The study expands on Ferdinand Braudel’s (in: Civilisation matérielle, économie et capitalisme, XV-XVIII siècle, 1979) notion of the importance of door-to-door sales (German: hausieren)as a significant phenomenon of functioning exchange. The notion is then applied to the region of Austrian Silesia at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, i.e. at a time when this trading technique was already in decline but still retained considerable importance owing to the specific economic and social circumstances in the area. The study analyses the territorial and social origins of door-to-door salesmen – Hausierer, the structure of the commodities with which they traded, the everydayness of a door-to-door salesman, and also includes the relevant Austro-Hungarian legislation. It also explains the important part that door-todoor sales played in solving social problems in the region of Silesia, which at the time was threatened with mass poverty.