Difference Between Sell and Donate

Sell and donate are both an act of handing good or services to someone that benefits the receiver. The only main difference which creates a fine line between the two is the involvement of money.

Sell is an act of gaining personal profit from giving, and donate is completely done out of kindness for the betterment of society.

Sell vs Donate

The main difference between sell and donate is that sell means to exchange goods for money, whereas donate refers to contributing to society for a better cause or gifting any individual who needs it. Both are an act of giving something to others, but one includes some benefit in return for it, and the other is a selfless act for the betterment of society.

Sell vs Donate

Sell is a transactional act where the seller gets money in return for any item, goods, or service that the seller provides.

Selling is also referred to as an act of persuasion as the seller convinces the buyer to purchase its good or service after some terms of negotiation leading to an agreement upon which the good or service is exchanged.

Donate is a selfless act of contributing goods, money, or services for charity, animal welfare, humanitarian aid, or for any better cause. Donation benefits the receiver, not the giver.

It’s an act of kindness that the giver does out of selfless intentions. The main objective of donating is to help the needful so that it adds to the welfare of society.

Comparison Table Between Sell and Donate

Parameters of ComparisonSellDonate
DefinitionIt is when a product or service in exchange for money.It when a product or service is contributed for a social cause.
MoneyMoney is received for every sale.Money is not involved.
Transfer of GoodsIt is a barter system, where goods are exchanged for money.No such batter system.
MotiveThe main motive is to earn money and profit.The main motive is the welfare of society.
Type of ContractIt is a Contract of Sale.It is a Unilateral Contract.

What is Sell?

Sell, as stated above, is exchanging or handing something that holds value to other people who are willing to buy it.

Although selling is considered as an act of persuasion, not all the selling processes are an act of persuasion as the buyer buying essential goods for daily usage cannot be categorized as the persuasion of the seller, whereas buying a luxurious or any costly article can be as it requires some convincing.

Selling requires many skills and some special traits to turn into a successful sell such as-

  1. Building a good relationship with the customers will lead to selling the product successfully. Not only a good relationship but a long-term healthy relationship with the customers for the customer to come and buy your product again.
  2. A patient and good listener achieve better than the one who speaks much, and therefore to sell, the seller should listen carefully to the needs and choices of the customer.
  3. Other traits include dedication and motivation for never giving up on a customer and not take no as an answer and promotion of the product for future references.

What is Donate?

Donate is done as an act of kindness for the community or society to make harmony among all categories and to help all the needy groups.

While donating, no personal profit or benefit is included. The donator does it with the motive of helping society for a better cause.

The donation can be through many ways like through cash, lands for usage, supplying goods such as food, clothes, and daily essentials, donating organs after or blood for the medical use for those who need it.

The sole purpose is to help others and help make society a better place for every living entity.

As the famous quote says that “what goes around comes around” if we help someone who is in actual need, we will surely get the return from it someday in some or another way, and that is the main motto behind the whole donation concept.

Donate is completely a unilateral contract as the donator gets no personal benefits out of it, but the receiver, which can be an individual or any organization, benefits from the things given in donation.

The essence of donation is to give in for the better cause and welfare of society.


Main Differences Between Sell and Donate

  1. Sell is when a good or product in exchange for money or other prices, whereas donating is when a product or service is given as a gift for social service.
  2. In Sell, money is received in exchange for the good and services, whereas in the case of donating, no such money or anything is received in return.
  3. In selling, goods are transferred from one person in exchange, such as in a barter system, but there is no barter system in donating.
  4. When you sell something, the main motive behind it is earning a profit, and in Donate, the main motive is social welfare and good deed.
  5. Sell comes under the contract of sale, and donate comes under the Unilateral Contract.
Difference Between Sell and Donate


The bottom line is that sell is purely based on the exchange of profit, the seller gets capital, and the buyer gets its needs fulfilled through the product or service, whereas in donation, the giver doesn’t get any personal profit out of it.

Both of them profits the receiver. It’s just that in donation, the profit is one way. The involvement of money and the motive behind each of the activities is what creates a noticeable difference between the sell and donate.

It is a very minor field that makes sells and donates two completely different things. The intentions behind both define and set the field on whose basis the two acts are profoundly separated. 


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mar.20255
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1537-2995.2002.00008.x

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