[Aptitude] Concepts of Marked Price and Successive Discounts (Profit-Loss) without (stupid) formulas

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Unacademy Plus Mrunal Economy for Prelims and Mains UPSC!
Profit, Loss, Discount, Marked Price = all of them are mere extension of Percentage calculation concept. And they can be solved effortlessly, without mugging up any formulas.
  1. What is Discount?
  2. What is successive discount?
  3. Case: Successive vs One Time Discount?
  4. What is marked price?
  5. Case: Finding Marked Price from Profit %
  6. Case: Finding marked price from Selling price
  7. Case: Finding % Profit / loss in MP-Discount
  9. Answers with explanations and shortcuts

What is Discount?

In the garment stores, you’ve come across this sign many times: “HURRY! 20% OFF!!
That 20% is called discount.
Suppose a Music CD has price tag of Rs.100 and the shopkeeper is offering 20% discount.
That means 20% less on the price tag.
The price you’ve to pay
=Rs.100 minus 20% of 100
=Rs. 80 you’ve to pay, to buy that music CD.
But in exam, we don’t have no time to do such lengthy calculations.
So just think in your head:
20 percent discount means you’ve to pay 100 percent minus 20 percent=80 percent of the price tag.
% means one upon hundred (1/100)
So 80% means (80/100=0.8)
So you’ve to pay 0.8 times the original price.
=0.8 x 100
=Rs. 80

What is successive discount?

It means discount on the discount. (just like Compound Interest rate= interest on interest)
The original price of a music CD is Rs.100. A shopkeeper offers 10% discount on this music CD and then again offers 20% discount on the new price. How much will you have to pay, finally?
Concept: Successive Discounts

Phase I: 10% discount

So new price = 0.9 x original price. (by the way, how did we get 0.9 ? well 10% discount means you’ve to pay 90%. And 90% means 0.9)

Phase II: 20% discount

=0.8 x new price
=0.8 x 0.9 x original price.
It means, after successive discount of 10% and 20%, the final price you’ve to pay
=0.72 x original price.
=0.72 x 100
If it was successive discount of 20% and then 10%? Still answer will remain same. ORDER or sequence doesn’t matter.
Let’s test our skill with an actual question from SSC/FCI Exam taken in Nov 2012.
Q1. A dealer buys a table listed at Rs.1,500 and gets successive discounts of 20% and 10%. He spends Rs.20 on transportation and sells it at a profit of 20%. The selling price of the table is

  1. Rs.1,320
  2. Rs.1,350
  3. Rs.1,360
  4. Rs.1,380

Think in your head:
20% discount =0.8 x original price (this is our new price)
10% successive discount= 0.9 x New price=0.9 x 0.8 x original price
Finally dealer had to pay: 0.72 x original price.
Then he invested Rs.20 on transport, so his total investment (cost price) is
(0.72 x original price) + Rs.20
And ultimately he sold It @20% profit.
20% profit means 100%+20%=120%
=1.2 times the investment (cost price).
=1.2 times [(0.72 x original price) + Rs.20] In the examhall,only write following line and do the math, don’t waste time writing everything or multiplying numbers @every stage.
=1.2 times [(0.72 x 1500) + Rs.20]
=1.2 [1080+20] =1.2 [1100] =Rs. 1320
(I hope you know quick multiplication with 11, basically 12×11= in 12 you do:1|(1+2)|2=132)

Case: Successive vs One Time Discount?

Q. Jethalal, has a mobile phone with price tag Rs.12,399/-. He is offering two schemes to you

  1. Buy it at one time discount of 30%
  2. Buy it at two successive discounts of 15% and 15%

Which of the above scheme is more beneficial to you (customer)?

Long cut (tiresome and boring calculation)

Scheme A Sheme B
Discount offered
=30% of 12,399
=0.3 x 12,399
Phase I
15% of 12399
=1859.85 Rs. (discount I)
So new price : 12399 MINUS 1859.85=10539.15
Phase II: (second discount)
=15% of 10539.15
=0.15 x 10539.15
=1580.8725 (discount II)
Total discount
=1859.85 +1580.8725

We are getting more discount in Scheme A compared to Scheme B.
So, from customer’s point of view, Scheme A is more beneficial.
^Very lengthy and tiresome calculation isn’t it?
Well, if you look at it carefully, the price tag Rs.12,399/- is irrelevant here.

