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Buy - 买 - mǎi - third tone, which goes down then up. To buy something, you have to pick it up.
Sell - 卖 - mài - fourth tone, which just goes down. As a clerk, to sell something, you have to place it down on a shelf/table.
That's it. Nothing special, but it was the only way I could consistently remember which was which. (thanks mild dyslexia)
买卖 - mǎi mài - buying & selling, implying generic business (transactions)
And for the second character below, 实 - shí, you can file this under, "really chinese? you couldn't use a more distinctive character 实 or original pinyin than shi?"
确实 - què shí - indeed, really, true
Do you have any interesting mnemonics you use?
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