Commodification is the transformation of goods, services, ideas and people into commodities, or objects of trade. A commodity at its most basic, according to Arjun Appadurai, is "any thing intended for exchange," or any object of economic value. People are commodified—turned into objects—when working, by selling their labour on the market to an employer. One of its forms is slavery. Others are, the trading with animals and body parts through formalised or informalised organ transplant.
Commodification is often criticised on the grounds that some things ought not to be treated as commodities—for example education, data, information and knowledge in the digital age.