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Trust is an essential ingredient for commercial success on the Web. “Shopping aggregator” websites such as eBay provide a mechanism for measuring trust in the vendor in the form of online shoppers' positive feedback ratings. This real-world experiment conducted on eBay demonstrates that although coupled with a very high trust rating, the inclusion of an explicitly sexual illustration in shopping aggregator gallery listings dramatically increases auction traffic but in most cases reduces the dollar amount of the winning auction bid, thereby lowering the return to the seller. Traffic increase but lower selling price resulted even for products that could arguably use a sexual appeal (although these products were targeted to women).


Required Publisher Statement
© Elsevier. Final version published as: Giebelhausen, M., & Novak, T. P. (2012). Web advertising: Sexual content on eBay. Journal of Business Research, 65(6), 840-842. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.