Services has dual meanings:
- Products, such as a bank loan or home security, that are intangible or at least substantially so. If totally intangible, they are exchanged directly from producer to user, cannot be transported or stored, and are almost instantly perishable.Service products are often difficult to identify because they come into existence at the same time they are bought and consumed. They comprise intangible elements that are inseparable, they usually involve customer participation in some important way, they cannot be sold in the sense of ownership transfer, and they have no title.
Today, however, most products are partly tangible and partly intangible, and the dominant form is used to classify them as either goods or services (all are products). These common, hybrid forms, whatever they are called, may or may not have the attributes just given for totally intangible services. Other examples include travel services, entertainments events (e.g., movie theaters), and health care.
- Activities performed by sellers and others that accompany the sale of a product and aid in its exchange or its utilization (e.g., shoe fitting, financing, an 800 number, a repair contract for a home appliance or computer).Such services are either pre- or post-sale and supplement the product, not comprise it. If performed during sale, they are considered to be intangible parts of the product.