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Retail Markup For A Variety Of Products

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This might have been the most difficult Page that I have researched.  There are no sites that give you nice lists and many of them were clearly written by folks that were guessing.  There is a lot of variability in wholesale to retail markup (I spent 18 years selling stuff so I have some experience in this area). 

The numbers below represent how much the retailer marks up merchandise from what they paid their distributor or manufacturer.  For example, I have a friend who owns three jewelry store and, on average, they mark stuff up 300%.  Car dealerships have a small markup but they also typically get 3% to 5% holdbacks after the car is sold. 

So, please keep in mind that these numbers are averages and that there is plenty of variability.  In general, I am talking about brand names and not off-brands.  I tried to find at least two sources for each category and in many cases I found three.

If you work within an industry please leave a comment that sheds more light on the markup practices within that industry.  I would like to keep this page as a work-in-progress so if you have good information about a market segment I will add it the page and include your name as the source.

Clothing 50% to 350%

Cars 10% to 16%

Jewelry 100% to 300%

Wine (restaurant) 300%

Snacks (movies) 300%

OTC brand name meds Up to 3,000%

College textbooks 40%

Cosmetics 50%

Computers 40%

Furniture 200% to 400%

Shoes 200% to 300%

Large appliances 10% to 15%

Mattresses 300% to 500%

Luxury handbags 200% to 300%

Meat 60%

Cereal 40% to 50%

AA batteries 70%

Magazines (from rack) 90% to 100%

Flooring 40% to 100%

Again, please leave comments that help folks further understand how markups work.  The more we understand these models the better we can negotiate prices.

Costume jewelry Up to 800%  (lilywow)

erick99 posted Jun 08, 2012

I've worked for two flooring stores and carpet was marked up an average of 40%, ceramic tile about 50%, and hardwood was around 35% or so though premium wood could be 100%. Your 40% figure is a good working number, though. Nice list and thanks for the research!!!

Jameson99 (rep: 19) posted Jun 08, 2012


Thanks jameson99. My dad sold flooring & furniture as a retirement career so he was one of my sources. I sold computers for a long time and I briefly did some web work for two car dealership so got a little inside info from them.

erick99 (rep: 433k) posted Jun 08, 2012


I've sold Costume Jewelry before and the average markup is about 800% and up. I never buy costume jewelry at retail LOL. I imagine Luxury handbags would be more than 300%. For example a Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci etc. Their marketing and overhead expenses eat up most of their cost (Models, Print Ads, TV ads)

lilywow (rep: 8.7k) posted Jun 09, 2012


Thanks, lily, I added it to the Page.

erick99 (rep: 433k) posted Jun 09, 2012


It's funny that people are more willing to pay a huge markup on theatre snacks compared to jewelry which will endure... Guess which I would rather spend on, lol :)

dealwagger (rep: 10.3k) posted Jun 12, 2012