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Buying Tips
8 min read

The Ultimate Buyer and Seller Acronyms Dictionary - Part I

Acronyms and abbreviations have taken over the world, in particular when shopping or selling online. Here's a list of acronyms you should know about.
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Published on
November 22, 2023

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Acronyms and abbreviations have essentially taken over the social media and online shopping world, forever transforming the meaning of how we are seen among the sea of millions of new terms. Like these little former pound signs, acronyms play a very similar role in the world of online shopping – mostly on platforms such as eBay, Poshmark Tradesy, Amazon and more.

Some acronyms you’ll use in direct communication with a buyer or seller, while some are just impertinent to know in case you come across them on your online purchasing or listing journeys. But don’t panic if you’re unsure how to navigate the deep pool of what seems like endless wordplay—below, we’ve created the ultimate tome of acronyms and their meanings to have you ciphering the ecommerce universe in no time.


Meaning: Buy One, Get One


A favorite among buyers, this acronym is probably the most eye-catching of all. Whether you’re offering something BOGO free, or a percentage off, you can be sure to make serious sales while bringing in tons of potential shoppers with this one.


Meaning: One Of A Kind


Along the same vein as an HTF item, OOAK’s can be even more rare; hence the whole only one of its kind aspect. The value is lofty and quite appealing to buyers. And if you yourself are a buyer, this could prove to be the type of item that is a great investment.


Meaning: Be On Look Out


No, we’re not talking in regards to an exciting spy thriller movie here. This is actually a great acronym for seller peers to help one another out with real tried-and-true analytics. By using this acronym, you and other entrepreneurs can send out an alert as to what each has had the experience selling successfully. BOLO can be the beacon on products that are proven to make you a lot of money in your marketplace.

FB or IG

Meaning: Facebook or Instagram


These explain themselves, but it’s crucial to know the acronyms with the big social sites you’ll be sharing and searching on. Some other commonly used acronyms for social media platforms can include G+ for Google, LI for LinkedIn, and YT for YouTube.


Meaning: Hard To Find


This lingo is beneficial for both selling and buying. If you’re on the lookout for a particular item, this is a signal acronym. If you’re selling, HTF can mean the difference in some serious profit for you, as these types of items are usually pretty high in value.


Meaning: Certificate Of Authenticity


Luxury brands boast an inclusiveness that can equal a hefty price tag and a devoted following of collectors. From Michael Kors to Prada to Rolex, if you’re selling or buying a legitimate piece from a luxury collection, looking for that COA acronym is a must. There are so many fakes and cons on the online market nowadays, that a COA is usually the only way to find the real thing.


Meaning: Gift Card


This acronym is a cool one because it can be used in so many ways as an incentive to buyers. You can create a BOGO type sale, a holiday freebie, and much, much more, reining in buyers in the promise of a free or discounted GC.


Meaning: Cost Of Goods Sold


This is more of an accounting item for sellers, but it comes in handy especially around tax season. It will help you keep this important line item organized clear and concise in your business spreadsheets, making tax time much less daunting


Meaning: Minimum Advertised Price


This acronym will be useful when you’re finding goods to sell in your own marketplace on wholesale platforms, or buying directly from a manufacturer. With these purchases, more often than not, you’ll be required to follow a threshold for price when re-selling.


Meaning: Minimum Order Quantity


When it doesn’t make profitable sense to sell just one of something, a minimum order quantity is a must. This runs true especially when you’re running BOGO item sales, or when you’re selling products that are heavier in weight, or complicated in design. In most cases, Minimum Order Quantity is required on Chinese platforms like Alibaba, AliExpress or Taobao.


Meaning: Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price


This is something really important to include in an item’s pricing description, as it can show just what a great and fair price you offer to buyers. It’s a way for them to see just how much they can save by going with your store over somewhere else that charges the full MSRP


Meaning: Original Retail Price


This is similar to an MSRP, but it’s utilized more when you buy to resale in your marketplace. Whatever you paid for it elsewhere, this is an honest way for you to represent for your buyers why it’s fair to buy from you.


Meaning: Online Arbitrage/ RA-Retail Arbitrage


Whether you find a great deal on items online, or in an actual retail store, these let buyers know where what your selling on your marketplace comes from. This way, there’s never any confusion about what is artisan, or PL/WL (see below).


Meaning: Private Label/ White Label


If you procure your own inventory and create a brand for it, then you can slap this fancy acronym on what you offer. Many buyers search out independent labels like these over big box brands, both for the uniqueness, and to support small business.


Meaning: Search Engine Optimization


This is such a significant acronym to know, understand, and then implement! SEO is the root of how people find your offerings online. With the right keywords and phrases in your product descriptions, for example, your store/items can appear at the very top of all the most used search engines.


Meaning: Thanks In Advance


Often used in product chats or DM/PM’s when someone is asking a question. They will ask it and end with TIA, as to say thank you for any answers you may provide.


Meaning: Brand New With Tags


Be sure to never leave out the acronyms revealing the conditions of items you’re selling (and be on the lookout always when buying!) You’ll be amazed at how much more successful your ecommerce store will be just by adding in extra detail to let your potential buyers up front know what they’re getting.


