Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) refers to electronic communication between two private consumers and can literally be translated as “consumer to consumer”. There is a clear distinction here between the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors. B2B describes relationships between two companies, while B2C refers to the sale of products and services by companies to private end consumers. Consumer-to-consumer relationships take place in various areas over the Internet. They can be found in online forums, where private individuals exchange their opinions on a wide variety of topics. In online exchange platforms, items such as games or music are exchanged directly from consumer to consumer. This also includes rating portals where private buyers can publish reports of their experiences and rate products positively or negatively. The largest area, however, is direct online trading between two consumers. Electronic marketplaces and Internet auctions are typical C2C platforms. Here, a private vendor sells his products to the highest bidder or offers them at a fixed price. One can find a variety of electronic marketplaces with classified ads, which have a much wider reach than the corresponding classified ads in print media. The best-known consumer-to-consumer platform is probably ebay.
Advantages of consumer-to-consumer relationships
The form of direct trade between consumers brings numerous advantages for both buyers and sellers. The seller can present his goods to a large number of potential buyers without much effort. He can also sell goods that are no longer new or that are no longer needed. Through positive evaluations by the buyer, he has the chance to increase his market value. The buyer also benefits from the possibility to buy used goods at a good price. It has also become relatively easy to order products in cheap foreign countries via the Internet. The buyer can view the goods at home and compare products via other consumer-to-consumer platforms and obtain experience, information and opinions about them.
Disadvantages of consumer-to-consumer relationships
However, trade between private consumers is also associated with some disadvantages and risks. First, it naturally has a negative impact on industry and commerce. Industry suffers from the longer life of products when they are resold rather than disposed of, and thus no new product is purchased. Trade is completely excluded from this type of business relationship. But there are also disadvantages for private buyers. Since there is no warranty or guarantee in a private sale, he must rely on the honesty of the seller. There is also danger from the dissemination of illegal data or questionable information. Despite all the risks, however, the market for consumer-to-consumer business relationships is huge and characterized by steady growth. There is no end in sight.
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