An item of goods (singular form "good") is a tangible product. It can be used to satisfy some desire or need. A goods item is the opposite of a service which is intangible. For example a melon is a tangible goods item, whereas a haircut is a service (as it is intangible).
Goods come under two categories: consumer goods and durable (capital) goods. The consumer goods are purchased and used by the population and these mostly comprise of food and clothing. These kinds of goods have a short life and having been enjoyed by the consumer they no longer exist (except possibly as material for re-cycling) so at this stage they are taken as being worthless. It should be noted that goods have value and are considered to be the sole form of wealth. This idea means that non-produced factors in and associated with the process of production, particularly land and man-power are not normally regarded as wealth. Animals are a form of wealth as are slaves, which is the sole kind of man-power that is an exception. Some of the bye-products from the production process have value as intermediate goods, see below. Partly finished and intermediate products are regarded as goods too, although their value is latent rather than actual, because normally they are not available for private purchase. These lay closer to the second kind of goods called capital, see below.
The availability of transport operations and other means of communications, including that by the use of electronics are examples of the services, for which the intermediate consumption of fuel and other materials is needed. Thus in practice all of the provided kinds of services require some consumption of a more basic kind of goods, and this means the expenditure of wealth. In the case of the service provided by the hire and occupation of a site of land, a home or an industrial building and the labour that is used for production by an industrial manager, the service that is being provided is due to the opportunity-cost. Even here the operations would not be possible without the consumption of some other intermediate kind of goods which have a more tangable nature.
The second category of goods is that of durable capital. These include the buildings (without the land) needed for production, along with the associated tools, vehicles, machinery and knowledge or skill. Durable capital goods have long life-times but they eventually become obsolete. During their life-times they suffer from wear and tear and require maintanence so as to keep them in good condition for further continued use. The cost of this maintanence means that the returns from selling the produce must cover this cost.
These returns are sometimes called profit, but this term is unsatisfactory because it must cover certain costs and expences in practice. The direct return on the use of the durable capital goods is called the yield. After deductions for obsolescence (replacement) and maintance are made the resulting sum is the hire-fee, dividend or interest (depending on the kind business arrangement). This is paid back to the share-holders whose investment was in the durable capital goods. The exact definition of these terms is important in presenting the formal situation in an accurate way, and any profit must be taken up by these various returns and expenses. Whilst considering this, the two other kinds of returns on production, ground-rent and wages should not be forgotten. Macrocompassion 16:02, October 31, 2011 (UTC)