top of page

Wholesale Jargon - what does it mean

Updated: May 11, 2023

A guide to Wholesale jargon

In this blog post we'll be looking to explain the most commonly used wholesale jargon.

Throughout your journey, you will come across lots of expressions, abbreviations, and words that might be unfamiliar at first. To help demystify them I've decided to compile a list below, I will be adding to this as and when as needed.

  • Recommended Retail Price - RRP - the price you as the seller recommends that your product will be sold at, remember, this is just a recommendation and you can not decide what the retailer should retail your product at.

  • Terms and Condition - T&C's - usually this refers to your payment terms, the industry standard for the home & gift industry is 30 day's net but some larger retailers demand longer payment terms.

  • Payment terms - usually 30 days net for UK orders.

  • End of Month - EOM - also a payment term, for example, 30 days EOM would mean that you get paid at the end of the month after 30 days, if you invoiced a company on the 15th of November the invoice would fall due on the 31st December.

  • Settlement discount - some larger retailers demand that they get a 5-10% settlement discount when they pay their invoice on time, this is really tricky for small businesses and it's something you need to know before quoting a larger retailer but they often forget to mention this. Get around it by asking for their T&C's, delivery, and labeling requirements before quoting them anything as it's difficult to change the price further into the negotiations.

  • Proforma - payment to be received before the goods are shipped, normally your first order to a new stockist will be on proforma and I would recommend that all international orders are on proforma.

  • Carriage paid - a set amount where if reached you will offer free carriage, this is often higher than the minimum order amount. I would recommend that you do offer a carriage paid amount as pretty much every buyer I know hates to pay for carriage.

  • Minimum order - the minimum a buyer would have to order for you to pick, pack, and send their order.

  • Pack size - the minimum a buyer needs to buy of one particular product.

  • Minimum Order Quantity - MOQ - generally used mostly by larger retailers, essentially it's the same as the minimum order but usually refers to one product.

  • Buyer’s Pack - would include your catalogue, order form, or price list and terms and conditions.

  • Line Sheet – no-frills version of your wholesale catalogue, prices, terms and conditions, pack sizes, etc. Can also be called your order form or your price list.

  • Sales agent - a commission-based sales representative for a certain geographical area. Usually represent several brands and sell to independent shops, garden centres, museums, and department stores.

  • Point of Sale - POS - this is usually something that will help sell your products, often it's a sign with the story of your brand or a display unit for your products.

  • Counter Display Unit - CDU - A display stand for your products, usually holds a number of products and sits on a counter.

  • Floor Standing Display Unit - FSD Unit - A taller display stand for your products that sits on the shop floor.

  • Stock Keeping Unit - SKU - refers to a product, larger companies assign each item a SKU number/code for their stock management system.

  • ISBN/EAN - The most commonly used barcode system. If you're going to be selling to shops it's advisable that you assign each product its own unique barcode as even smaller shops have a stock management system nowadays. You will need to bulk buy your barcode numbers.

  • POS system - Point of Sale system, (not the same as the POS above), usually the till and stock management system all in one nowadays.

  • Quantity - QTY

  • Lead Time - LT - The time it will take you to send and deliver an order.

  • Cost price - CP - the cost to the retailer.

  • Spring/Summer - SS - usually followed by the year, for example, SS21 = Spring/Summer 2021.

  • Autumn/Winter - AW.

  • Quarter 4 - Q4 - The last quarter of the year, you might also hear Q1, Q2, Q3, etc.

  • Golden Quarter - Again refers to the last quarter of the year, this is usually when the shops are the busiest and take the most amount of revenue.

So, there you have it! Wholesale jargon explained. If I missed any please get in touch and I'll add them in.

If you're interested in working with me, send me a message to discover how I can help you. If you have any feedback or any topic you would like me to cover please also get in touch. I also share tips every week on my Instagram account.

Sign up to my newsletter to get 15% off my ebook to get you started with wholesale and monthly downloads to help you grow your business. Lastly, if you know of anyone who would like to start to wholesale or are struggling to grow their business please share my details with them. As a small start-up business, this really does makes all the difference and I really appreciate it.


bottom of page