Merchants are businessmen who trade in commodities that they do not produce themselves, in order to earn a profit.
Merchants can be 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. 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.
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