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A market is one of many varieties of systems, institutions, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services (including labor) in exchange for money from buyers. It can be said that a market is the process by which the prices of goods and services are established.

Markets can be classified according to certain structural characteristics that are shared by most firms in the market. Economists have names for these different market structures: pure competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly and monopoly.

An important category of economic markets is pure competition. This is a market situation in which there are many independent and well-informed buyers and sellers of exactly the same economic products. Each buyer and seller acts independently. They depend on forces in the market to determine the price. If they are not willing to accept this price, they do not have to do business.

To monopolize means to keep something for oneself. A person who monopolized a conversation, for example, generally is trying to stand out from everyone else and thus attract attention. In some markets there may be only one seller or a very limited number of sellers.

A situation like this often exists in economic markets – all the conditions of pure competition may be met except that the products for sale are not exactly the same. By making its product a little different, a firm may try to attract more customers. When this happens, the market situation is called monopolistic competition.

In some markets there may be only one seller or a very limited number of sellers.

Geographic segmentation. The market is segmented according to geographic criteria- nations, states, regions, countries, cities, neighborhoods, or zip codes. Demographic Segmentation. Demographic segmentation consists of dividing the market into groups based on variables such as age, gender, family size, income, occupation, education, religion, race and nationality. Psychographic Segmentation Psychographics is the science of using psychology and demographics to better understand consumers. Psychographic segmentation: consumer are divided according to their lifestyle, personality, values. "Positive" market segmentation Market segmenting is dividing the market to groups of individual markets with similar wants or needs that a company divides into distinct groups which have distinct needs, wants, behavior or which might want different products & services. Broadly, markets can be divided according to a number of general criteria, such as by industry or public versus private. Although industrial market segmentation is quite different from consumer market segmentation, both have similar objectives. All of these methods of segmentation are merely proxies for true segments, which don't always fit into convenient demographic boundaries.


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