I would like to know about any concept that group sales and purchases in a single word, I thought about transactions, is it correct?

I'm asking this because I'm naming a table of a database, both sales and purchases have the same columns (just 3 differ), and I want to unify them, so what should I name it?

NOTE: Maybe there's another concept, if so, please post it. "Transaction" is not necessarily the word I am trying to find.

  • 4
    Transaction is perfect
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 5:29

3 Answers 3


As Jim commented, the word transaction is perfect. But you could consider using trade which means the following:

the act or an instance of buying and selling goods and services either on the domestic (wholesale and retail) markets or on the international (import, export, and entrepôt) markets

[Collins Online Dictionary]


Transaction is both meaningful (with the appropriate meaning) in an everyday language sense and a very normal and well-understood term in computing. Unless there is some sort of conflict with other terms being used, there's no reason not to use it.


Every sale by a seller is a purchase by a buyer. The interaction is an exchange. Typically, money is exchanged for a good or a service. The buyer exchanges money for the good or service that is sold by the seller. The seller exchanges the good or service for the money.

  • I cannot imagine why the downvotes. Care to explain? AFAIK, exchange is precisely the economic term for a sale and purchase. All sales and purchases = all exchanges.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 18:39
  • The word transaction is much better. And in retail, the term exchange is already in use for the situation when a customer brings in an item they previously purchased but are dissatisfied with, and trades it in for a different item. If this is for a retail database, then exchange is the wrong word. Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 13:28
  • @PeterShor: I agree that in the world of retail merchandise exchange means only exchange of unwanted merchandise (also called a return, and essentially a reverse sale/purchase). But do we know that the question is limited to retail merchandise? In the wider world, transaction means all kinds of other things than a sale/purchase, and in the world of Economics, at least, exchange means sale/purchase - exchange of commodities, i.e., products for sale (exchange against money). Anyway, I understand the downvotes now - thanks.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 15:56

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