What is Consumer-To-Consumer Business?

Malcolm Tatum

Also known as C2C business, consumer-to-consumer business is any type of transactions that take place between consumers. This is different from B2C transactions in which a consumer purchases products from a business. One of the most common of all consumer-to-consumer business transactions is the online auction, which allows consumers to offer items to other consumers with the use of a third-party auction site.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

The basics of consumer-to-consumer business transactions involve one consumer offering something for sale to another consumer. This may take place in an online environment, or offline using different methods. For example, if a consumer wishes to sell his or her vehicle rather than use it for a trade-in on a new one, placing an ad in a local newspaper or other print publication makes it possible to connect with other consumers who may be interested in buying the car or truck. Assuming that someone does respond to the ad and chooses to buy the vehicle, a consumer-to-consumer business transaction has taken place.

Online, one of the most common types of consumer-to-consumer business transactions has to do with participation at an online auction site. In that environment, sellers offer various items for bid, with the auction lasting for a specified period of time. As with any type of auction, the high bidder wins the auction and forwards payment to the seller. Upon receipt of the payment, the seller sends the won item to the high bidder, successfully completing a C2C transaction.

Another online option for consumer-to-consumer business transactions is the use of online classified sites to place ads selling various types of items. Today, there are a number of web sites that allow sellers to post ads for free, with some even providing security-based tools that protect the identity of the seller by forwarding responses to the ad through the site owner’s server. Sites of this type make it possible to sell everything from tickets to a sporting event to household electronics. Most of these sites do place some limits on what can and cannot be offered for sale, and will ban users from the site if the terms and conditions are not observed.

One of the simplest of all forms of consumer-to-consumer business transactions is the humble yard sale. Owners who wish to dispose of various items collected over the years offer those items at low prices. Consumers drop by during the sale and purchase the items, often negotiating the price with the seller. Unlike most business-to-consumer transactions, consumer-to-consumer business transactions are often less structured, may involve the sale of new or used items, and is often a great way to earn a little money for items no longer wanted, or to buy good quality used items at low prices.

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