Difference Between Goods And Services

Difference Between Goods And Services

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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Oct 13, 2023 15:18 IST

The article discusses the concept of goods and services, their characteristics and examples, and the difference between goods and services.


Goods and services result from human efforts to satisfy consumers’ needs and wants. Economic production is divided into physical goods and intangible services. This article will cover the concepts of goods and services and explore the difference between goods and services.

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What Are Goods?

In the economic sector,  goods are tangible objects, meaning things that can be touched, seen, or smelled, precisely things that can be consumed or used. Goods can be exchanged for money or other goods.

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What Are Services?

Services are comforts that cannot be seen, smelled, or touched. It is offered in exchange for money, although in some cases, services may be offered in exchange for other services. Services are performed by other people, such as doctors, gardeners, dentists, hairdressers, chefs, waiters, etc.

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Characteristics of Goods and Services

Characteristics of Goods

The main characteristics are the following:

Materials: Goods can be touched and tangible, so their transformation is also possible.

Utility: Goods should be of use per the customer’s desire.

Scarcity: Goods are scarce because they are generally not in abundance and thus almost always have unrelated value. For example, milk is a scarce good because it is a limited product.

Transferable: Goods can be transferred between individuals through purchase and sale.

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Characteristics of Services

The main characteristics of the services are the following:

Intangibility: You cannot touch a service. They symbolize an action, process, or activity.

Variability: The services are always different from each other. There are never 2 identical services since a person or staff delivers each service at specific places and times. By changing any of these aspects, the service offered changes.

Inseparability: The production and consumption of service can not be separated from the provider. It also requires a customer to participate physically in the consumption of the service.

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Difference Between Goods And Services

The following are the main differences between goods and services:

Goods Services
Tangible Intangible
Materialistic  Process or activity
Homogenous  Heterogenous 
Transferable  Non-transferable
Establishing a quality model is simple Achieving the same quality over and over again is complex and is something that food chains such as Subway, Pizza Hut, and McDonald’s seek to achieve by standardizing their systems.
Assessing the quality of a product is straightforward  Assessing the quality of services is much more difficult
Goods are produced based on capital investment. They need labor and raw materials. Services are products of labor and generally require only labor.

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Examples of Goods and Services

Here are some representative examples of goods and services:

Examples of Goods

Real Estate – Since structures like apartments, offices, and houses are immovable, they make a perfect example of consumable, inheritable, and returnable goods.

Computers, cell phones, video games: The Internet, telecommunications, and the virtual world imply a colossal sale of electronic devices.

Books, magazines, newspapers. The paper culture also has a consumer base and offers tangible assets like newspapers, magazines, journals, books, etc.

Cigarettes, coffee, and alcohol: These stimulant products and legal drugs form another giant cog in today’s rapidly and massively consumed personal property.

Software and applications. One of the great sources of goods in the contemporary and digital world is computer programs and applications for smartphones, such as video games. These are intangible assets.

Accessories: Products like watches, belts, bags, wallets, etc., are good examples of goods.

Clothing and textiles: Clothing and apparel are among the inexhaustible offers of consumable personal property.

Automobiles: The transportation industry encompasses automobiles of all kinds, motorcycles, alternative vehicles, and a whole range of mechanical goods dependent on the fuel industry and enabling transportation services.

Jewelry and precious goods: These are valuable goods, and their values are characterized by their beauty or exchange value.

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Examples of Services

Food services: Includes any establishment serving food to people outside their homes. This includes restaurants, cafes, street food joints, etc.

Medical services: Doctors provide patients with the prevention and emergency medical services, among the most common examples of services.

Transportation services: Taxis, buses, or even traction transport in rural towns; this sector represents an essential service for life in society since they allow the rapid movement of workers.

Domestic cleaning service: It refers to the housekeeping staff in formal and informal domestic cleaning sectors.

Telecommunications services: Constitutes the entire universe of communication devices and the internet.

Interpretation and translation services: Legal services corresponding to national laws and regulations.

Editorial Services: The entire sector in charge of producing, correcting, and printing reading materials (newspapers, books, magazines).

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Repair services: Services like electricity, plumbing, mechanics, and electronics, which attend to particular cases and help devices to function better.

Educational services: Professional training services and the dissemination of information.

Distribution services: One of the world’s significant sectors, merchandise transport and distribution, whether on a large (international) or local scale, is responsible for guaranteeing the mobility and flow of goods produced by the manufacturing and primary sectors.

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About the Author
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio