Do both of these mean "sold out"? What is the difference, if any? And how might these be used differently in sentences?

For example, if I were to ask a convenience store clerk if a certain campaign/item was still in stock and I wanted to ask, "is this sold out?" which one would I use?

  • 2
    売り切り exists but doesn't usually mean "sold out". Perhaps you're interested in 売り切?
    – naruto
    Jun 13, 2017 at 5:49
  • Oh, is 売り切れ sold out? If that's the case, what's the difference here too?
    – kywu
    Jun 13, 2017 at 5:52

2 Answers 2


売り切 and 完売 roughly mean the same thing, "sold out". We commonly see both 売り切れ and 完売 on a signboard. When asking a store clerk, you can say either Xは売り切れですか or Xは完売ですか. The difference is not large, but 完売 sounds more technical because it's a Sino-Japanese word. 売り切れ is probably more common in speech.

売り切 means something different. Its meaning depends on the context, but the basic underlying meaning is "once we've sold it, that's the end". For example, 売り切りの商品 means an item that won't be restocked. 売り切りのゲーム refers to a package game as opposed to an online game with monthly billing system. It can also refers to bargain/sale/clearance.


"売り切れ" and "完売" are basically same which means to be "sold out".

The subtle differences are like:

  1. "売り切れ" is a Japanese native word, while 完売 is a 漢語 (Chinese loanword).

  2. "売り切れ" is a pure Japanese native word, so it is used for both the written language and the spoken language, but "完売" is frequent mainly by the written language.

  3. "売り切れ" is used in the case when products or goods are sold out and could not be supplied for the time being. On the other hand, "完売" is often used to the sold out situation of something that are never supplied such as tickets of the performance of the specific date and time, or such as the products of the bargain sale the amount of which is limited.

  4. Because the amount of the target product of "完売" is limited and the amount is usually announced beforehand, the customers relatively persuade themselves even if the sellout occurs.

  5. An extra answer:
    There is a word "品切れ" that is similar to "売り切れ". I'll show you the difference between them. Both of them mean that the products or goods are sold out at the place where they are sold. The difference lies in the state of stock of them in the backyard, which is a room of a store or restaurant not open to customers (often storage room). "売り切れ" means there is not any goods in stock in the backyard, and as for "品切れ", there are goods in stock but the power to supply them to the place where they are sold is not sufficient.

Source: 1, 2, 3

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