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Who is a Consumer?

We define a consumer as a person who uses a product regularly. The term “consumer” gets derived from the word “consuming,” which means “to use.” In this case, a consumer is an individual who purchases something for their personal use.

According to the Consumer Protection Act of 1986, it does not cover a person who purchases a product with the intent of adding value or reselling it for a business reason. However, such commodities or services can get used to making a living or self-employment.

Any user who consumes things with the buyer’s consent, other than the buyer who purchases the commodities, falls under the Consumer category. It includes the individual who provides the services for a fee.

Furthermore, the customer will be considered the recipient of such services. In India, there are three consumer protection councils:

  • Central Protection Council (on a national level)
  • State Protection Council (at the state level)
  • District Protection Council at district level

Here is an example. Assume you are the head of the household, and you go to the store to buy some milk packets. You are a customer until you buy those packets. However, when you and your family consume it, they are the consumers.

Quality of service and influence on your customers are crucial factors in business success. As a result, surveys and consumer reports are in high demand. It is the point at which you have the authority to determine the real nature and quality of the goods.

Types of Consumers

  • The Extrovert Type: These consumers have a penchant for branded things. They will most likely continue with them and attempt to become dedicated followers. They have a strong probability of becoming brand supporters if provided with high-quality items and services.
  • The Inferior Goods Type: They have a significant lack of money and get classified as low-income. The result is that people get forced to purchase what is necessary for survival.
  • The Commercial Type: Regardless of their actual need for acquiring commodities, this type of customer will buy goods and products in volume. Commercial use or not, they will purchase goods and products in volume.

  • The Discrete Type: As the name implies, these customers prefer a discrete purchasing behaviour. Simply said, they will contemplate spending a significant amount of money on a limited number of products, such as cosmetics, jewellery, or clothing. And will largely avoid saving money in the other areas.

Consumer vs Customer: What is the Exact Difference?

ConsumerCustomer
Meaning:A consumer is the end-user of products or services, whereas a client is the one who purchases them.A customer can be a consumer, but the opposite is not valid.
Target Audience:Anyone may be a consumer. It might be an individual, a firm, a family, or a group.On the other hand, a customer is more akin to a single entity or a corporation as a whole.
Selling Purposes:While a consumer does not have the legal authority to sell the goods, he may sell them to another person.A customer, on the other hand, is eligible to do so.
Reason:The sole purpose of consumer buying is consumptionThe purpose of a customer purchase might be either consumption or resale to someone else.
Transaction:The consumer must engage in a transaction to purchase a product or service.A customer may or may not be required to conduct a monetary transaction to obtain the items.

Why is the concept of a consumer so important?

Both concepts of a consumer and customer are pretty important in various contexts. It might be extremely challenging to monitor an economic chain or country with no consumers. Here are a few points that made us think:

  • Develops service differentiation- Consumerism is a broad term. It is simply not limited to the food and beverage business.

    Most of the tertiary services we utilise, whether in the grooming sector, pharmaceutical, transportation, communication, and educational institutions, are inextricably linked to economic progress. In a vicious circle, they’re all connected somehow, somewhere.

  • Balances the Demand: Supply graph- According to economic theory, supply is precisely proportionate to demand. Finding that balance is the key. Otherwise, a lack of the above will result in massive unemployment, recession, and a slew of other unintended consequences.

  • Demands are supplemented: The things, services, and products we see around us are the end consequence of demand. The fundamental reason for the birth of any service or development is demand. Different consumers have varying levels of interest in various product categories. Manufacturers are encouraged to bring it to market by consumer demand.

Conclusion

A consumer utilises or consumes a product or service in any particular business. A consumer’s definition might be subjective and challenging at times.

A consumer is anyone who uses a product or service for its intended purpose and does not have the option to resell it. In very simplified words, every end-user in the cycle of purchasing or utilising products or services is a consumer.

As a conclusion of the preceding explanation, it is evident that a customer is not always a consumer, and vice versa. Many marketing professionals are now debating whether to focus on a customer or a consumer.

Companies must focus on the two because they must consider what the buyer expects of the goods and market the product so reasonably that it captures the attention of millions of consumers instantaneously since the purchasing decision is made by the two together or with one in mind. As a result, businesses should place equal emphasis on both.

FAQs

Which act defines consumer?

The consumer definition is provided under section 2(d) of the consumer protection act 1986.

What are the functions of the consumer protection council established under section 4 of the consumer protection act 1986?

The consumer protection council is established to protect and promote consumer rights.

What is the limitation period to file an appeal against the order of the national commission in the supreme court?

Thirty days.

What is full form of ICGRS?

ICGRS stands for Integrated consumer grievance resolution system.

About Author

An aspiring lawyer and a first-year student at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology.

I'm fascinated by the role of the law and high-quality education in improving access and opportunity for underprivileged people.

I am a very determined individual who is always seeking an opportunity to put my knowledge into practice.

Education Qualifations
- Delhi public school ruby park Kolkata
- Undergraduate law degree at KIITuniversity

Categories:
Consumer Law