Customer to Customer (C2C): Meaning, How It Works, and Examples


C2C Meaning

Customer to Customer (C2C) is a business model in that customers can typically trade with each other in an online environment. Two implementations of C2C marketplaces are auctions and classifieds. C2C marketing is gaining popularity with the advent of the internet and companies like eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist.

How Customer to Customer C2C works

C2C represents a market environment in which a customer purchases goods from another customer through a third-party company or platform to facilitate the transaction. C2C companies are a kind of business model that emerged with e-commerce technology and the sharing economy.

Customers benefit from competition for products and often find items that are difficult to find elsewhere. Also, margins for sellers can be higher than traditional pricing methods, as costs are minimal due to the absence of retailers or wholesalers. The C2C locations are helpful as there is no stationary store to visit. Sellers list their products online and buyers flock to them.

Consumer to Consumer Websites


This is an e-commerce platform that connects people promoting products, services, or situations. In addition to providing a platform to buy, sell, and trade products, Craigslist also runs monthly classifieds, such as job opportunities and real estate ads. As with many others, this platform requires the seller to send the items directly to the buyer.


This website allows business owners to create their own website where they can market their products to consumers. The C2C site provides guidance and tools for growing a business, the price of which varies depending on the level of progress of the business. There is also a “Sell on Etsy” app that you can use to efficiently manage customer orders, offers, and inquiries.


This website offers two types of product listings: fixed-price items and auction items. Fixed-price items can be quickly purchased by clicking the Buy Now button. Furthermore, auction items have a bid button that allows you to enter bids and view a current bid price. These items can be bid for a specified time and are declared “sold” to the highest bidder.

C2C Companies List

The following are top-ranked c2c companies 

  • Vestiaire Collective
  • Bukalapak
  • Cint
  • Zopa
  • Lalafo
  • Audio Network
  • Applozic, Inc.
  • Crowdcube
  • Funding Circle
  • Tokopedia
  • 3D Hubs

4 Types of C2C Model Platforms

There are various e-commerce platforms that allow individual customers to look for desired things and give merchants a space with a built-in audience of potential purchasers. Most C2C platforms charge fee sellers a modest fee to list their item or a small commission on the final sale. Examples of C2C platforms include:

#1. Auction platforms

Online auction platforms let merchants post their goods at a minimal price and then allow several customers to bid on the item until there’s a winner. Bidding can potentially push up the price higher than if sellers posted the item at a set price, and bidders can potentially get a good deal if there aren’t many other eager bids.

#2. Exchange of goods platforms

There are a number of internet sites that link buyers and sellers looking to exchange tangible goods—from secondhand furniture to artwork and anything in-between. Many of these platforms exist in both internet and app form and even enable you to search by physical location so you may execute the transaction in person.

#3. Exchange of services platforms

You can also use online C2C platforms to purchase and sell services such as hiring a dog trainer, a website designer, a handyperson, or renting someone’s home for vacation.

#4. Payment platforms

C2C online payment systems exist to list goods and services and to facilitate payment for C2C sales on other systems. These services may make money by charging users a nominal fee to transfer earnings into their own bank accounts.

Difference between C2C and C2B eCommerce

Business-to-consumer (B2C)

The business-to-consumer e-commerce model serves consumers as a means of selling to businesses. A common example would be a paid ad on a personal website, where businesses would pay the website owner for the ad space.

Consumer-to-consumer (C2C)

This e-commerce model focuses on making it easy for consumers to trade standards with each other. The most common application is an online marketplace similar to eBay or Amazon.

C2C eCommerce Advantages and Disadvantages

The C2C e-commerce business model appears to be preferred, especially by smaller retailers without an established brand or business unit. There are several advantages that C2C eCommerce offers for those who want to sell their goods and services through a platform as explained below.


  • Higher profitability: The main idea of ​​the C2C e-commerce business model is that there are no middlemen involved, which can lower the cost of the product or service offered and increase profitability. C2C sellers do not have to consider additional costs such as rent, employee salaries, website hosting, marketing, and the use of third parties for product distribution. The C2C e-commerce marketplace enables direct communication and transactions between the seller and the buyer with no hidden costs.
  • Largest customer base: If you have a physical or online store, the number of visitors and potential customers (physical or electronic) depends on the opportunities, proximity to the store, loyal customers, advertising, and appropriate marketing. When a C2C e-commerce marketplace “comes to a halt,” the chances of potential visits and transactions are much greater as visitors to the particular platform search for specific products and services. Additionally, the online aspect of C2C e-commerce means that your products and services are visible to a global audience, increasing your chances of conversion.
  • Credibility: In many cases, the sellers who sell their products or services on a C2C platform are people who do not have the credibility of a well-known seller or the ability to maintain their own e-commerce platform. In these cases, thus, it can be helpful to have the “umbrella” of a C2C platform, as this can offer some credibility based on the platform’s guidelines and the ability to check the background.


The advantages of C2C e-commerce can be very tempting for marketers, but this business model also has some disadvantages.

  • Competition: Being in a market where many sellers offer a similar product or service can be overwhelming for some business owners, especially when they have to compete with lower prices, better reviews, or higher quality products and services.
  • Payment problems: depending on the provider of the marketplace platform, there may or may not be a payment guarantee for the transactions carried out. There have been complaints from C2C ​​e-commerce sellers that they were misled by customers. Depending on the platform’s guidelines, the issue can be difficult to deny and resolve.
  • Platform Fees: Some platform providers may charge sellers (and occasionally buyers) for the use of the platform at a standard, recurring fee, or as a percentage of profit.

Wrap Up

The C2C marketplace is growing in popularity with marketers looking to maximize their sales potential by connecting with customers they might not otherwise reach with traditional sales methods. Online platforms like Etsy and Craigslist attract customers who can find almost any product or service for a price they are willing to pay.


What is C2C vs B2B?

B2B is a model which involves businesses acquiring goods and services from one other. C2C signifies customers engaged in commerce with each other, usually in an online context.

What is C2C model?

Customer to customer (C2C) is a business strategy that enables customers to trade with each other, frequently in an online setting.

Is Amazon a B2B or B2C?

Amazon is both a business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) organization. Given the breadth of products accessible on Amazon, more and more small businesses resort to the internet for supplies.

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