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Lesson 8 The supply Web: B2C
Objective Describe the impact of B2C e-marketplaces.

E-marketplaces in B2C

Earlier lessons began with the storefront and moved through various elements of e-commerce, mainly discussing the potential business impact and, in some cases, its technical impact. The final form of an e-commerce site we will cover in this course is the e-marketplace. An e-marketplace is a Web site where buyers and sellers can meet dynamically, like a perpetual flea market, or even the stock market.
You may have heard of e-marketplaces: eBay and Yahoo offer consumer e-marketplaces. E-marketplaces are the rarest of e-commerce sites because they are the most complex and risky of the sites.
How can you use an electronic marketplaces or e-markets? Focus on e-markets and supplier directories which have a focus on business-to-business (B2B).

eMarket Services uses the following definition of an e-market:

  1. it is open to several buyers and several sellers
  2. it is a trading platform, the e-market itself does not sell nor buy  goods or services traded on the platform
  3. it has at least one trading function 
Supplier directories support companies in establishing new business relationships but no actual trade takes place at these platforms. E-markets and supplier directories are also called B2B Internet platforms and these platforms include all Internet-based solutions that aim at facilitating the establishment of new trading relationships between companies .

How e-marketplaces work

For simple consumer-oriented sites, sellers post their goods and the price, and buyers can choose to make purchases. In many cases, the buyers bid for the item and the highest bid wins. Sometimes those "wins" turn into "loses" because consumer-oriented e-marketplaces offer the buyers and the sellers little protection. There is no guarantee that the goods sold are any good at all, or if the seller actually possesses the goods for sale. Consumer e-marketplaces have already been victims of all types of fraud because there is no built-in protection. There is no guarantee that the goods will be shipped to the buyer, that refund requests will be honored, or that the goods were represented accurately on the Web site. Nonetheless, they hold the same appeal as a physical auction or flea market since you never know what deal you might find. In the next lesson, you will learn about the impact of B2B e-marketplaces.