I'm programming a simple software to manage products, buyers/sellers and sales/purchases orders.

A product is simply a product, but what is the english word that refers to both the categories of buyers and sellers (or customers and suppliers)?

I just cannot find the correct term (if it exists), not even in my own language.

Some options I thought would be: ThirdParty, Person, Company. And finally, given the correct word, when I want to state if the ThirdParty is a buyer or a seller, what is it? A type?

I hope my question is clear and pertinent to english.stackexchange. Thank you.

  • Sales/purchases could be 'transactions'. You've got two questions here, could you split? Sep 9, 2020 at 20:09
  • Welcome to ELU. I would strongly recommend re-writing this question along strictly English-language lines. At the moment, it may have rather too much of the "variable naming" aspect which is explicitly off-topic — because your table could be called Susan and it would work just as well. Also, as with other SE sites, please do restrict a question to just one thing, as that will make it easier for you to accept just the right answer.
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 9, 2020 at 21:02
  • 1
    See the commercial transaction frame model here, for instance. Sep 9, 2020 at 23:29
  • I edited the question. Sep 10, 2020 at 5:42
  • Why "third party" and not just "party"?
    – nnnnnn
    Nov 6, 2021 at 2:56

3 Answers 3


I usually refer to them as "the parties". That's how they are often mentioned in legal contracts.

Depending on your application, you could call them "traders" or even "merchants".

If you are building a platform where some people buy what others sell, you could call them just "users".


Because for times like these, when a word is not readily available, I will create a word. I author various works and have no compunction about creating a word.

Purists on this exchange typically chastise me. Let them.

Since what you describe are exchangers of commerce, I would call it


  • I'm not a purist, but why invent a word when other words already do exist for this situation? How is connmerciant better than trader?
    – nnnnnn
    Nov 4, 2021 at 21:46
  • Trader is overloaded, and invokes either a frontiersman or those who deal in the stock market. Also, my word is more inclusive in that it also represents everyone along the supply chain, such as the producers, distributors, etc. Nov 5, 2021 at 2:21
  • @nnnnnn and you misspelled my word. Nov 5, 2021 at 2:23
  • I think my spelling is correct. I'm happy to be corrected if you can link to a dictionary entry.
    – nnnnnn
    Nov 5, 2021 at 9:41
  • The root of commerciant is commerce. C-O-N-N-M- makes no sense. Obviously you won't find it in a dictionary. You clearly aren't paying attention. Nov 5, 2021 at 11:01

A trader is matched with a counterparty.

It’s a word we typically see in the context of risk management, where the money and the goods change hands at different times, but that’s true of most transactions.


  • Counterparty cannot exist without a dependence. OP is abstracting entities for data organization. If Counterparty were to be used, there would need to be data linkage to another entity for each one. Nov 5, 2021 at 19:18
  • (and that's bad data design) Nov 5, 2021 at 19:27
  • It’s possible to reason about classes without instances. A counterparty instance ultimately has to exist as part of a pair, just as a parent-child relationship requires both components. However, we talk quite easily about human parents without referencing their children, and vice versa. The existence or non-existence of relationships is not a problem for the educational software architect. If you’re re-architecting the U.S. Social Security system, a strict nomenclature is useful, but the OP is talking about “simple software” here.
    – user205876
    Nov 5, 2021 at 21:35

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