I want to find a hierarchy of all sellable products and services. Where can I find this?
- crawl ebay/amazon/craigslist/google-products
- find a database that contains market research on all things
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[Update: As of Jan 25 2015, the page linked in this answer no longer provides the download page or the POD site. A search on the website shows something related to accessing this POD but after quite a bit of search, it doesn't appear that any of this data is actually available.]
The most promising open data source at least for sellable products seems the Product Open Database (POD), which tries to publish a very comprehensive product database, indexed by the barcode number.
The POD Download page contains the database itself and a DB scheme overview. Attributes include the GTIN (the barcode number), product name, brand name, country, size and weight of package. They even have thumbnails of product pictures and brand logos.
Ok, second try: all sellable goods gives a strong hint to let you inspire by the most comprehensive directory of all sold goods world-wide, which yields ebay. Their all categories listing should give you a good inspiration to build your own tree, probably more or less refined on your focus.