A form of free trade, organized in specific locations at strictly defined times and featuring long-distance and wholesale traders. Fairs facilitated the exchange of goods between regions, as well as being very significant in local trade.

In Poland, fairs flourished in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as the production of goods increased. At fairs, products such as grain, cattle, furs and wax would be amassed and later shipped wholesale to the West. The most popular fairs were those in Belz, Lwow, Luck, Ratno, Grodno and Wilno, where Lithuanian and Ukrainian products were sold. The fairs in Przemysl, Jaroslaw, Przeworsk and Kazimierz, near Krakow, were located on the route along which oxen were driven. The fairs in Krakow, Sandomierz, Kazimierz Dolny, Plock and Torun were along the Vistula river route. The Lublin fair was particularly important, because it was there that the most important wholesalers from all over the Commonwealth would meet.
The Lublin fair gatherings gave rise to the meetings of the Jewish Sejm (Diet) and related institutions. Sessions of the Jewish Sejm also took place during the fairs themselves, primarily those in Lublin and Jaroslaw. The Sejm of the Lithuanian Jews met during the Leczna fair.
Fairs played a key role in the development of Jewish trade. Fairs were not affected by restrictions on trade or the law known as de non tolerandis Judaeis, introduced by cities beginning in the late fifteenth century. Jewish traders also took part in foreign fairs, in Wroc�aw and in Leipzig, which by the second half of the fifteenth century had become centers of land-based trade between Western and Eastern Europe. In the eighteenth century, the fair network changed as the importance of cities along the eastern and central borders of the Commonwealth increased. These included Leczna, Brzesc, Grodno and Zelwa.

In the nineteenth century, the partitioning powers liquidated smaller and less significant fairs; meanwhile, specialized fairs developed, such as those for wool, in Warsaw, Poznan and Lwow; for hops in Warsaw and Nowy Tomysl; for tobacco in Skwierzyna; for horses in Skaryszew; and for textile products in Zelwa.

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