DEFINITION of 'Trading House'
A business that specializes in facilitating transactions between a home country and foreign countries. A trading house is an exporter, importer and also a trader that purchases and sells products for other businesses. Trading houses provide a service for businesses that want international trade experts to receive or deliver goods or services.
BREAKING DOWN 'Trading House'
A trading house serves as an intermediary. It might purchase t-shirts wholesale from China, then sell them to a retailer in the United States. The U.S. retailer would still receive wholesale pricing, but the price would be slightly higher than if the retailer purchased directly from the Chinese company. The trading house must mark up the price of the goods it sells to cover its costs and earn a profit. However, the t-shirt retailer avoids the hassles of importing. The retailer also may be able to simplify its operations by dealing with one or two trading houses to get its inventory instead of dealing directly with numerous wholesalers.