Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Three perspectives of seller and buyer

Very recently, I read an article entitled "There are three types of goods" (in Japanese). Before reading it, I imagined what was written in this article in advance, as I always try.

I guessed the three types of goods: goods for use, goods for an experience, goods for an emotion.

Goods for use are a so called commodity. We must buy foods, clothes, hand soaps, pencils, and so on. We consume various things every day. The virtue of this kind of goods is usefulness itself.

Goods for an experience are not value itself. There is a popular phrase, "Why does a man buy a drill?" The answer is obvious, "to make a hole". He perhaps has an intention to fix a wooden rack. So what? You can propose him to repair it on your own, instead of him, with additional payment. It means that you provide a service for him. It would be preferable for both you and him. However, if the man was going to enjoy a DIY work, your proposal would be contraindicative. The value of goods for an experience highly depends on the context of the buyer.

The last category is goods for an emotion. These goods are often luxurious, or at least rare. When buying them, your purpose is simply to own them. An ancient coin, a gorgeous wristwatch, a stamp, or even a trading card is included in this category. Different from other types, these goods are not consumed. Some book lovers tend not to read ones: they simply hoard them.

Hmm, a little unique classification. After that, I began to read the article.

The result was far from my imagination.

Actually, the author categorized the goods into "Front end goods", "Back end goods", and "Concept goods". This is a classification on the side of sellers, not for buyers.

Front end goods are for advertisement. They are usually sold with extremely low cost. Back end goods are the main source of income. The seller should carefully calculate their stock to make a profit. And concept goods are a symbol of the shop. They are often very expensive and seldom sold. For some companies, creating this kind of goods is essential to stand.

For example, a glass of beer is a front end in many bars. Beer is cheap for its cost. In contrast, some snacks are very easy to make but they are relatively expensive. They represent back end. Lastly, some kind of vintage whisky are very conceptual.

I had an experience that I imagined a thing as a reader far from the intention of the author. It may be due to my stance as a consumer. Quite interesting.


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