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This Study Investigates the Impact of Online Reviews and WOM on Consumer Purchase Intention of Second-Hand Products on eBay.

1.0 Introduction

This research looks at how customer purchase intentions for used goods on eBay are affected by online reviews and word-of-mouth (WOM). More and more individuals are choosing to buy used products online as a result of the growth of e-commerce, which has drastically changed consumer purchasing patterns. One of the most well-known online markets is eBay, which has a significant user base and a large assortment of used goods. Analysis of the impact of online reviews and WOM communication on customers’ inclination to purchase used goods on eBay is becoming more and more important. Due to the marketplace’s fast expansion, it is crucial to comprehend how online purchasing trends like reviews and word-of-mouth (WOM) influence eBay users. This problem is thus current and significant, and it may assist throw light on the factors that influence why individuals choose to purchase used things on eBay. For the purpose of effectively accomplishing the project outcomes, the following goals have been defined. This research looks at how customer purchase intentions for used goods on eBay are affected by online reviews and word-of-mouth (WOM).


To investigate the effect of online reviews and word-of-mouth (WOM) on consumers’ desire to buy used goods on eBay

To assess the degree of customer satisfaction with eBay second-hand purchases.

Investigate consumer responses to eBay customer purchases in order to: Examine consumer trust and risk attitudes regarding buying used goods on eBay.

2.0 Literature review

It is commonly accepted that online reviews and word-of-mouth (WOM) influence customer purchasing behavior in virtual settings significantly. However, actual studies evaluating their impacts on eBay sales of used goods still need to be provided. This study tries to close this gap by examining how online reviews and WOM affect consumers’ intentions to buy used goods on eBay. According to a recent research by Al-Adwan et al. (2020), which looked at the functions of WOM in online buying, WOM suggestions have a favorable relationship with online trust and purchase intent. Similarly, the authors highlighted that WOM has grown to be a substantial component affecting customer behavior in the online marketplace, and many platforms and enterprises are greatly benefitting. When buying things they are unfamiliar with or have little expertise with, consumers often depend on the views and experiences of others (Al-Adwan et al., 2020). Online businesses must thus comprehend how WOM impacts customer trust and buy intent.

Al-Adwan et al. (2020) conducted a study, or rather a survey, of 397 Jordanian online buyers to examine the connections between WOM recommendations, online trust, and purchase intention. In their study, they discovered that WOM suggestions had a beneficial impact on online trust, which in turn raised purchase intention and produced better outcomes. The authors came to the conclusion that word-of-mouth (WOM) might be a useful technique for internet businesses to establish trust and promote repeat business. The study subject, which intends to investigate the influence of online reviews and WOM on customer purchase intention of used goods on eBay, is significantly impacted by their results. The present research aims to comprehend how online recommendations and views affect customer trust and purchasing intention, much like the study of Al-Adwan et al. (2020). The present study may provide light on the distinct elements that influence customer behavior in this specialized market by looking at the particular context of used goods on eBay.

on the context of e-commerce, Ma et al. (2022) looked at the moderating effect of perceived risk on the link between word-of-mouth (WOM) and online purchase. Ma et al. (2022) noted that although WOM has been demonstrated to have a positive impact on online shopping behavior, consumers may also perceive higher risks associated with online shopping, such as concerns about product quality, security, and privacy. This is of great concern to the market’s businesses. Since it is necessary for companies to differentiate themselves from their rivals, it is crucial to comprehend how perceived risk might impact the interaction between WOM and customer behavior in the online marketplace.

415 Chinese internet customers were polled by Ma et al. (2022) to examine the connections between WOM, perceived risk, trust, and purchase intention. They discovered via their study that WOM had a favorable influence on both trust and purchase intent, but that the effect was larger for customers who perceived less risk. In other words, for customers who reported lower levels of danger, WOM was more successful in reducing perceived risk and increasing trust and buy intention. Such is essential for any company operating in the market, according to Ma et al. (2022). The results of Ma et al. (2022) have significant ramifications for the subject of the present study, which intends to investigate the influence of online reviews and WOM on customer purchase intention of used goods on eBay. The present research, like the one by Ma et al. (2022), aims to comprehend how customer perceptions of risk might influence their behavior in the online market. The present study may shed light on the distinct elements that influence customer behavior in this niche market by investigating the distinctive context of used goods on eBay, such as the perceived dangers involved with purchasing used goods from unidentified sellers.

The impact of online product reviews on shoppers’ e-commerce behavior was investigated by Zhu et al. in 2020. They discovered via their study that customers now have an abundance of options and information due to the growing popularity of internet buying. Consumers now rely heavily on online product reviews as a major source of information when assessing items and choosing which ones to buy. Therefore, it’s critical to comprehend how customer behavior and decision-making in the online marketplace are influenced by product evaluations posted online. Zhu et al. (2020) also pointed out that items with more reviews, particularly favorable ones, have a higher likelihood of persuading consumers to make a buy intention than those with negative evaluations.

