This research examines how a seller’s reputation score and auction pre-configuration affects people’s participation in communication within online auction communities. A leading horizontal intermediary auction platform is used to conduct this research. Its seller “feedback” mechanism and “ask seller a question” forum are chosen as representatives of post- and intra-transactional information disclosure. A self-developed classification approach is used to classify the buyer-initiated questions. The results of multinomial logistic regression indicate that product quality, shipment and payment issues are aspects that concern buyers the most in the early stages of an auction. Subsequently, their attention is likely to shift to seller credibility and price negotiations as listing durations get longer. In terms of the influ- ence of seller feedback ratings, our findings suggest that lower-rated traders are more likely to be asked questions about product description and seller credibility. Buyer concern about seller uncertainty is only alleviated if the seller has a good reputation. Even medium-rated sellers are suspected of being opportunistic. Moreover, buyers are more willing to discuss transaction-related issues and raise negotiation-associated questions with sellers who have already achieved high reputation scores. Finally, the theoretical and managerial implications are elaborated.
Li, Yichen; Srinivasan, Ananth; and Tripathi, Arvind K., "Exploring Information Disclosure In Online Auctions" (2017). MCIS 2017 Proceedings. 43.