B1G1F? B&M? YMMV? 40 Online Shopping Terms Explained

By on November 5, 2014


Ever wonder what all those abbreviations mean on our deal posts as well as various online shopping forums around the Web? For some that’s relatively new to online shopping, all these little abbreviations can be confusing. And we bet some of the veteran deal hunters / coupon users will learn a couple new abbreviations in the list below.

Here are 40 online shopping terms / lingo / abbreviations explained:

AC / AP / AR

All of these terms signify a price change after a stipulation in the deal. AC stands for After Coupon, AP stands for After Price Match and AR stands for After Rebate.


Referring to credit card company American Express, you will see this term used when a deal is exclusively limited to purchases with a AMEX card.


This stands for Annual Percentage Rate, the figure that calculates how much interest you will pay on your credit card balance each month. Many retail stores offer a store card that comes with a promotional period and an insane APR. For instance, the APR on Best Buy’s card can get as high as 27.99%. If you took 12 months to pay off a $1,000 balance at that APR, you would pay an additional $152 in interest.


This stands for Brick & Mortar, as in you will need to visit a physical store in order to take advantage of the promotion. Many times, you will see a reference like “B&M only,” thus that’s an indicator that the product isn’t available for purchase online.


This is used to indicate a ‘Buy One, Get One Free’ promotion, either online or in-store. There are variations on this abbreviation that include BOGO and B1G1, both of which refer to the phrase ‘Buy One, Get One.’


This is used often when referring to Black Friday, the major shopping holiday that kicks off the holiday shopping season after Thanksgiving.


Related to Woot sales, this term stands for Bag of Crap. When Woot is having an all day flash sale, the company includes a mystery item in the mix that could be anything from company t-shirts to something as expensive as a HDTV. There’s no guarantee that it will be awesome, hence the term bag of crap.


This term can be used to refer to Cash Back rewards, either offered by a credit card company or a retailer after making a purchase.


Referring to Credit Card, this term is used when a deal is limited to purchases using a credit card.


Similar to Black Friday, this abbreviation is used to signify Cyber Monday. That’s the Monday following Black Friday, usually reserved for solid online deals.


This abbreviation stands for Coupon. Coupons can often be applied to a purchase in order to reduce the price or get perks like shipping upgrades.


In case you need to place a call to a retailer, you will be talking to a CSR (Customer Service Representative).


This term is used after receiving a non-working item. Short for Dead on Arrival, DOA items should be returned to the manufacturer for exchange or a refund.


Related to the CVS chain of stores, these abbreviations stand for Extra Bucks and Extra Care Bucks. These are either printed at the bottom of receipts when making a purchase or at kiosks in the store.


This is the abbreviation for Staples Easy Rebate program. You may also see it referred to as SER.


This stands for Free After Rebate. Many times, retailers will price products at the same value as the rebate to position it as a freebie.

FS or F/S

Both of these abbreviations stand for Free Shipping on an online purchase.


Referring to Gift Card, this is often added to deal information when the retailer offers a bonus gift card with a purchase.


This stands for Google Checkout and is used when a deal specifically requires this type of payment method to work.


When you are shopping for a new storage drive for your computer, you will see this abbreviation used in place of the phrase “hard drive.”


While it’s not very prevalent anymore, this abbreviation stands for Handling Fee. It’s usually found more in the mail order world than the online shopping world.


This stands for Instant Rebate, a promotion that reduces the price automatically without the consumer having to send in rebate forms to the manufacturer of the product.


If the retailer guarantees the price of a product, you will often see this term used for Low Price Guarantee. It usually means the company will price match competitors.


Used in many auction purchase (like on eBay), the term Mint in Box is used to signify that the product being purchased is in relatively new condition. Similarly, a new product would be abbreviated NIB.


Standing for Mail-in-Rebate, this abbreviation is found in deal listings when a portion of the deal is tied to a rebate from the retailer or manufacturer.


Referring to Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price, this is the price that the product started at when originally released.


More specific to online auctions or Craigslist, this abbreviation stands for Or Best Offer. This is used when the seller wants buyers to place an offer for an item.


When an item is sent without retail packaging (usually found in the tech world), it’s often called OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). This means the product came directly from the original manufacturer rather than tacking on additional costs for packaging. OEM’s are usually cheaper due to that fact.


When a deal needs to be Price Matched to another store, you will see this term used. This usually involves calling the store or speaking to an online representative if the deal is limited to online purchases. (PM is also common lingo for Private Message)


Assuming there’s a rebate tied to a deal, you will often have to provide Proof of Purchase in order to get that money back.


Used as an abbreviation for Amazon Prime, this means the deal is either limited to Amazon Prime customers or involves free shipping with an Amazon Prime membership.


This term indicates that a product has been returned to a manufacturer, checked out, fixed and is up for sale again. The quality of refurbished products varies by merchant / retailer.


Standing for Return Merchandise Authorization,you will hear this term when a defective product has to be returned to a manufacturer.


This stands for Shipping & Handling. Similar to H/F, the handling fee isn’t tacked on much anyone with online purchases.


This stands for Stock Keeping Unit, basically used by the manufacturer to track inventory of a product. Is can also be used by the consumer to search for items.


Another term for a storage drive for a computer, Solid State Drive is a much faster type of hard drive that’s sold at a premium.


Specific to a rewards program called Shop Your Way Rewards, you will find this wrapped into deals from participating merchants like Sears, KMart, Groupon and more. Accumulated points can be used as cash when making a purchase at a later date.


Referring to Terms of Service, these rules are noted often when making a purchase or signing up for a new service. A similar term is T&C, which stands for Terms and Conditions.


Another way to track inventory, the Universal Product Code is attached to products and can also be used by the consumer to search for products.


Used when the discount or availability of a deal is unsure, the term stands for Your Merchandise (or Mileage) May Vary. You could also see the abbreviation MMV that refers to the same thing.

About Mike Flacy

Editor-in-Chief for The CheckOut. During my free time, I love to write about pop culture, home theater, digital photography, social media, mobile technology and cool gadgets!


  1. Fade

    November 16, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Thanks for educating our online shoppers. Happy shopping everyone!

  2. Gram

    November 8, 2014 at 3:49 am

    This is certainly educational. I knew a number of these, but there are a ton I’ve never heard. It’s good to know I will know what they are if I run into them in the future though.

  3. addrienne mertens

    November 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    i bookmarked this thanx for posting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *