AbstractA seller wishes to prevent the discovery of rival offers by its prospective customers. We study sales techniques which serve this purpose by making it harder for a customer to return to buy later after a search for alternatives. These include making an exploding offer, offering a "buy-now" discount, or requiring payment of a deposit in order to buy later. It is unilaterally profitable for a seller to deter search under mild conditions, but sellers can suffer when all do so. In a monopoly setting where the buyer has an uncertain outside option, the optimal selling mechanism features both buy-now discounts and deposit contracts. When a seller cannot commit to its policy, it exploits the inference that those consumers who try to buy later have no good alternative. In many cases the outcome then involves exploding offers, so that no consumers return to buy after search.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 48568.
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Consumer search; sales techniques; price discrimination; sequential screening;
Other versions of this item:
- D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L80 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-07-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-CTA-2013-07-28 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-MIC-2013-07-28 (Microeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Armstrong, Mark & Chen, Yongmin, 2012.
39074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Pascal Courty & Li Hao, 1997.
Economics Working Papers
224, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Glenn Ellison & Alexander Wolitzky, 2012.
"A search cost model of obfuscation,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
RAND Corporation, vol. 43(3), pages 417-441, 09.
- Maarten C.W. Janssen & Alexei Parakhonyak, 2011. "Consumer Search Markets with Costly Second Visits," Vienna Economics Papers 1102, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
- Roger B. Myerson, 1984.
"Multistage Games with Communication,"
590, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Babur De los Santos, 2008.
"Consumer Search on the Internet,"
08-15, NET Institute, revised Sep 2008.
- Wolinsky, Asher, 1986. "True Monopolistic Competition as a Result of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 493-511, August.
- Daniel Kr�mer & Roland Strausz, 2009.
"Optimal Procurement Contracts with Pre--Project Planning,"
036, Departmental Working Papers.
- Daniel Krähmer & Roland Strausz, 2011. "Optimal Procurement Contracts with Pre-Project Planning," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 1015-1041.
- Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-49, April.
- Patrick DeGraba, 1995. "Buying Frenzies and Seller-Induced Excess Demand," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 331-342, Summer.
- Karni, Edi & Schwartz, Aba, 1977. "Search theory: The case of search with uncertain recall," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 38-52, October.
- Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
- Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1994. "Supplying Information to Facilitate Price Discrimination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 309-27, May.
- Roth, Alvin E & Xing, Xiaolin, 1994. "Jumping the Gun: Imperfections and Institutions Related to the Timing of Market Transactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 992-1044, September.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Laura Doval, 2013. "Whether or not to open Pandora's box," Discussion Papers 1574, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.