Difference Between Markup and Margin (With Table)

Markup and Margin are both accounting terms and are related to the selling price of a product. Both these terms can be somewhat confusing. However, if used interchangeably can cause a lot of problems with the price-setting, leading to low profits and lost sales. Hence, it is necessary to differentiate between them as both these terms are different from each other in many ways. 

Markup vs Margin 

The difference between Markup and Margin is that to determine the selling price of a product cost of the product is increased with the help of an amount known as Markup. On the other hand, Margin represents the difference between sales and the cost of goods sold. 

To determine the selling price of a product cost of the product is increased with the help of an amount known as Markup. Markup is calculated by finding the difference between the Selling price and the Cost of goods sold and then dividing the difference by the Selling Price (SP-Cost of goods sold/SP). Markup is actually from the perspective of the buyer, and it should always be higher than Margin. Markup is calculated based on cost. It acts as a Cost Multiplier.  

The margin represents the difference between sales and the cost of goods sold. Margin is calculated by finding the difference between the Selling price and the Cost of goods sold and then dividing it by the Cost of goods sold (SP-Cost of goods sold/Cost of goods sold). Margin is actually from the perspective of a seller and hence should always be lower than Markup. Margin is calculated based on price or revenue. It represents the profit earned on total sales.

Comparison Table Between Markup and Margin

Parameters of Comparison   Markup   Margin  
 Meaning   
To determine the selling price of a product cost of the product is increased with the help of an amount known as Markup.  
The Margin represents the profit earned on the total sales. 
Formula   (Selling Price- Cost of the goods sold)/ SP (Selling Price- Cost of the goods sold)/Cost of the goods sold.  
Basis of calculation  Markup is calculated based on cost.  Margin is calculated based on revenue or price. 
 Perspective   Markup is actually from the perspective of a buyer. Margin is actually from the perspective of a seller.  
 Calculation   Since Markup is from the perspective of the buyer, it shall always be higher than Margin.  Since Margin is from the perspective of the seller, it shall always be less than Markup. 
 Action   Acts as a Cost-multiplier. Represents the profit earned on total sales. 

What is Markup? 

To determine the selling price of a product cost of the product is increased with the help of an amount known as Markup. Markup is calculated by finding the difference between the Selling price and the Cost of goods sold and then dividing the difference by the Selling Price (SP-Cost of goods sold/SP). 

Markup is actually from the perspective of the buyer and hence should always be higher than Margin. Markup is calculated based on cost. It acts as a Cost Multiplier. 

The purpose of markup is to ensure that revenue is generated from every sale. Markup is good for understanding business and makes the user aware of the costs.

What is Margin? 

The Margin represents the difference between sales and the cost of goods sold. Margin is calculated by finding the difference between the Selling price and the Cost of goods sold and then dividing it by the Cost of goods sold (SP-Cost of goods sold/Cost of goods sold). 

Margin is actually from the perspective of a seller and hence should always be lower than Markup. Margin is calculated based on price or revenue. It represents the profit earned on total sales. 

Margin usage increases as the business ages. Profit margins determine the actual profit made on the sale.  

Main Differences Between Markup and Margin 

  1. To determine the selling price of a product cost of the product is increased with the help of an amount known as Markup, whereas Margin represents the difference between sales and cost of goods sold. 
  2. Markup is calculated by finding the difference between the Selling price and the Cost of goods sold and then dividing the difference by the Selling Price (SP-Cost of goods sold/SP), whereas, Margin is calculated by finding the difference between the Selling price and the Cost of goods sold and then dividing it by the Cost of goods sold (SP-Cost of goods sold/Cost of goods sold). 
  3. Markup is actually from the perspective of the buyer, whereas, Margin is actually from the perspective of a seller. 
  4. Since Markup is from the perspective of the buyer, it shall always be higher than Margin. On the other hand, since Margin is from the perspective of the seller, it shall always be less than Markup. 
  5. Markup is calculated based on cost, whereas, Margin is calculated based on price or revenue. 
  6. Markup acts as a Cost Multiplier, whereas, Margin represents the profit earned on total sales. 
  7. The purpose of markup is to ensure that revenue is generated from every sale. On the other hand, Profit margins determine the actual profit made on the sale.  

Conclusion 

Markup and Margin are both accounting terms and are related to the selling price of a product. Both these terms can be somewhat confusing. However, if used interchangeably can cause a lot of problems with the price-setting, leading to low profits and lost sales. Hence, it is necessary to differentiate between them as both these terms are different from each other in many ways. 

To determine the selling price of a product cost of the product is increased with the help of an amount known as Markup. Markup is calculated by finding the difference between the Selling price and the Cost of goods sold and then dividing the difference by the Selling Price (SP-Cost of goods sold/SP). Markup is actually from the perspective of the buyer, and it should always be higher than Margin. Markup is calculated based on cost. It acts as a Cost Multiplier.  

The margin represents the difference between sales and the cost of goods sold. Margin is calculated by finding the difference between the Selling price and the Cost of goods sold and then dividing it by the Cost of goods sold (SP-Cost of goods sold/Cost of goods sold). Margin is actually from the perspective of a seller and hence should always be lower than Markup. Margin is calculated based on price or revenue. It represents the profit earned on total sales. 

The main difference between Markup and Margin is that to determine the selling price of a product cost of the product is increased with the help of an amount known as Markup, whereas, Margin represents the difference between sales and the cost of goods sold. 

References 

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0360835212002252 
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1574007201100241 
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