Strolling through Surchi Se­cond-hand Mar­ket

Low-in­come peo­ple con­sti­tute the ma­jor­ity of cus­tomers at Surchi Mar­ket

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Given the ris­ing prices in Kur­dis­tan, low-in­come fam­i­lies in Er­bil, the Kur­dish cap­i­tal, have turned to the city’s se­cond-hand mar­ket stalls, where they can find home fur­ni­ture and elec­tri­cal equip­ment at com­par­a­tively af­ford­able rates.

Most of these stalls are in the Surchi Bazaar, which hun­dreds of cus­tomers a day visit in search of cheap house­hold goods. The used items are not al­ways the best qual­ity, but they help low-in­come fam­i­lies cope with in­fla­tion, and es­pe­cially those who live in rented houses or in vil­lages.

Strolling through the mar­ket, one sees used TVs, satel­lite re­ceivers, wa­ter cool­ers, so­fas, com­put­ers, car­pets, rugs, and a host of other items.

“It is wrong to say ev­ery­body can buy new goods in Kur­dis­tan. The re­gion has been re­cov­er­ing for a decade now, but we still re­ceive hun­dreds of cus­tomers ev­ery day who could never af­ford to buy new items from other shops,” said Khalil Ab­bas, who has been work­ing as a dealer in the Surchi se­cond-hand Mar­ket for 15 years.

Ac­cord­ing to Ab­bas, wealthy fam­i­lies bring their used equip­ment and fur­ni­ture to the mar­ket and sell them at a low price. Sell­ing old fur­ni­ture and other equip­ment and re­plac­ing it new mod­els is def­i­nitely the trend among many rich peo­ple.

An­other source of mer­chan­dise are the shops that im­port out­dated items and sell them cheap to the se­cond-hand stalls.

Some of the items in the mar­ket are very old, though, and some peo­ple might con­sider them noth­ing more than rub­bish.

Ka­mal Shina, a man we spoke to as he wan­dered through the mar­ket, said he sym­pa­thizes with the peo­ple who fur­nish their homes here. How­ever, he be­lieves they don’t get a good deal, as most of the stuff, though cheap, is use­less.

Still, peo­ple on a low in­come de­pend on Surchi for used items to fur­nish their homes.

“I earn 600 Iraqi Di­nars (IQDs) per month, and it is im­pos­si­ble for me to buy new goods, so I de­cided to pur­chase used items here at low rates,” said Azad Muham­mad, a vis­i­tor to Surchi Mar­ket.

Muham­mad said he bought a heater last winter for a quar­ter of what it would have cost him else­where. He said there are some good things here at ex­cel­lent prices, but they are hid­den un­der the piles of junk.

He thinks if some­one wants to get mar­ried, but has lit­tle money, they can fill their home with ev­ery­thing they need for very litte.

Surchi Mar­ket was founded over 20 years ago in Er­bil, when it was pri­mar­ily fre­quented by peo­ple from the vil­lages around the city. Some peo­ple like vis­it­ing the mar­ket be­cause it re­minds them of the past: some of the items on dis­play are 20-35 years old.

This pic­ture shows a view of Surchi Mar­ket in Er­bil.

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