In today’s online world e-commerce is crucial. It includes various transactions via the Internet so that people don’t have to waste their time going to brick and mortar stores. The World Wide Web broadens the range of our opportunities and each of us can be a businessman.
Nowadays the most popular kind of e-commerce business model is C2C (consumer to consumer or sometimes customer to customer). According to the latest studies, more and more people prefer to buy online. The majority of them don’t mind purchasing second-hand stuff. This fact may explain the rapid growth of e-commerce websites popularity.
What is C2C e-commerce
C2C e-commerce is a type of trade relations where both sellers and buyers are consumers, not businesses. It presupposes interaction between parties through a third one, mostly an online auction or trade website. Due to this phenomenon, selling and buying via the Internet has never been so easy. Various internet resources help sellers and buyers to find each other by charging a small fee or commission. Outstanding examples of C2C e-commerce sites are e-Bay, Amazon and Flipkart.
How C2C platforms work
Everything is simple — vendors sell their products on the site and buyers purchase what they want. C2C websites benefit from commission fees for listing goods that are normally paid for by the seller. Transactions are made through online payment systems such as PayPal or credit card. Speaking of PayPal, each online transaction is charged a small percentage of the paid sum. Anyway, e-commerce websites are only intermediaries and are not liable for product quality, payment security or refunds.
Main C2C e-commerce advantages
The main advantage of C2C business is that sellers and buyers are reachable. It is also effortless and handy and does not take much time to use. Moreover, it is possible for one customer to be a seller as well as a buyer. What is more, it provides a rich social linking. Numerous community and forum discussions are available.
C2C advantages for Buyers
Buyers benefit greatly from using C2C websites mostly because of the reduced price. What is more, they can deal with different sellers. Besides this, searches using criteria are available. For example, it is possible to select the best sellers, most popular products or offers from your area and much more. One more important thing is that users may choose the best proposal, contacting you directly without intermediary assistance.
C2C advantages for Sellers
The main pros of C2C for vendors are high profitability due to direct sales. Sellers avail themselves mostly through overhead cost reduction. For entrepreneurs, this means that there is no need to spend money on facilities like rent, office supplies or salaries. Furthermore, this type of e-commerce broadens the range of potential clients as it covers not only national but also the international market. That the transaction cost is not high is definitely a plus. Last, but not least, is efficiency in selling personal or unique goods, including handmade products.
Main C2C e-commerce disadvantages
E-commerce is not considered the safest place. It is generally associated with fraud and deceit. Buyers and sellers may not be confident in their counterparts. In addition, swindlers may use a famous brand on their sites to mislead users. And there is always the danger of identity theft.
C2C disadvantages for Buyers
The main issue of buying on C2C e-commerce is lack of quality control. No one is going to guarantee that the purchased item is of high quality or worth the money paid. Another thing is the absence of the warranty that ordinary shops have. Refunds are very rare, so if something goes wrong, there’s no recourse against dishonest seller. Nevertheless, some C2C sites as eBay or Amazon provide strict policies to protect their users.
C2C disadvantages for Sellers
While selling via C2C sites you cannot be guaranteed of payment. In most cases, parties stop their cooperation after a transaction is completed. Thereby, information is not shared that can lead to improper shipping.
C2C e-commerce is an emerging and quickly developing direction in trading. It simplifies the way we sell and buy, but may be dangerous and create frauds. Of course, each of us has to choose whether to use this kind of business or not. But the fact that it cannot be ignored is undeniable.
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