There is a big difference between a wet market and a supermarket. At a wet market, you interact with people who really care about their businesses. These people are willing to create beautiful relationships with their customers, treating them as friends and not only as shoppers.

In a wet market, you can tell the butcher uncle if you would want to make char siew, and he'll suggest what would be the best part of the meat for you. If you come often enough, he'll even save some pork armpit for you.

One can tell the fruit stall uncle you want to make pisang goreng, and he'll tell you to put down the bananas you just picked up because they're not the right kind. He will be very honest in telling you what should be the right fruit and ask you to come back tomorrow when he has it already. He might even have prepared some fruit in season that's perfect for frying.

You can even ask the fishmonger auntie which is the fresh fish for the day and how to cook it. She'll tell you that the pomfret is fresh and then she'll direct you to the dry goods stall to pick up the ingredients for your dish like the salted veggies and pickled plum. She will even point you to the tofu stall for silken tofu, also show you the vegetable stall for tomatoes, while she cleans the fish, so you can make teochew-style steamed fish for your family.

No one can do that to you in the supermarket. No one will care for what you buy because wet market vendors have their personal touch for the customers.

Wet markets compared to supermarkets:
  • Cheaper price in the wet markets because you can bargain with the price unlike in supermarkets where everything is fixed price
  • Fresh vegetables wherein mostly frozen products are in the supermarkets
  • Wet markets are not as clean and ventilated compared to supermarkets
  • Stinks of fish smell mostly because the floor is wet with the water flowing down from the fish trays and the other sea foods
  • Closes early because most of the wet markets closed at around or before noon
  • Since wet market foods are fresher, it means there are few to none preservatives, food will spoil much quicker than food found in supermarkets which are packaged in nice containers