The Effect of Posted Prices on Auction Prices: An Empirical Investigation of a Multi-channel B2B Market
55 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2021
Date Written: January 7, 2021
Multi-channel sales strategies have become common due to the usage of advanced information technologies. Yet, how one trading mechanism can influence the outcome of another, especially in the B2B market, is largely underexplored. This paper investigates the effect of price and quantity information from a pre-sales posted price channel on the performance of the century-old sequential Dutch auctions system. The pre-sales channel is conducted online preceding the auctions. Sellers can control the price and make a proportion of their stock available in the pre-sales. Anything left after the pre-sales is sold via the auctions. Our analysis of nearly 1.5 million flower lots reveals a positive effect where there are higher auction prices and total revenue for lots listed in the pre-sales than for lots that are not. The result holds even for lots with no actual sales in the pre-sales, indicating that buyers pay close attention to the additional information from the pre-sales posted price channel. By teasing out the information effect of pre-sales prices and pre-sales quantity on the auction prices, we evaluate a number of pricing strategies. The results suggest that selling at a high price in the pre-sales is still more beneficial than selling more by discounting prices.
Keywords: Auctions, E-commerce, Information Signal, Multi-channel, Sequential B2B Auctions, Information Revelation, Posted Price
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