This chapter examines the marketplace activities of subsistence customers in South India. It presents a picture of the day-to-day behaviors and interactions of subsistence customers in terms of the products they purchase and their interactions with sellers and outlets. The method involved observations and in-depth interviews of a variety of buyers and sellers over several years in urban and rural South India. Needs, products, and market interactions, as well as typical budgets in subsistence contexts are described. These descriptions are used to derive broader characteristics of product and market interactions in terms of uncertainty, complexity, and lack of control; one-on-one interactions; transactional fluidity; and make or buy decisions. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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