self service

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Self Service

A business model in which a company sells a product that the buyer selects and/or uses without direct supervision by the seller. One of the most common examples is a gas station, where customers normally put gas in their automobiles themselves. Another example is a grocery store, where customers select items and put them in a shopping basket before check out. Self service may reduce costs and, in any case, it frees employees to perform other tasks.

self service

a form of retailing whereby customers of RETAIL OUTLETS (shop, filling station etc.) select for themselves the goods they wish to purchase and pay for them at a checkout. Self service can be applied to both large and small-scale retailing operations and by cutting down on operating costs (i.e. eliminating the wages of sales assistants) it can assist a retailer or some other business (restaurant, cafeteria, etc.) to become more price competitive. See RETAILER.