of constant competition. Sellers practically promote the same products, and the main tasks of the seller are to attract, motivate and keep the customer.
Market prices are not fixed, so salespeople can overstate or understate value. But still, the market is one of the few locations where you can bargain and bring down a price to a level of personal satisfaction.
We can say that the market is a part of a huge mechanism of people management and manipulation. It dictates the prices, constantly increases it, uses peoples’ innocence and lack of knowledge. Sellers are not your friends, but rather vice versa. They need a market so they can easily sell a bill of goods to you that is not entirely fresh, not of high-quality and not in line with your true personal needs.
It is a paradox – we cannot exist without the market, but to live with it is quite problematic. We fall under the influence of advertising, of sellers, of the obnoxious atmosphere of the market itself. It is unfortunate, but the world is an enormous market. Transactions are beneath each interaction we have as individuals and as collective members of society.
Aspers, P. Markets, (2011). Cambridge: Polity Press.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition), (2003).