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Determinants of prices in an online marketplace

David J. DiRusso (Millersville University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Susan M. Mudambi (Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
David Schuff (Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 23 August 2011




Despite the availability of side‐by‐side price comparisons, online retailers often charge very different prices for the same product. The purpose of this paper is to identify the drivers of price differences in an online retail marketplace by examining pricing information from a sample of sellers in the market.


An empirical, quantitative research study of Amazon Marketplace, using 498 observations of online sellers of a variety of electronics products was conducted. A regression analysis is employed to determine the drivers of these sellers' prices.


The results provide a set of factors associated with deviation from the mean price Amazon Marketplace retailers charge for a given product. The authors find that online retailers that charge higher prices post additional channels of customer service, post their return policy, have lower reputation scores, display a retail brand logo, offer more products, and are not electronic specialists.


The paper contributes to the theoretical understanding of the effects of information quality and governance structures on prices. This is the first study to focus on these issues in an online marketplace setting.



DiRusso, D.J., Mudambi, S.M. and Schuff, D. (2011), "Determinants of prices in an online marketplace", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 20 No. 5, pp. 420-428.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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