Title: Sellers' quality claims in online auctions: evidence from eBay

Authors: Jianwei Hou

Addresses: Department of Marketing and International Business, Minnesota State University, 150 Morris Hall, Mankato, MN 56001, USA

Abstract: Quality uncertainty is a major problem in online auctions owing to the physical separation between sellers and bidders. To reduce potential bidders| quality uncertainty, sellers often send quality signals to assure their product quality. This study investigates whether a seller|s self-made quality claim can be perceived as a quality signal by bidders. The empirical results show that a seller|s self-made quality claim has no effect on the auction outcomes (e.g., odds of a sale and price) regardless of how reputable the seller is.

Keywords: online auctions; quality uncertainty; signalling theory; quality signal; self-made quality claims; eBay; internet marketing; internet retailing; electronic marketing; electronic retailing; etailing; online retailing; online marketing; product quality; quality assurance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEMR.2007.014849

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2007 Vol.1 No.4, pp.355 - 369

Published online: 12 Aug 2007 *

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