Are you an English learner looking to improve your shopping vocabulary? Look no further! In this article, we will cover some of the most useful shopping vocabulary words and phrases that you can use in your everyday life. Whether you’re going grocery shopping or hitting up the mall with friends, these words will come in handy.
List of Shopping Vocabulary
- Window shopping
- On sale
- In cash/ by card
- Outlet mall
- Spend money on something
- Take something back
- A receipt
- A wallet
- Grocery shopping
- Get a refund
- Price tag
- Shop around
- Try something on
- A fitting room
- A bargain
- What a bargain!
- A good deal
- For sale
- Shop online
- Go shopping
- Do shopping
- Bargain hunting
- A shopaholic
- Retail therapy
- Waste money on something
- Splash out on something
Shopping Vocabulary Examples
Window shopping -> Looking at items on sale, not buying
There’re only the minutes left; don’t dawdle over your window shopping.
On sale -> For sale at a reduced price
There are some nice apples on sale in that shop.
In cash/ by card -> Use cash or credit card to purchase something
I would appreciate it if you paid in cash.
Outlet mall -> Both have many stores in one location.
The outlet mall is a lot cheaper than stores downtown.
Spend money on something -> Use the money to buy something or pay something
He is a tightwad because he doesn’t like to spend money on anything.
Take something back -> Return an unwanted item to a shop
I, in my turn, became embarrassed and huffy and told her to take the money back.
A receipt -> Paper proof of a purchase
Can I have a receipt, please?
A wallet -> A Money/ cardholder
The lady put her wallet in her purse.
Grocery shopping -> Shopping for food items
We need to go grocery shopping – do you have the checkbook?
Get a refund -> Get money back after returning an item
Is it too small? Take it back and get a refund.
Price tag -> A label showing the price of an article
The price tag on the 34-room white Regency mansion is ￡17.5 million.
Shop around -> Compare prices in different shops before buying
You should shop around a bit before making a decision.
Try something on -> Try clothes in a shop before buying them
Try on clothing and shoes to make sure they fit.
A fitting room -> A place in the shop where people try on clothes
You can try on the dress in the fitting room.
A bargain -> Excellent value for an item or purchase
The car was a bargain at that price.
What a bargain! -> Buy something for much less than normal
A good deal -> If something is a good deal, paid a low price
It cost a good deal, I can tell you.
For sale -> Available to buy
Excuse me, are these for sale?
Shop online -> Shop on the Internet
Go shopping -> Go to shops to buy things
I couldn’t go shopping yesterday so I’ll have to go today.
Do shopping -> Weekly/ monthly shopping
Bargain hunting -> Searching for bargains
We went bargain hunting at the antique market.
A shopaholic -> Someone who loves shopping
She’s really a shopaholic.
Retail therapy -> The act of shopping in order to feel better
I was ready for a little retail therapy.
Waste money on something -> Unnecessarily spend money on something
Why waste money on clothes you don’t need?
Splash out on something -> Spend a lot of money on something
If he wanted to splash out on a new car it would take him a couple of days to get his hands on the cash.
Learn more about business English vocabulary.
Essential Shopping Vocabulary
Common Shopping Terms
- Discount: A reduction in price.
- Sale: A period of time when items are sold at a reduced price.
- Bargain: A good deal or a low price.
- Receipt: A document that shows proof of purchase.
- Return: The act of bringing back an item to the store for a refund or exchange.
- Exchange: The act of swapping one item for another.
- Refund: The return of the money paid for an item.
- Warranty: A guarantee that an item will be repaired or replaced if it is faulty.
Types of Stores
- Department Store: A large store that sells a wide range of products, including clothing, electronics, and home goods.
- Supermarket: A large store that sells food and household items.
- Boutique: A small store that specializes in a particular type of product, such as clothing or jewelry.
- Pharmacy: A store that sells medicine and health-related products.
- Hardware Store: A store that sells tools and building supplies.
- Bookstore: A store that sells books and other reading materials.
- Cash: Physical money used to make purchases.
- Credit Card: A card that allows the holder to borrow money to make purchases.
- Debit Card: A card that allows the holder to spend money from their own bank account.
- Online Payment: A payment made through a website or mobile app.
- Gift Card: A card that can be used to purchase items at a particular store.
