Consumer to consumer, or C2C, is the business model that facilitates commerce between private individuals. Whether it’s for goods or services, this category of e-commerce connects people to do business with one another. The other three categories of e-commerce are B2B (business to business), C2B (customer to business) and B2C (business to customer).
A solid example of C2C transactions would be the classifieds section of a newspaper, or an auction. In both cases, a customer – not a business – sells goods or services to another customer. A more high-tech version of this is the rise of apps like letgo and OfferUp that allow consumers to sell to their neighbors. Letgo boasts 75 million downloads and 200 million listings since 2015.
The goal of a C2C is to enable these relationships, helping buyers and sellers locate each other. Customers can benefit from the competition for products and easily find products that may otherwise be difficult to locate.
Thanks to the internet, bigger intermediary companies have fostered more C2C interaction. The most prominent examples of C2C include eBay, an online auction site, and Amazon, which acts as both a B2C and a C2C marketplace. eBay has been successful since its launch in 1995, and it has always been a C2C. Anyone can sign up and begin selling or buying, giving an early voice to consumers in the e-commerce revolution.
Craigslist is another well-known site where people can buy and sell goods, as well as trade services. With more than 20 billion page views per month, this classifieds site creates a community feel in the C2C business model. Craigslist does not facilitate the payment or processing of money, however – it simply facilitates the relationships, whether between a landlord and potential renters, or someone seeking specific services and the expert who can provide them.
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