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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Schirle, Tammy / de Vries, Frans / Zulehner, Christine

4 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.252
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.755

CiteScore 2016: 0.48

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.330
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.526

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1935-1682
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Volume 5, Issue 2 (Jan 2007)

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Volume 6 (2006)

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Volume 1 (2001)

Public versus Secret Reserve Prices in eBay Auctions: Results from a Pokémon Field Experiment

Rama Katkar / David H Reiley
Published Online: 2007-01-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1538-0637.1442

Abstract

Sellers in eBay auctions have the opportunity to choose both a public minimum bid amount and a secret reserve price. We ask, empirically, whether the seller is made better or worse off by setting a secret reserve above a low minimum bid, versus the option of making the reserve public by using it as the minimum bid level. In a field experiment, we auction 50 matched pairs of Pokémon cards on eBay, half with secret reserves and half with equivalently high public minimum bids. We find that secret reserve prices make us worse off as sellers, by reducing the probability of the auction resulting in a sale, deterring serious bidders from entering the auction and lowering the expected transaction price of the auction. We also present evidence that some sellers choose to use secret reserve prices for reasons other than increasing their expected auction prices.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: bidding; minimum bid; secret reserve

About the article

Published Online: 2007-01-30


Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, ISSN (Online) 1538-0637, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1538-0637.1442.

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