ConsumerIn economics, consumers are individuals or households that "consume" goods and services generated within the economy. Since this includes just about everyone, the term is a political term as much as an economic term when it is used in everyday speech. Typically when businesspeople and economists talk of "consumers" they are talking about person-as-consumer, an aggregated commodity item with little individuality other than that expressed in the buy/not buy decision. However there is a trend in marketing to individualize the concept. Instead of generating broad demographic and psychographic profiles of market segments, marketers are engaging in personalized marketing, permission marketing, and mass customization.
In standard microeconomic theory, a consumer is assumed to have a budget which can be spent on a range of goods and services available on the market. Under the assumption of rationality, the budget allocation is chosen according to the preference of the consumer, i.e. to maximize his or her utility function.
In time-series models of consumer behaviour, the consumer may also invest a proportion of their budget in order to gain a greater budget in future periods. This investment choice may include either fixed rate interest or risk-bearing securities.
In the context of mental health, consumer is also a term applied to describe a person living with mental illness.
Concern over the best interests of consumers has spawned much activism, as well as incorporation of consumer education into the school curriculum. One non-profit publication active in consumer education is Consumer Reports.
Within many selling companies "consumer" has come to be a derogatory term. Meaning "purchaser of products who is not very intelligent." This is in contrast to the meaning of customer. Which is defined as an intelligent purchaser who has power in the purchasing relationship between buyer and seller.
See also : marketing, economics, liberalization, consumer rights
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Consumer resources, articles and commentary on consumer issues.
Want & Vote
Vote for items you want and online shops you like.
Allows users to freely voice their opinons, both good and bad, about a variety of companies, products and services.
Dozens of checklists of tasks to do to accomplish almost any goal or organize any activity with almost any personal or household subject.
Canadian Consumer Information
Consumer information guides covering a variety of topics including children, consumer products and services, environment, food, health, housing and finance.
World Web 3000
A place for visitors to share information, ideas, and advice including product reviews.
Reviews and ratings for new and used vehicles, electronics, home office equipment and family products.
India Consumer Information Exchange, providing reviews and opinions on more than 15,000 products and services.
Consumer product evaluation and review site.
Annotated listings of the best consumer web sites.
A cost-free service allowing consumers to search through thousands of continuously-updated support files for most any breakable product.
A consumer driven website rating service.
Consumer Information Center
Offers consumer reports and current news.
Providing consumer driven ratings, reviews, reports and links for products.
Care2's Consumer Guides Channel
Learn about eco-friendly products that are safe for your health and the environment. Written by experts and provide consumer information about different types of green products .
Real people who can answer questions about products and services.
FirstGov: Citizen Gateway
Consumer news and information about the US federal government.
Provides information on consumer protection laws in thirteen countries and offer consumers a way to file complaints online.
Tips for buying and paying online safely and information on how to handle online disputes, refunds, security, privacy and scams. Plus information on child safety while online.
Welsh Consumer Council
Details of current projects, staff and publications, with advice, help and articles on a variety of consumer topics.
Going Shopping? Go Global: A Guide for E-Consumers
A consumer guide offering information on online shopping, especially from retailers outside the United States.
Guide to Self Storage
Consumer guide for self-storage facilities covering topics such as security, access, and insurance.
Contains reviews of books, electronics, software, computers, apparel, kitchen and housewares, cameras, sporting goods, outdoor living items, tools and hardware.
Compare products, prices and stores.
How to WebTV
Features information with ideas and concepts on home renovation and remodeling and health-related issues, presented in short, 3-minute videos. Requires Media Player and Real Player downloads.
Includes alphabetical list of manufacturers with links to their sites and list of product instruction manuals offered for download.
Offers articles from issues of Consumer Reports offering product reviews for various items. Includes archival material.
Offers factors to consider when buying online.
Consumer-generated reviews on products and services available in the Australian marketplace.
Offering advice on products and services.
Forums where consumers share their experiences on purchases. Located in the UK.
Questions and answers about buying products and services over the Internet.
Repository of reviews for products available on the Internet,
Links to Free Consumer Information
Provides links to sites with advice primarily about health, safety and protection. Topics include health, finance, junk mail, credit card fraud, product safety, internet hoaxes and viruses.
Tittos (Tell It To The Others)
Provides an independent guide to the products and services around the world, by allowing consumers to publicly share their experiences and opinions.
Offering advice on a variety of products, including type hifi, computers, timepieces, cars, boats and airplanes, and articles about art, resorts, fairs and film recordings.
Compares, evaluates and ranks a variety of discount stores, low-price shops and other online merchants. Includes detailed descriptions, pros and cons, links, and rankings.
Features reviews of online shopping sites.
An independent, not-for-profit service providing articles and tips about products and services.
Produced by the Canadian government's Office of Energy Efficiency, rates home appliances for cost of operation and gives tips and advice.
Information on how to recover stolen goods or missing items, list your missing property or search a database.
JD Power Information Center
Using consumer satisfaction data collected, this site provides consumers information to help them in their buying decisions.
A network of reporters, authors, and industry experts offering reviews of new products.
Extensive database on consumer information from Duke University Libraries.
Allows consumers to rate and review services provided by e-tailers and vendors. Also offers savings through coupon codes, deals and specials.
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User reviews of online businesses.
Master Me Meter
Life calculators and tools for career, family, and work.
A place to find and share reviews of products, people, andtravel destinations.
UK hosted UK product reviews contributed unfiltered by consumers. Rankings and "best" are based on consumer reviews.
What's the Best
Buying guides with tips and advice. Also has forums where people can post their experiences and degrees of satisfaction with products they have purchased.
Monitors e-businesses for reliability, privacy and customer satisfaction. Offers a directory of registered safe shopping web sites, streaming audio consumer alerts and the Safe Shopping Radio Network.
Cala Creek: Consumer Information
Consumer information on variety of subjects, including home, health, beliefs, products.
Meta consumer search engine offering product reviews from leading consumer web sites.
Database of categorized consumer product reviews from a variety of news and trade publications. For each product, it ranks and describes all reviews, provides a full story of expert analysis, and lists top rated products by category.
Consumer Federation of America
Articles, publications, and news on consumer protection topics such as food and drug safety, internet, energy efficiency, financial services, transportation, and health care.
Consumer product guide offering impartial reviews and expert guidance.
Send Me Surveys
Take part in surveys online. Reviews and lists reputable research companies that conduct surveys, focus groups and product sampling.
Make Life Easy
An analytical shopping tool for consumers and businesses. Users can create smart shopping lists and personal consumer reports to make skilled purchase decisions.
Kids In Danger
Organization dedicated to protecting children by improving children's product safety.
Download articles on many of the indexed rated subjects.
Consumer Action Handbook
Published by the Federal Consumer Information Center it has shopping advice and tips about products and services including financial, and contact information for governmental agencies, business bureaus, consumer offices.
Subscription based service offering consumer articles on health, consumer protection, product recalls, finance, business, family, travel and other topics.
Consumer-generated product reviews, ratings, prices for brands and models.
Consumer-generated reviews, buying tips and advice, ratings, price information, and searchable in a variety of ways from price to product type.