What is C2C or consumer-to-consumer? Definition and examples

C2C, which stands for Consumer-to-Consumer, is the exchange of products or services among consumers. Nowadays, we mostly use this term when referring to trading goods online.

The rise of social media has significantly expanded C2C interactions, enabling consumers to connect and exchange goods through networks and community groups.

The term also stands for Customer-to-Customer.

Traditionally, people would participate in C2C commerce when selling or buying products at a flea market. Individual consumers could also interact commercially through newspaper adverts.

A flea market is an outdoor market where people sell second-hand, items, antiques, etc. In the UK, people call them ‘car boot sales.’

Wikipedia says the following regarding the term:

“Customer-to-customer (C2C) markets provide an innovative way to allow customers to interact with each other.”

“Traditional markets require business-to-customer relationships, in which a customer goes to the business in order to purchase a product or service.”

C2C - Consumer-to-Consumer
Millions of people buy and sell things to each other each day. They are C2C traders.

C2C process is simple

The consumer-to-consumer model differs from others because consumers interact with each other. The process of selling is relatively simple. It is much simpler than, for example, in the B2B or B2G worlds.

B2B stands for business-to-business, i.e., companies selling to other companies. B2G, on the other hand, means business-to-government.

In most cases, consumers need no marketing strategies because they can offer their products through different platforms online.

The consumer-to-consumer model has become progressively more popular since the advent of the Internet.

C2C – the Internet

Through the internet, individuals have been able to sell their products to bigger audiences over platforms or intermediaries.

Intermediaries have also increased consumer-to-consumer interaction, promoting engagement between users.

Amazon and eBay, for example, are two giant intermediaries.

  • eBay is an online auction site that enables consumers to trade with each other at any time.
  • Amazon has a B2C and C2C mix, i.e., it lets businesses sell to consumers and consumers sell to consumers.

B2C stands for business-to-consumer, i.e., companies selling to individual people.

Most websites will let purchasers buy freely. However, the seller must pay a fee or commission. The size of the fee depends on the exposure the seller requires.

Promoting your product for two weeks, for example, costs more than doing it for just one day.

Online C2C disadvantages

Like any type of business, consumer-to-consumer has some disadvantages. Methods of payment can sometimes be a problem. The quality of the product on sale can also be an issue.

Some C2C websites, however, have secure payment facilities.

PayPal, for example, lets people make and receive online payments.

Levels of quality may sometimes be a problem because some trades might be one-off exchanges. Also, many consumer-to-consumer trades are for second-hand goods.

In response to quality concerns, many C2C platforms have implemented rating systems, allowing buyers to review sellers and provide feedback on their transactions.

Online C2C advantages

For consumers, a consumer-to-consumer e-commerce model has its benefits. Users can keep their costs low and get a higher margin.

E-commerce stands for ‘electronic commerce.’ E-commerce means doing business, i.e., buying and selling things, online.

C2C sites offer a better deal because consumers can trade without having to sell at a brick-and-mortar store.

People can save time looking for the item they need online without having to drive all over town.

C2C example sentences

Below are some example sentences containing “C2C,” to help you see how we can use the term in context.

  1. “The rise of C2C marketplaces has made it easier for individuals to become entrepreneurs with just a few clicks.”
  2. “When I started my handmade jewelry business, I never imagined that C2C platforms would be such a powerful tool for reaching customers.”
  3. “The success of the C2C economy is evident in how people now prefer to shop for unique, one-of-a-kind items directly from their creators.”
  4. “C2C transactions have not only revolutionized the way we buy and sell goods but also how we perceive the value of second-hand items.”
  5. “Trust plays a critical role in C2C dealings, as both buyers and sellers rely on reputation and reviews.”
  6. “One of the most significant challenges in the C2C space is ensuring secure payment methods that protect both parties involved.”
  7. “The convenience of C2C shopping means you can find rare collectibles from the comfort of your home without scouring countless flea markets.”

Video – What is C2C?

This video presentation, from our YouTube partner channel – Marketing Business Network, explains what ‘C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer)’ means using simple and easy-to-understand language and examples.