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Consumer Goods: Definition, Types & Examples

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  • 0:01 Consumer Goods Defined
  • 1:55 Types of Consumer Goods
  • 3:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kallie Wells
We all purchase and consume goods every day. Most of those goods satisfy a need or want and are called consumer goods. They are different than those goods that are used as input to produce other goods. In this lesson, you will learn about types of consumer goods and take a quiz.

Consumer Goods Defined

Consumer goods are tangible goods that are purchased for direct consumption to satisfy a human need or want. This is in contrast to producer goods, which are purchased as an input to produce another good.

As I said, consumer goods are those that are purchased for direct consumption. 'Consumption' in this context does not necessarily mean consume, as in eat. There are plenty of consumer goods that no one would consider eating, such as clothes. Clothing is a good purchased to satisfy a human need - the need to be clothed.

Another way to identify a consumer good is to think of a production line. The goods used as inputs at the beginning of the production line are not consumer goods; these would be considered capital or producer goods and might include cloth, plastic, or other materials. The good that is produced at the end of the production line (the clothing item) is a consumer good. It's a final end product made for a buyer to consume.

Consider this image:

Consumer Good vs. Producer Good

In this example, the grapes are an input to making the wine. Therefore, the wine is the consumer good while the grapes would be a producer good.

Let's consider a few items you could easily purchase: milk, television, and lumber. You would most likely want to immediately consume milk; therefore, it is a consumer good.

You may want to think of a television as a producer good because it produces entertainment for you. However, televisions are considered a consumer good because they are not an input to produce another tangible good. It is the good produced at the end of the production line to immediately meet the consumer's need for entertainment.

Let's assume most people wouldn't buy lumber without using it to build another product. Since lumber is generally purchased as an input to producing another tangible good, it is a producer good, not a consumer good.

Types of Consumer Goods

Consumer goods can be further categorized into durable and non-durable goods. The life expectancy of each good is the most direct method of determining a durable from a non-durable consumer good.

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