Many Differences between Goods and Services

In basic sense, we know that services are intangible, hinting they cannot be touched and seen. On the other end of the spectrum, we have goods described as tangible for which they can be touched and seen.

But in the realm of business and society, the difference between services and goods does not end there. In fact, they can be broken down into many other differences. Below some are described.

1. Goods are homogeneous, meaning they are of uniform structure or composition. Services are heterogeneous and that means they are made up of parts that are different from each other.

2. Goods can be sold several times. Think about a house, books or electronic products.

Unless they fall apart or the maker puts a restriction, they can be resold many times. Reselling of service this way is rare. Most often it is impossible. So all services bought tend to be always new.
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3. Supply of goods can be stored in a place. Same is not possible for services.

4. Goods do take up a lot of space. For services, this is not a problem.

5. At the time of purchase, there is a huge distance between the goods and their production. The end user does not witness the making. The Service and its production, on the other hand, go hand in hand.
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6. Measuring the quality of the tangible products is relatively easy. If it breaks too fast, we know that it is cheap. If it goes on for years without breaking we know it is of high quality. Measuring the quality of various intangible products is highly difficult.

7. When building a product plant the companies give attention to affordability or cost. But in the case of services, the companies look for locations close to prospective buyers.

8. Transportation is needed to carry the tangible products. When it comes to intangible products, its providers are transported.

9. Knowledgeable people are required to sell a service. They must be able to explain the details to convince or inform the customers about it. For majority of the goods, this is not necessary.
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10. Goods are easier to understand. Consumers can quickly pick up what they are and how to use them. Services usually carry some form of ambiguity and thus, can be partially incomprehensible.

11. Service is directly dependent on its provider. When something goes wrong with it the customer has no choice, but to call the parent company for help. Goods are not dependent on their providers this way. When something goes wrong with them the customers can attempt to directly repair them. In case of failure, it is possible to get someone else other than the parent company to fix it.

12. Generally, a defective tangible product can be returned, assuring that the consumer will get back the money he spent on it. For a service, this feature is absent. Once it is provided, it cannot be undone. Even when a refund policy exists for it, the due date is usually too close to its activation date.
13. A product can allow restocking fee to be taken from the person returning it. Services do not have this feature. However, when one is based on subscription and contract the producer can charge the consumer a cancellation fee. 

14. Even in dead form, a tangible product can manage to live longer. It can be directly examined to get a glimpse of the culture or time it is from. Its counterpart, the service does not have that same luck. Once it is dead, it is completely dead. To study it, therefore, researchers have to rely on various sources explaining what it was.

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