I am designing a site that has two, distinct user types: buyers and vendors from a specific industry.
A buyer will log on and make a note of what service they want. Then, a potential vendor will respond if they wish to try and fill the buyer's needs.
The key difference between account types is that a buyer account is free and a seller account is not.
Generally speaking, what is the best way to handle this in 2013? I did a similar site almost 10 year ago (one of my first non-static sites) and it was very cut and dry - vendors logged on/registered in one spot and customers in another.
One approach I had was to create a short generic registration form with two options to choose from: "I am a seller" or "I am a buyer". Based on this, the user would get a separate profile page to fill out and sellers will be routed to a cc form.
I am leaning towards this approach. The idea being anyone can be a buyer but only paid and confirmed users can be sellers. Their account dashboards would reflect their status.
Does this seem the best approach?
There is the universal user approach like amazon - "my seller account", but this site is not as complex (obviously) and the user roles are much more concrete. That is to say, most of the users - especially the sellers - will generally be businesses with distinct buyer or seller relationships. Furthermore, seller accounts are set to be pay up front - at least for now.