Consumer Durables

Consumer Durables


Business firms produce output by using factors of production. This output is also called product. These products are produced to satisfy the needs and wants of people. These products can be goods or services. In this article, we will explain different types of goods, with a special focus on consumer durables.

Product / Output

Anything that is offered in the market for purchase or use and that has the potential to satisfy the needs and wants of people is called a product. Product or output is the result of business operations. For example, burger is a product that is produced to satisfy the need of hunger. Products are the goods and services produced and sold by business firms.

Types of Product

The products produced by firms are divided into the following types: 

A flow chart illustrating the types of goods.


The tangible products are called goods. For example, a ballpoint pen is a good because it is tangible.  Goods can be consumer goods or capital goods.

Consumer Goods

Goods bought by individuals for personal, non-business use, are called consumer goods. Personal computer (PC) is an example of consumer good. Consumer goods can be durable or non-durable. These types will be explained later in this article.

Capital Goods

Goods bought by firms for non-personal, business use, are called capital goods. 

Trucks and machinery are examples of capital good.


Intangible products are called services. For example, law services or transportation services.  Services can be consumer services or business services.

Consumer Services

Services provided to individuals are called consumer services. For example, a doctor examining a patient in a private clinic is providing a consumer service.

Business Services

Services provided to business firms are called business services. For example, a lawyer providing legal services to a bank is an example of a business service.

Types of Consumer Goods

Consumer goods have the following two types.

Consumer Durables

Consumer durables, or durable goods, are consumer goods that last for a longer period of time. A rule of thumb is that the durable goods last for more than three years. Due to their longer life span, consumer durables are intended to be used and re-used repeatedly over time and hence are purchased less frequently. Durables goods are those products that are considered long-term investments by consumers because, after purchasing these products, they can use them repeatedly for a longer period of time due to their reliability or durability. Consumer durables are consumed by individuals in every country. These are reliable goods, which is why a large number of consumers purchase them. The market for consumer durables has a massive volume due to their long-term reliability. Every consumer durable has its own life span, varying from three, five, seven, ten, and even more than ten years. 

Examples of Consumer Durables

There is long list of items which we can present here as examples of consumer durables. Some of the examples are electronic appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, irons, spinners, washing machines, dryers, kitchen appliances such as blenders, grinders, ovens, dish washers, home appliances such as TVs, LEDs, LCDs, computers, laptops, mobile phones, smart watches, jewelry, and others such as cars, motorbikes, sofas, furniture, consumer electronics, etc. All those goods that are useful for a long period of time are considered durable. 

Non-Durable Goods

Non-durable goods or soft goods, are consumer goods which are consumed immediately or have a life span of less than three years. These goods are also called consumables. Due to their shorter life span, nondurable goods are purchased more frequently.

Examples of Non-Durable Goods

Some examples of nondurable goods are cosmetics such as fairness creams, moisturising lotions, makeup items, cleaning products such as toilet cleaners, food items such as hamburgers, pizzas, and others such as fuel, cold drinks, hot drinks, beer, cigarettes, fruits, vegetables, gasoline, paper products, etc. 

Consumer Durables vs. Non-Durable Goods

The following table contains the main points of difference between durable goods and non-durable goods.

A table containing the main points of difference between durable goods and non-durable goods.

What is Durability?

The capacity of a good to resist harsh conditions for a long period of time is called durability. Durability is the strength of a product to resist damage and weather conditions and still be able to function properly for a long period of time. 

Types of Consumer Durables

The following are some types of consumer durables:


Heavy electronic appliances are considered consumer durables. For example, refrigerators, air conditioners, dish washers, ovens, washing machines, etc. These appliances have a long life span and can be used and re-used repeatedly.


This type of consumer durable consists of those items that consume electricity, such as televisions, laptops, gaming computers, tablets, smartphones, smart watches, etc. These durable goods are also very reliable, just like the appliances.


