Useful Sales English Vocabulary – 37 Most Important Words and Phrases Explained


Whether you are going shopping or working in an area of Sales, often the vocabulary is quite specific to what is being sold, however, there are many words which are universally used. Here is a list of general Sales English vocabulary explained.

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1. Sell (adjective)

To give a product in exchange for money.

  • Would you like to sell me your car?


The person who sold the product.

  • The seller told me he is asking $10,000 for the car.

2. Buy(adjective)/Purchase

The action of giving money to obtain/get a product.

  • I am going to buy a new car.
  • I will purchase more food tomorrow.


The person who paid to have the item/product.

  • When is the buyer coming to pick up the car?

3. Trade

To swap one thing for another, money is sometimes involved if the items are different in value.

  • I propose we trade your car for my truck.

4. Negotiate

A conversation where each person or side involved agrees to a specific price for an item.

  • Can we negotiate with the owner of the house?

5. Exchange

To exchange something means to swap one thing for another thing, or even the same thing, if it is the wrong size, color or, was faulty.

  • I incorrectly purchased the wrong size dress, can I please exchange it? I have not worn it.

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6. Return

To return something means to take it back to the seller and ask for an exchange or refund. Maybe the product was damaged, faulty or the buyer just changed their mind about it.

  • I would like to return this radio; it did not work when I tried to use it.

7. Refund

When the money used to buy something is returned to the buyer. Perhaps because the item didn’t work, or the buyer bought it by mistake.

  • I would like a refund for the radio.

8. Guarantee

A promise that something will do as described, or will be replaced, repaired in case the product does not do as described.

  • Our products come with a Lifetime Guarantee.

9. Warranty

A warranty is similar to a Guarantee, and these words are often used as synonyms for each other. However, a warranty typically comes with a set time limit.

  • The motor comes with a five-year replacement warranty.

10. Lowest Price

When used in advertising the seller is claiming to have a lower price on a product than anyone else.

  • We have the lowest prices guaranteed!

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11. Sales Tax

A small percentage added as a fee to the total price, paid by the buyer.

  • A 5% Sales tax is included in the price.

12. Inclusive

When any taxes or fees are included, or part of, the total price of the product.

  • All of our prices are inclusive of tax and service fees.

13. Exclusive

When any taxes or fees are not included in the price of the item being bought.

  • Prices shown are Tax exclusive.

14. Expensive

An adjective that describes the cost of something considered to be too much compared to similar items.

  • That meal was far too expensive for the amount of food they gave us!

15. Cheap/Bargain

An adjective that is the opposite of expensive, a product which costs less than similar items.

  • That car is cheap and in excellent condition.
  • Wow, that’s a bargain compared to everyone else’s prices!

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16. Sale

A specific period of time during which the items being sold have been reduced in price.

  • Everything is on sale until the end of the month.

17. Runout

Used to describe the sale of an older model or a product that will no longer be available.

  • We are having a winter runout sale on our heaters.

18. Backorder

When an order for a product has been placed, but it is no longer in stock.

  • Unfortunately, we no longer have the item in stock, and it is currently on backorder, we expect another shipment in two weeks.

19. Lease/Rental

An arrangement where regular payments are made to have and use an item for a set period.

  • My car is a lease only; I don’t own it.
  • We live in a rental.

20. Lay-by

Regular payments are made to slowly pay off the product before it can be taken home. It is interest-free which makes it better than buying using a loan or credit.

  • How long are your lay-by agreements?

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21. Paid-in-full

A phrase used to explain there is no more money owed or remaining to be paid for something.

  • The customer has paid-in-full for the Television and can pick it up at any time.

22. Payment Arrangement

An agreement between the buyer and seller about how payments will be made over a specified time until paid in full.

  • We have a two-year payment arrangement for the car.

23. Credit

When money has been ex

MOP – Method Of Payment

Usually used as a question to ask what the buyer will use to pay for the product being purchased.

  • What method of payment would you like to use to pay for the television?

24. Plastic or paper?

A slang way of describing the difference, and asking whether the customer will use a Credit Card or Cash to pay.

  • Would you like to use paper or plastic to pay?

25. Credit Card

A plastic card that gives the buyer access to an approved lin-of-credit by a financial institution, usually a bank.

  • Can I pay by credit card?

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26. Cash

The currency/money notes and coins, used to pay in exchange for a product, cash and coins come in different amounts.

  • I don’t have enough cash to buy the car today.

27. Check (American English)/Cheque (British English)

A check is a written note that directs the buyer’s financial institution to take a set amount of money from their account and pay it to the seller. The buyers account information and details are already printed onto the check in advance when given to him by the bank.

The buyer writes out to whom the money is to be paid, the amount, and then signs the check, it is then given to the seller who will take it to be processed by the financial institution.

  • Because it’s such a large sum of money can I pay by check?

28. Credit Note

A written note from a seller that gives credit to the person who has it. It can be used to pay for something up to the value written on it.

  • I have a credit note I would like to use to pay for the television.

29. Stock

The combined collection of products held by a store, either on display or stored in their store rooms.

  • I believe we have that model in stock, let me just check our storeroom for it.

30. Out-of-stock

When there is nothing left of that item or product.

  • Unfortunately, we are out-of-stock of the black iPhones, but we do have it in gold.

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31. Offer

To propose an amount as payment for an item that is negotiable.

  • We have received an offer of $95,000 for your house.

32. Sold

When an item has been paid for, or a binding contract has been made agreeing to a purchase amount of an item.

33. Sold-out

If a product is out-of-stock, and no longer available because everything has been sold, it has sold-out.

  • The concert tickets sold-out in seconds, that’s how popular this artist is.

34. Value

What something is worth to someone.

  • This car is worth $20,000 at the moment.
  • I will never sell this house; it is worth far more than money to me.

35. Equal Value

When two things have the same value or when some things put together have the same value of another thing.

  • You may choose a free item, equal or less in value, to what you have already purchased just now.

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36. Interest-free

If a product is bought using a line-of-credit, interest-free means no further interest charges are added to the remaining amount of money still to be paid.

37. Customer/Client

The customer or client is usually the buyer or the person using the services being offered.

  • I have a customer who wants to buy the latest model computer.

Often these words are used together in joined sentences; they explain in precise terms the details of a transaction and the conditions of a sale.

The key is to know what they mean to use them effectively. Some are deceptively similar and confuse even native English speakers, so if you are working in Sales, make sure you study up and know your sales vocabulary before trying it out on real customers.

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