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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Time and price dimensions in an online auction reputation mechanism Pan, Yin

Abstract

The reputation mechanism in online auctions provides online auction participants with information about the past behaviour of other participants, in the form of a numerical rating. eBay, which is the most popular online auction website, uses a simple aggregation to summarize and demonstrate participants' reputations. This study proposes and investigates designs for multi-dimensional reputation mechanisms, with time and/or related transaction price information. A laboratory experiment was conducted to empirically test whether the time and price dimensions in a reputation mechanism have significant effects on bidding behaviour of online auction participants, and whether these help participants to better judge the trustworthiness of sellers with a higher level of confidence. A design with one treatment of five levels was adopted and 150 university students were recruited for the experiments. The results showed that the mechanisms with a weighted time and/or price dimension have some ability to enable bidders to better distinguish sellers of different reputation levels, and were perceived to be more helpful to bidders in making bidding decisions.

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