You may trash a Treasure from your hand to choose one:|
+2 Cards and +1 Action;
or +1 Buy and .
Spice Merchant is an Action card from Hinterlands. It is primarily a Copper trasher (though it can trash other Treasure cards too). Spice Merchant can function as essentially a cantrip—once you've trashed your Copper, you can get +2 Cards and +1 Action, to bring you back to the same hand size and action count you had before playing it. Alternatively, in a pinch Spice Merchant can also function as a source of +Buy.
 Official FAQ
- You may trash a Treasure card from your hand.
- This is optional.
- If you did trash a Treasure card, you choose either to get +2 Cards and +1 Action, or + and +1 Buy.
 Other Rules clarifications
 Strategy Article
You have a choice of which benefit you'd like. It can act as a Laboratory, or as a Woodcutter. If you choose the Lab option, you are back to where you started the turn; a 5 card hand with an action to play. With the Woodcutter option, you are often in a worse position than if Spice Merchant were a Moneylender, as the extra coin is usually preferable to the +Buy. However, the flexibility is what makes this the often superior card.
Spice Merchant is bad with Big Money. Copper trashing isn't very important, and you don't gain as much benefit as Moneylender, as you rarely will need the extra buy. Special mention should be given to Fool's Gold, however. Using Spice Merchant for the extra buy will allow you to quickly buy Fool's Golds and trim out the unwanted copper at the same time.
Spice Merchant is much better with Engines as getting rid of Coppers, especially without using up an Action, can be very powerful. It makes for an incredibly strong opening with Ambassador. Spice Merchant takes care of the Coppers while Ambassador removes the Estates. And once you are done Copper trashing, you can send the Spice Merchant away as well.
It can occasionally come in handy to trash a Potion, once you've bought all the cards you want.
 English versions
|You may trash a Treasure from your hand. If you do, choose one: +2 Cards and +1 Action; or +and +1 Buy.||Hinterlands 1st Edition||October 2011|
|You may trash a Treasure from your hand to choose one: +2 Cards and +1 Action; or +1 Buy and.||Hinterlands 2nd Edition||December 2016|
 Other language versions
|Czech||Kořenář (lit. spicer)|
|German||Gewürzhändler (lit. spice trader)|
|Italian||Mercante di Spezie|
|Japanese||香辛料商人 (pron. kōshinryō shōnin)||次のうち1つを選ぶために、手札の財宝カード1枚を廃棄してもよい:「+2 カードを引く、 +1 アクション」:「+1 購入、 +」。|
|Polish||Zamorski kupiec (note: as referred to in Polish Empires rulebook)|
|Russian||Торговец Специями (pron. torgovyets spyetsiyami)|
|Spanish||Mercader de Especias|
 Secret History. That was too strong. Then for a while it was like it is now, and then I tried it without the + +1 Buy option. There had been some worries about power level, but if it was over the top it wasn't very far over, and we were picking the Lab a lot more than the Woodcutter anyway. And remember I wanted simple cards, to make the set a standalone. Well some people were very sad to see the + +1 Buy option go, and it did not appear to make the card too strong after all, so there it is.