Difference between Buying and Selling

Key Difference: Buying and selling are two terms that are often used relatively. Buying is the acquisition of an object in exchange of money, whereas selling is acquiring money, in exchange of relinquishing all claims of ownership from an object.

Buying and selling are two terms that are often used relatively; when ever there is talk to buying, there is talk of selling. Buying and selling are two sides of a same coin; when one sells something, someone else is buying it. However, let us look at the actual definitions of buying and selling:

Dictionary.com defines buy as:

  • To acquire the possession of, or the right to, by paying or promising to pay an equivalent, especially in money; purchase.
  • To acquire by exchange or concession: to buy favor with flattery.
  • To hire or obtain the services of: The Yankees bought a new center fielder.
  • To bribe: Most public officials cannot be bought.
  • To be the monetary or purchasing equivalent of: Ten dollars buys less than it used to.

Whereas, sell is defined as:

  • To transfer (goods) to or render (services) for another in exchange for money; dispose of to a purchaser for a price: He sold the car to me for $1000.
  • To deal in; keep or offer for sale: He sells insurance. This store sells my favorite brand.
  • To make a sale or offer for sale to: He'll sell me the car for $1000.
  • To persuade or induce (someone) to buy something: The salesman sold me on a more expensive model than I wanted.
  • To persuade or induce someone to buy (something): The clerk really sold the shoes to me by flattery.
  • To make sales of: The hot record sold a million copies this month.
  • To cause to be accepted, especially generally or widely: to sell an idea to the public.
  • To cause or persuade to accept; convince: to sell the voters on a candidate.
  • To accept a price for or make a profit of (something not a proper object for such action): to sell one's soul for political power.

The main difference between buying and selling is that buying is the acquisition of an object in exchange of money, whereas selling is acquiring money, in exchange of relinquishing all claims of ownership from an object.

For example:

Mary sells John her car. Mary gives John her car, and takes money from John. John, on the other hand, gives money to Mary and takes her car. The car now belongs to John, as he has paid money for it, i.e. John bought the car from Mary.

These terms are also often used in context of buying and selling a car. However, before buying a car, one must ensure that the car is in good running and that is worth the money that the seller is asking. The best way to ensure this is to get the car appraised by a professional.

Comparison between Buying and Selling:

 

Buying

Selling

Definition

Buying is to obtain something in exchange for money or goods.

Selling is giving up something in exchange for money or goods.

Type

Verb

Verb

Example:

  • Jack usually buys his groceries on Saturdays.
  • The Smiths are buying a new house.
  • We need to buy a new car.
  • The store was having a sale, we bought many items.
  • I need to buy the books for this semester.
  • June sold her new car. It was barely used.
  • Mary told me, she is planning on selling her house.
  • I am having a yard sale. I am selling all the junk I have lying around the house.
  • John is going to sell his books from last semester.

Image Courtesy: alainexpat.com, iphonesamurai.com

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