EBay is a rapidly growing communications
infrastructure with the potential to dramatically change the way
we live. From a marketerís perspective, eBay may have more
potential as a marketing tool than any of its media
predecessors, including the television. From the consumerís
perspective, eBay offers benefits that can help him or her be
more efficient and effective in searching out, evaluating,
purchasing, and using products.
The characteristics of eBay users differ in
terms of many factors that influence consumer behavior (e.g.,
cultures, values, demographics). The diverse needs of these
online consumers create marketing opportunities for many
products. For opportunistic marketers, this rapidly growing
market harbors great sales potential. A thorough examination of
the eBayís influence on buyer behavior is needed to better
understand its potential as a marketing tool.
This manuscript calls upon marketers to
examine the moderating impact of eBay on consumer behavior. The
classical problem solving approach to the buying decision
(problem recognition, information search, evaluation of
alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior) is
used as the foundation for exploring how the eBay might
influence each stage, provide examples, and pose important
questions for marketers.