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   Chapter 5 COMMERCIAL TERMS AND USAGES (Continued)

Up To Date Business By Various Characters: 3340

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


The natural resources of a country are mainly the mineral commodities and agricultural produce that it yields. The lumber and fish produced in a country are also among its natural resources. The positions and industries of cities are usually fixed by natural conditions, but the most powerful agent is the personal energy of enterprising and persevering men, who, by superior education, or scientific knowledge, or practical foresight, have often been able to found industrial centres in situations which no geographical considerations would suggest or explain.

Commission merchants receive and sell goods belonging to others for a compensation called a commission. A selling agent is a person who represents a manufacturing establishment in its dealings with the trade. The factory may be located in a small town, while the selling agent has his office and samples in the heart of a great city. As regards the quantity of goods bought or sold in a single transaction, trade is divided into wholesale and retail. The wholesale dealer sells to other dealers, while the retail dealer sells to the consumer-that is, the person who consumes, or uses, the goods. A jobber is one who buys from importers and manufacturers and sells to retailers. He is constantly in the market for bargains. The names jobber and wholesaler are often used in the same sense, but a jobber sometimes sells to wholesalers. Wholesale has reference to the quantity the dealer sells, and not to the source from which he buys, or the person to whom he sells. The wholesaler, as a rule, deals in staples-that is, goods which are used season after season-though of course there are wholesalers in pra

ctically all businesses.

Wholesale dealers send out travellers or drummers, who carry samples of the goods. Frequently the traveller starts out with his samples from six months to a year in advance of the time of delivery. It is quite a common thing for the retailer to order from samples merchandise which at the time of placing the order may not even be manufactured.

By the price of a commodity is meant its value estimated in money, or the amount of money for which it will exchange. The exchangeable value of commodities depends at any given period partly upon the expense of production and partly upon the relation of supply and demand. Prices are affected by the creation of monopolies, by the opening of new markets, by the obstructing of the ordinary channels of commercial intercourse, and by the anticipation of these and other causes. It is the business of the merchant to acquaint himself with every circumstance affecting the prices of the goods in which he deals.

The entire world is the field of the modern merchant. He buys raw and manufactured products wherever he can buy cheapest, and he ships to whatever market pays him the highest price. Our corner grocer or produce-dealer may furnish us with beef from Texas, potatoes from Egypt, celery from Michigan, onions from Jamaica, coffee from Java, oranges from Spain, and a hundred other things from as many different points; and yet, so complete is the interlocking of the world's commercial interests, and so great is the speed of transportation, that he can supply us with these necessaries under existing conditions more easily and readily than if they were all grown on an adjoining farm.

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