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This article is about the business concept; Commerce is also the name of several places in the United States.

Commerce is the trading of something of value between two entities. That "something" may be goods, services, information, money, or anything else the two entities consider to have value. Commerce is the central mechanism from which capitalism and all other economic systems are derived. The process of transforming something into a commercial activity is called commercialization.

History of Commerce

Commerce has its origins from the very start of communication in prehistoric times. Trading was the main facility of prehistoric people, who bartered what they had for goods and services from each other. Peter Watson dates the history of long-distance commerce from circa 150,000 years ago.[1]

Later, currency was introduced as a standardized money to facilitate a wider exchange of goods and services. Numismatists have examples of coins from the earliest large-scale societies, although these were initially unmarked lumps of precious metal[2]. The major advantage to commerce of circulating a standardized currency is that money overcomes the "Double coincidence of wants" necessary for barter trades to occur. For example, if a man who makes pots for a living needs a new house, he must hire someone to build it for him. But he cannot make an equivalent number of pots to equal this service done to him, and even if he could the house builder might not want the pots. Currency solved this problem by allowing values to be assigned to things so that goods and services can in a way be effectively collected and stored for later use, or split among several providers.

Today commerce involves a complex system of companies that try to maximise their profits by offering products and services to the market, which consists both of individuals and other companies, at the lowest production cost. There is a system of world wide commerce, which some argue has gone too far (see main: Free trade).

See also


1. ^  Watson, Peter (2005). Ideas : A History of Thought and Invention from Fire to Freud, HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-621064-X. Introduction.

2. ^  Gold was an especially common form of early money, as described in Origins of Money and of Banking Davies, Glyn (2002). Ideas : A history of money from ancient times to the present day, University of Wales Press. ISBNتجارة ca:Comerç fr:Commerce io:Komerco it:Commercio pt:Comércio vi:Thương mại