This is my guess. It sounds better if we use "sell" for "tangible products" and "offer" for "services".

For example, "we sell cars/ washing machines"

and "we offer car-repair services to customers"

It doesn't sound good to say "we sell car-repair services to customers". But Google book has some hits about "sell car-repair services"

  • 1
    It isn't incorrect - we speak of 'selling insurance' - but you are right in saying that sell is more often used with reference to tangible things. Jan 16 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


Your intuition is right. We typically sell goods, whereas for services a more typical verb is provide.

The respective connotations are not perfectly parallel though, since (1) goods too can be provided, and (2) sell definitely implies an exchange for money, while provide could include, say, a charitable donation.

Offer is like provide in that it can be used for either goods or services. Its special difference is that one can offer without anyone’s acceptance, in which case the goods or services are not, in the end, provided.

And, in any event, the prepositional phrase to customers, though not wrong, is redundant and essentially never used.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .