How to Find a Number Before a Percentage Mark-Up Has Been Added

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Merchants mark up their prices from the original cost.
Merchants mark up their prices from the original cost. (Image: market goods for sale image by evillager from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

When businesses price their items for sale, the difference between the wholesale cost of the item and the retail price is called the markup. Businesses usually report the markup as a percentage. If you know the sales price and the markup percentage, you can calculate the original price before the markup has been added.

Convert the percentage markup to a decimal by dividing by 100. For example, if you were using a 20 percent markup, you would divide 20 by 100 to get 0.2.

Add 1 to the markup expressed as a decimal. In this example, you would add 1 to 0.2 to end with 1.2.

Divide the price after markup has been added by the result from step 2 to find the price before the markup. For example, if the final price of the item is $240, you would divide $240 by 1.2 to find the price before the markup to be $200.

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