Report: men make more on eBay than women

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A new study by the University of Tel Aviv suggests that women selling on eBay get fewer bids and realise lower selling prices than men selling exactly the same products. But don’t worry yet, ladies.

The results need some context. Firstly, the study concentrates on all of the sales of eBay US’s top 420 products in the US between 2009 to 2012. They looked at auction only and it seems that they they determined whether the sellers were men or women by considering usernames and the items for sale. eBay have been keen to distance themselves from the study: “This study was not conducted or commissioned by eBay and we do not reveal the gender of our sellers.”

An aspect of the study concentrated on money-value gift cards. Apparently women selling them made 6.8% less than men selling identical products. As they say: “This example is especially telling because with gift cards buyers can easily evaluate the worth of the product with no additional information – because the condition of the product is irrelevant and because the ownership and usage of gift cards is not associated with one gender.”

The academic behind the report Dr Kricheli Katz said: “We were not surprised by the existence of the gender price gap, but we were a little surprised by its magnitude and by the results from the gift card experiment.”

The report did contain some good news for female sellers. Apparently women may prefer buying from other women and buyers in general in fact trust the accuracy of descriptions they perceive to be written by women.

You can read more in this report in the Telegraph, where you’ll also find useful tips from Tamebay correspondent David Brackin from StuffUSell.

6 Responses

  1. The study is here:

    Men have a higher selling price in 13/24 categories and women have a higher selling price in 10/24 categories.

    The 6.5% is not based on “identical products”, e.g. a £10 Steam gift card and a £10 Lush gift card are not the same thing. The Steam card would be a lot more liquid and worth more.

    There does not appear to be any attempt to control for a seller’s history, e.g. would you pay as much for a gift card from someone who has only ever sold used baby toys? In fact the three highest categories for men are all categories that require a strong reputation (jewellery, gift cards, sports memorabilia).

  2. the university of tel aviv should be thoroughly ashamed of itself.
    theres bugger all in the least bit scientific about any of that.
    “we guessed” is all i gathered from their scientific methods.

    discerning gender purely from username and items available for sale, then basing a sex-biased theory on that basis, is just ridiculous.
    – if womens clothing is, on average, cheaper than mens clothing, and only women sell womens clothing (thats just bad logic, not science) how can a woman possibly make more on avergage than a man by selling clothing?
    – they cant, the study is garbage.

    Tel aviv would conclude that Ann Summers, a ladies name, selling nothing but ladies lingerie, MUST be a lady. they’re wrong.

    and the whole gift card thing, assumes that all ebay buyers look at the username (they dont) and discern the same sexist conclusion as tel aviv U (they dont) and amend their bid price according to that (they dont).

    i assume the journal science advances is one of they highly-esteemed periodicals where anyone with £20 spare can get their “science” published?

  3. I doubt that there is a single Tamebay reader that descriminates by sex when buying on ebay. What does always surprise me however is the high number of female buyers I have (or should I say buyers with female sounding names?) in a sales catagory traditionally considered to be the exclusive domain of males!


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