What is the difference between a single trade discount and a series?

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A single trade discount is a single price reduction given on a product.  So, for example, if you say that you will give 50% off the price of each dozen eggs you sell, you are giving a single trade discount.  This is computed simply by multiplying the original price by the discount percentage so the discount on a $2 carton of eggs is $2*.5 = $1

By contrast, a trade discount series is when a seller offers more than one discount on a product.  For example, a seller could offer three discounts on the item -- 25%, 15%, and 5% for example.

These are computed by taking each discount as a percent of the price AFTER the previous discount.  So, if a product originally sold for $100 and had the series described above, the first discount would be $100*.25 = $25 but the second discount would be $75*.15 = 11.25.

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