Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Selling Something on eBay? It Pays to Be a Man

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Selling Something on eBay? It Pays to Be a Man

Article excerpt

Women can perform neurosurgery, sit on the Supreme Court and run for president. But when it comes to selling something on eBay, they might want to ask a guy for help. This week, researchers revealed that women make 20 percent less than men on average when selling the exact same new product on eBay.

To put that in perspective, a seller listed as JohnSmith might get $300 for selling a brand new iPhone 6, and JaneSmith would get just $240, even if the two listings were identical in every other way.

"We were not surprised by the existence of the gender price gap, but we were a little surprised by its magnitude, authors Tamar Kricheli-Katz of Tel Aviv University and Tali Regev of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, wrote in an email to the Los Angeles Times.

The study, published Friday in the journal Science Advances, is based on an analysis of more than 1 million eBay transactions conducted from 2009 to 2012.

The data were provided by the eBay Research Lab, which gives scientists access to the vast stream of information the online marketplace collects on buyers and sellers.

To ensure that the results were not influenced by differences in product quality or the negotiating skills of men and women, the authors compared the sale of identical items in auctions where sellers and buyers did not interact with each other.

Auctions are ideal for testing how the gender of a seller affects the final price a buyer is willing to pay for a product, the authors write. That's because after an item has been listed for auction, the price is affected only by the bidding of potential buyers, not by the seller's behavior.

After crunching the data, Kricheli-Katz and Regev found that for every 100 bids a man might receive on an item, a woman received 89 bids on the exact same item. And that's after controlling for the type of product for sale, its condition, the seller's reputation and experience, the number of pictures used in the listing as well as other variables. …

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