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Buy it Now: A Hybrid Internet Market Institution

  • Steven Anderson

    (United States Geological Service)

  • Daniel Friedman

    (University of California, Santa Cruz)

  • Garrett Milam

    (Ryerson University)

  • Nirvikar Singh

    (University of California, Santa Cruz)

This paper analyzes seller choices and outcomes in approximately 700 recent Internet auctions on eBay. The ‘Buy it Now’ option that is available in these auctions allows the seller to supplement or replace the auction with a posted price offer. We use a structural model to control for the endogenous conduct of the auction (e.g., number of bids and bidders) as well as product and seller characteristics. Among other results, we find that the ‘Buy it Now’ option was used more often by sellers with higher ratings (awarded by previous buyers) and sellers offering fewer units; and that posted prices were more prevalent for used items. Sellers obtained higher prices for unused and undamaged items overall, and especially when selling at the ‘Buy it Now’ price.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/io/papers/0412/0412003.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0412003.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 06 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0412003
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 27
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Steven Anderson & Daniel Friedman & Garrett Milam & Nirvikar Singh, 2004. "Seller Strategies on eBay," Industrial Organization 0412004, EconWPA.
  2. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  3. Budish, Eric B. & Takeyama, Lisa N., 2001. "Buy prices in online auctions: irrationality on the internet?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 325-333, September.
  4. David Lucking-Reiley, 1999. "Using field experiments to test equivalence between auction formats: Magic on the internet," Framed Field Experiments 00183, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. 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.
  6. Cason Timothy N. & Friedman Daniel, 2002. "A Laboratory Study of Customer Markets," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-45, February.
  7. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2001. "Information Gatekeepers on the Internet and the Competitiveness of Homogeneous Product Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 454-474, June.
  8. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  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. Douglas Gale, 2010. "Limit theorems for markets with sequential bargaining," Levine's Working Paper Archive 621, David K. Levine.
  11. Paul Resnick & Richard Zeckhauser & John Swanson & Kate Lockwood, 2006. "The value of reputation on eBay: A controlled experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 79-101, June.
  12. Colin Campbell & Dan Levin, 2006. "When and why not to auction," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 583-596, 04.
  13. Doug Bryan & David Lucking-Reiley & Naghi Prasad & Daniel Reeves, 2000. "Pennies from eBay: The Determinants of Price in Online Auctions," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0003, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  14. Cason, Timothy N. & Friedman, Daniel & Milam, Garrett H., 2003. "Bargaining versus posted price competition in customer markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 223-251, February.
  15. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1983. "Sequential Bargaining with Incomplete Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 221-47, April.
  16. Daniel Friedman, 1982. "Price Formation in Double Auction Markets," UCLA Economics Working Papers 278, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. Stoll, Hans R., 2003. "Market microstructure," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 553-604 Elsevier.
  18. Spulber, Daniel F, 1996. "Market Making by Price-Setting Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 559-80, October.
  19. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521736602 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-94, March.
  21. Daniel F. Spulber, 1996. "Market Microstructure and Intermediation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 135-152, Summer.
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