The Merchant is a special building first introduced with the Feudal Japan Settlement. The Merchant is placed in the wilderness outside of the cultural settlements. Whenever you start a new settlement, you will have to unlock the merchant anew by solving a specific quest. Keep in mind that not every culture will have the merchant available.
Offers & Negotiation
The Merchant allows you to acquire cultural goods by solving a negotiation using your towns regular goods, coins and supplies. The Trader has three slots for offers. The negotiations randomly have five or six options as offers and you randomly have to pay one or two goods per position (for every offer in a negotiation). You have three tries to solve the negotiation. If you fail the negotiation you may try again immediately or you can buy extra-tries with Diamonds.
Daily Offers. Once per day you get the chance to see new offers - up to three of them when all three offer slots were empty at the reset time. Every empty slot will get a new, random offer once the 24 hour timer is up. In case you don't like an offer, you can dismiss it to potentially get something better the next day.
You can play the negotiation minigame, and if you successfully complete it you will obtain the cultural goods rewards. Cultural Goods obtained from the Merchant have the same chance to be quadrupled (4x) as the regular cultural goods productions.