The shape and age of a ginseng root influences its marketability. A root that resembles a person is fairly rare and worth a lot of money. The most marketable roots are old, variously shaped and forked, moderate in size, stubby but tapering, off-white, light in weight but firm when dried, and have numerous, closely formed rings of wrinkles.
Exported American ginseng roots are sold mainly to the Chinese market. There is also a growing domestic market as people are using more and more ginseng as an herbal product.