also merchandise, late 14c., "to buy and sell, to engage in commerce," from merchandise (v.). The original sense was obsolete by late 19c. Meaning "to promote the sale of goods" is from 1926. Related: Merchandising; merchandizing.
mid-13c., marchaundise, "trading, commerce, action or business of buying and selling goods or commodities for profit;" mid-14c., "commodities of commerce; wares, movable objects, and articles for sale or trade," from Anglo-French marchaundise, Old French marcheandise "goods, merchandise; trade, business" (12c.), from marchaunt "merchant" (see merchant). The plural had become obsolete in English by late 19c.
late 14c., marchaundising, "goods, commodities, mercantile business," verbal noun from merchandize (v.). Meaning "trade, commerce" is from mid-15c. That of "promotion of goods for sale, activities meant to stimulate interest in products" is by 1910.