Margin Vs Markup Chart & Infographic

Markup vs Margin

If the Zealot becomes more expensive to produce over time, the price will have to go up, and gaining a markup of $18 on a $36 item is very different a markup of $18 on an item priced at $55. A fixed markup percentage would ensure that the earnings are always proportional to the price. Markup is perfect for helping ensure that revenue is being generated on each sale. Margin is the selling price of a product minus cost of goods. Using the above example, the margin for a product sold for $200 with a cost of $110 would be $90. You can also use these profit margin vs. markup formulas when expressing the figures in percentages. Markup is equal to a product’s selling price minus its cost price.

  • Markup refers to the percentage of an item’s cost that will be added to establish the sales price of an item.
  • From looking at these two examples of markup vs. margin, it’s easy to see why the terms are often confused.
  • Let’s use the same product to clarify the differences between markup and margin better.
  • Since the cost figure should be lower than the revenue figure, the markup percentage must be higher than the margin percentage.
  • This means that you sold the journals for 100% more than what it cost to purchase them.

From the seller’s view, the $ 100 value is a margin, but when viewed from a buyer’s viewpoint, the same $100 is markup. However, in percentage terms, the two figures are quite different. Margin and markup are easily and often confused because both numbers deal with the cost of goods sold, revenue, and the money you actually make on a sale. This way, you can figure out the lowest price at which you’re willing to sell your products. Retailers that offer unique or customized customer services can charge higher markups. Save money without sacrificing features you need for your business. But, there may come a time when you mark up products by a number not included in our chart (after all, we couldn’t include every percentage there!).

Head To Head Comparison Between Margin Vs Markup Infographics

One of the most common ways of pricing products is to adjust the cost of goods sold by the target profit margin. While the margin and markup offer different perspectives of the same thing, it is important to understand how each behaves in relation to the other, since confusing the two can impact your profitability. The margin shows the relationship between gross profit and revenue, while markup shows the relationship between profit and the cost of goods sold. A price increase in a bid to increase the profit margin can result in a reduction in sales. Markups are typically used when you know the cost and want to determine the price.

Markup vs Margin

The relationship between markup and margin is not an arbitrary one. If you decide to reduce your production cost by making your production process more efficient, you should also take care to ensure that the quality of goods is not compromised.

Margin Example

That’s one of the most important questions that business owners want answered. One way to answer that question is to calculate the margin for your business. If your contractor has a daily charge rate of $200.00 and your company markup is 15%. Your client daily charge rate is then equal to $230.00, giving you a markup fee of $30.00. The purpose of margins is “to determine the value of incremental sales, and to guide pricing and promotion decision.”

Markup vs Margin

The markup in this case is 100%, which means that the headphones were sold for 100% more than what it cost to produce them. In other words, the selling price is double the cost of production.

Gross Margin

If you have to update prices on multiple products each week, then this simple feature could save you hours. Expressed in this way, you can see that margin and markup are two different perspectives on the relationship between price and cost.

Unfortunately, many people think they’re pricing their products based upon a desired margin, but they’re really using markup. There is a majordifference between the two methods and their impact on your bottom line. It’s easy to see how our clients get into trouble deriving prices if there is confusion about the meaning of margins and mark-ups, but for a small business, keeping track of your profit margin Markup vs Margin is critical. Many companies experience an increase in total revenue only to discover they have become less profitable. By calculating sales prices in terms of gross margin, it is possible to compare the profitability of the transaction to the economics of the financial statements in real terms. MarkupThe percentage of profits derived over the cost price of the product sold is known as markup.


Therefore, in as much as you want to achieve a specific target margin for every sale, you should also make sure that your price allows your product to maintain a competitive advantage. When coming up with your target margin, it is always advisable to include other costs besides what goes directly into the making of the product, such as overhead.

