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Lesson 5Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) sites
ObjectiveDefine the characteristics of C2C sites.

(C2C) Consumer to Consumer Sites

The goal of a C2C is to enable buyers and sellers to find each other easily. Buyers and sellers benefit in two crucial commerce areas. First, they benefit from the competition for products; and second, they can easily find products that are otherwise difficult to locate. C2C sites function closely to a physical person-to-person transaction in that they encourage greater interaction with other participants, and they frequently solicit user involvement. Although B2B and B2C sites generate greater awareness, C2C sites are emerging as popular destination sites for commerce and community.


C2C sites have more payment options than B2B and B2C sites. For example, bartering and using cyber credits are two possibilities. Also, offline payment options usually exist.


C2C sites face a unique security issue in that they must authenticate users. Sellers need to be certain they are selling to the correct people and buyers need to be certain they are buying from reputable sources. The table below shows an overview of a C2C site:

Overview of C2C site:

Consumer To Consumer Sites Characteristics
Goal Enable Sellers and buyers to find each other
Benefit Pricing, Availability
Payment Payment includes bartering and special cyber credits, and offline options
Security User must be authenticated
Sample Site

Ad   Consumer Behaviour
Before any consumer-to-consumer business can be formed over the Internet, there needs to an established gathering space where individuals can come together. These gathering spaces are called virtual communities in which a collection of people come to one site to communicate and connect. From there, people can establish a multitude of community themes to bring similar minded people together.

Examples of communities:

  1. Communities of interest: People who come together over the Internet to share a common interest like professions, sports, hobbies, philosophy, trading, and others.
  2. Communities of relations: People who come together over the Internet to share stories of relations such as friends, families, and/or relationships. Some examples of these communities would be like Myspace or Facebook.
  3. Communities of fantasy: People who come together over the Internet to share fantasies over the internet like fantasy football or baseball. Another example would be a site that allows people to write their own stories of fiction.

Another type of online community that establishes a consumer-to-consumer electronic commerce is called an online auction site. An e-auction is like a regular auction but the sales of bidding are done online. It is a place where sellers and buyers bid for items listed on the auction sites such as Ebay or Amazon.
Here are two examples of the types of auctions that can occur:

Types of Auctions

  1. Forward Auction: An auction that sellers use to have buyers bid on their merchandise till the highest bidder wins.
  2. Reverse Auction: Like the forward auction, this auction is used by consumers that want to buy goods or services. However, the buyer selects the seller that has the lowest bid. An example of this would be seen in where instead of purchasing a product from them, a person can buy from other sellers. When going into the listing of other vendors, the website usually posts the lowest asking price first.
    Then, the next lowest price is listed all the way up to the last seller that has the highest price of all the listings.

Consumer-to-consumer sites
Consumer-to-consumer sites
In the next lesson, you will learn how the internet is being used to facilitate transactions between the buyer and the seller.

Ecommerce - Business Sites- Exercise

Click the Exercise link below to test your knowledge of the three types of e-commerce business sites.
Ecommerce - Business Sites- Exercise