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Essential features of C2C ecommerce

Clearing C2C ecommerce.

C2C is a widely spread online business model that has many emblematic examples. Basically, it happens from consumer to consumer (C2C), making it easier for them to offer products or services, in digital spaces that we know today as marketplaces.

In this article we will share the most important characteristics of the C2C model, some examples and also, if you are thinking of developing a marketplace, the advantages that will help you understand why this model may be ideal for your business idea.

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ecommerce c2c

What is C2C ecommerce?

C2C ecommerce, or Consumer to Consumer, refers to commercial transactions that take place between individual consumers through online platforms. In this model, consumers can buy and sell products or services directly from each other, without the involvement of companies or commercial organizations.

This C2C sale is often facilitated by a third party who handles the details of the transaction in exchange for a fee for bringing the parties (direct sellers and potential customers) together while providing quality control that is acceptable to both.

Examples of C2C businesses include brands like eBay, Amazon Marketplace, and Etsy, among many others, that serve as online intermediaries. While technically one person could be the seller in such a situation, it is considered a consumer-to-consumer business model (and known to some as a customer-to-customer business model) because that seller is not a traditional business.

How C2C ecommerce works

The purpose of the business strategy and the accompanying e-commerce platform is to allow one party to sell directly to potential buyers without spending a considerable amount of money on building and maintaining an online store. This allows the seller to keep more of their profits because they are not investing the capital to create infrastructure associated with a traditional business. Of all business models, C2C is the one that most resembles a market, where you can start a business with minimal costs.

The buyer can also get more competitive prices if sellers compete on the same C2C platform. The most common term for this type of ecommerce platform is marketplace. The idea of ​​a market reflects real-world examples such as flea markets, where a building owner offers stalls to vendors in exchange for a percentage of the profits.

Platforms like BigCommerce or Adobe Commerce have all the tools and features necessary to build a modern marketplace, for clients who want to make the most of C2C opportunities.

At Orienteed, we can build them from scratch or combine them with other sales models, such as a single online store, multiple stores (i.e. many franchises connected to a single product database), a multi-currency global marketplace, an auction platform global, business-to-business e-commerce and much more.

C2C eCommerce Examples

As you will see, the C2C business model provides a way to sell products through online auctions or classified ads, offering a platform and facilitating credit or debit card transactions. But there are other ways to create a C2C online environment.

These are some examples of C2C ecommerce that can help us get a better idea of ​​the model:

  • EBay is a great example where consumers sell items to other consumers online, starting as a true customer-to-customer environment. It was the first customer-to-customer auction site on the web, although Buy It Now! they currently eclipse those of timed auctions. EBay makes money by charging fees to sellers for the privilege of connecting them with potential buyers, thus serving as a C2C platform for online auctions and classifieds.
  • Etsy It allows business owners to create their customized website on which to market their products to consumers. The C2C site offers guidance and tools to grow a business whose pricing varies depending on the company's stage of development. There is also a "Sell on Etsy" app that helps manage orders, listings, and customer inquiries efficiently.
  • Craigslist takes a much more altruistic approach. In most cases, it works as a free marketplace for consumers to connect with other potential consumers locally through a third-party company. Craigslist charges to post job ads to cover its expenses, but its main goal is to create a free C2C e-commerce marketplace.
  • Amazon offers the largest marketplace on the web. Buyers pay by credit card or PayPal, and sellers receive payments facilitated by Amazon into their own bank account or PayPal account. Amazon charges one of the highest fees of any C2C site on the web, but sellers continue to use it because of Amazon's reach and promotional features.

The fact.

The "Amazon effect" is named after the popular global online retailer and refers to the competitive gains that e-commerce companies have made as more shoppers make purchases online rather than in physical stores.

