Gender differences using online auctions within a generation Y sample: An application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour

Christopher McLaughlin, Laura Bradley, Garry Prentice, Emma-Jayne Verner, S LOANE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
246 Downloads (Pure)


Online auction sites have evolved as one of the main alternative consumer channels (Pinker et al., 2003 & 2010), with the global online auction market predicted to grow by 7.2 per cent ($1.05 billion) be-tween 2018 and 2022 (Business Wire, 2018). This, in turn, is redefining consumer shopping (Mohamed et al., 2014). eBay, as one of the most popular online auction services, accounts for billions of dollars’ worth of transactions a year (eBay Inc, 2019), and there is an ever-increasing number of customer engagements with the service (Roggio, 2012; Gar-barino and Strahilevitz, 2004; Ow et al., 2018). With this increase in the use of online auctions, there is an even greater need to understand the key drivers of users’ decisions and behaviours in relation to such services (Pavlou and Fygenson, 2006; Drake et al., 2012; Mohamed et al., 2014). Hou and Elliott (2016), in fact, suggest that online auctions have specific nuances when compared to online shopping generally and that this re-quires specific investigation in terms of differences in volumes of buyers, processes and time engagement. It is therefore reasonable to assume that online auction participants’ behaviour and influences may be very different from those of other online shoppers (Hou and Elliott, 2010). This presents a further compelling reason to explore online auctions specifically, as outlined in this paper. Specifically, this paper will attempt to provide a greater under-standing of how online auction consumers’ behave and what are the key factors likely to influence and predict their behaviour, thereby extend-ing existing consumer behaviour theory and, on a practical level, providing online auction sites such as eBay with a better understanding of the nuances of the consumer ecosystem so as to better inform mar-keting decisions and choices. The research therefore aims to apply the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) model (Ajzen, 1991) to assist with predicting individuals online auction decisions and usage. Furthermore, the TPB model will be extended firstly by splitting the perceived behavioural control (PBC) construct into self-efficacy and perceived control, and secondly by including both trust and security within the framework. Though some research has applied the TPB to predict other e-commerce behaviours, little research has explored online acutions like this before. Also, this research will include two additional factors of interest which have not been applied previously around predicting on-line auction usage with the TPB; namely Generation Y individuals who are one of the most online engaged groups and gender. Both groups are seen as important factors to better understand online auction usuage on platoforms such as eBay. Despite the potential impact of generation and gender on decision making, this has not been intergrated into a TPB study as it outlined within study – further supporting the value and contribution of the research outlined in this paper. To conclude, this research aims to provide better understanding of male and female descion making around using online acutions like eBay at a time when more and more indiviuals are engaging with such ser-vices. From an academic point of view this helps understand possible differences in the psychological and behaviour process around online auctions by gender and age demographics. Also, for companines who benefit from knowing what impacts on the decisions of their users, especially around gender and the Gen Y population, this research will inform their marketing and commercial strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102181
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Early online date7 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Sept 2020


  • Gender
  • consumer behaviour
  • Online Auctions
  • Theory of Planned Behaviour


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