Advanced Shopping Vocabulary
Clothing and Accessories
- Haute couture: This is a French term that refers to high-end fashion that is custom-made. It is often used to describe designer clothing and accessories that are made from the finest materials.
- Off-the-rack: This term refers to clothing that is mass-produced and available for purchase in stores. It is the opposite of haute couture.
- Vintage: This term refers to clothing that is from a previous era. It is often used to describe clothing that is at least 20 years old.
- Accessories: These are items that are worn with clothing to enhance or complete an outfit. Examples include jewelry, hats, scarves, and belts.
- Organic: This term refers to food that is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or other chemicals. It is often considered healthier than conventionally grown food.
- Local: This term refers to food that is grown or produced in the same area where it is sold. It is often considered fresher and more sustainable than food that is shipped from far away.
- Expiration date: This is the date by which a food product should be consumed. After this date, the product may no longer be safe to eat.
- Unit price: This is the price of a product per unit of measurement, such as per pound or per ounce. It can be used to compare the prices of different products that are sold in different sizes.
Online Shopping Terms
- Shopping cart: This is a virtual cart that holds the items that you have selected to purchase on an online store.
- Wishlist: This is a list of items that you would like to purchase in the future. It is often used on online stores to save items for later.
- Shipping and handling: These are the fees that are charged to ship a product to your address. Handling fees may also be charged for packaging and preparing the product for shipment.
- Return policy: This is the policy that outlines the conditions under which a product can be returned for a refund or exchange. It is important to read the return policy before making a purchase online.
Cultural Shopping Vocabulary
Regional Shopping Slang
Different regions have their own shopping slang that can be confusing if you’re not familiar with it. Here are a few examples:
- UK: In the UK, “popping to the shops” means going to the store quickly to pick up something you need. “Retail therapy” is a term used to describe the act of shopping as a way to improve your mood.
- US: In the US, “window shopping” means looking at things in a store without intending to buy anything. “Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving when stores offer big sales to kick off the holiday shopping season.
- Australia: In Australia, “bargain hunting” means searching for deals and discounts. “Op-shopping” is a term used for shopping at thrift stores.
International Shopping Etiquette
When shopping in a foreign country, it’s important to be aware of cultural differences in etiquette. Here are a few tips:
- Japan: In Japan, it’s customary to bow to the shopkeeper when entering and leaving a store. It’s also considered rude to touch items without permission.
- France: In France, it’s common to greet the shopkeeper with “Bonjour” (good morning) or “Bonsoir” (good evening) when entering a store. It’s also considered polite to ask for assistance rather than browsing without help.
- China: In China, bargaining is a common practice in markets and small shops. It’s also customary to bring a small gift for the shopkeeper as a sign of respect.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common phrases for asking about sizes while shopping?
When shopping for clothes, it’s important to know your size. Here are some common phrases to ask about sizes in English:
- “Excuse me, do you have this in a size [insert size]?”
- “What sizes do you carry?”
- “Could you tell me what size this is?”
How can I ask for help while shopping in English?
If you need assistance while shopping, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Here are some useful phrases to use:
- “Excuse me, could you help me find [insert item]?”
- “Do you have any [insert item] in stock?”
- “Could you show me where the [insert item] is located?”
What are some common phrases for paying at a store?
When it’s time to pay for your items, use these phrases to communicate with the cashier:
- “How much do I owe you?”
- “Could I pay with [insert payment method]?”
- “Do you accept [insert payment method]?”
What are some useful phrases for bargaining while shopping?
Bargaining is common in some cultures, but not in others. If you’re shopping in a market or a place where bargaining is expected, try these phrases:
- “Could you lower the price a little?”
- “Is there a discount if I buy more than one?”
- “What’s the best price you can give me?”
How can I describe clothing items in English while shopping?
If you’re trying to describe a clothing item to a salesperson, use these phrases:
- “I’m looking for a [insert item] in [insert color].”
- “Do you have this in a different size?”
- “Could you show me something similar to this?”
What are some common phrases for returning items at a store?
If you need to return an item, use these phrases to communicate with the salesperson:
- “I would like to return this item.”
- “Could I exchange this for a different size/color?”
- “What’s your return policy?”
Last Updated on November 9, 2023