Meaning: New Without Tags


Another condition of item acronym, yet this one might be the most important one. Just because your product doesn’t have tags, doesn’t mean that the value has to drop exponentially. Inform buyers that what they’re getting is just as pristine as something with tags.


Meaning: New in Box/Package


Similar to an item NWT, this is an offering such as maybe a bigger or heavier pieces, or a collector’s edition of a toy or cards, that’s as it says: still brand new in the box.


Meaning: Excellent Used Condition


Here’s the finicky thing about condition: if it’s not NWT or NWOT, then the condition is subjective. When looking at tiers of condition, it helps to whip out a handy thesaurus in aiding you to know the difference in a universal sort of definition for conditions For example, to be EUC, a product needs to be “exceptional, sterling, exemplary, and first-rate”.


Meaning: Good Used Condition


See above. GUC should be “acceptable, satisfying, great, and superb”.


Meaning: Smoke Free, Pet Free


This is an ultra-significant acronym, as it covers a basis for people buying with allergies especially. Sure, in general no one wants to buy something that harbors an odor of old cigarettes or a kitty litter box, but it can be something more serious for those that are allergic to these specific odors and danders.


Meaning: Price Negotiable


Buyers love, love, love these two letters together because it makes them feel as though they can go in with some real purchasing power. It’s also a great way to show that you’re a seller that truly wants to do just that—sell your product while being open to what the consumer finds is a fair price.


Meaning: True To Size


This acronym is brilliant and so necessary when selling or buying pieces of clothing and accentuating accessories. Buying things like this online is a challenge for most people, so knowing that a garment is TTS helps to ease worry and the buying experience. Investing in a great tool like Sizely for your online store can take the TTS to the next level for everything you sell without a hitch or second guess. It also helps decrease returns and increase overall buyer satisfaction.


Meaning: Want To Buy


WTB is fantastic for faster place marketplaces like FB, LetGo, Varage Sale, and Ebay. In the midst of tons of inquiries coming in about any of your products, WTB allows a customer that’s one hundred percent on board with buying to break through. Of course, always use your best judgement when it comes to situations like holding a product or stalling on other sales to accommodate a WTB request.


Meaning: Meaning: Or Best Offer


This is a lot like a PN, but it has conditions. Basically, this is like a fight for what you’re offering, and the person that can come in with the best of offers is the one who gets to buy.

PMs/ DMs

Meaning: Personal/ Direct Messages


When you’re selling on a platform like Poshmark or Mercari, a lot of times interested buyers will fill up the photo comment sections of your product pages. This makes it all too easy for those serious buyers to get lost, which is why it’s better to pick them out of that section when you can, and then request that they DM/PM you for more info.


Meaning: Must Pick Up


Selling big pieces like furniture, cars, or boats typically aren’t the easiest to figure out how to ship and do so while keeping your profit. This is why there are great selling platforms for these types of items in which buyers expect to see the MPU condition when purchasing. Ebay, Craigslist, 5Miles, OfferUp, and Trove Marketplace are all great places to set up your virtual shop.


Meaning: In Search Of


Sometimes when you’re looking for something so specific, it can save a ton of time and searching when you implement a good acronym. On a hunt to find that treasure from your childhood that’s no longer manufactured? Just send out an ISO on any marketplace, message board, or FB/IG of your choice to increase your chances of finding exactly what you’re looking for. On the flip side, you can also keep an eye out, or set up alerts for when potential buyers might be looking for something you sell in your own online storefront.


Meaning: Don’t Engage,Report Post


It’s not the most fun acronym to have to use, but it’s a must when it’s needed. Spam and bots are very real in the online universe, so if you spot something off, or see that someone else has sent up the DERP flag, run far, far away.


Meaning: Posted On Other Sites


There will be times for certain higher-valued items (or items you just really want to sell quickly), that you post your products across multiple selling sights. It’s important to be open with potential buyers about this, and to keep careful watch on it yourself. This helps to avoid someone trying to purchase an item you just sold on a different website minutes before.


Meaning: Thanks in Advance


Sometimes, acronyms aren’t as much about getting things sold/bought, but more about conversation online. This is one such example. A buyer might ask you to hold an item, to negotiate a price, or maybe even just want more information, and they’ll end it with this polite lingo.


Meaning: Free For Shipping


This little gem of an acronym is up there in popularity with BOGO, PN, and TTS! Statistics show that buyers are 88% more likely to purchase an item that ships for free, so FFS is like a neon light leading the best of the best customers to your listings. Though it might cost you a little bit of what you’re taking in profit, the amount of sales accumulated will make up for this tenfold. Plus, there are great options with certain courier services that offer discounts to businesses for shipping.


Meaning: Don’t Sweat it


Okay, just kidding on this one! But really, don’t sweat it when it comes to the big, wide world of online selling and buying acronyms! With a little bit of practice with these we’ve listed up for you, you’ll be reciting them in your sleep in no time.

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