Introduction to C2C Ecommerce: Online Classifieds and Online Auctions

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C2C (Consumer-to-consumer) electronic commerce is the type of business done online or via Internet, where both buyer and seller are individuals. Contrary to traditional business model whereby a customer needs to go to the brick and mortar store to purchase a product or service. C2C e-commerce has enabled individuals to open a web-store that incurs a relatively lower cost due to the absence of need for purchasing real estate to run the business. Furthermore, as online shop does not have physical presence for buyer to visit directly, it is capable of offering virtually countless number of products. Additional product information that cannot be seen from traditional business for instance product review and product comparison can be also beneficial to the consumers when making online purchase. There are two typical C2C e-commerce implementations: classifieds and auctions.

Internet Auctions

Online auctions work in such a way a buyer places a bid at an item he/she intends to purchase, other buyers (bidders) who look at the same item would have to place their bids as well, at a higher price. Online auction normally has a time limit, typically ranging from a few days to a few weeks, upon the ending of the time limit, the item will be sold to the highest bidder. It is not uncommon that a high demand item will result in competitive bids: as the number of simultaneous bidders increases, the final bid will be very close to, or sometimes higher than its real market value. Big online auction service provider such as eBay, charges a final value fee to a seller when an item has been sold successfully. A listing fee may or may not be imposed for an item to be listed or auction, depending on the service provider. An online auction site connects all the buyers and sellers around the world who are geographically far apart and international trade boosts the business of a domestic seller. The item is delivered to the buyer via shipping and it takes a few days or longer depending on the buyer’s location. A premium shipping services, typically shortens the delivery time at the expense of higher cost. For instance overnight shipping service guarantees that the item will arrive in the next day. Despite of the buyer-seller location in this business model, online auction offers a huge range of products, from homemade product to high-end electronic devices.

Internet Classifieds

If Internet auctions allow global users to do business, then Internet classifieds is another C2C e-commerce model where the buyers and sellers can meet locally. Evolved from newspaper classifieds, a seller posts classified to a classified ads site, interested buyers from the neighborhood finds the ad and contact the seller via email or phone. Both parties will discuss for the item price (so it is flexible), and they will meet at a specific place: park, shopping mall, etc. Once the buyer is satisfied with the item brought by the seller, cash will be given to the seller and the deal completes. As the Internet classifieds is getting matured, it is not only about items for sale, it is more like a community site where people can post about local upcoming events. “Lost and found” section in an Internet classifieds site is another great place for the local who loses something because someone else who found the item might post a news about it in that section too. Nowadays online classified sites gain popularity among employers and job seekers because it acts as an alternative way to employment agencies and thus satisfies both parties. Small companies and individuals also utilize online classifieds to advertise the services offered by them. Similarly, real estate classifieds is another great feature offered by the service provider. Property owners who have apartments for rent can attract more potential customers without the involve of agent or commission fee and thus yields in higher rental return.

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