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How eBay Sellers set “Buy-it-now†prices - Bringing The Field Into the Lab

Author

Listed:
  • Grebe, Tim
  • Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta
  • Kröger, Sabine

Abstract

In this paper we introduce a new type of experiment that combines the advantages of lab and field experiments. The experiment is conducted in the lab but using an unchanged market environment from the real world. Moreover, a subset of the standard subject pool is used, containing those subjects who have experience in conducting transactions in that market environment. This guarantees the test of the theoretical predictions in a highly controlled environment and at the same time enables not to miss the specific features of economic behavior exhibited in the field. We apply the proposed type of experiment to study seller behavior in online auctions with a Buy-It-Now feature, where early potential bidders have the opportunity to accept a posted price offer from the seller before the start of the auction. Bringing the field into the lab, we invited eBay buyers and sellers into the lab to participate in a series of auctions on the eBay platform. We investigate how traders' experience in a real market environment influences their behavior in the lab and whether abstract lab experiments bias subjects' behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Grebe, Tim & Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Kröger, Sabine, 2006. "How eBay Sellers set “Buy-it-now†prices - Bringing The Field Into the Lab," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 181, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:181
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13370/1/181.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven Anderson & Daniel Friedman & Garrett Milam & Nirvikar Singh, 2004. "Buy it Now: A Hybrid Internet Market Institution," Industrial Organization 0412003, EconWPA.
    2. Dan Ariely & Axel Ockenfels & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "An Experimental Analysis of Ending Rules in Internet Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 890-907, Winter.
    3. Durham Yvonne & Roelofs Matthew R & Standifird Stephen S, 2004. "eBay's Buy-It-Now Function: Who, When, and How," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, October.
    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. 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.
    6. Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Kröger, Sabine, 2008. "Price formation in a sequential selling mechanism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 832-843, September.
    7. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
    8. Timothy Mathews & Brett Katzman, 2006. "The role of varying risk attitudes in an auction with a buyout option," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 27(3), pages 597-613, April.
    9. Gary Charness & Dan Levin, 2005. "When Optimal Choices Feel Wrong: A Laboratory Study of Bayesian Updating, Complexity, and Affect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1300-1309, September.
    10. Timothy Mathews, 2003. "A Risk Averse Seller in a Continuous Time Auction with a Buyout Option," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, vol. 5(2), January.
    11. Timothy Mathews, 2004. "The Impact of Discounting on an Auction with a Buyout Option: a Theoretical Analysis Motivated by eBay’s Buy-It-Now Feature," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 25-52, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shunda, Nicholas, 2009. "Auctions with a buy price: The case of reference-dependent preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 645-664, November.
    2. Peeters, Ronald & Strobel, Martin & Vermeulen, Dries & Walzl, Markus, 2007. "The impact of the irrelevant : temporary buy-options and bidding behavior in online auctions," Research Memorandum 027, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    online auctions; experiments; buyout prices;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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