环球买卖之旅 Around the World in 80 Trades

Around the World in 80 Trades


My name’s Connor Woodman. I used to be a market analyst in the city of London, working on deals worth hundreds of millions of pounds. But I’d had enough of e-business done on a computer screen, so I quit. I want to get out and test myself in real markets, 1)haggling face to face with hardened traders. So forget the economic doom and gloom: I think I can make money and have a great time trading my way around the world.

I’ve taken 25 2)grand from the sale of my flat to invest in all kinds of products: animal, mineral and vegetable.

Five months into my journey and I’ve done deals in Africa, Asia and the Far East, with some incredible success. I was on fire selling African 3)chili sauce to the spice-loving Indians. I imported South African reds to the emerging Chinese wine market and made my biggest profit so far. But in the Far East I failed to sell some rare 4)vintage tea and an expensive piece of jade.

Today I’ll face the most important negotiation of my trip so far. Silvio Catinio, the vice-president of Flora Seco, has agreed to meet me to 5)thrash out a deal. My best bargaining chip is that the company currently have no UK customers. Silvio is offering me $1,400 per cubic metre of 6)timber, which is around £700. It’s a good offer, but I think I can push him for an even better discount.
  今天,我将面对此次旅程以来最重要的一次商谈。锡维奥·卡迪尼奥是Flora Seco公司的副总裁,他同意和我谈一桩交易。我最大的谈判筹码是这家公司现时还没有英国客户。锡维奥向我报出每立方米木材1400美元(约700英镑)的价格。这是个不错的报价,但我觉得我还可以争取到更优惠的折扣。

Connor: Can you go 1,200?
Silvio: Yeah, this is a little bit hard, you know, because you…you propose 1,200; I offered you 1,400. I think that 1,300 barely covers our costs.
That’s it then. I’ve just invested nearly all my profit from five months of hard work…on trees.
I’ve got one company who I think really are genuinely interested in this. After several hours of negotiation I can hardly believe how far he’s 7)knocked me down. I’ve dropped seven grand to just over 18, but it seems that’s still not low enough for 8)Shaun.
Connor: That’s, I mean, that’s an enormous discount I’m giving you on it.
Shaun: It’s only a discount from an imaginary price.
Connor: I don’t believe you. I think it’s worth more than that.
Shaun: I wouldn’t buy it.
After a day on the phone, I’ve lined up a couple of meetings with companies who are keen to have a look at my sustainable 9)teak.
The New Dawn Furniture Company in Hampshire handmakes environmentally responsible furniture. It’s run by Dennis Wingan.
Connor: What do you think about it?
Dennis: I think the texture’s really, really brilliant; nice colours, nice texture.
Connor: The bottom line is you’re happy with that.
Dennis: Yeah, I’m quite happy with the project.
Connor: £1000 a cubic metre?
Dennis: Yes, done, yeah.
Connor: Deal.
What a result! Dennis practically bites my hand off buying half my wood for a total of £13,500.
But I still have to get rid of the other half of the wood, so I’m off to my second lead in Nottingham.
Wood Newton is a construction company that specializes in environmentally-friendly housing. John Greene is the managing director.
John: First time we’ve seen eco-friendly teak, yeah, so to bring that in…into the marketplace’ll be very beneficial for us.
Connor: So, what, 13,000?
John: Uhm…
Connor: Whole lot.
John: Ten.
Connor: Gonna play this game, are we? Twelve?
John: Uhm…eleven?
Connor: Go on then. I’ll meet you in the middle. Eleven and a half.
John: OK. Deal done.
Connor: Alright.


I bought my teak for £11,620, when the pound was worth $2. I spent 1000 on shipping, and sold it for a total of £25,000, giving me a profit of 12,345.

After an epic trip spanning six months and sixteen countries, trading in everything from camels to coffee, I’ve doubled my original 25,000-pound investment.

In six months I’ve been on the trip of a lifetime, and I’ve learned so much about how people do business all over the world. I think, like a lot of people in the city, before I went on this trip I thought I knew everything about the economy and business and how to make money. And I think what I’ve learned on this is that there’s an awful lot more to it.

Business is about making money, but it’s also about people and relationships and culture, and it affects every part of our society around the globe. The pursuit of money really is what makes the world go round.

It’s been an eye-opening experience, and I feel like a very different person indeed.