50 Durable Goods Examples

Definition: Durable goods are items that are designed to last and be used for a long period of time, typically over three years. They are contrasted to non-durable goods, which are consumed or replaced quickly, often only usable once.

In economics, we say that these goods have ongoing utility: definition: “durable goods are those goods whose total utility is not exhausted in single or short-run use” (Mohana & Patro, 2023).

Durable Goods Examples

The following consumer goods generally have a lifespan for longer than 3 years and provide utility for consumers over time, making them durable goods:

  • Cars
  • Refrigerators
  • Washing machines
  • Laptops
  • Smartphones
  • Furniture (e.g., sofas, tables)
  • Televisions
  • Bicycles
  • Dishwashers
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Lawnmowers
  • Power tools (e.g., drills, saws)
  • Digital cameras
  • Microwave ovens
  • Air conditioners
  • Printers
  • Watches
  • Camping tents
  • Jewelry
  • Musical instruments (e.g., pianos, guitars)
  • Gaming consoles
  • Cookware (e.g., pots and pans)
  • Mattresses
  • Home theater systems
  • Blenders
  • Coffee makers
  • Toasters
  • Freezers
  • Sewing machines
  • Treadmills and home gym equipment
  • Snow blowers
  • Generators
  • Grills (e.g., barbecue grills)
  • Outdoor patio furniture
  • Boats
  • Motorcycles
  • Water heaters
  • Fireplaces
  • Ceiling fans
  • Bookshelves
  • Desks
  • Sunglasses
  • Leather bags
  • Sports equipment (e.g., skis, golf clubs)
  • Fishing rods
  • Binoculars
  • Skateboards
  • Drones
  • Keyboards (musical)
  • Pool tables

Durable vs Non-Durable Goods

FeatureDurable GoodsNon-Durable Goods
DefinitionDurable goods are items designed for long-term use, typically lasting for three years or more. They are characterized by their longevity and include products such as appliances, vehicles, and furniture (Kesavan, 2005).Non-durable goods are items with a short useful life, typically lasting for less than three years, often consumed or used up quickly. These include food, beverages, and toiletries.
LifespanTypically last for several years (three years or more).Short lifespan, often consumed or used up quickly (less than three years, usually immediate to a few months).
Frequency of PurchasePurchased less frequently due to their longer lifespan.Purchased frequently due to quick consumption or disposal.
CostGenerally more expensive due to higher quality materials and intended longevity.Typically less expensive and purchased for immediate use (Mohana & Patro, 2023).
ExamplesCars, refrigerators, laptops, furniture, washing machines.Food, beverages, paper towels, toiletries, cleaning supplies.
UsageUsed over a long period, providing value over time.Quickly consumed or used, needing regular replacement.
MaintenanceMay require maintenance or repair services to extend their lifespan.Little to no maintenance required before consumption or disposal.
Impact on EconomyPurchases often considered as investments and indicators of economic stability; affected by economic cycles.Consistent demand regardless of economic conditions; essential for daily living (Ahuja, 2022).
Consumer DecisionInvolves significant consideration and research due to higher costs and long-term commitment.Decisions often based on immediate need, with less financial risk and research involved.
Market VolatilityMore susceptible to economic fluctuations, with demand often influenced by consumer confidence and income (Baumohl, 2007).Less susceptible to economic fluctuations, as these goods are essential and replenished regularly.
Product DevelopmentLonger development cycles due to the complexity, safety standards, and durability requirements.Shorter development and innovation cycles to meet immediate consumer needs and preferences (Nagar, 2021).

Pros and Cons of Durable Goods

Pros of Durable Goods

1. Longevity and Cost-Effectiveness
Durable goods are designed to last for several years, making them a cost-effective choice over the long term (Kesavan, 2005). Although the initial purchase price might be higher, the extended lifespan of these goods means consumers do not need to replace them frequently, leading to potential savings.

2. Quality and Reliability
These goods often feature higher quality materials and craftsmanship, ensuring reliability and performance over time. Consumers benefit from the enhanced user experience and lower likelihood of frequent repairs or replacements (Eatwell, 2016).

3. Sustainability
By lasting longer, durable goods contribute to sustainability by reducing waste and the need for frequent manufacturing of replacement products. This can lead to a lower environmental footprint through decreased resource consumption and waste generation.

4. Resale Value
Many durable goods retain significant resale value, providing consumers with the option to sell them second-hand (Dwivedi, 2021). This can help recoup a portion of the initial investment and is beneficial for both the seller and the buyer looking for quality at a lower price.

5. Economic Indicators
Purchases of durable goods are often used as economic indicators, reflecting consumer confidence and economic health. A rise in durable goods orders suggests consumers are more willing to make long-term investments, indicating positive economic outlook.

Cons of Durable Goods

1. High Initial Cost
The higher quality and longer lifespan of durable goods often come with a higher initial price tag (Dwivedi, 2021). This can be a significant barrier for consumers with limited budgets, making it difficult for some to afford essential household items.

2. Technological Obsolescence
In rapidly evolving sectors like electronics, durable goods may become technologically obsolete before their physical lifespan ends (Eatwell, 2016). This can lead to a situation where consumers feel compelled to upgrade to newer models, undermining the cost-effectiveness of their initial purchase.

3. Maintenance and Repair Costs
While durable goods are built to last, they may require maintenance or repairs over their lifespan, which can be costly (Agarwal & Agarwal, 2020). The complexity of some durable goods also means that repairs need to be done by professionals, adding to the expense.

4. Less Flexibility
The long-term commitment to a durable good can limit flexibility. Changing needs, preferences, or advancements in technology may render a once-desirable item less useful or desirable over time (Agarwal & Agarwal, 2020).

5. Environmental Impact of Production
Although durable goods contribute to sustainability by reducing waste, their production can be resource-intensive (Baumohl, 2007). The manufacturing processes for items like cars and electronics often consume significant amounts of energy and raw materials, contributing to environmental degradation.

References

Agarwal, A., & Agarwal, S. (2020). Introductory Macroeconomics Based on NCERT Guidelines Class XII. SBPD Publications.

Ahuja, H. L. (2022). Managerial Economics (Analysis of Managerial Decision Making), 9th Edition. S CHAND & Company Limited.

Baumohl, B. (2007). The Secrets of Economic Indicators: Hidden Clues to Future Economic Trends and Investment Opportunities. Pearson Education.

Dwivedi, D. N. (2021). Managerial Economics, 9e. Vikas Publishing House. ISBN: 9789354531309.

Eatwell, J. (2016). Palgrave’s Dictionary of Political Economy. Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Kesavan. (2005). Engineering Economics and Financial Accounting. Laxmi Publications Pvt Limited.

Mohana, K. R., & Patro, C. S. (2023). Managerial Economics. I K International Pvt Ltd. (ISBN: 9789390620029)

Nagar, P. (2021). The ABC of Microeconomics: Basic Microeconomic Principles in Practice. Exceller Books.

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Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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