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Abstract

Although auctions have been examined extensively in economics, and to some degree in marketing, on-line auctions are only beginning to receive research attention. Further, in both economics and marketing the research on auctions has relied primarily on rational, economic theories. This article investigates how particular on-line auction features impact two important outcomes: auction success and final closing price. Traditional economic theories as well as theories from marketing and psychology are employed to provide a broader picture of on-line auctions. Specifically, several key factors related to auction success and closing price for four types of sterling flatware in an on-line auction site (eBay) are examined. The findings show that, across all four piece types, a reserve auction format, the relative opening price, and the number of bids unexplained by a low or high opening price are associated with both auction success and final closing price. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.