What is a Sunk Cost? New Definition 2021

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Sunk Cost Definition


Money is referred to by A cost which can't be recovered and that is already invested. In a company, the axiom that one needs to"invest money to generate money" is reflected in the occurrence of this sunk cost. A cost and costs a company may face, like decisions about stock purchase expenses or product pricing, differ. Since the price will stay the exact same whatever the results of a choice sunk costs are excluded from business decisions.


  • Sunk costs are those which have already been incurred and that are unrecoverable.
  • In a company, sunk costs are usually not included in account when making future choices, since they're regarded as irrelevant to present and future budgetary issues.
  • Sunk prices are compared to relevant expenses, which can be future prices that have to be incurred.

Sunk Cost

Recognizing Sunk Costs

When making business decisions, companies just think about applicable costs, including the future prices still had to be incurred. The costs are compared with all a single choice's earnings in contrast to another. They're not considered because costs don't change.


A company believes earnings and the costs that will change because of the decision available, to make an educated choice.

As an instance, a manufacturing company might have lots of prices, like the expense of machines, equipment, and also the rental cost on the mill. Sunk costs are offered from a choice, and it is a theory which applies to goods which may be sold since they are or may be processed.

Example of Sunk Costs

Assume that baseball gloves are made by XYZ Clothing. It pays $5,000 per month and the machines were bought for $25,000. The business creates a version of the glove which sells for $70 and costs $50. The manufacturer may sell the fundamental version and get a $20 gain for each unit. Alternately, the manufacturing procedure can be continued by it and market a version glove.

To make this choice, the company computes the $15 extra price using the $20 additional earnings and decides to create the premium glove to make $5 more in gain. The expense of machines and the mill lease are sunk costs and aren't part of this procedure.


In case a cost could be removed at any point, it turns into a cost that is relevant and needs to be part of company decisions about future occasions.

If by way of instance, XYZ Clothing is currently considering closing down a manufacturing facility, some must be contained in the choice. XYZ Clothing believes the prices which are removed and the earnings that would be dropped if creation ends, to make the choice to shut the center. In case the mill lease finishes in six months, then the rental price is no more a sunk cost and needs to be included within a cost that may likewise be removed. The facility ought to be shut When the costs are greater than earnings

Related Terms

Irrelevant Cost

An insignificant price is a managerial accounting sentence that represents a price that wouldn't be impacted by a management choice.

Relevant Price Definition

Relevant price is a managerial accounting period that describes avoidable costs that can be incurred only when creating particular business decisions.

Incremental Evaluation: How Businesses Pick Between 2 Alternatives

Incremental evaluation is a decision-making process utilized in a company to ascertain the true cost gap between choices.

How to Calculate and Examine a Provider's Running Prices

Operating costs are costs related to normal company operations on an Everyday Basis.

General and Administrative Expense (G&A)

General and administrative costs (G&A) are incurred from the daily operations of a company and might not be directly connected to a certain function.

Avoidable Price

An avoidable price identifies variable costs which may be averted, unlike many fixed prices, which are generally inevitable.

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