IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bpj/bejeap/vadvances.6y2006i2n3.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

...Plus Shipping and Handling: Revenue (Non) Equivalence in Field Experiments on eBay

Author

Listed:
  • Hossain Tanjim

    (Hong Kong University of Science & Technology)

  • Morgan John

    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

Many firms divide the price a consumer pays for a good into two pieces---the price for the item itself and the price for shipping and handling. With fully rational customers, the exact division between the two prices is irrelevant---only the total price matters. We test this hypothesis by selling matched pairs of CDs and Xbox games in a series of field experiments on eBay. In theory, the ending auction price should vary inversely with the shipping charge to leave the total price paid constant. Contrary to the theory, we find that charging a high shipping cost and starting the auction at a low opening price leads to higher numbers of bidders and higher revenues when the shipping charge is not excessive. We show that these results can be accounted for by boundedly rational bidding behavior such as loss-aversion with separate mental accounts for different attributes of the price or disregard for shipping costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Hossain Tanjim & Morgan John, 2006. "...Plus Shipping and Handling: Revenue (Non) Equivalence in Field Experiments on eBay," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-30, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:advances.6:y:2006:i:2:n:3
    DOI: 10.2202/1538-0637.1429
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.2202/1538-0637.1429
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.2202/1538-0637.1429?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2018. "Shrouded attributes, consumer myopia and information suppression in competitive markets," Chapters, in: Victor J. Tremblay & Elizabeth Schroeder & Carol Horton Tremblay (ed.), Handbook of Behavioral Industrial Organization, chapter 3, pages 40-74, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Michael D. Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 2001. "Consumer Decision-making at an Internet Shopbot: Brand Still Matters," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 541-558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    4. David Lucking-Reiley & John A. List, 2000. "Demand Reduction in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from a Sportscard Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 961-972, September.
    5. Krishna, Vijay, 2009. "Auction Theory," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780123745071.
    6. Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
    7. Cox, James C. & Smith, Vernon L. & Walker, James M., 1983. "A test that discriminates between two models of the Dutch-first auction non-isomorphism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(2-3), pages 205-219.
    8. David Lucking-Reiley, 1999. "Using Field Experiments to Test Equivalence between Auction Formats: Magic on the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1063-1080, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Tanjim Hossain & John Morgan, 2005. "A test of the revenue equivalence theorem using field experiments on ebay," Natural Field Experiments 00269, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. Jang, Seongsoo & Chung, Jaihak, 2021. "What drives add-on sales in mobile games? The role of inter-price relationship and product popularity," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 59-68.
    3. Dixit, Ashutosh & Whipple, Thomas W. & Zinkhan, George M. & Gailey, Edward, 2008. "A taxonomy of information technology-enhanced pricing strategies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 275-283, April.
    4. Gomes, Francisco J & Haliassos, Michael & Ramadorai, Tarun, 2020. "Household Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 14502, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Francesco Cerigioni & Simone Galperti, 2021. "Listing Specs: The Effect of Framing Attributes on Choice," Working Papers 1247, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    6. Axel Ockenfels & David Reiley & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2006. "Online Auctions," NBER Working Papers 12785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2005. "Lessons About Markets from the Internet," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 139-158, Spring.
    8. Grund Christian & Gürtler Oliver, 2008. "The Effect of Reputation on Selling Prices in Auctions," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(4), pages 345-356, August.
    9. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Holmes, Jessica & Matthews, Peter Hans, 2004. "Charity Auctions: A Field Experimental Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 1330, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Tanjim Hossain & John Morgan, 2006. "Shrouded attributes and information suppression: Evidence from field experiments," Natural Field Experiments 00336, The Field Experiments Website.
    11. Fugger, Nicolas & Gillen, Philippe & Rasch, Alexander & Zeppenfeld, Christopher, 2016. "Preferences and Decision Support in Competitive Bidding," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145849, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Basu, Anup K. & Dulleck, Uwe, 2020. "Why do (some) consumers purchase complex financial products? An experimental study on investment in hybrid securities," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 203-220.
    13. David Grether & David Porter & Matthew Shum, 2015. "Cyber-Shilling in Automobile Auctions: Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 85-103, August.
    14. Chu, Wujin & Lee, Jeongmin & Baumann, Chris & Kang, Christine, 2020. "Fairness perception of ancillary fees: Industry differences and communication strategies," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 55(C).
    15. Lunn, Pete & McGowan, Féidhlim & Howard, Noel, 2018. "Do some financial product features negatively affect consumer decisions? a review of evidence," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS78.
    16. Schmöller, Arno, 2010. "Bidding Behavior, Seller Strategies, and the Utilization of Information in Auctions for Complex Goods," Munich Dissertations in Economics 11175, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    17. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & José G. Montalvo & Rosemarie Nagel & Albert Satorra, 2002. "One, Two, (Three), Infinity, ...: Newspaper and Lab Beauty-Contest Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1687-1701, December.
    18. Gerlinde Fellner & Matthias Sutter, 2009. "Causes, Consequences, and Cures of Myopic Loss Aversion – An Experimental Investigation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 900-916, April.
    19. Arkes, Hal R. & Hirshleifer, David & Jiang, Danling & Lim, Sonya, 2008. "Reference point adaptation: Tests in the domain of security trading," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 67-81, January.
    20. Schade, Christian & Steul, Martina & Schröder, Andreas, 2002. "Starting points' effects on risk-taking behavior," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,15, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:advances.6:y:2006:i:2:n:3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.degruyter.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Peter Golla (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.degruyter.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.