Shortcut (almost none calculation)

Scheme A Scheme B
Discount offered=30%
Final price you’ve to pay
=0.7 times original price.
Successive discount 15% (two times)
Final price you’ve to pay
=0.85 x 0.85 x original price
=0.7225 x original price

In Scheme A, you’ve to pay less price compared to Scheme B. Because 0.7 < 0.7225
So, from customer’s point of view, Scheme A is more beneficial.
Sidenote: you can do 85×85 with Vedic shortcut (square of numbers ending with five)
Square of 85
I hope discount and successive discount is clear. Moving to the next topic.

What is marked price?

Before that, answer this question:

Why do shopkeepers give discount?

Well it’s a marketing propaganda to seduce customers.
I’m running a jeans store. I bought a pair of jean for Rs.100 (cost price).
Now I put a new tag on it Rs.500 (marked price) and then put a huge poster outside my shop: “50% OFF on any item!”
From buyer’s point of view it looks very attractive “wow 50% discount!!”
But in reality, I’m making huge profit. Because 50% discount on Rs.500= You’ve to pay Rs.250, while I had invested only Rs.100! so my profit=(250-100)=Rs.150
Marked price=this new price tag Rs.500. Discount is given on marked price. If we want to visualize it, here is the diagram:
Concept Marked Price, DiscountMind it: Profit or loss is always calculated on actual investment (Cost price), unless they specifically instruct you do something else.
Time to test the skill with actual questions

Case: Finding Marked Price from Profit %

Q. Jethalal bought a Nokia mobile phone @ Rs. 800. He sold it to Master Bhide after allowing a discount of 10%. In this deal, Jethalal made a profit of 12.5%. What was the marked price?

  1. Rs. 1,000
  2. Rs. 1,100
  3. Rs. 1,200
  4. Rs. 1,300

Profit is always calculated on actual investment (cost price).
Cost Price: Rs.800
The question says, profit =12.5%. What is the profit in rupee terms?

Long cut Shortcut
=12.5% x 800
=(125/10)x (1/100) x 800
=Rs. 100
12.5% =1/8 (percentage to fraction conversion table).
So, 12.5% x800
= (1/8) x 800= Rs. 100

Anyways in either method, profit is Rs.100…Fact (i)
Jethalal gave 10% discount on marked price. So customer Bhide Master had to pay only
90% of the Marked Price.
=0.9 times the marked price
=this is the money Jethalal received from customer.

Jethalal’s actual profit

=the money he received from customer MINUS his original investment.
=0.9 times Marked price MINUS Rs.800
But recall fact (i), Jethalal’s profit is Rs.100
100=0.9 times Marked price – Rs.800
100+800=0.9 times marked price
900=0.9 x MP
MP=900 x 10/9
MP=Rs. 1000.
Final Answer: marked price is Rs.1000

In the exam hall, directly frame the equation: 0.125 x800 =(0.9 xMP)-800
Let’s try another one.

Case: Finding marked price from Selling price

Q. Master Bhide, bought two pens for Rs.37.40 at a discount of 15%. What must be the marked price of each of pen?

  1. Rs.11
  2. Rs.44
  3. Rs.33
  4. Rs.22

Discount of 15%, means Master Bhide (customer) paid (100-15)=85% of the marked price.
=0.85 times the marked price
But question also says he paid Rs.37.40, Therefore
37.40=0.85 x MP.
=(374x 10)/ (17×5)
=(374 x 2)/17
=44. (Sidenote, if you don’t know the multiplication table of 17, then use approximation method explained in earlier article. CLICK ME)
Most important part: Rs.44 is the marked price of two pens. So marked price of each pen =44/2=Rs.22
Answer is (D)
In the actual exam, rough paper calculation: =37.4/(0.85 x 2)

Case: Finding % Profit / loss in MP-Discount

Jethalal marks the price tags of all his mobile phones, 10% above the cost price. And then He offers 10% discount on their marked prices. What is his profit or loss?

