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An Exploratory Study of the Introduction of Online Reverse Auctions

Sandy D. Jap
Journal of Marketing
Vol. 67, No. 3 (Jul., 2003), pp. 96-107
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30040539
Page Count: 12
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An Exploratory Study of the Introduction of Online Reverse Auctions
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Abstract

Buyers are increasingly turning to online reverse auctions in their negotiations with suppliers. How do these price competition mechanisms affect buyer-supplier relationships? The author considers this question in the context of a quasi experiment involving six online reverse auctions conducted in the supply base of a major industrial buyer. The results indicate that these auctions increase both new and current suppliers' beliefs that buyers act opportunistically, particularly in open-bid auctions. Current suppliers are generally more willing than new suppliers to make dedicated investments toward the buyer. Paradoxically, in sealed-bid auctions, both current and new suppliers increase their willingness to make dedicated investments toward the buyer. Although these auctions can yield cost savings, the savings are category specific and are not systematically related to an open-or sealed-bid format. The author also discusses implications for the use of online reverse auctions in industrial sourcing activities.

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