The parcel delivery firm Yodel has seen an exponential rise in Customer-to-Customer (C2C) Commerce deliveries stemming from online marketplaces like eBay and Vinted in recent months. The company reports it is now sending more than 600,000 C2C parcels each week. This rise represents a 132% increase since July 2022.
According to Yodel, this increase in C2C business follows a sharp rise in the number of people looking to online marketplaces to either supplement their income or buy pre-loved gifts in the run-up to the festive season. Yodel’s research suggests that almost 2 in 5 (39%) UK consumers will use online marketplaces when shopping for Christmas.
Speaking to journalists, Mike Hancox, CEO of Yodel, said, “Much of the growth in volumes we have seen from Yodel Direct has been driven by the growing numbers of people selling online to boost their income. We have also seen micro sellers that began operating during the pandemic continuing to do so since, further driving the success of our C2C deliveries.”
Invest In Your Side Hustle
The growth in sales of pre-loved, vintage and second-hand items doesn’t surprise us here at Frooition. We’ve been following the trend for the past 18 months, highlighting how eBay invests in the circular economy.
Regular readers of this blog will be aware of eBay’s commitment, particularly to pre-loved fashions, with their sponsorship of the reality TV series Love Island and the high-profile influencer Tasha Ghouri.
While travelling the country with the eBay Roadshow this summer, we spoke with many private sellers investing in their side hustle and building legitimate businesses. To help them out at this early stage of their business, we’ve built simple, free tools like the Frooition Hot Product Finder chrome extension. We’ve also documented the entrepreneurial journeys of inspiring sellers’ side hustles on the Frooition Podcast.
Why Are New C2C Sellers Good News For Existing B2C Retailers?
Consumers like choice. They might visit an online marketplace looking for a second-hand or pre-loved item and have their heads turned by a professionally refurbished item or even a new product. Offering consumers the opportunity to compare new, used and refurbished items alongside each other creates more opportunities to sell for everyone on the marketplace.
B2C retailers have many levers they can pull to make their listings stand out from the crowd. These include professionally designed eBay templates and fully-optimised listings.
It’s also worth remembering that while eBay is a very competitive marketplace, the platform doesn’t compete with the retailer, unlike Amazon.
A “Pure” Online Marketplace
eBay offers its sellers a “pure” marketplace. This means they act only as a third-party marketplace and don’t actively compete against its sellers like Amazon and other online retailers that have adopted a similar marketplace model do.
Another advantage eBay has over marketplaces like Decathlon or Etsy is it is not restricted by specific sales verticals or niche interests.
This explains why, according to a recent report by Retail X, eBay is the most trusted online marketplace for leading retailers.
According to the report, eBay was home to 355 retailers in the publisher’s Top 500 retailers list. This is compared to just 172 on Amazon. Surprisingly, Amazon isn’t even the second most trusted online marketplace for top brands to set up shop in Europe. In fact, Amazon trails behind BOL (Netherlands) with 257 leading retailers, Zalando (Germany) with 236, and Otto (Germany) with 210.
eBay also ranks pretty well in consumer friendliness compared to the competition. Unlike Amazon, eBay doesn’t require buyers to create an account to complete checkout. For un-logged-in customers, it also takes fewer clicks (6) to complete a purchase on eBay than Amazon (8). The same is true when customers are logged-in with eBay allowing a purchase with 3 clicks compared to 4 clicks on Amazon. Essentially, eBay makes it very easy to buy from the online marketplace.
eBay is a Unique Sales Channel
Sometimes, it’s all too easy to knock eBay. Like an old friend, over-familiarity can lead to contempt. When this happens, it’s all too easy to have your head turned by a competitive offer. Spreading your business across multiple marketplaces and your own website is, of course, something that is thoroughly recommended. However, sometimes it’s a good idea to remind yourself why you initially fell in love with a marketplace in the first place. This is especially true if your business invests in current consumer trends targeting Gen Z consumers and the circular economy.