Understanding willingness-to-pay formation of repeat bidders in sequential online auctions

Paulo B. Goes, Gilbert G. Karuga, Arvind K. Tripathi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Agrowing number of vendors are using a sequence of online auctions to sell large inventories of identical items. Although bidding strategies and bidder behavior in single auctions have been extensively studied, limited research exists on bidding in sequential auctions. We seek to explain how bidders in such an environment learn from the information, and form and update their willingness to pay (WTP). Using a large data set from an online auction retailer, we analyze the evolution of the bidders' WTP as well as the effect of auction design on bidders' WTP in sequential auctions. We see our study in the context of a longitudinal field experiment, in which we were able to track actions of repeat bidders over an extended period of time. Our results show that bidders' WTP in sequential auctions can be explained from their demand characteristics, their participation experience in previous auctions, outcomes in previous auctions, and auction design parameters. We also observe, characterize, and measure what we call a modified demand reduction effect exhibited across different auctions, over time, by multiunit demand bidders. Our findings are important to enable better auction mechanism design, and more sophisticated bidding tools that explore the rich information environment of sequential auctions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)907-924
Number of pages18
JournalInformation Systems Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Bidding behavior
  • Demand reduction
  • Sequential online auctions
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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