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tricks of the trade

Clever ways of operating a business or performing a task or activity, especially slightly dishonest or unfair ones. For example, Alma knows all the tricks of the trade, cutting the fabric as close as possible, or The butcher weighs meat after it's wrapped; charging for the packaging is one of the tricks of the trade.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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