Others will use the term gross margin ratio to mean the gross margin as percentage of sales or selling price. It’s important to consider that this is simply a guideline and may not apply to your products or services. It’s also important to note the percentages for your gross, operating and net profit margins will vary because they represent different areas of the business. In sales, the basic principle is that businesses must sell a product for more than it costs to make or manufacture — this is how you make a profit. This difference between the price you purchase or manufacture the product and the price you sell it for is referred to as the profit margin. Another way of phrasing this is that the margin refers to a business’s revenue after paying the cost of goods sold . Higher gross margins for a manufacturer indicate greater efficiency in turning raw materials into income.

Retailers should use margin values when evaluating or forecasting the business’s overall profitability and setting a merchandise budget. In this post, we’ll discuss the differences between markup vs. margin, when to use them, and how to calculate them. Trade on margin refers to businesses borrowing money from brokerage firms to conduct trades. By trading and buying on margin, investors deposit cash as collateral for the margin loan they’re receiving and pay an interest rate on the borrowed money. Keep reading to learn more about what is margin, margin vs markup, how to calculate them, and how to convert numbers between the two. The good news is that margins and markups interact in a predictable way.

Calculating Margin

Because profit margin can vary widely from one season or year to another, it is important for a small business to keep track of its profit margin. Also don’t equate increased sales revenue with profitability. Margins help in determining the actual profits made on the sale. Markup is used to ensure that revenue is earned on each sale. Markup is good for understanding business and makes the user aware of the costs. Essentially, if you want to obtain a certain margin, you have to mark up a product cost by a percentage greater than the amount of the margin since the markup calculation is cost, not revenue.

Though markup is often used by operations or sales departments to set prices it often overstates the profitability of the transaction. Mathematically, markup is always a larger number when compared to the gross margin.

Are You Confusing Markups And Margins?

Having a markup on your products ensures that your business is making a profit with each sale and provides a way of quantifying that profit. However, markup looks at gross profit as a function of the cost of goods sold, rather than revenue. In addition, the gross margin is a useful indicator of how efficient the management of the company is in using supplies and labor in the production process.

As a result, it’s essential that your sales team understands the difference between margin and markup, how to calculate them both, and your business’s markup policies and margin goals. Calculating markup is similar to calculating margin and only requires the sales price of a product and the cost of the product.

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Looking at the examples above, 15% Margin Vs 15% Markup on a base rate of $100.00 – the difference in dollars and cents is quite stark so this decision is hugely critical for your business.

Instead, you should consider using different markups based on the characteristics of your products. There are some factors that you need to keep in mind before deciding the markup you will use on your products or services. Setting a price based on a specific target margin will not be effective if customers are not willing to pay that price. Once again, going with our previous example, we know that a 50% margin will give you a 100% markup.

Of course, profit margin and markup can both be calculated even if you’re using a manual accounting system, though your results may be less accurate. So, how do we determine the selling price given a desired gross margin? It’s all in the inverse…of the gross margin formula, that is. By simply dividing the cost of the product or service by the inverse of the gross margin equation, you will arrive at the selling price needed to achieve the desired gross margin percentage. Based on these calculations, how do we determine the selling price given a desired gross margin? The main difference between profit margin and markup is that margin is equal to sales minus the cost of goods sold , while markup is a product’s selling price minus its cost price. In accounting, the gross margin refers to sales minus cost of goods sold.


If the latter, it can be reported on a per-unit basis or on a per-period basis for a business. Knowledge is power and it’s important to know your actual and projected profit margins at all times. Margin is the difference between the sourcing price and the final selling price of the product. Understanding margin and markup also helps you to properly price your products.

Whether you buy your products in bulk, or if you buy them from different vendors at different prices. However, once you have a system in place to figure out the cost (a.k.a. cost of goods sold or your purchase price), you can use your cost to calculate your price. If you have low prices, then your markup percentage should be higher. Interestingly, the profit margin is higher for fast food and takeout than for full-service restaurants, demonstrating that more expensive pricing does not equate to higher profits.