Purchase - Term Overview


The purchase is the action by which an agent (the buyer), acquires a good or a service from another agent (the seller), in exchange for a monetary or in-kind consideration.

A purchase is an operation in which an exchange occurs. This is shown in contrast to another operation called sale. In this, the buyer acquires a desired good or service, in exchange for a consideration. Said consideration can be monetary, through money. While, on the other hand, it would also be considered a purchase through the delivery of another good or service, that is, through payment in kind.

The buying process is always displayed as opposed to the selling process. In this way, this process is called the “ buying and selling ” process.

For a purchase to take place, two agents must participate: buyer and seller. Only in this way can the function be fulfilled.

What agents are involved in a purchasing process?

For a purchase process to take place, it must present, at least, two agents for the action to take place.

In this sense, the two agents that must be present for the process to take place are:

- Buyer: The one who wants the good or service. This is the one who pays the consideration in exchange for said good or service. It can be a natural or legal person.
- Seller: One who owns the good or service that the other person wants. This establishes the consideration that you want to receive for said good or service. In this case, it can also be a natural or legal person.

Thus, when both parties reach an agreement, a process known as sale takes place.

Intermediaries can also intervene in a purchase.

Types of purchase depending on the consumer

Among the existing types of purchase, marketing specialists and consumer research have defined a list of types of purchase that can occur in the market.

Thus, the types of purchase defined by specialists are:

- Varied purchase.
- Regular purchase.
- Complex purchase.
- Buy by discard.
- Impulse buying.

Types of purchase depending on the payment

Depending on how the consideration is made, the types of purchase can be various. In this sense, depending on how the buyer makes the payment, we can classify purchases into two:

Purchase on credit: When the seller delivers the good and the service, but the buyer pays for it within a predetermined period set by both parties. Purchase to the cash: When the buyer gives consideration to the seller immediately.

Thus, these purchases can be classified, based on how the payment is made, into the following types:

Purchase in kind: When the buyer delivers the consideration to the seller, but does so by delivering another good or service. It's also called barter. Purchase in cash: When the buyer delivers the consideration to the seller, but does so based on a cash payment. The vast majority of purchases are made through this route.

Thus, these are the existing types of purchase, depending on how the consideration offered by the buyer is made.

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