Price vs. Cost

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Price and Cost is that the Price is a quantity of payment or compensation given by one party to another in return for goods or services and Cost is a value of money that has been used up to produce something

  • Price

    A price is the quantity of payment or compensation given by one party to another in return for one unit of goods or services. A price is influenced by both production costs and demand for the product. A price may be determined by a monopolist or may be imposed on the firm by market conditions.

    In modern economies, prices are generally expressed in units of some form of currency. (For commodities, they are expressed as currency per unit weight of the commodity, e.g. euros per kilogram or Rands per KG.) Although prices could be quoted as quantities of other goods or services, this sort of barter exchange is rarely seen. Prices are sometimes quoted in terms of vouchers such as trading stamps and air miles. In some circumstances, cigarettes have been used as currency, for example in prisons, in times of hyperinflation, and in some places during World War II. In a black market economy, barter is also relatively common.

    In many financial transactions, it is customary to quote prices in other ways. The most obvious example is in pricing a loan, when the cost will be expressed as the percentage rate of interest. The total amount of interest payable depends upon credit risk, the loan amount and the period of the loan. Other examples can be found in pricing financial derivatives and other financial assets. For instance the price of inflation-linked government securities in several countries is quoted as the actual price divided by a factor representing inflation since the security was issued.

    “Price” sometimes refers to the quantity of payment requested by a seller of goods or services, rather than the eventual payment amount. This requested amount is often called the asking price or selling price, while the actual payment may be called the transaction price or traded price. Likewise, the bid price or buying price is the quantity of payment offered by a buyer of goods or services, although this meaning is more common in asset or financial markets than in consumer markets.

    Economic price theory asserts that in a free market economy the market price reflects interaction between supply and demand: the price is set so as to equate the quantity being supplied and that being demanded. In turn these quantities are determined by the marginal utility of the asset to different buyers and to different sellers. Supply and demand, and hence price, may be influenced by other factors, such as government subsidy or manipulation through industry collusion.

    When a commodity is for sale at multiple locations, the law of one price is generally believed to hold. This essentially states that the cost difference between the locations cannot be greater than that representing shipping, taxes, other distribution costs and more.

  • Cost

    In production, research, retail, and accounting, a cost is the value of money that has been used up to produce something or deliver a service, and hence is not available for use anymore. In business, the cost may be one of acquisition, in which case the amount of money expended to acquire it is counted as cost. In this case, money is the input that is gone in order to acquire the thing. This acquisition cost may be the sum of the cost of production as incurred by the original producer, and further costs of transaction as incurred by the acquirer over and above the price paid to the producer. Usually, the price also includes a mark-up for profit over the cost of production.

    More generalized in the field of economics, cost is a metric that is totaling up as a result of a process or as a differential for the result of a decision. Hence cost is the metric used in the standard modeling paradigm applied to economic processes.

    Costs (pl.) are often further described based on their timing or their applicability.

  • Price (noun)

    The cost required to gain possession of something.

  • Price (noun)

    The cost of an action or deed.

    “I paid a high price for my folly.”

  • Price (noun)

    Value; estimation; excellence; worth.

  • Price (verb)

    To determine the monetary value of (an item); to put a price on.

  • Price (verb)

    To pay the price of; to make reparation for.

  • Price (verb)

    To set a price on; to value; to prize.

  • Price (verb)

    To ask the price of.

    “to price eggs”

  • Cost (verb)

    To incur a charge; to require payment of a price.

    “This shirt cost $50, while this was cheaper at only $30.”

    “It will cost you a lot of money to take a trip around the world.”

  • Cost (verb)

    To cause something to be lost; to cause the expenditure or relinquishment of.

    “Trying to rescue the man from the burning building cost them their lives.”

  • Cost (verb)

    To require to be borne or suffered; to cause.

  • Cost (verb)

    To calculate or estimate a price.

    “I’d cost”’ the repair work at a few thousand.”

  • Cost (noun)

    Amount of money, time, etc. that is required or used.

    “The total cost of the new complex was an estimated $1.5 million.”

    “We have to cut costs if we want to avoid bankruptcy.”

    “The average cost of a new house is twice as much as it was 20 years ago.”

  • Cost (noun)

    A negative consequence or loss that occurs or is required to occur.

    “There were many costs to the development project, the least of all was the financial aspect.”

    “If you train all the time, there will be a few costs such as a lack of free time.”

  • Cost (noun)

    Manner; way; means; available course; contrivance.

  • Cost (noun)

    Quality; condition; property; value; worth; a wont or habit; disposition; nature; kind; characteristic.

  • Cost (noun)

    A rib; a side.

  • Cost (noun)

    A cottise.


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