Search good

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In economics, a search good is a product or service with features and characteristics easily evaluated before purchase. In a distinction originally due to Philip Nelson, a search good is contrasted with an experience good.

Search goods are more subject to substitution and price competition, as consumers can easily verify the price of the product and alternatives at other outlets and make sure that the products are comparable. Branding and detailed product specifications act to transform a product from an experience good into a search good.


  • Luis M. B. Cabral: Introduction to Industrial Organisation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2000, page 223. ISBN 0-262-03286-4
  • Philip Nelson, "Information and Consumer Behavior", 78 Journal of Political Economy 311, 312 (1970).