Buyer Behavior and eBay

By

Kevin Mason

Head, Management & Marketing Department

Professor of Marketing

Arkansas Tech University

 

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.