I have a question regarding terms for trade and commerce. What is the antonym of 'consignment sale'? On consignment sale basis, sellers just keep the goods and pay manufacturers or suppliers only when it is sold. Until it sells, the goods is owned by manufacturers or suppliers. So the sellers have no risk about the stock.

But if sellers buy goods from manufacturers or suppliers at the time of purchasing and the goods is delivered to sellers and owned by the sellers from that time on, what is this called?

  • The OP needed a word to describe a sales situation in which the goods provided would not be returnable as opposed to the goods being provided on consignment. (Consignment terms are, in fact, extremely common in retail business.) However, the OP was looking for a more elegant and concise way of describing that situation than the clunky "non-consignment," as was I. This could be a rare legitimate opportunity to coin a term or portmanteau! – user150541 Dec 7 '15 at 19:38

Sounds to me like 'retail.'

The initial sale by the manufacturer to the seller is 'wholesale.'

  • I believe consignment can be at wholesale or [close to if not at] retail levels. It's not he most typical, but it exists. Avon, Amway, and Kirby vacuums' sales models come to mind. – JoelAZ Jan 16 '15 at 5:24
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    Re-sale, perhaps? – Coty Johnathan Saxman Jan 16 '15 at 5:30
  • Resale really just means buying for the purpose of selling again (ie reselling). It doesn't really make any implication about how it gets paid for, which is what consignment deals with - the payment arrangement. – JoelAZ Jan 16 '15 at 5:57
  • @JoelAZ Agreed. Consignment sales would almost certainly be for resale, but non-consignment sales may be for resale or for personal use. And either type may be for "retail" or "wholesale". – Mark Thompson Jan 16 '15 at 9:58

I don't think there is any common business term for this type of sale, as consignments are relatively rare in the business world so it generally is not necessary to describe those sales which are not consignment.

Still, if you need a term for your purpose to intentionally draw a distinction (that is, you need to use a term which clearly excludes consignment sales), then I would call a non-consignment sale an invoiced sale, which is to say a sale where the seller has issued an invoice to the purchaser. Invoices list items and quantities and describe payment terms, which may be C.O.D., credit terms, or some other arrangement such as barter, but invoices cannot be issued for consignments as there is no known quantity of the product being sold, and hence no way to possibly know the amount of money owed to the seller yet. With consignments, it is possible to issue pro forma invoices, but such documents do not request any payment.

I think that business people who are familiar with consignments would understand a term like "invoiced sales" to exclude consignments, while those who are not would consider it equivalent to "completed sales", which is a reasonable approximation of the meaning (essentially, a consignment is an as-yet-uncompleted sale).


I think the direct opposite of consignment would be C.O.D. ( cash on delivery) or cash in advance.

Be it retail, wholesale or any other level of distribution - at wholesale they call it "terms" (net 30 or net 60 for example) or "credit" but in essence it's the same as consignment.

  • No, "terms" and "credit" are not the same as consignment. They are essentially the same as COD, but have an extra payment clause. The purchaser of the goods owes the seller the money immediately upon receipt of the goods, even if they may end up paying for them later. In consignment, the goods are still owned by the seller unless/until paid for by the buyer, and must be returned upon demand. – Mark Thompson Jan 16 '15 at 9:31
  • @MarkThompson - yes you are technically correct. Maybe I should have been clearer - they are the same in that no monies are exchanged at the time of receiving the products/goods. But yes, technically w/ terms you are taking ownership whereas consignment ownership doesn't transfer yet. Good call. – JoelAZ Jan 16 '15 at 9:45

I am repeating this again. And again.

I would like to spoil your fun, but your concept has too many degrees of freedom. A concept is able to resolve an antonym if and only if it has two and only two degrees of freedom.

You question is like asking

  • What is the antonym of 7? Degrees of freedom = infinite.
  • What is the antonym of bottle? Degrees of freedom = set of {bottle, jar, bowl, jug, glass, ... }
  • What is the antonym of computer?

Also, for example, bottle is a member of more than one type of classification.

In order to allow a concept to have antonyms, you need to define constraints until you squeeze the degrees of freedom to 2.

Therefore and otherwise,

  • the antonym of bottle is not-bottle
  • the antonym of seven is not-seven.
  • the antonym of consignment sale is non-consignment sale.

What's the antonym of "stage name"? .

  • I'm sorry that voting me down does not relegate the truth of the situation. – Blessed Geek Jan 16 '15 at 8:09
  • Actually I'm voting this up. At first I couldn't understand it and dismissed it as rambling but after a few reads I get the point and I think I agree. I'm leaning towards this being the right answer even. – JoelAZ Jan 16 '15 at 9:47
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    I didn't downvote it (yet), but I don't think this is a valid complaint here. Consignment is a boolean property of a sale, not a value on a continuum or a single object amongst many. I believe the OP is asking if there is a word to describe not-consignment, which is a valid question. Boolean properties can certainly have antonyms (e.g. "What is the antonym of 'foreign'?"), even if in some cases there is no single word to describe it other than "non-property". "Consignment" is absolutely not the same type of thing as "seven". – Mark Thompson Jan 16 '15 at 9:54
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    @oerkelens But Blessed Geek's entire argument is that "consignment" is not boolean. You seem to admit that it is, undercutting his argument. The apparent fact that no antonym exists does not mean one cannot exist; the business world could certainly choose to adopt some term to mean "non-consignment" (e.g. "invoiced") if it wished. Its antonym may even exist, and just not be known to you or me. Consider, for example, "bulk sale". What is the antonym of "bulk"? Is it impossible for one to exist? After all, isn't "bulk" the same as "seven", according to the Geek? – Mark Thompson Jan 16 '15 at 10:35
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    I disagree with your first point about degrees of freedom. a word can have many concepts and therefore lie on many dimensions, and on each of these dimensions have an antonym or opposite or something corresponding to a bit-flip. – Mitch Mar 17 '15 at 12:49

The word you are looking for is "sale". Buying something to resell is buying it. Plain and simple. "Consignment" qualifies the word sale to signal a special arrangement.

Consignment sale is actually not a sale in the proper sense of the term, since title does not pass until a third party pays for the goods. The consignee holds title momentarily to interrupt the chain of title just long enough to create various economic and legal effects, such as collect transaction costs, interrupt chain of liability, attach tax jurisdiction to the sale etc.

There is no antonym to a consignment sale. A reverse of a consignment sale is a return.

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