Purchase vs. Buy

Difference Between Purchase and Buy

The word ‘buy’ and ‘purchase’ seem to convey almost the same meaning. However, there is difference. The word ‘buy’ seems more informal and ‘purchase’ seems formal word. Both of them are verb meaning ‘the act of buying something.’ Certainly there is some difference between ‘buy’ and ‘purchase’. Buying and purchasing are done in the market or online these days.

Purchase refers to an agreement. For example purchase of land and property, purchase order from a company etc. are contractual agreements and are the acts of purchasing. Land is not bought. It is purchased with an agreement. Everything can be purchased but cannot be bought.

These words are used differently. Government always purchases and not buys something. For example, a government signs a contract to purchase arms from another country.

We write a letter to the dealer when a product is not working properly; we always use the word purchase instead of ‘buy’. Thus there is a formality in the word ‘purchase’ while the word ‘buy’ misses this formality.

There are some interesting uses of these words. One does not buy into an argument rather than into purchase. Moreover, one is congratulated on his smart buy and not on his purchase. In the language of the law, the word ‘purchase’ is always used’ instead of ‘buy’. Thus, there are some differences between the words ‘buy’ and ‘purchase’.


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