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Does a Seller's Ecommerce Reputation Matter? Evidence from eBay Auctions


  • Melnik, Mikhail I
  • Alm, James


With internet commerce, a buyer cannot directly examine the product and so must rely upon the accuracy and reliability of the seller in deciding whether and how much to bid. In this setting, the seller's reputation can become an important factor in the bid. This paper examines the impact of the seller's reputation on the willingness of buyers to bid on items sold via internet auctions, using a 1999 mint condition U.S. $5 gold coin whose average price was $32.73. The empirical results show that the seller's reputation has a positive, statistically significant, but small impact on the price. Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Suggested Citation

  • Melnik, Mikhail I & Alm, James, 2002. "Does a Seller's Ecommerce Reputation Matter? Evidence from eBay Auctions," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 337-349, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:50:y:2002:i:3:p:337-49

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    Cited by:

    1. Axel Ockenfels, 2009. "Marktdesign und Experimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(s1), pages 31-53, May.
    2. Shiu, Ji-Liang & Sun, Chia-Hung D., 2014. "Modeling and estimating returns to seller reputation with unobserved heterogeneity in online auctions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 59-67.
    3. Tobias J. Klein & Christian Lambertz & Konrad O. Stahl, 2016. "Market Transparency, Adverse Selection, and Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(6), pages 1677-1713.
    4. Klein, T.J. & Lambertz, C. & Stahl, K., 2013. "Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard in Anonymous Markets," Discussion Paper 2013-032, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Jacobsen, Grant D., 2015. "Consumers, experts, and online product evaluations: Evidence from the brewing industry," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 114-123.
    6. Frota Neto, João Quariguasi & Bloemhof, Jacqueline & Corbett, Charles, 2016. "Market prices of remanufactured, used and new items: Evidence from eBay," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 171(P3), pages 371-380.
    7. Justus Haucap & Ulrich Heimeshoff, 2014. "Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay: Is the Internet driving competition or market monopolization?," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 49-61, February.
    8. repec:eee:touman:v:32:y:2011:i:5:p:1166-1175 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Bruno Jullien & In-Uck Park, 2009. "Seller Reputation and Trust in Pre-Trade Communication," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000330, David K. Levine.
    10. repec:eee:touman:v:57:y:2016:i:c:p:80-83 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Hortacsu, Ali, 2005. "Trust and Reputation on eBay: Micro and Macro Perspectives," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8vj7d50q, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    12. Reynolds, Kristy E. & Gilkeson, James H. & Niedrich, Ronald W., 2009. "The influence of seller strategy on the winning price in online auctions: A moderated mediation model," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 22-30, January.
    13. Castriota Stefano & Delmastro Marco, 2010. "Individual and Collective Reputation: Lessons from the Wine Market," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 149-172.
    14. Baye, Michael R. & De los Santos, Babur & Wildenbeest, Matthijs R., 2016. "What’s in a name? Measuring prominence and its impact on organic traffic from search engines," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 44-57.
    15. Belleflamme,Paul & Peitz,Martin, 2015. "Industrial Organization," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107069978, March.
    16. Dina Mayzlin & Yaniv Dover & Judith A. Chevalier, 2012. "Promotional Reviews: An Empirical Investigation of Online Review Manipulation," NBER Working Papers 18340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Jolivet, Grégory & Jullien, Bruno & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2016. "Reputation and prices on the e-market: Evidence from a major French platform," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 59-75.
    18. Lumeau, Marianne & Masclet, David & Penard, Thierry, 2015. "Reputation and social (dis)approval in feedback mechanisms: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 127-140.
    19. Fernando, Chitru S. & Gatchev, Vladimir A. & May, Anthony D. & Megginson, William L., 2015. "Prestige without purpose? Reputation, differentiation, and pricing in U.S. equity underwriting," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 41-63.
    20. Weinberg, Bruce D. & Davis, Lenita, 2005. "Exploring the WOW in online-auction feedback," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(11), pages 1609-1621, November.
    21. repec:eee:touman:v:38:y:2013:i:c:p:43-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Huang, Ching-I & Chen, Jong-Rong & Lee, Chiu-Yu, 2013. "Buyer behavior under the Best Offer mechanism: A theoretical model and empirical evidence from eBay Motors," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 11-33.
    23. Yao, Emery & Fang, Ruolian & Dineen, Brian R. & Yao, Xin, 2009. "Effects of customer feedback level and (in)consistency on new product acceptance in the click-and-mortar context," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 1281-1288, December.
    24. Chen, Pu & Chen, Yijuan & Hu, Xiangting & Li, Sanxi, 2015. "Can online markets attract high-quality products?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 65-71.

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