A merchant is a businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others, in order to earn a profit.
Merchants can be one of two types:
- A wholesale merchant operates in the chain between producer and retail merchant. Some wholesale merchants only organize the movement of goods rather than move the goods themselves.
- A retail merchant or retailer, sells commodities to consumers (including businesses). A shop owner is a retail merchant.
A merchant class characterizes many pre-modern societies. Its status can range from high (the members even eventually achieving titles such as that of Merchant Prince or Nabob) to low, as in Chinese culture, owing to the presumed distastefulness of profiting from "mere" trade rather than from labor or the labor of others as in agriculture and craftsmanship.
Read more about Merchant: Significance in Law
Famous quotes containing the word merchant:
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
—Bible: New Testament, Matthew 13:45,46.
“People run away from the name subsidy. It is a subsidy. I am not afraid to call it so. It is paid for the purpose of giving a merchant marine to the whole country so that the trade of the whole country will be benefitted thereby, and the men running the ships will of course make a reasonable profit.... Unless we have a merchant marine, our navy if called upon for offensive or defensive work is going to be most defective.”
—William Howard Taft (18571930)
“O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant,
The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters,
The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers,
Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees,
Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark....”
—T.S. (Thomas Stearns)