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Bidding behavior in competing auctions: Evidence from eBay


  • Anwar, Sajid
  • McMillan, Robert
  • Zheng, Mingli


Much of the existing auction literature treats auctions as running independently of one another, with each bidder choosing to participate in only one auction. However, in many online auctions, a number of substitutable goods are auctioned concurrently and bidders can bid on several auctions at the same time. Recent theoretical research shows how bidders can gain from the existence of competing auctions, the current paper providing the first empirical evidence in support of competing auctions theory using online auctions data from eBay. Our results indicate that a significant proportion of bidders do bid across competing auctions and that bidders tend to submit bids on auctions with the lowest standing bid, as the theory predicts. The paper also shows that winning bidders who cross-bid pay lower prices on average than winning bidders who do not.
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  • Anwar, Sajid & McMillan, Robert & Zheng, Mingli, 2006. "Bidding behavior in competing auctions: Evidence from eBay," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 307-322, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:50:y:2006:i:2:p:307-322

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel & Timothy C. Salmon, 2004. "Bidder Preferences among Auction Institutions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(2), pages 223-236, April.
    2. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortaçsu, 2004. "Economic Insights from Internet Auctions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 457-486, June.
    3. Peters, Michael & Severinov, Sergei, 2006. "Internet auctions with many traders," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 220-245, September.
    4. Alvin E. Roth & Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "Last-Minute Bidding and the Rules for Ending Second-Price Auctions: Evidence from eBay and Amazon Auctions on the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1093-1103, September.
    5. Glenn Ellison & Drew Fudenberg & Markus Möbius, 2004. "Competing Auctions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(1), pages 30-66, March.
    6. Paul Resnick & Richard Zeckhauser & John Swanson & Kate Lockwood, 2006. "The value of reputation on eBay: A controlled experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(2), pages 79-101, June.
    7. Bajari, Patrick & Hortacsu, Ali, 2003. " The Winner's Curse, Reserve Prices, and Endogenous Entry: Empirical Insights from eBay Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 329-355, Summer.
    8. McAfee, R Preston, 1993. "Mechanism Design by Competing Sellers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1281-1312, November.
    9. Ockenfels, Axel & Roth, Alvin E., 2006. "Late and multiple bidding in second price Internet auctions: Theory and evidence concerning different rules for ending an auction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 297-320, May.
    10. Alvin E. Roth & Axel Ockenfels, 2000. "Last Minute Bidding and the Rules for Ending Second-Price Auctions: Theory and Evidence from a Natural Experiment on the Internet," NBER Working Papers 7729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Lucking-Reiley, David, 2000. "Auctions on the Internet: What's Being Auctioned, and How?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 227-252, September.
    12. 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.
    13. Peters, Michael & Severinov, Sergei, 1997. "Competition among Sellers Who Offer Auctions Instead of Prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 141-179, July.
    14. Luis Cabral & Ali Hortacsu, 2004. "The Dynamics of Seller Reputation: Theory and Evidence from eBay," NBER Working Papers 10363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions


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