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Advantages for marketplace owners in the C2C model

C2C eCommerce websites are a specialized type of ecommerce platform with several advantages over traditional e-commerce models in the B2C market. A C2C business:

  • No inventory needed: Since a C2C platform is just the middleman taking a cut of the C2C transaction, inventory is not an issue. This avoids tying up capital in inventory and eliminates the need for storage and shipping facilities. It also eliminates shipping costs associated with a B2B business model. Simply charge a listing and/or final value fee without the risk of having inventory, like when they sell products in brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Needs less staff: A zero-inventory business does not need packers, movers, or drivers.
  • Create sellers from buyers: Buyers who become familiar with a website as a buying platform may recognize it as a legitimate place to become sellers. This is when it becomes a true customer-to-customer experience, where consumers sell products to other customers when before they were simply the buyer.
  • You can choose your level of participation: User agreements dictate how involved a C2C platform is with the customer-to-customer business transaction. For example, Kickstarter's user agreement states that it is not responsible for the contract between the creator and its backers.
  • Not responsible for counterfeits: Tiffany and Co. took eBay to court, alleging that eBay profited from counterfeits of its high-end products. The courts decided that C2C sites like eBay are not legally responsible for counterfeits sold on their site. (Don't forget to check the case law for examples like this in your country of residence)

Pros and cons of C2C for buyers and sellers

Now is a good time to take a look at the pros and cons of C2C ecommerce for users of the platform.

Advantages for sellers

C2C platforms give sellers the ability to list an item for sale without advertising, marketing costs or additional legwork. The platform owner takes care of things like quality control and promotional features.

A seller can also leverage the marketplace's web presence to rank at the top of many search engine results. Not only can this type of e-commerce help sellers reach a broader audience than they could independently, but they can also do it faster.

Salespeople also benefit because they can change their level of engagement daily, whereas a traditional business would keep them busy day after day. In other words, C2C creates a great opportunity for “side hustles,” much like running recurring garage sales in an online environment.

Advantages for buyers

Buyers also benefit from C2C ​​websites. Because the seller controls the price and can avoid the overhead costs associated with traditional retail companies, buyers can take advantage of this lower price that a retail company might not offer. They also receive the promise of quality control that you establish for sellers.

C2C commerce also offers buyers the convenience of shopping from home. When done right, a well-designed C2C marketplace is beneficial for both buyers and sellers.

Choosing the right C2C ecommerce platform

The greatest difficulty in C2C ecommerce lies in finding a platform capable of managing all the functions of a solid marketplace without requiring a million-dollar investment or years of configuration. This is a crucial activity for the success of your digital business.

Here are some steps you could take to make that decision:

  1. Define your needs and objectives: Before you start looking for platforms, clarify your business goals and the features you need in your C2C platform. What type of marketplace do you have in mind? What features are essential for your business?
  2. Research the available options: Conduct extensive research on the different C2C eCommerce platforms available in the market. Read reviews, consult success stories and compare the features and prices of each option.
  3. Evaluate ease of use: Look for a platform that is easy to use for both sellers and buyers. An intuitive and friendly interface can facilitate adoption and improve the user experience.
  4. Consider scalability: Make sure the platform you choose is scalable and can grow along with your business. It should be able to handle an increase in transaction volume, number of users, and diversification of products or services.
  5. Verify security and reliability: Security is essential on any e-commerce platform. Make sure the platform offers robust security measures to protect your users' data and financial transactions.
  6. Browse technical support: Look for a platform that offers good customer service and technical support. It is important to have access to fast and efficient help in case of technical problems or questions related to the platform.
  7. Consider the costs: Carefully analyze the costs associated with each platform, including transaction fees, monthly or annual fees, and any additional costs for additional features. Make sure the price is reasonable in relation to the features and value the platform offers.
  8. Try before you commit: Many platforms offer free trials or demos that allow you to experiment with the platform before committing. Take advantage of these opportunities to evaluate whether the platform meets your needs and expectations.

By following these steps and making an informed decision, you will be better equipped to choose the C2C eCommerce platform that is right for your digital business.

Now is your turn!

Now that we have seen the essential characteristics of C2C ecommerce, what comes next? If your business is looking to expand its reach with a marketplace, at Orienteed we can develop the C2C platform you are looking for, in an online environment that adapts to your business and its particular needs.

Whether you want to create an auction site that surpasses eBay or help direct sellers find their buyers for goods and services, you will get the best return on your investment by letting us put all our experience in the incredible world of auction at your disposal. ecommerce.

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