Difference Between Sale and Discount (With Table)

Sale and Discount both nouns that may be used as synonyms but are different in a way. Sale has two major meanings as a word as opposed to Discount, which is mainly used as a way to express deduction. The first Sale is used to represent the process of exchange through monetization. And the other Sale is used when any materials are sold at a lower price than the original price. Discount is mainly used to describe any percentage reduction. 

Sale vs Discount  

The main difference between the two words is that Sale is used the company is selling their products salt a reduced price or when a person or a company is selling their products or services to customers. Discount, on the other hand, is used when the business or an individual sells their goods or assistance alternatively at a lower price. Generally, it means deduction of the rate that involved numerical numbers, like a 20% discount.  

The word Sale has basically two major meanings, first the exchange of goods and services in exchange for money done between the customer and the seller. The other one, TI, is used to represent the price markdown (reduced price on goods) on the products. It has different reasons for its markdown: Storage for the new collection, promotional PR stunt, to attract new customers, and anything from which the store can profit. 

Discount basically means when the good or service is sold at a lower price than the original set price. Why? Because the materials either get old or they are given to regular customers. For example, a 15% off during the dressing of any hair treatment at a salon. Discount can mean a small amount of reduction like 5% or 7% off the whole goods. While Sale generally means a larger amount like “Sale of buy two and get one free.” Or “Sale: Flat 50% Off”. 

Comparison Table Between Sale and Discount  

Parameters of Comparison 



Word Origin

Old English word Sala 

French word Desconter 

Mostly used for 

To use in any reduction than the original price and selling goods/services for money exchange. 

To sell the good at a numerical percentage reduced from the original price.


Other meanings 

Selling goods/services.  

To disregard anybody 

Other word 

Cut-rate Sale 


What is Sale?  

The name “Sale” came from the old English word “Sala”, which has come through its German roots. It first appeared in 1866 as the meaning of selling goods at a reduced rate than the real price point. Sale is a bigger term if it to be compared with Discount. One won’t ever hear about a Sale that only offers a small number of discounts or reductions of the prices like 5 or 10 per cent. 

A Sale affects the whole store as they have to be prepared for it before days and sometimes even months as Sale is something that customers wait for months to come and expect from the store on any occasion. A big example would be the yearly “Black Friday Sale” that comes after Thanksgiving and holds a huge number of items on a big Sale. 

What is Discount?  

The word Discount came from the French word Desconter and has been in the commercial use of meaning to deduct the price from the original price from 1977. It is used when the seller is selling their good at a discounted price which is less than the previously produced price. There can be several reasons for this, but the most used reason is that the good is getting old. It not only means this but is also a regular discount for workers of the store.

The other meaning of Discount is to disregard somebody. The reduction Discount doesn’t affect the duties of the employees as it is something that is smaller in comparison with Sale and can be even a small regular part of the store where usually, the items are regularly sold on a discounted price.

Main Differences Between Sale and Discount  

  1. A Sale is generally a larger occasion for a store for it to be selling its markdown products, the stores pay a lot more attention in even making them, like creating Bulletin boards, sending emails to casual customers while Discount is a smaller term, there is not much preparation while selling goods at a Discount.  
  2. A Discount is always given as a numerical number. A sale, on the other hand, can be given as “offers” as well. For example: “Buy 1, get one free.” 
  3. A store generally put on “Sales” in a particular time period during a year to bring in new customers due to reduced prices while also clearing their old stocks. For example, “New Year‘s Sale”. As opposed to, Discount can happen when the store just wants to get rid of old materials.  
  4. Sale is an equal amount of reduction that everybody starting from the worker to any new customer is the same. On the other hand, Discounts can be given to in-house employees, friends, and family of workers, managers, etc., working in the place of selling goods or services. Like, “extra 10% Discount the whole bill as the family and friends discount.” 
  5. Extra Discount can be valid on most of the processes in Sale. A little example: Getting an extra 5% Discount using the store’s reward card. No extra amount of “Sale” can be there on any discounted item.  
  6. The word Discount can also be used in any non-sale item or process as well. For instance: People above 65 get discounted on the tickets for travelling in Railways. Sale is used only in the selling of goods. 


Both Sale and Discount are used for the main purpose of selling the “markdown” of their store, that is, the selling of products at a reduced price that is smaller than the original Sale price. Sale, on the other hand, some extra work as well that the company uses it for. Like: Being a promotional technique, attracting new customers but the word Discount also has other use as the use of reducing the amount for employees or regular customers.

Both the terms might be used each other, but there are significant points that make them different, especially to the crew of the store. They are used as ways to deduct the price from the original sale price.  


  1. http://jos.unsoed.ac.id/index.php/jame/article/view/3092 
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1509/jmr.16.0599