A hawker is a vendor of merchandise that can be easily transported; the term is roughly synonymous with peddler or costermonger. In most places where the term is used, a hawker sells items or food that are native to the area. Whether stationary or mobile, hawkers often advertise by loud street cries or chants, and conduct banter with customers, so to attract attention and enhance sales. When accompanied by a demonstration and/or detailed explanation of the product, the hawker is sometimes referred to as a demonstrator or pitchman.
In large cities across North America, hawkers are commonly known as street vendors, who sell snack items, such as deep-fried bananas, cotton candy, fried noodles, beverages like bubble tea, and ice cream, along with non-edible items, such as jewelry, clothes, books, and paintings. Hawkers are also found selling various items to fans at a sports venue; more commonly, this person is simply referred to as a stadium vendor. In New York and other major cities, Hawkers distribute free Newspapers such as AM New york, and Metro
In the Caribbean hawkers are commonly referred to as higglers or informal commercial importers. They sell items in small roadside stands, public transit hubs, or other places where consumers would want items such as snacks, cigarettes, phone cards, or other less expensive items. Higglers often break larger items into small individual consumable portions for re-sale and use. Buying these items from more traditional vendors, farmers, or merchants for re-sale via their informal network in communities 
South and Southeast Asia
Hawkers are very common in many countries in Asia.
India: According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, there are 10 million street vendors in India, with Mumbai accounting for 250,000, Delhi has 200,000, Kolkata, more than 150,000, and Ahmedabad, 100,000. Most of them are immigrants or laid-off workers, work for an average 10–12 hours a day, and remain impoverished. Though the prevalent license-permit raj in Indian bureaucracy ended for most retailing in the 1990s, it continues in this trade. Inappropriate license ceiling in most cities, like Mumbai which has a ceiling 14,000 licenses, means more vendors hawk their goods illegally, which also makes their prone to the bribery and extortion culture under local police and municipal authories, besides harassment, heavy fines, sudden evictions. In Kolkata, the profession was a cognisable and non-bailable offense.
Over the years the street vendors have organized themselves into trade unions and associations, plus numerous NGOs have started working for them. In fact, The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) based in Delhi, is a federation of 715 street vendor organizations, trade unions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Kolkata has two such unions, namely the Bengal Hawkers Association and the Calcutta Hawkers' Men Union. In September, 2012, long-awaited Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 was introduced in the Lok Sabha (Lower of Indian Parliament) aimed to aimed at providing social security and livelihood rights, and regulated the prevalent license system.
Other countries: Balut is a popular dish sold by hawkers in the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In both China and Hong Kong, hawkers' inventories often include fish ball, beef ball, butzaigo, roasted chestnuts, and stinky tofu. In Singapore and Malaysia, these stands have become so successful that many have chosen to set up shop more permanently in a Hawker center.
Across Asia, stalls have been set up with little to no government monitoring. Due to health concerns and other liability problems, the food culture has been seriously challenged in Indonesia, though without marked success. However, in Hong Kong, the lease versus licensed hawker restrictions have put a burden on this mobile food culture. The term Jau Gwei (literally: running from ghosts) has been used to describe vendors often running away from local police.
- Camelô, the name given to street vendors in Brazil
- Cuisine of Hong Kong
- Disabled veteran street vendors
- Chesney, Kellow 1970. The Victorian Underworld. Penguin p43–56; 97–98.
- Mayhew, Henry 1851–1861. London Labour and the London Poor. Researched and written, variously, with J. Binny, B. Hemyng and A. Halliday.
- The Stadium Vendor Hierarchy[dead link]
- "Nine Famous Baseball Stadium Vendors". Mentalfloss.com. 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
- Jamaica Glossary of Terms[dead link]
- The Economic Journal: A Theory of Petty Trading: The Jamaican Higgler
- "Street Vendors: Tabled in Parliament’s last session, this Bill could bring security to our urban poor". Mint, Lounge. Nov 02 2012.
- "Reclaiming the city for street vendors". The Hindu. November 3, 2012.
- "Bill in Lok Sabha to protect rights of street vendors". The Economic Times. Sep 6, 2012.
- "Govt introduces street vending bill in Lok Sabha". The Times of India. Sept 7, 2012.
- Winarno, F.G. and A. Allain. Street foods in developing countries: lessons from Asia.
- Mau, Stephen D. (2006). Hong Kong Legal Principles: Important Topics for Students and Professionals. HK University Press. ISBN 962-209-778-2
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to hawkers.|