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Seller reputation: From word-of-mouth to centralized feedback

Author

Listed:
  • Cai, Hongbin
  • Jin, Ginger Zhe
  • Liu, Chong
  • Zhou, Li-an

Abstract

Reputation is one of the most important incentives for trade and cooperation. Using the complete selling history of 125,135 sellers on Eachnet.com (an eBay equivalent in China), we show that sellers with a longer successful selling record enjoyed more repeat business, reached more buyer regions, sold in more product categories, and had a higher completion rate even before Eachnet introduced a centralized feedback system. Since the centralized feedback system, the difference between reputable and non-reputable sellers has decreased in terms of repeat business but enlarged in terms of market expansion. These findings suggest that while reputation can facilitate trade through buyer experience and word-of-mouth, it is not as effective as centralized feedback. Our study also shows that, although completion rate and transaction price are the two outcomes most often examined in the literature, seller reputation is important for buyer clientele, market reach, business scope and market survival.

Suggested Citation

  • Cai, Hongbin & Jin, Ginger Zhe & Liu, Chong & Zhou, Li-an, 2014. "Seller reputation: From word-of-mouth to centralized feedback," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 51-65.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:34:y:2014:i:c:p:51-65
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijindorg.2014.03.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Liang Chen & Garrett Johnson & Yao Luo, 2015. "Great and Small Walls of China: Distance & Chinese E-Commerce," Working Papers 15-14, NET Institute.
    2. Pierre Fleckinger & Matthieu Glachant & Gabrielle Moineville, 2017. "Incentives for Quality in Friendly and Hostile Informational Environments," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 242-274, February.
    3. Paul Belleflamme & Martin Peitz, 2018. "Inside the Engine Room of Digital Platforms: Reviews, Ratings, and Recommendations," Working Papers halshs-01714549, HAL.
    4. Fan, Ying & Ju, Jiandong & Xiao, Mo, 2016. "Reputation premium and reputation management: Evidence from the largest e-commerce platform in China," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 63-76.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reputation; e-Commerce; Centralized feedback; Word-of-mouth;

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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