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A lower price per unit a company charges in exchange for the purchase of a large number of units. For example, if the usual price for a product is $5 per unit and a buyer asks to purchase 10,000 units, the company may offer a quantity discount and only charge $3 per unit. Quantity discounts exist to encourage large orders, which, while they may reduce profit margin, increase revenue and therefore raw profit.
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quantity discounta price reduction from a supplier's LIST PRICE given to buyers of products according to the quantities that they purchase. Such BULK-BUYING discounts are often termed ‘trade discounts’, and they could be based on the size of a single order or could take the form of an AGGREGATED REBATE on the volume of cumulative purchases over a period of time. Quantity discounts are used both to secure orders against competitors and by encouraging larger, less frequent orders, to reduce the supplier's order and delivery cost.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson