Can someone explain to me is there a difference between "product" and "article" terms?

EDIT: For example: When the T-Shirt is "product" and when "article" ?

  • Could you give some more context? Are you refering to items you find in a store?
    – Lars Mekes
    Feb 6, 2018 at 15:31
  • Yes. Something like that. For example: When the T-Shirt is "product" and when "article" ?
    – user69390
    Feb 6, 2018 at 15:48
  • You should edit that extra information into your question, so it is easier to answer and has a smaller chance of getting closed.
    – Lars Mekes
    Feb 6, 2018 at 15:55

3 Answers 3


A product is something that it produced, normally in a commercial environment. In the past products were almost always physical objects, but now they can be notional (eg a television programme, a business strategy).

An article is an object, usually a physical object. Many articles are products (eg T shirts, televisions). Some are not (eg wild plants, cliffs) .

So, many things are both an article and a product, some are only one of the two. A T-shirt is almost certainly both. When you refer to it as a product you are implicitly mentioning the fact that it is produced and (probably) sold. When you call it an article, you are not doing this.

  • Consider stores which sell non-manufactured (produced) articles, such as a nursery which sells plans and flowers. Would you consider these plants to be products, even though they were not "produce" in the same sense as a T-shirt? I'm trying to decide whether it's the act of selling an article which makes it a product, or whether its "productness" is determined by how the article came into existence.
    – leifericf
    Jun 21, 2019 at 12:54
  • @Leif: interesting question. I don't think I would refer to such plants as "products", but I have no doubt that some marketing people would.
    – Colin Fine
    Jun 21, 2019 at 15:01

Actually it seems both answers are not entirely correct.

Common usages for "article" are:

  • an article in a newspaper or other written publications
  • a PART of an outfit worn by someone

Both can of course be a product and be sold, but in terms of business this is not the thing you would usually refer to. (We used article as the name of the stuff sold in our eCommerce platform, but that seems to have been influenced much by us being a German-based company where we use "Artikel" also as the reference to a type of product sold (as stated in one of the answers))

A product could also be something made of natural resources that have somehow been altered (and if it is only adding a wrapping). The raw materials that are used to produced finished goods are though usually referred to as "commodities" instead.

Article as physical object seems to be limited to clothing though. (An article of clothing. Which could also be jewelry or part of clothing that is not worn in a classical sense (not sticking to the body by itself))

Also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_(business)


In fashion you have to differentiate between 3 states of an article

  1. The product (it's "the t-shirt")
  2. The article (it's "the t-shirt in color red")
  3. The SKU / Stock keeping unit (it's "the t-shirt ins color red in size Medium")
  • Colin's answer is correct in the general usage of the terms - it is not wrong. Your answer provides useful additional information regarding the specifics of the rag trade.
    – Chenmunka
    Apr 25, 2020 at 17:06
  • @Chenmunka nope - the answer is wrong! The question was "Whats the difference in product and articles, when talking about Fashion / shirts. Therefore the answer is, as given by me. Everything else, especially "many things are both" is absolutely wrong. As wrong as possible! Check like amazon, zalando, middleware plattforms,... it's ALWAYS as I've shown. Not an additional information. it's THE information.
    – Fabs
    Jun 12, 2020 at 23:23
  • SKU is more like a number or bar code—a representation of some object of phenomenon—than an actual thing.
    – Cromax
    Aug 27, 2020 at 7:51

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