A Rare Commodity Worth Hoarding
Where can you seek the greatest profit? Lv Buwei, this famous businessman in ancient China were keen to find a rare commodity so as to sell at a high price later.
In today's story, we'll learn a new phrase meaning, “a rare commodity worth hoarding.” The idiom reads, “qi huo ke ju.” There is an interesting story behind the idiom.
In ancient China, prince Yi Ren of the Qin Kingdom was being kept hostage in another kingdom. Lv Buwei, a sucessful businessman, met the prince when he was doing business there. Lv Buwei saw the prince as a kind of rare commodity, which he could sell at a high price later.
After Lv Buwei came home, he asked his father, “What's the profit margin from farming?” His father replied, “Ten times the cost.”
He asked again, “And what's the profit from selling jewelry?” “A few dozen times the cost.” “Then what's the profit on making a king?” “The profit is huge, and can't be estimated,” answered his father.
So Lv Buwei told his father about the prince. He said he wanted to make him a king, and that would be a business with a huge profit. His father totally agreed.
Prince Yi Ren was sent as a hostage because his mother was not liked by his father, the crown prince of Qin. Lv Buwei told Yi Ren he wanted to make him king in the future. Yi Ren was very happy and promised to bestow him half of his land when he became king.
Lv Buwei therefore presented a lot of treasure to the favorite concubine of Yi Ren's father. The concubine was very pleased and called in Lv Buwei. Lv Buwei persuaded her to adopt Yi Ren as her son. Yi Ren therefore came back to his own country.
Ri Ren's father was already very old when he became king. And because his concubine kept saying good things about Yi Ren, Yi Ren became crown prince. Very soon his father died, and Yi Ren became king. He kept his promise, conferring a very high title on Lv Buwei and giving him a vast area of land.
So Lv Buwei made great profit by investing in a rare commodity.
From this story, people drew the idiom, “to wait to sell something valuable at a high price.” It reads “qi huo ke ju.”