Debitoor's accounting dictionary

Consumer - What is a consumer?

A consumer is the final user of a purchased product or service.

Find out about consumer surplus to maximise your profits by calculating what a consumer is willing to pay for a product or service.

Consumers can be either an individual or group of people who purchase or use goods and services solely for personal use, and not for manufacturing or resale. They are the end-users in the sales distribution chain.

What is the difference between a customer and a consumer?

Sometimes, consumers are not the people who actually purchased a product. For instance, parents often buy their children toys. In this case, the parent is the customer, and the child is the consumer.

Another example is if a dog owner purchases dog food or a dog toy, the person is the customer, and their dog is the consumer.

Put simply, a customer is the person who buys the product, and a consumer is the person who uses it. The terms are often used interchangeably because most of the time, the customer will be the consumer.

Examples of a consumer

A consumer is any person or group who is the final user of a product or service. Here are some examples:

A person who pays a hairdresser to cut and style their hair.

A company that buys a printer for company use. The customer is the company who purchased the printer, and the consumers are the employees using the printer. The company does not intend to resell the printer.

A parent who buys their child new shoes. The parent is the customer, and the child is the consumer.

An individual purchasing a new TV for themselves. The individual is both the customer and the consumer.

A family purchasing a flight for a holiday. The whole family are the consumers.

Keep track of customers with invoicing software

With invoicing software, it is easy to keep track of your customers. You can import or manually create a customer list to quickly send invoices, quotes, and credit notes to clients. Once they are saved in your contact list, you can select the customer when creating an invoice, and the software will automatically fill in all of their details.

For instance, if you have a recurring customer who purchases something from you every month, you can save them to your contact list and quickly create an invoice to send to them. You can also set up recurring invoices which will automatically create an invoice every month so you don’t have to!

Debitoor allows you to keep track of your customers, however, it may not be possible to keep track of your consumers, especially if you sell your good and services to middlemen who then sell them to others.

For instance, if you own a farm that sells blueberries to a market, the market is your customer, but the consumers will buy the blueberries directly from the market.

We value your privacy

When you access this website or use any of our mobile applications we may automatically collect information such as standard details and identifiers for statistics or marketing purposes. You can consent to processing for these purposes configuring your preferences below. If you prefer to opt out, you can alternatively choose to refuse consent. Please note that some information might still be retained by your browser as it's required for the site to function.