This article examines the received wisdom of services marketing and challenges the validity and continued use- fulness of its core paradigm, namely, the assertion that four specific characteristics—intangibility, heterogeneity, inseparability, and perishability—make services uniquely different from goods. An alternative paradigm is pro- posed, based on the premise thatmarketing exchanges that do not result in a transfer of ownership fromseller to buyer are fundamentally different from those that do. It posits that services offer benefits through access or temporary possession, instead of ownership, with payments taking the form of rentals or access fees. This rental/access per- spective offers a different lens through which to view ser- vices. Important implications include opportunities to market goods in a service format; the need for more re- search into how time is perceived, valued, and consumed; and the notion of services as a means of sharing resources.
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