Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Customer and Consumer

Customer vs Consumer

The difference between a consumer and a customer, is a very thin line. Aside from both terms being used frequently in the field of business, these words are often used in a similar context, which adds up to the confusion.
By definition, a customer is someone who buys services or goods from someone else while a consumer is someone that consumes a certain product or commodity. In the concept of Economics, a consumer can either be a single person or an entire organization, that uses a certain type of service. Consumers can also be any form of organism, that devours or eats something, as in the field of Science and Ecology.
For example, a customer is best exemplified by a coffee shop, that buys a coffee maker, from a coffee maker manufacturer. This means that the restaurant buys the said equipment, for the benefit of its patrons or guests. In this connection, the restaurant is clearly pictured as a customer and not the actual consumer. However, in a similar scenario wherein you directly go to the coffee maker manufacturer and buy their product so that you can bring it home for your family’s use at home, then you are the real consumer.
Simply said, if you are going to use a particular product for purposes other than your own consumption, like for commercial usage, then you are considered a customer.
However, according to the Consumer Protection Act of India in 1986, the term, ‘consumer’ has a broader, meaning to include those who use a product or commodity for a living. And so, if you are the sole proprietor of your company and you purchased the coffee maker under your name, then you can still be considered a consumer according to this Act.
Furthermore, the Act expands the consumer definition even more by stating that a consumer does not need to buy products for personal usage to be considered as one, rather the mere thought or intent of buying already turns you into a consumer.

These definitions were actually drafted with the aim of consumer protection, especially when businesses turn a little bit sour.

  1. A consumer is someone who actually consumes the goods and not just purchases it.
  2. A costumer is someone who buys the goods for more commercial purposes.
  3. According to the 1986 Consumer Protections Act of India, a consumer can also be somebody who uses goods and services for a living. In addition, the mere intent of buying goods makes you a consumer, nonetheless.

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