  1. 1% profit
  2. 1% loss
  3. 5% profit
  4. No profit No loss.

Assume his total investment is Rs.100 (=cost price). Well we can assume total investment as “CP” or “x” or “y” or anything but assuming Rs.100 saves the time of calculating percentages later on.
Marked price
=10% above cost price
So price tag (marked price) is
100%+10% of Cost price
=110% of cost price
=1.1 x cost price
=1.1 x 100
=Rs. 110
Now he offers 10% discount on marked price, so customer has to pay only
0.9 times the marked price
=0.9 x 110
Verdict: His investment is Rs.100 and he receives only Rs.99 from customers so he is making loss
How much loss?

Long cut Loss % formula =(100-99)/100 x 100=1%
Shortcut We assumed Rs.100 initially for the very reason that to prevent long cut formula!
Since he receives one rupee less (100-99), his loss is 1%.

In the actual exam, rough paper:

Invested Received
100 0.9 x 1.1 x 100=99

So, loss is 1%.
I hope the concept of marked price is clear by now. So it is time for a


Time: 20 Minutes
Correct =1m
Wrong= minus 0.33m
1. When Jethalal offers discount on cost price, he makes

  1. Profit
  2. Loss
  3. No Profit no Loss
  4. Profit or loss, depending on situation.

2. Jethalal’s offering to sell an LCD TV priced @Rs.1,79,299/- under two offers

  1. One time discount of 40%
  2. Successive Discount of 36% and 4%

Which offer is more beneficial from customer’s point of view?
3. Jethalal offered a scheme: “two successive discounts 10% and then 10%”. Which of the following scheme will give same effect?

  1. One time discount of 15%
  2. One time discount of 19%
  3. One time discount of 20%
  4. One time discount of 25%

4. Which of the following, is a better deal from customer’s point of view?

  1. Three successive discounts of 10,20,30%
  2. Two successive discounts of 20,20%
  3. One time discount of 50%

5. Jethalal offers two deals

  1. Successive discounts: first 10% and then 20%
  2. Successive discounts: first 20% and then 10%.

Which of the following are true?

  1. Customer will save more money in Deal 1
  2. Customer will save more money in Deal 1
  3. Customer will save same amount of money in both deals.

6. Jethalal fixes the sale price of his mobiles @15% above the cost price. He sells all his mobiles @12% less than the fixed price. What is his profit percentage?

  1. 2.5%
  2. 1.2%
  3. 1.5%
  4. 2%

7. Jethalal sells his mobiles on 10% discount on marked price. He bought a mobile @Rs.900 and wants to get 10% profit. What should be the marked price?

  1. 1275
  2. 1250
  3. 1175
  4. 1100

8. Jethalal wants to give 10% discount on all his mobile phones. But at the same time, he also wants to make 20% profit. At what percent above the cost price, should he mark the price of his phones?

  1. 25%
  2. 30%
  3. 33.33%
  4. 37.5%

9. Consider these statements
I. Marked Price is always higher than Cost price
II. Marked price is never lower than Selling price.
Which of above statements are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None

10. How can one become Master of aptitude?

  1. By searching for a competitive exam, that doesn’t have aptitude questions.
  2. By thinking like a loser, “My maths is not good and it can never be improved. I’ll just hope to clear some exam with luck by chance.
  3. By watching India-England Cricket test series because those cricketers will give money to start some business, should you fail in the CSAT/IBPS/SSC/CMAT/CAT or some other stupid exam.
  4. By uploading motivational/funny photos on Facebook and tagging random friends in it.
  5. By practicing maximum questions at home.

Answers and Explanations

Q. Ans. Explanation
1 B Discount on cost price=he’ll receive less money than his original investment=always loss.
2 A 0.6<0.64×0.96
3 B Successive: 0.9×0.9=81
One time: 100-81=19
4 C
  1. 0.9*0.8*0.7=0.504
  2. 0.8*0.8=0.64
  3. 0.5

Customer has to pay minimum in situation “C”.

