Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/94129
Authors: 
Klein, Tobias J.
Lambertz, Christian
Spagnolo, Giancarlo
Stahl, Konrad O.
Year of Publication: 
2007
Series/Report no.: 
SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper 220
Abstract: 
eBay's feedback mechanism is considered crucial to establishing and maintaining trust on the world's largest trading platform. The effects of a user's reputation on the probability of sale and on prices are at the center of a large number of studies. More recent theoretical work considers aspects of the mechanism itself. Yet, there is confusion amongst users about its exact institutional details, which also changed substantially in the last few months. An understanding of these details, and how the mechanism is perceived by users, is crucial for any assessment of the system. We provide a thorough description of the institutional setup of eBay's feedback mechanism, including recent changes to it. Most importantly, buyers now have the possibility to leave additional, anonymous ratings on sellers on four different criteria. We discuss the implications of these changes and provide first descriptive evidence on their impact on rating behavior.
Subjects: 
eBay
reputation mechanism
strategic feedback behavior
informational content
reciprocity
fear of retaliation
JEL: 
D44
L15
L86
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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