A consumer is one who consumes goods manufactured and sold by others or created (air, water, natural resources) by nature and sold by others. One, who avails services such as banking, transport, insurance, etc., is also called a consumer. In other words, a consumer is an individual who consumes goods- manufactured by firms or created by nature air, water etc. and services offered by government or firms, hospitals, educational institutions etc.,
A person who buys any goods or services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised or under any system of deferred payment is a consumer.
A person who obtains such goods for resale or for any commercial purposes will not be a consumer. However, if such goods are bought by a person exclusively for the purpose of earning his livelihood by means of self-employment then such a person will be considered a consumer.
In theory, all business enterprises consider consumer’s satisfaction as their main objective. A consumer is said to be the king and the businessmen are primarily supposed to serve and satisfy customers. The consumer occupies the central position in the entire scheme of free economy; consumers have not always received the attention they deserve. In reality consumers are cheated and exploited in many ways. In the practical world, a consumer is a ‘slave’ and not the ‘sovereign’ as described.
The consumer’s well-being or the welfare lies in the fulfilment of their normal, legitimate, interests, expectations and aspirations as to goods and services they need. Each and every customer is worried, and harmed till buried about the quality, quantity, price and the timeliness of the supply of goods and services they need.