5 C Order or sequence doesn’t matter in successive discounts.
6 B Don’t be confused with vocabulary. Fixed price, marked price concept is same.
Profit % is 101.2 MINUS 100=1.2%
7 D Profit of 10% on 900=0.9 x Marked price MINUS 900
8 C Assume cost price=Rs.100
Profit of 20% on 100=0.9 x Marked price MINUS 100
So marked price is 133.33-100=33.33% above the cost price.
9 C Both statements are correct.
10 ?? Lolz

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112 Comments on “[Aptitude] Concepts of Marked Price and Successive Discounts (Profit-Loss) without (stupid) formulas”

  1. let total vote = X

    Winner candiadte vote = X*0.48
    Loosed cand vote = X*(0.52-0.05)= X*0.47

    So putting together,

    X*0.48 -X*0.47 = 5100

    X= 510000

  2. A grocer mixed sugar at 12rs per kg with sugar at 9rs per kg in a certain ratio and sold the mixture at 11rs per kg to have a gain of 1/8th of his total investment. then the ratio of two types of sugar in the mixture is

    can anyone help me with this problem?

  3. sir,you told that the wattage of geometry is very less but when we solve the previous year question paper then 9 to 10 question will be available in the paper
    plz give me right information about that. thank u sir

  4. dear sir, i find lot of benefit. thank u so much

  5. My question is :
    The material in market is at the List price (cost price) and I get it on discount price , How to calculate the discount percentage on the cost price ?
    For Eg., if the product is having the List price of Rs. 25592, and I get it on discount at Rs. 7400. How will I calculate the discount percentage I got on the list price? Is their a simple formula for it. Else it takes much time to get an answer for it, i.e.,71%. Please reply asap.

  6. Hello, i have a question.. could please help me in this sum…
    John buys a telephone handset for rs. 600 from Kolkatta and sells it at Ranchi at a gain of 25%.If his overhead expenses are 5% of the selling price, then he sold the telephone handset for ?

    1. @Meghna: Let S.P = x
      then, Overhd Expn = x/20
      Initial C.P = 600
      New C.P = 600+ (x/20)

      So Final equation : (125/100) * (600 + x/20) = x
      Answer: S.P = Rs. 800

    2. Hi meghna..
      cost price= 600 = cp
      let selling price= sp = x
      over head expenses= 5% of x
      so effective cp = 600 +(5x/100)
      since he got 25% profit,
      he gets 125% of [ 600 + 0.05x ] as selling price, which is equal to x
      so equating it to
      125/100 [600 + 0.05x] = x

      we get SP= 800
      (ie overhead expenses=40, effective cp =600+40= 640 and profit=25%)

      1. Hi meghna..
        cost price= 600 = cp
        let selling price= sp = x
        over head expenses= 5% of x
        so effective cp = 600 +(5x/100)
        since he got 25% profit,
        he gets 125% of [ 600 + 0.05x ] as selling price, which is equal to x
        so equating it to
        125/100 [600 + 0.05x] = x

        we get SP= 800
        (ie overhead expenses=40, effective cp =600+40= 640 and profit=25%)

    3. hi how r u
      what is d answer its 787.5
      give me option
      take care

  7. pls solve this problem ,A trader has 6 Quintals of rice.he sold a part of it at 7% profit and the rest at 17% profit, so that he made a total profit of 11%.how much rice did he sell at 17% profit?

    1. 240 kg of rice was sold for 17 % profit.

