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I think I must have read this between 2003 and 2005 and it was most likely a recent used paperback. I've searched through my collection and Goodreads without luck.

I recall that the book had a pair of young humans on a non-human merchant ship. They may have docked at a merchant hub or network and one of them may have gone somewhere else. The main theme was of humans learning to become merchants and be able to be significant economically.

Thanks for any help.

Alan

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Kind of a long shot -- maybe Balance of Trade, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.

Quotes from Goodreads reviews (emphasis mine):

Balance of Trade portrays protagonist Jethri Gobelyn, a 17-year old intergalactic trader from planet Terra.

He's human.

He’d always been fascinated by Liaden culture, so he jumped at the chance to join a Liaden ship.

(Do Liaden count as aliens? I think so. Biologically maybe not, since they can have children with Terrans. However, their culture is different and they are from another planet.)

The new ship is a trading ship, and, while I don't recall the details exactly, they definitely stopped on at least one planet to -- what else -- trade things. There's at least one scene involving both Jethri and a teenage girl (she might be Liaden).

I will look for more details, but maybe that's enough to ring a bell.

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    That's not it but I keep meaning to read that series.
    – alan laird
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 18:19
  • I read Balance of Trade again and that was was the book I was looking for. Completed reading the rest of the series and loved it. Thanks!!
    – alan laird
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 19:58
  • @alanlaird: thanks to you for coming back and letting us know it was correct. Glad you liked the series!
    – Daphne B
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 21:07

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