Document Type



Online auctions have demonstrated how e-commerce can transform business, and not merely transplanting conventional processes to a new medium. The resulting emergence and growth of diverse markets pose the intriguing question of what ‘shape’ a given market is in at a particular moment of development. The approach of Topological Analysis, which is based on the Star Plot method in data visualization, provides such a model using only operational data, without any expert knowledge of the specific auction market, or financial details from the transactions. Using extensive analysis of data available on, the foremost online auction platform to date, a global comparative study of four markets in eight countries is conducted. The results shed light on the evolution of electronic markets, as well as their regional and cultural variations.