Most of us are well aware of B2B and B2C Ecommerce business models, what it entails, and how they are conducted. This could have been mainly because we had either partaken in the transactions at some point in time or have had someone known to us dealing with the same. There is another business model gaining popularity in recent years that is just as interesting and profitable, if not more, for all the parties involved considering the brighter side of the user experiences.
C2C Ecommerce Business Model: What Does It Mean?
The model is termed as C2C or Consumer to consumer business model, which from a certain viewpoint facilitates a transaction, matching to our centuries-old exchange method: barter system, to a very large extent. The only difference is that in place of getting some other required goods for the product exchanged, the seller, who is also a consumer, gets paid by money. However, other than buyer and seller, there is no middle man to actively partake in the transaction or handle the goods sold or bought, allowing for sellers to earn high margins and buyers to find products at much lower prices.
As with many B2B and B2C businesses, who have taken their stores online, there are a number of C2C platforms available today to facilitate direct selling between consumers. Fiverr, Alibaba, Amazon, eBay, etc. There are some of the well-known ecommerce platforms that support C2C transactions. These eCommerce websites bring the same ease of transactions to the end buyers as with the more common B2B and B2C transactions, further extending it to the individual seller as well. The intermediary in this case, if applicable, may sometimes take a tiny cut from the sale or for listing the items, which is often paid by the seller only.
People who are looking to purchase used items or some rare unique items difficult to find in traditional business stores often opt to browse and purchase from C2C platforms. Some online sites also support search by geographic locations further ensuring consumer satisfaction. C2C platforms facilitate the exchange of services such as hiring online tutors, programmers, content writers, designers, etc. Are on the rise and hot in trend lately. Online transactions between parties may sometimes require a separate platform for payment. These third-party platforms also fall under the C2C type business model. Fees charged by these platforms are often very minuscule.
Auctioning items is another type of C2C transaction. It is conducted offline as well as online in large numbers worldwide. This can often be a lucrative undertaking, from a business point of view, or even if for charity for fundraising goals. Bidding among the interested buyers often drives up the price returning a good profit for sellers. Also, buyers may sometimes just end up with the best deal, if there aren’t many competitors.
C2C transactions mostly if conducted online come with their own set of disadvantages as well, which isn’t very surprising in fact. As the products are moving from consumer to consumer, there are no quality assurance checks. There is a possibility that the item bought may not be expected quality and refunds are uncommon, although few Ecommerce sites may provide considerable fraud protection to their users through strict governing policies. Additionally, while doing in-person transactions if chosen, buyers and sellers need to keep their physical safety in mind as there have also been several incidents of scammers harming the other party as well.
The never before convenience and ability to be able to sell your personal used/ unused items with little to no hassle has made the C2C platforms an attractive source of side income for common people. Dropping the middleman like wholesalers or retailers from the transaction benefits both buying and selling parties cost-wise and forms the core of the C2C business model and its success. It is always advisable that buyers confirm that the information supplied by the seller is accurate and sellers ensure that they take steps to receive full payment of delivery to prevent fraud.
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