For example, let's say there's a business that has reels of wire rope, yarn, or chain. Or even tanks full of gasoline. In all of those cases, what is being sold is not the whole reel or tank, but measurable parts of it. Compare this with an off-the-shelf item that is just sold whole.

I'm looking for a term to use to refer to these items that are not sold whole. Is there such a term?

  • 1
    Maybe you could call them by the measure Items. Or just measured Items
    – Jim
    Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


Bulk goods is one way to describe items that are transported unpackaged in large quantities, which are typically bought in smaller, measured quantities. For example, in the Bulk Foods section of a grocery store, you'll find large containers of cereals, grains, granola, etc., from which shoppers fill a smaller container that is then priced by weight. Instead of buying a 1, 3, or 5 pound bag of rice by the unit, you can purchase any quantity by measure.

Most items I've seen described as bulk goods are typically sold by weight, so it might not be the best fit for rope or gasoline, which are sold by length and volume, respectively.

  • That could work, although your caveat really does apply to my situation where pretty much nothing is sold by weight.
    – Hassan
    Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 17:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.