  8. a dishonest milkman buys milk at 6/l and add 1/3 of water to it and sells the mixture at rs 7.20/l.the gain is

    1. CP of 1 ltr milk = Rs. 6/-
      After addition of 1/3rd water to it, the quantity of the mixture = 4/3 ltr.
      SP of mixture = (4/3)*7.2 = Rs. 9.6
      Profit = Rs. 3.6
      Profit % = (3.6/6)*100 = 60 %

  9. anindta sells her car for rs 5 lacs and loses something.had she sold it for rs 5.60 lacs ,her gain would have been double the former loss.find the cost price of car/

  10. Respected sir
    In question no 9
    Statement I. Marked Price is always higher than Cost price == isn’t if person want to clear stock he can sell item at lower then cost price to clear stock … so how can market price be always higher then cost price

    1. Statement II. Marked price is never lower than Selling price.
      In case of shortage of goods selling price can be higher then market price
      Please clarify

      1. Friend pls note that ‘marked price’ and ‘market price’, both are different concepts. Market price of a good is that on which price the good is sold in the market at a given time. But marked price is one which is MARKED by the murchant as an MRP of a good. In market a murchand always marks MRP on a good on market speclations so ( pls apply Demand /Supply law). He wishes to gain huge profit but at the same time has to attract custemers !!! So he marks huge price and offfers huuuge discount on it !!!! so marked price is never less than the….. //// (Gago Grahak Gagoooo…. A MURCHANT CAN SALE A GOOD ON PRICE LESS THAN mrp BUT CAN’T MORE THAN mrp…)

  11. Thank you.Its very useful for me..After successive discounts of 12% and 15% an article was sold Rs.209. What was the original price of the article?

  12. A shopkeeper sold a tv set for rs. 17940 with a discount of 8% and earned a profit of 19.6%. What would have been the percentage of profit earned if no discount was offered ?
    please answer using above method

  13. Sir please help me to solve this problem..A trader would incur a loss of 15%, if he sells pens at 10.20rs per pen. If 12.5% profit is to be earned afyer allowing 10% discount on the marked price then find the marked price?

    1. Ans is Rs. 15.
      Solu – at 10.20 he is incurring 15% loss, so 10.20 is 85% of CP, CP comes as Rs 12. Now, if we increase the CP by 25% and allow 10% disc. ie SP will be 90% of MP(125%) = 112.5% thereby having a profit of 12.5%. So, MP is 25% more than CP = Rs. 15
      The figure 25% can be easily obtained if we consider the CP as 100 and calculate accordingly

    2. s.p = 10.20 rs,
      loss% = 15,

      from the formula , C.P = { 100/(100-loss%)} xS.P,

      C.P = 12 rs

      Now , when a trader marks up his article by ‘X%’ and allows a discount of ‘Y%’
      then ,
      profit % = {X – Y – XY/100}

      thus ,
      12.5 = { X -10 – X*10/100}

      this gives us , X = 15 % ( markup) ….

      Now aply the relation , Marked Price (MP) = CP + Markup on cp

      MP = 12 + 15% 12

      MP = 12 + 1.80

      therefore ,, MP = 13.80 rs

      1. Dude, the MP will be 25% more than CP

      2. Dude, the MP will be 25% more than CP ie X% = 25% and MP = Rs. 15

    3. Selling price( when loss incur) = 10.20Rs. means
      85% of pen’s cost=10.20 Rs. because trader is having a loss of 15%.
      so cost price i.e. 100%= (10.20/.85)*100=12Rs. so cost price =12Rs
      now to get 12.5 % profit on Cost price = (112.5/100)*12 = 13.5 Rs.
      means trader will sell the pen for Rs 13.5 to make 12.5% profit.
      now selling price (after Profit)=13.5Rs
      but seller is giving 10% discount on marked price…
      1st case : 90% of marked price is 13.5Rs so
      100% of marked price= (13.5/90)*100=15Rs
      so marked price = 15Rs
      2nd case by options: let marked price =15Rs(as ans.) so 10%discount means (10/100)*15= 1.5Rs
      so 15-1.5 = 13.5 Rs

    4. let cost price is 100 and do this.To easy to do.

  14. @Anamika- 14.85 Rs

  15. sorry i considered sp= 10.10 Rs…..

    but now its coming MP= Rs 15

  16. sp =10.2
    profit to be earnd=12.5%
    so sp =112.5*12/100=13.5
    but aftr 10% discount so markd price=

  17. discount question..a man bough a jeans @ 40% discount with the marked price of rs 700 what is the selling price of jeans and what will be the new marked price of the jeans?

