I have a table called purchases and it stores details about purchases of items in a store. One of these details is the amount of money that were payed for items. How should I call this detail (or table field) in one word? I've been thinking about the following options: purchase price/cost/worth/value.
If the column is to store a cumulative total for several items purchased
subtotal would be better.
If its the amount for a single item, and stores the amount paid by the customer,
price would be preferable.
If its the amount for a single item, and reflects how much it costs for you to supply the item,
cost would be preferable.
In case it isn't clear, in retail there is a distinction between the
price the customer pays and the
cost of the item to the business.
Also factor in that it is common to store amounts net of VAT/Sales Tax, so your columns might be
NetCost or similar.
And for completeness,
value are ambiguous/inexact/subjective terms, that you wouldn't usually use in such a situation.
Price and cost are the ones you should use, the others are too general and can refer to things that are not necessary money-related.
EDIT: Of course, also cost can refer to something "external" (E.G. I will do it at all costs), but still it is less polysemous than the other ones.
"Price" is even less polysemous than "cost". So it's up to you about whether choosing the first or the second.
Perhaps 'price' is the term you are looking for in this seller-oriented table view, but the other terms seem even more interesting from the seller's and the buyer's POV (POVs? P'sOV? PsOV?). Just to
dilate percolate endlessly:
Item: Normal-type cup of coffee
Merchant: Mobil station at the corner
Time of Day: 0700
Cost: $ .10 (to the merchant)
Price: $ 1.50 (to the buyer)
Worth: $ .50 (realistic retail: merchant cost X markup percent)
Value: $10.00 (to the buyer)
You'd think I had better things to do. You would be right! Hey! Coffee's ready.
EDIT: The staff has/have bean grinding the table finer and discovers/discover a calculus of value with independent variable time-of-day; and of price that depends upon merchant.
Price and Cost are the correct terms to use, but you need to be careful with how they are used, especially if you are referring to accounting terminology. In this case I would pick PRICE (or Sales Price) The actual cost to you for selling those items is completely different (hopefully less) and would refer to the Cost of Sales.
Cost would normally be used to indicate how much an item has cost you or what it has cost a purchaser. Price relates to the selling price or standard list price.
Probably off topic to get into the realms of accounting - but be very careful not to mix price and cost if your target audience is an accountant or a logistician