This type of consumer durable has a life span of more than ten to fifteen years or more. In this type, goods like wardrobes, beds, sofas, dining tables, kitchen cabinets, cupboards, etc. are included.


This type of consumer durable consists of transport goods. Those goods are used in transportation services from one place to another. These goods also have a long life span. All types of motorbikes, cars, bicycles, and trucks are included in this type of consumer durable.

Home Improvement Products

Those products that are used in the upgradation or improvement of houses are included in this type of consumer durable. Electronic gadgets such as air conditioners, solar panels, electronic heaters, large generators, water purifiers, UPS, etc. are categorised as home improvement products.

Companies offering Consumer Durables

The following are some major companies in the market for durable goods:


Samsung is a big company in the sector of durable goods. Samsung provides high-quality durables, including LCDs, LEDs, smartphones, and other home appliances. Samsung is a big name in the electronics segment.


Whirlpool is also involved in the market for durable goods. Whirlpool is an Indian-based company that provides electronic appliances such as water purifiers, washing machines, dish washers, microwaves, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.


LG is also a famous name in this industry. LG also manufactures a wide variety of electronic durables, like Samsung and Whirlpool. LG also produces televisions, smartphones, etc. Each company is unique in its products, and consumers buy from that company, which is best according to their preferences.


IKEA is a brand recognised as a home goods manufacturer. IKEA manufactures furniture for houses and other goods like wardrobes, sofas, dining tables, and many more items. 

General Motors

General Motors, as the name says, is an automobile manufacturing company. General Motors is the sole provider of automobiles for consumer durables at the global level. General Motors also manufactures engines and different categories or varieties of automobiles.

Many other companies like Apple, Sony, General Electric, and Dell are also operating in the market for durable goods.

The following are some trends in the retail industry:

E-commerce Dominance

Due to the recent trend of online shopping, the consumer durables sector has also shifted towards e-commerce. This online retail industry works through e-commerce platforms worldwide. E-commerce makes it easier for consumers to purchase products or services from their homes by just clicking on the desired product, and the next moment the product is at their place. This trend of e-commerce is becoming dominant day by day.

Personalised Shopping Experience

The retail industry is changing with the passage of time. The retailers in this industry gather information or collect data about consumer preferences. They are now more concerned about consumers liking or disliking about the products, and they offer only those products that are suitable for their consumers. Retailers try to provide personalised shopping experiences to their consumers by offering product trials like test-drives, so that customers can make better decisions.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Products

The retailers of consumer durables industry are also conscious of providing sustainable and eco-friendly products to their consumers. Nowadays, consumers are more conscious of their purchases because the world is moving towards awareness. Consumers are now conscious of whether their purchases will affect the environment or not. For example, retailers launched paper bags or cloth bags for carrying shopped products as a gesture for environmental care. The food industry also uses paper straws to showcase that they care about their environment.

Importance of Consumer Durables

The following points explain the importance of consumer durables:

Convenience and Comfort

Consumer durables are important because they provide convenience and comfort to their users or consumers. Consumer durables such as refrigerators help store foods for a specific period of time, air conditioners provide cooling in the summers, and with the help of smartphones, we are updated with the latest information around the globe, etc. These goods make our lives much easier than those of our ancestors. 

Long-Term Investment

Consumer durables are also important because they only need a one-time investment over a long period of time. This is the major benefit that consumer durable provides to its consumers. The person who buys a refrigerator, an air conditioner, a television, knows that after buying that specific good, he can be relaxed for a long period of time and also benefit from that product.

Enhancing Productivity

Another important point about consumer durables is that they are now enhancing productivity and saving time for their consumers. For example, a dish washer is used for cleaning dishes, which can save time for consumers. Another example of enhancing productivity is printers in offices, which also save the time of writing all the documents by hand and then sending them to others. With the help of computers, laptops, and printers, this process takes a few minutes.


In conclusion, according to the definition of consumer durables, these goods have a longer life span, typically, more than three years. Consumer durables make the lives of their users much easier by providing comfort in every household.