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Auxiliaries to Trade

Activities which are meant for assisting trade are known as auxiliaries to trade. These activities are generally, referred to as services because these are in the nature of facilitating the activities relating to industry and trade. Transport, banking, insurance, warehousing, and advertising are regarded as auxiliaries to trade, i.e., activities playing a supportive role. In fact, these activities not only support trade but also industry and hence, the entire business activity. However, auxiliaries are an integral part of commerce in particular and business activity in general. These activities help in removing various hindrances which arise in connection with the production and distribution of goods. Transport facilitates movement of goods from one place to another. Banking provides financial assistance to the trader. Insurance covers various kinds of business risks. Warehousing creates time utility with storage facility. advertising provides information
  1. Transport and Communication: Production of goods generally takes place in particular locations. For instance, tea is mainly produced in Assam; cotton in Gujarat and Maharashtra; jute in West Bengal and Orissa; sugar in U.P, Bihar and Maharashtra and so on. But these goods are required for consumption in different part of the country. The obstacle of place is removed by transport — road, rail or coastal shipping. Transport facilitates movement of raw material to the place of production and the finished products from factories to the place of consumption. Along with the transport facility, there is also a need for communication facilities so that producers, traders and consumers may exchange information with one another. Thus, postal services and telephone facilities may also be regarded as auxiliaries to business activities.
  2. Banking and Finance: Business activities cannot be undertaken unless funds are available for acquiring assets and meeting the day-to-day expenses. Necessary funds can be obtained by businessmen from a bank. Thus, banking helps business activities to overcome the problem of finance. Commercial banks generally lend money by providing overdraft and cash credit facilities, loans and advances. Banks also undertake collection of cheques, remittance of funds to different places, and discounting of bills on behalf of traders. In foreign trade, payments are arranged by commercial banks on behalf of importers and exporters. Commercial banks also help promoters of companies to raise capital from the public.
  3. Insurance: Business involves various types of risks. Factory building, machinery, furniture etc. must be protected against fire, theft and other risks. Materials and goods held in stock or in transit are subject to the risk of loss or damage. Employees are also required to be protected against the risks of accident and occupational hazards. Insurance provides protection in all such cases. On payment of a nominal premium, the amount of loss or damage and compensation for injury, if any, can be recovered from the insurance company.
  4. Warehousing: Usually, goods are not sold or consumed immediately after production. They are held in stock to be available as and when required. Special arrangement must be made for storage of goods to prevent loss or damage. Warehousing helps business firms to overcome the problem of storage and facilitates the availability of goods when needed. Prices are thereby maintained at a reasonable level through continuous supply of goods.
  5. Advertising: Advertising is one of the most important methods of promoting the sale of products, particularly, consumers goods like electronic goods, automobiles, soaps, detergents etc. Most of these goods are manufactured and supplied in the market by numerous firms — big or small. It is practically impossible for producers and traders to contact each and every customer. Thus, for sales promotion, information about the goods available, its features, price, etc., must reach potential buyers. Also there is a need to persuade potential buyers about the uses, quality, prices, competitive information about the goods etc. Advertising helps in providing information about available goods and inducing customers to buy particular items.

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