7:21am

Wed October 3, 2012
Planet Money

Rubber Ducks And Cheap Watches: Photos From New York's Junk Economy

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 10:55 am

Every day, small shop owners from Africa and Latin America fly into New York with wads of cash and empty suitcases. As Robert Smith reports today, their destination is zip code 10001 in Manhattan, home to a cluster of wholesale stores selling a quirky mix of decently made goods at cheap prices.

These stores are no frills and specialize in everything from rubber ducks to skin-lightening cream and hair extensions. Almost all of it is imported from Asia. We walked around to find out what people are buying in bulk and where they're taking it back to.


Store: Sun Ben Trading, 1225 Broadway
Price: $54/dozen
Export Destinations: Columbia, Puerto Rico, Africa, Jamaica



Store: New York Mac Sun Corp., 114 West 27th St.
Price: $9/ half dozen
Export Destination: Caribbean



Store: Manhattan Hair, 17 West 29th St.
Price: $138/dozen
Export Destinations: Senegal, France



Store: Dynex Watch, 1200 Broadway Front 1
Price: $120/dozen
Export Destination: Dominican Republic



Store: Manhattan Worldwide Inc., 1200 Broadway
Price: $60/dozen
Export Destinations: Colombia, Mexico, Honduras



Store: Jing's Fashion Inc., 142 West 29th St.
Price:
$144/dozen
Export Destination:
Mexico



Store: Hwa Mei Trading Inc., 1205 Broadway #3
Price:
$6/dozen
Export Destination:
Nigeria

For More: Listen to "Why New York Is A Hub In The Global Trinket Trade."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.