In an economics and accounting context, what is the difference between goods and merchandise ?

  • Not all goods are merchandise. It's that simple.
    – Kris
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 12:56
  • Alas, far too many of what economists term goods and services are more truly regarded as evils and injuries. Commented May 23, 2014 at 13:39

2 Answers 2


This might help :

Goods: Object material product of economic activity used to meet any business need. Things or rights likely to produce benefits and / or grant rights of economic character are goods.

The merchandise is also a good, it’s just one that sells well.

This leads us to conclude that any property or asset that a company has earmarked for sale are called merchandise.

Reference : http://vspages.com/goods-vs-merchandise-17391/

  • Actually the main point for me is this (from here): A good is any asset or object to be used by the company. Merchandise is any asset or object to be sold by the company. Commented May 23, 2014 at 11:59
  • "A good?" Though grammatically correct.
    – Kris
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 12:57

There is a finely nuanced difference in the circumstances in which each is used.

Goods are things which some individuals and businesses both buy and sell.

Merchandise is something which is sold. One doesn't normally speak of the receipt of some merchandise, unless one is specifically referring to one particular supplier, as in 'We have had trouble with their merchandise before'.

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