Emic and etic interpretations of engagement with a consumer-to-consumer online auction site
This paper provides emic and etic interpretations of engagement with a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) online auction site, based on in-depth interviews with buyers. The study exposes three misconceptions about online C2C auctions; that the interaction between parties occurs exclusively online, that the relation between buyers and sellers is purely transactional in nature, and that the interaction between buyers and sellers does not lead to ongoing business relationships. The paper reveals the utilitarian, hedonic and social benefits that are the bases of engagement with the auction site. Social benefits materialize for auction buyers during offline exchanges. The paper also reveals marketer incentives and structural disincentives for consumers' ongoing use of the auction site.
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