One of the oldest forms of commerce, the auction, has gained amazing popularity online. The largest online auction, eBay, boasts 5.6 million registered users of its services. They further claim that users buy and sell items in more than 1,600 categories and that everyday, eBay hosts over 2.5 million auctions with over 250,000 new items being offered for sale (9). And eBay is only one of many websites providing electronic auctions on the Internet today. Amazon.com, MSN and other companies are beginning to join the online auction bandwagon started by eBay in September 1995. Even well known auctioneers such as Sotheby's and Guernsey's Auction House are beginning e-auctions (6). Yet despite the popularity of online auctions, little academic research has been devoted to this relatively new phenomenon. Because buyers do not have face-to-face contact with either the items being sold or the sellers, challenges not present in traditional auctions arise. How do buyers choose which items to bid on? What consumer decision rules apply to online auctions? This research study proposes that three variables are particularly important to online buyers: 1) whether or not a picture of the item is available for the buyer to view; 2) the experience of the buyer (measured by buyers' feedback ratings); and 3) the reputation of the seller (measured by sellers' feedback ratings).
|Number of pages
|Journal of Computer Information Systems
|Published - Mar 2003