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Effect of Electronic Secondary Markets on the Supply Chain

Authors: Ghose, Anindya
Telang, Rahul
Krishnan, Ramayya
Keywords: electronic markets;information goods;market segmentation;quality degradation;supply chain;used goods
Issue Date: 6-Nov-2008
Series/Report no.: CeDER-PP-2005-01
Abstract: We present a model to investigate the competitive implications of electronic secondary markets that promote concurrent selling of new and used goods on a supply chain. In secondary markets where suppliers cannot directly utilize used goods for practicing intertemporal price discrimination and where transaction costs of resales is negligible, the threat of cannibalization of new goods by used goods become significant. We examine conditions under which it is optimal for suppliers to operate in such markets, explaining why these markets may not always be detrimental for them. Intuitively, secondary markets provide an active outlet for some highvaluation consumers to sell their used goods. The potential for such resales lead to an 05 ghose.pmd 91 8/26/2005, 1:10 PM 92 GHOSE, TELANG, AND KRISHNAN increase in consumersâ valuation for a new good, leading them to buy an additional new good. Given sufficient heterogeneity in consumerâ s affinity across multiple suppliersâ products, the â market expansion effectâ accruing from consumersâ cross-product purchase affinity can mitigate the losses incurred by suppliers from the direct â cannibalization effect.â We also highlight the strategic role that used goods commission set by the retailer plays in determining profits for suppliers. We conclude the paper by empirically testing some implications of our model using a unique data set from the online book industry, which has a flourishing secondary market.
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