Let's get the preliminaries out of the way: (https://www.collinsdictionary.com)

goods (gʊdz ) Goods are things that are made to be sold.

commodity (kəmɒdɪti ) A commodity is something that is sold for money.

As seen above, the definitions are pretty close to each other, goods and commodities are things that are sold for money. However, the following paragraph implies that there's a difference between the meanings:

The forces of abundance, Asia and automation turn goods and services into commodities so quickly that the only way to survive is by constantly developing new innovations, inventing new categories, and giving the world something it didn't know it was missing.

What's the difference between goods and commodity here? do they share the same meaning? I used to think they meant the same thing but this paragraph has me doubt my understanding.

PS: I'm well aware that there's a similar question on the website, but mine is quite different from it, in that I'm interested to know the difference in meaning between the two words in CONTEXT, the other question asks about the difference in GENERAL. here's a link to it: What's the difference between "product" , "goods" and "commodity"?

3 Answers 3


This Wikipedia article explains the meaning of commodity in an economics context. The term refers to something whose individual units are essentially interchangeable.

Let's say that one company has an idea for a new product, the Widget-Plus. It's a new idea and so the company can charge a premium price for it. As soon as it becomes successful, other companies start manufacturing their version of the Widget-Plus. Before long, the market is swamped with essentially interchangeable copies of the Widget-Plus and the price drops: the Widget-Plus generic device has become a commodity. Because of this, the company that originally created the idea can no longer charge a premium price for their version: they have to come up with a new idea, maybe the Widget-double-plus, so that they can resume charging a premium price for it.



(marketing) Undifferentiated goods characterized by a low profit margin, as distinguished from branded products.

Although they were once in the forefront of consumer electronics, the calculators have become a mere commodity.

Goods and services, in your sentence, can be seen as branded products, whereas commodities are widely available resources.


Q. What's the difference between goods and commodity here?

The short answer goods are physical items commodities include item that are not a physical entity such as in your text "services". As per your quoted reference to turning services into commodities.

commodity; a substance or product that can be traded, bought, or sold:

goods; things for sale, or the things that you own:

All Ref Cambridge English Dictionary.

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