Say a shop sells eggs only in packs of 12 or paper clips only in packs of 100. How do you refer to that number in general?

I thought sales unit or selling unit might be the right terms, but those seem to refer to the shop/outlet/person selling an item.

  • Package quantity?
    – deadrat
    Aug 25, 2015 at 9:17
  • Minimum saleable units.
    – user66974
    Aug 25, 2015 at 9:21
  • @deadrat : would you say "package quantity" works if items aren't physically packaged or sold in bags for example? Aug 25, 2015 at 9:40
  • The only place I've seen items sold loose but not by-the-each is at Costco, where, for example, loaves of bread are priced by the pair, mix or match—you grab a bag and "package" your pair of loaves. I don't think they can ring up the sale if you don't use the bag—it has the barcode on it. Even if you didn't package them, though, it's still a package deal. As for deals such as "corn 5 ears for $1", you are not obligated to buy that many. Aug 25, 2015 at 10:01
  • @JohannesBauer I was misled by the word "pack." No, "package quantify" requires a package.
    – deadrat
    Aug 25, 2015 at 17:56

4 Answers 4


lot size or lot quantity:

a measure or quantity increment acceptable to, or specified by, the party offering to buy or sell

Source: Business Dictionary


I think you already have the word in your question - a pack or package. A sales rep would say e.g. "Do you want a pack or are you buying individually"? or "I can give you a package discount, but I can't do that price if I have to break the pack".

  • My feeling is that you can't refer directly to a number as a 'pack.' Or would you say something like "the pack for light bulbs is six, but the pack for toilet paper rolls is eight?" Aug 25, 2015 at 12:07
  • @JohannesBauer, yes, that's what I'd say (almost): e.g. "Our toilet rolls are sold in packs of 4, 8 or 16"; "I'd like you to get me a pack of 6 light bulbs please"; and there is the well-known "6-pack" of beer.
    – IanS
    Aug 26, 2015 at 12:05

quantity per

The number of individual units of a given SKU number that are required to make up a larger unit. For example, a given item might have a quantity per box of 10 individual units for sales purposes.

From: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/quantity-per.html#ixzz3jskzJd3N

  • Good term (albeit not pretty, linguistically). Accepting lot size because it seems more specifically applicable. Aug 27, 2015 at 6:30

I would call it a

minimum purchase quantity

This conveys what I think you meant, regardless whether the product is in one package, or several, or none—it even works for non-countable product (for instance, a minimum one-pound purchase of bulk flour) or for a not-counted product (e.g., a quarter-pound of jellybeans)

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