I am filling in a form for someone who basically does a variety of odd jobs to make a living, including reselling items, but "Sales" is not really an accurate way to describe their occupation. I am thinking of describing them as "self-employed" but that's a bit too vague.

Thanks for your suggestions.

  • How about freelancer or independent contractor?
    – bookmanu
    Aug 24, 2018 at 15:27
  • Is the person selling items on the street and/or itinerant? There's a difference between this and running a business from a private home reselling stuff. For example if you're just reselling merchandise from a location indoors you wouldn't really be a hawker, or huckster, or peddler.
    – Zebrafish
    Aug 24, 2018 at 15:32
  • @bookmanu Yeah, freelancer would probably come the closest to a good description without using condescending terms like "unskilled laborer"
    – Dominique
    Aug 24, 2018 at 15:32
  • @Zebrafish The person sells items on the street. I suppose "hawker" is also another word, but it brings to mind negative stereotypes.
    – Dominique
    Aug 24, 2018 at 15:33
  • 1
    @Zebrafish Street wares vendor/street vendor is accurate and neutral. I also liked another word you used - "itinerant". The meaning isn't immediately obvious to most people but it's accurate.
    – Dominique
    Aug 24, 2018 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


Is your goal to help the individual in some way (for instance, to secure a job or benefits)? If so, I might avoid words like "hawker" or "peddler." (If not, those are fine choices.)

Is "purveyor of second-hand goods" too lengthy?

  • The person is part of a research study, so that's why I'm looking for something accurate yet neutral. If it were a job application I'd definitely use something more professional-sounding. "Purveyor of second-hand goods" sounds fine but I feel it's too specific for this case
    – Dominique
    Aug 24, 2018 at 16:26

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