You are currently viewing Margin vs. Markup: What’s The Difference And How To Calculate Them

Margin vs. Markup: What’s The Difference And How To Calculate Them

  • Post author:

Business owners frequently mix up markup with margin. After all, they both deal with sales, assist you in setting prices, and track productivity. However, there is a crucial distinction between these accounting terms that you must be aware of in order to set pricing that generates profits. In addition, you need to know the formulas for calculating margin vs markup. In this article, we’ll go over the difference between margin and markup, talk about margin vs markup calculation, and more. 

What’s the Difference Between Margin and Markup

Before we get into the difference between margin and markup, you must understand the following terms which are relevant to both margin and markup but in different ways:

  • Cost of goods sold (COGS) is the cost associated with producing your goods and offering your services. To determine COGS, add up the prices of materials and direct labor. 
  • Revenue is the money you make from selling goods and services. It is the top line of your profit and loss statement showing earnings before deductions.
  • Gross profit is the money you have left over after paying all of your costs for producing your goods and offering your services. Revenue minus COGS equals gross profit.

Both markup and margin are accounting terms used by businesses in the retail industry. Both terms analyze the same transaction and use the same inputs in the calculations, including the cost of goods sold (COGS) and sales revenue. However, they produce different results and provide different information. 

Simply put, a company’s margin will demonstrate the connection between gross profit and revenue, whereas the markup will demonstrate the connection between gross profit and COGS.

What is Markup?

The markup is closely tied to profit but is mainly concerned with pricing strategies for the products or services being offered. By definition, it is the price difference between an item’s cost and its retail price. It helps to calculate the revenue generated by a certain item.

The markup shows the profit of a company in relation to costs and plays a role in setting prices. Either a dollar amount or a percentage of the selling price can be used to express it. 

What is Margin?

Margin is essentially the amount of money made from the sale. It is a figure that is related to the company’s financial stability and profitability. Expressed as a percentage, the margin determines what portion of the entire income, or bottom line, can be regarded as a profit.

Margin vs. Markup: How Do They Work

Both markup and margin are crucial to a company’s profitability and, consequently, its financial stability. They relate closely even though they are independent calculations that should be handled individually.

In order for the business to be able to pay its overhead expenses and earn a profit, both the margin and the markup must be sufficiently high. Prices for the goods or services being sold are determined using factors such as markup and margin. If you want to achieve a specific profit margin for your company, you must mark up product expenses by a percentage that’s higher than the margin percentage.

Confusing these two terms can result in a lot of issues. It’s critical to understand the difference between margin and markup for the following reasons:

Inventory management optimization. Understanding your markups and margins is essential for calculating the reorder threshold, deciding how much safety stock to keep on hand, and projecting demand. Any error in your figures could result in a backlog of work for your fulfillment team or a warehouse full of dead stock.

Avoid disruption of supply and demand. Not knowing the difference between margin and markup can result in setting prices for your goods too high. Customers will be greatly put off by this, which can decrease demand for the products. Even worse, it can disturb the equilibrium between supply and demand along your entire supply chain.

Keep profit margins constant. A product’s markup is more than its margin, therefore if you unintentionally mark up the price depending on margin, you will be pricing things too low. Your margin will be substantially lower than expected and you will lose out on income. If you’ve raised costs like overhead expenses or established inventory KPIs based on inaccurate pricing, this might be very bad for your organization. It can also result in you selling out a product, frustrating customers who want to purchase it.

When Should Retailers Use Margin vs. Markup

So, the question is: if these two terms are so similar, how can we decide which one to use at a given time? 

Use the markup percentage to determine the appropriate selling price in order to make a specific profit. However, if you’re evaluating or forecasting your company’s overall performance and profitability, you should include margin values. To choose a reasonable margin value, you should consider a number of variables, such as supply chain, distribution, marketing, and competitor costs. By taking these aspects into account, you’ll be able to maximize your profit. 

Image by pressfoto on Freepik

Margin vs Markup Calculation

Lacking the knowledge of margin vs markup calculation can result in setting your prices too low or too high. That means lost sales, which leads to lost profits. Here are the basic formulas that will help in calculating margin vs markup. 

How to Calculate Markup

The only inputs needed to determine markup are the product’s cost and sales price. Calculating this amount can help you compete because some industries are notorious for having average markups that few enterprises depart from.

Use the following formula to determine markup:

Markup = ((Sales Price – Cost) / Cost) x 100

Retailers in the fashion industry shouldn’t just enter their costs into the aforementioned formula and act on the resulting number. Pricing methods are affected by many factors, and each one must be taken into consideration. The calculations above should be updated to account for variables like handling and storage expenses, product availability, seasonality, demand elasticity, added services, etc.

How to Calculate Margin 

To calculate your profit margin, start with your gross profit, which is the difference between revenue and COGS. Next, determine what proportion of the revenue is the gross profit. Divide your gross profit by your revenue to get this. Once you have multiplied the amount by 100, you will get the margin percentage.

Use the following formula to determine the margin:

Margin = ((Sales Price – Cost) / Sales Price) x 100

In order to determine the most accurate pricing for a product, the entire production or procurement process, including raw materials, must be taken into account. 

The Bottom Line

Both margin and markup help businesses in pricing decisions and profitability analysis. It’s crucial to understand the differences between the two, and be familiar with the formulas that will help you in calculating margin vs markup. 

The two metrics depict the same thing from different angles. While markup demonstrates the connection between profit and cost of goods sold, margin demonstrates the connection between profit and revenues.

Confusing these two terms can result in accounting and sales issues. Your products can end up being either overpriced or underpriced, which might reduce your revenues. Completely comprehending the two concepts solves this and allows you to determine whether you are properly pricing your products, along with establishing appropriate profit targets.