Thursday, November 19, 2009

High vs. Low Risk Transactions on

 Sellers on Ebay exploit a wide range of low risk transactions (books for example) as well as a variety of high risk transactions (selling electronics). Is it risky for consumers to resort to purchasing expensive, more in depth products over simpler, cheaper ones through the internet? Or, is there trust established because of the quality of the “high risk” product assuming if the seller puts something of such expense out there it is reliable?

Books presented on Ebay range from about $7.00-$35.00. They only have so many reviews, when in a large range of reviews on such a small scale of 5/5 it is hard to establish how reliable that product is. The “product details” of each book is pretty lengthy, advertising low risk products in a descriptive way. Review scales for electronics differ from books, measure by “positive feedback” percentage scale. Most electronic sellers offer free shipping. Example of attempting buyer/seller trust. (“what will you get for me?”). The sellers information directly right of product picture and information for someone to access questions. However impersonal, exploiting the seller through a screen name rather than their actual name. Location of the item itself is available. The description of each product is short.

Assume buying electronics on Ebay hold more reviews, more reliable scale, giving other indications (seller’s personal information, location of product, benefits to the buyer such as free shipping) that they might be more trustworthy. Because High Risk sellers have so much at stake, they are almost forced to remain dependable. One bad review could cause others not to buy. Purchase based more on the picture, quality, and trustworthiness rather than a general description. Low risk purchases are more opinionated. Consumers may purchase item according to their liking, and the detailed description over the small scale review system. “Normal” people can’t really sell electronics on the internet (would have to be for a lower price). Suggestions about other comparisons??? Product types of seller characteristics??

Reputation system differ online because they perceive social differentiation. New ways to transfer information about people’s reputation. Organize, quantify information. Barriers to trying to get online feedback. Getting people to contribute? Negative feedback. Honest feedback. Reliability trust. Decision trust. Personal trust.

Higher transactions more trustworthy to the extent of how valuable products are. When given positive feedback/reviews + seller information + product information à enough evidence to build trust. However, Ballot stuffing- people can skew reputation with ratings. So…study of the reviews, people’s extent they go through before actual purchase, biased? Rigged?

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