Sijeon (Licensed Shop) was an essential element for the capital of the Joseon Dynasty. Sijeon is a commercial organization for royal use that was established in order to supply luxuries to a royal family and the governing class.
Sijeon merchants were in charge of commercial tax(商稅), Chaekpan(責辦) and miscellaneous work(雜役) in the early Josen Dynasty. In the latter half of the Joseon Dynasty, commercial tax was abolished while being transformed into state service(國役) focusing on Suridobaeyeok for the royal palace. In addition, Chaekpan was transformed into trade(貿易) and Jinbae(進排), and miscellaneous work into Jangbingyeok(藏氷役), etc. Although Sijeon focused on distribution of goods for the private sector rather than supply for the royal family in the latter half of the Joseon Dynasty, it couldn't break from its feature of royal use completely.
Even though Suridobaeyeok for the royal palace was 6,600 bags a year putting a heavy burden on the merchants, the Sijeon merchants could enjoy Geumnanjeongwon(禁亂廛權), an exclusive right for distribution of goods, in reward for this duty. Trade meant that the Sijeon merchants provided articles urgently desired by the government or the royal family. The outward of trade was market exchange though, the merchants were always in disadvantageous positions because the royal family never paid proper market price.
Jinbae means regular supply of articles required by the royal family and it could give a large profit to the Sijeon merchants compared with trade. However, it could become exploitative relationship like Chaekpan when financial condition of the royal family became worse.
Sijeon was originally a commercial organization for royal use, therefore, the royal family supported it with money from its private safe when the Sijeon merchants were badly damaged by fire. As stated above, the royal family and the Sijeon merchants were in special relationship. The relationship existed even after the privilege disappeared by the abolishment of Geumnanjeongwon because of Gabogaehyeok (the Political Reform) in 1894 since the absolute monarch system and Sijeon commerce originated from the same root.