Branded buy/sell/trade (BBST) is a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) selling phenomenon that is both massive in scale and meaningful in its impact on consumer behavior and the traditional retailing landscape. Consumers buy, sell, and trade one focal brand’s products in these social media-hosted, consumer-initiated communities. This article introduces the phenomenon, differentiates it from other forms of C2C exchange, and explores relationships between members and the brand. Although brands may view these activities as a potential threat to retail sales, the effects are more complex and paradoxical. The authors present data collected from Facebook, in-depth interviews, and a survey. Findings suggest that buyer-sellers experience greater member closeness and spend more in traditional retail settings on the brand’s products than strictly buyers, indicating that transactional engagement has positive member and brand outcomes. This research contributes to our understanding of C2C exchange and BBST engagement’s effects on consumers and brands.

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Copyright © 2018, University of Chicago Press. This article first appeared in Journal of the Association for Consumer Research 3, no. 3 (2018), 260-276.

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