  18. Hello can anyone help me with the solution of a problem related to marked price concept of profit and loss? The question goes as:

    A manufacturer of patent medicines gives one dozen extra bottles of the medicine for every order of 12 dozens.A discount of 25% is also offered to the trader on the marked price.If a bottle is marked Rs 113, find the lowest price at which a bottle can be sold without any loss(approx. price)

    Please help

  19. I loved it ….specially the mock test …and the last question….. funny you are… and at the same time…. a marvellous teacher … :)

  20. thanku mrunal sir

  21. thank u sir
    please help me to solve this prob
    m/s book center firm gives a discount of 20% of the published price, counts 25 books as 24 & gives a further discount of 5/2% on reduced price.what does he get for a book the published price of which is Rs 1.

  22. Sir, I have to get good score in SSC DEO exam then which book should I use for maths and english

  23. Hello Mrunal sir,
    I,Ramdas potale from pune,maharashtra.i have completed my b.tech in ece and to follow my ambitions and passion i decided to go for UPSC. I didnt gone for coaching due to 1.i did not feel it necessary with having you as ultimate guide; 2.economic problems.
    i follow your website regularly since i was in 3rd yr of graduation when i was searching for Navy interview guidance and diplomatic general knowledge as well,then i got this treasure and fell in love wid this site and material.and also my feeling of UPSC also strengthened by visiting your site regularly.
    despite completing graduation in june 2014,i started preparing late in feb ending of 2015,till now i am done with polity,economy,history,geography,and currently going through environment nios material, solely as you directed and two of my seniors.I have chosen “Pol science and IR” as optional due to my interest and understanding.i am trying to run as fast as possible wid daily 10 to 13 hrs in library as i dont have coaching. and also i am concurrently hitting out CSAT also daily.i am following books,references as you directed.i am planning to end my syllabus till mid-june, and remaining time for revisions and csat practice. this is my current strategy.so for my current situation please guide me how shall i go through coming 100 days [also give some mantra for optional] untill “katal ki subah” despite your red signal “search b4 ask”, YOUR GUIDING WORDS WOULD BECOME ADDITIONAL STIMULATING IMPETUS FOR ME.
    Please consider my request; thodasa time table ko adjust karke; i will wait for your response.
    Thank you.

  24. Thank u sir
    this is the best and easiest way to solve profit and loss problems

  25. Sir,
    if selling price is 75% of marked price then the profit obtained is 25% . What will be the ratio of marked price to cost price?

    1. 0.75mp=1.25cp


  26. Sir,
    how to solve this without equation
    Even after allowing a discount of 20% a shopkeeper makes a profit of 10%. Find the mark-up percentage?

      1. 100X1.1=0.8XM.P-100

        1. how 1.1 will be come

  27. i brought 12 products. and i am getting 20% discount on it. and i am getting 1 product for free with them. So what is percentage of my discount?

  28. i bought 12 products. and i am getting 20% discount on it. and i am getting 1 product for free. So what is percentage of my discount?

  29. Please solve and explain the following question

    A shopkeeper offers a discount of 20% on the selling price. On a special sale day, he offers an extra 25% off coupon after the first discount. If the article was sold for Rs. 3600, find

    A) The marked price of the article and
    B) The cost price if the shopkeeper still makes a profit of 80% on the whole after all discounts are applied.

      1. MP = 6000

  30. Thanks a lot for the above easy and short cut tricks. I have a question, mentioned below. Kindly give the solution.
    Q. A shopkeeper gains 17% after allowing a discount of 10% on the marked price of an article. Find his profit percent if the article is sold at marked price allowing no discount.

    1. 30% profit.

      let 100 be CP.
      shopkeeper gains 17. so he get 117 as SP.
      10% discount means 117 is the 90% of Marked price.
      So now 100% is the Marked price i.e., 130(117*0.9).
      Now he made 30/- extra money per 100.
      30% is the Answer.

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