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Abstract

Online auctions have undergone rapid development in recent years. New features of online auctions, together with new bidding strategies different from those used in offline auctions, make research in this area compelling. The existing research mainly focuses on the description of bidding strategies; only a handful of studies focus on the antecedents of bidding strategies. This research aims to fill this gap by constructing a contingency framework to investigate why bidders bid differently in online auctions, and use unique bidding strategies. Environmental factors, bidding tasks, bidders’ characteristics, and bidding motivations are included in the framework. We conducted in-depth interviews with professional, experienced bidders in China to reveal the specific reasons why bidders adopt different bidding strategies during online auctions. Finally, we discuss the implications for both global research and practice.

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