I'm a software developer and for a store system I need to have two tabs in a menu. One tab for listing all the "sales" (a list of every time some items have been sold) and another tab for listing "sales" (periods of price reductions). I think you can see what my problem is here.

I'd prefer to use the term "sales" for the price reduction periods as it is referred to elsewhere in the system with that word. I cannot use "purchases" as that is already used for another tab listing items bought by the user looking at the application.

I need a word with the meaning 'items that the user have sold' but it cannot be "sales" and not "purchases".

I feel like this ambiguity must be a common problem but I can't find a good synonym. Any suggestions?

  • 2
    Sales ledger and purchase ledger are standard accounting terms. You should probably resolve your problem from the opposite end - call "periods of price reductions" discount events, promotions or some such. – FumbleFingers Jan 25 '15 at 17:05
  • @FumbleFingers Ok, that's a good point. I think I can find a way to call them "discount events" from the seller point of view without causing too much confusion. – user107401 Jan 25 '15 at 18:06
  • If you want to stick with your original plan, you could use transactions for the items being sold. But this word is usually used more generally, to include both purchases and sales. – Barmar Jan 26 '15 at 18:49
  • @barmar: also returns and exchanges – Brian Hitchcock Jan 27 '15 at 9:27

I agree with @FumbleFingers - it's probably clearer to call 'periods of price reduction' "Discount Events", or some variation thereof ("Special Events", "Discount Events", etc.) Another way to refer to 'items that are on sale' (i.e. reduced price) is to refer to the items as being 'on offer' - as in, "Usually these shoes are £100, but they are on offer for £50"

However, if 'sales' is already in common use in the application and is commonly understood by the user base to mean 'things that are reduced in price', you could refer to 'things that the user has sold' as "Completed Sales Transactions" ('completed transactions' would, to me, imply that I could see things I have both bought and sold, so unfortunately I can't see a way of getting around including the word 'sales' in there)

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I believe Promotions and Special Offers are the common terms for what you would like to call Sales.

Conversely, it's quite rare to encounter the term Sales as describing sold items. Most often, you will have Invoices to describe the sale transactions, and LineItems to enumerate the items included in an invoice.

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