Margin vs. Markup

Margin vs. Markup

Pricing is typically the most difficult aspect of sustaining brand popularity and encouraging consumption. Margin and markup are two frequent pricing mechanisms used by businesses. However, most people seem to believe they are pricing the items based on the targeted margin when, in fact, they are applying markup. There is a substantial distinction strategy as well as how they affect the bottom line.

Check out the Comparison Table

What is Margin?

Margin means the change between income and expenditures in company accounts, where firms commonly measure their three types of profit margins. Management and shareholders regularly monitor these margins as even minor changes in any of them might signal the start of continuing losses.


As previously said, the theory has several variations, which are given below-

Gross Profit Margin

The gross margin is the difference between revenues and the fixed cost and adjustable cost of goods sold. It depicts the impact of price adjustments, purchase concessions and cancellations, and product prices.

Gross Profit Margin = [(Net sales – COGS) / Net sales] x 100                       

Operating Profit Margin

Total revenue less the cost of goods sold as well as all operational expenditures equal operating margin. It represents the earnings of a company's primary operating activity.

Operating Profit Margin = (Operating income / Revenue) x 100                      

Net Profit margin

In income report valuation, the net profit margin is the last profit margin indicator. It computes a company’s financial performance as a proportion of total revenues.

Net Profit Margin = (Net income / Revenue) x 100

What is Markup?

The discrepancy between the price of an item, service, or financial product and its present sale price is referred to as the markup. It is the consequence of deducting the sales price from the cost.

Understanding Markup

The net profit of a sale can also be characterized as a mark-up; however, the phrase is commonly used in distinct situations. The shop adds an item markup to generate income on the purchase. This mark-up can either be calculated as a percentage of a selling price or a percent of the expenditure.

This phrase is being used in the capital markets to represent the variation between the listing price, which really is an amount supplied to marketplace dealers, as well as the ultimate price paid by the client for the asset; it is a generic phrase used amongst market players such as distributors or brokers.


This fundamental principle may be expressed in the following markup vs. margin method:

Margin / Cost of Goods = Markup Percentage

For instance, if you wish to generate a profit margin of $7 on an item with the cost of $11, you may enter the following figures into the equation to get the markup percentage:

$7 Margin ÷ $Cost = 62.5% Markup Percentage

When presenting the values in percentage, you may also utilize these profit margin vs. markup formulas.

Profit margin percentage =

[(Sale price – Cost price) / Sale Price] x 100

Markup percentage =

[(Sale price – Cost price) / Cost Price] x 100

Key Difference Between Margin and Markup

The key distinction between margin and markup is that margin relates to revenues minus COGS, whereas markup represents the amount by which an item's cost price is raised to decide the price for a product.

Misunderstanding between margin and markup can cause selling things at significantly too high or cheap rates which leads to a loss in sales or earnings.

Comparison Table





The margin is the profit made as a rate of total sales. 

The markup is the rate by which the item's cost is raised to determine the sales price.


(Selling price – Cost price) / Selling Price

(Selling price – Cost price) / Cost price

Definition of a Formula

The profit margin is described as the variation between the sales price and the revenue. Margin can refer to gross or net profit margin.

The markup is the relative change between both the product's charge and sale prices.


The utilization of margins rises as the firm grows and matures. Margins are useful in calculating the real money generated on a sale.

The usage of markup ensures that income is collected on every sale. Markup aids in commercial comprehension and makes customers informed of the charges.

Mathematical foundation

The foundation for calculating margins is either income or pricing.

The foundation for calculating markup is cost.


Always keep the margins smaller than your markup.

Always have a greater markup than a lower margin.


calculated from the seller's point of view.

calculated from the purchaser's point of view.


If you divide 1 by markup  value and then minus the value from 1, that will be equal to marginal value

If you subtract gross margin from 1 and then use the value to divide 1, that will be equal to the Markup value

Practical Example

Margin is the difference between the sales price and the cost of goods sold. For instance, if a product is available for $150 and costs $70 to produce, the profit margin is $80. The margin percentage is 53.33% when expressed as a percentage.

A markup is a degree through which a product's cost is raised to define its sales price. A $30 markup on such a commodity with only a $90 cost results in a $120 sale value. The markup percentage is 33.33% when expressed as a percentage.

How to Avoid Errors in Margin and Markup?

  • To estimate sales, use a pricing scheme or price instrument. Allow the application to compute both percentages.
  • Connect the gross margin rate per sales transaction to the accounting records. 
  • Arrange the financial information to evaluate the gross margin proportion to sales quotations. 
  • By focusing on the gross margin rate rather than the markup rate, you may add an extra 2 - 3 % income towards the bottom line!

Making a distinction between a markup and a margin aids in setting objectives. If you decide how much revenue you would like to make, use the margin vs. markup calculations to determine your rates properly.


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