Definition: A trade discount is the reduction in price a manufacturer or wholesaler gives a wholesaler or retail when they buy a product or group of products. In other words, a trade discount is a certain percentage a manufacturer is willing to reduce its list price for wholesalers or retailers.
What Does Trade Discount Mean?
Manufacturers and wholesalers typically produce catalogs for customers and vendors to order products from. The prices listed in the catalogs are often called list prices or manufacturers suggest retail price (MSRP). Other business within the industry that use the manufacturers products rarely pay list price for them. Instead, the manufacturer gives the wholesaler or retailer a discount on each purchase or a percent off of the list price.
A trade discount is different than a sales discount because a trade discount does not have the same restrictions as a purchase discount. Trade discounts are usually given to wholesalers that order large quantities of a product as well as retailers with good relationships with the manufacturer. Purchase discounts or cash discounts are based on payment plans not order quantities.
The amount of the trade discount varies depending on who is ordering the products and the quantities they are ordering. For instance, a retailer might only order 100 t-shirts from a manufacturer at a time and receive a 5 percent trade discount. A wholesaler, on the other hand, might order 1,000 t-shirts at a time and could receive a 12 percent discount. Trade discounts are also based on customer loyalty and vendor relationships over time.