A meta-analysis of ninety-two research by Zhu et al. (2020) shown that online product evaluations had a substantial influence on customer behavior. They also learned that customers largely depend on product reviews to choose products and make purchases, and that the amount and quality of product reviews might have an impact on consumer satisfaction, trust, and buy intent. Additionally, Zhu et al. (2020) found in their study that customers who purchase more expensive items and those with less previous knowledge of the product category are more likely to be influenced by product reviews. Their results are important based on the present research, which explores the influence of online reviews and word-of-mouth (WOM) on customer purchase intentions of used goods on eBay. Your research aims to comprehend how online reviews influence customer behavior in the online market, similar to the study of Zhu et al. (2020). However, the present study also looks at the particular context of used goods sold on eBay, which may have certain elements that influence customer behavior, such as the perception of risk associated with used goods purchases.

Other writers have also shown interest in the topic. For instance, Qalati et al. (2021) investigated how internet reviews affected foreign consumers’ buying intentions. According to their study, customers now confront more uncertainty and perceived risk when buying goods from international online shops due to the growing trend of cross-border e-commerce. According to Qalati et al. (2021), online reviews have become a significant source of information for customers looking to assess shops and items remotely. Therefore, it’s crucial to comprehend how purchasing intentions in a global setting are influenced by internet reviews. This is based on research the authors carried out, a survey of 456 respondents from six different nations, which discovered that customers are more likely to make purchases after reading good internet evaluations. Negative internet evaluations, however, tend to discourage consumers from making purchases. Additionally, Qalati et al. (2021) discovered that customers with less previous knowledge of the product category and higher-priced items are more affected by online reviews in terms of their buy intentions.

Both Fishbein and Ajzen’s Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) are popular ideas in social psychology that have been used to explain consumer behavior. These theories provide a methodical and organized way to look at the factors that determine attitudes and intentions toward conduct. They may aid in elucidating how buyers choose to buy used goods on eBay. According to Ajzen’s (1985) TPB, attitudes toward the behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control all have an impact on behavioral intentions, which are the most immediate predictor of conduct. Subjective norms relate to the felt social pressure to participate in or refrain from the action, attitudes refer to the individual’s favorable or negative judgment of the conduct, and perceived behavioral control refers to the perceived ease or difficulty of doing the behavior. Similar theories include the TRA of Fishbein and Ajzen (1977), which contends that attitudes toward the behavior and subjective standards influence behavioral intentions, which in turn influence conduct. The TRA, on the other hand, lays less emphasis on perceived behavioral control and instead emphasizes how attitudes and social norms play a role in determining behavior. TPB and TRA may provide a helpful framework for comprehending the determinants of consumer behavior with relation to buying used goods on eBay in the context of the present study issue. The current research topic research can build on these theoretical frameworks by examining attitudes toward second-hand products, subjective norms regarding purchasing second-hand products, and perceived behavioral control regarding purchasing second-hand products. This will result in a more thorough understanding of the factors that affect consumer behavior in the context of e-commerce.

3.0 Methodology

3.1 Interview design

To gather information depending on the nature of the subject under discussion, the study mostly employs qualitative research. This strategy is essential for finding various analyses and viewpoints on the aims and providing the precise meaning. It is also highly beneficial, particularly for developing themes that make analysis simple.

Researchers created a semi-structured interview method to gather primary qualitative data in order to understand people’s opinions and sentiments towards purchasing used things on eBay. Interviews were regarded by the researcher as one of the best methods because of its practicality, efficacy, and efficiency, which is consistent with the reasons made by Turner & Hagstrom-Schmidt, N. (2022). Additionally, since interviews are open-ended, participants are free to provide their own ideas if they feel that the question hasn’t sufficiently addressed them. By taking into account the major goals of the study, it is possible and simple to build themes from the interviews. The study’s objectives and previous research were used to help create the interview questions. According to Turner & Hagstrom-Schmidt (2022), the content was verbatim copied from the transcripts of the interviews. The analysis consisted of identifying similarities and examining their importance in light of the study’s contents. Participants’ experiences purchasing used goods on eBay, the variables affecting their choices (such as word-of-mouth and internet reviews), and their opinions on the reliability and quality of the items they bought were all solicited. According to Speer et al. (2020), this was a very important technique for guaranteeing that in-depth insights supplied more than what the interviews aimed to establish. Such provisions are crucial since they aid researchers in understanding the many vital insights into the study.

To examine all the insights and make sure no qualitative data is missed, the research contains five interviews that were done at various periods. The interview method allowed for open-ended inquiries and a thorough investigation of respondents’ ideas. The researcher was also able to capture the participants’ various reactions thanks to the semi-structured approach, which is consistent with Turner & Hagstrom-Schmidt’s (2022) claims. A survey was also done in addition to the qualitative interviews. In order to collect hypothesis-driven variables including online review ratings, WOM suggestions, consumer purchase intents, and customer service policies, the survey will contain both quantitative and qualitative questions. In addition to asking about age, gender, yearly income, and socioeconomic position, the poll also asked about demographic and psychological factors. This method is suitable for obtaining a complete image of the target population and will make it possible to analyze the variations between demographic groupings.

3.2 Sample selection

To ensure that the study’s findings are reliable and valid, a representative sample must be selected. The optimum sample for the qualitative study on the influence of online reviews and WOM on consumer purchase intention of second-hand goods on eBay included participants who had recently bought or sold second-hand items on eBay and wrote an online review or participated in WOM about their experience. It specifically included young people who shop on the eBay site for used goods and other items. The demographic sample for this qualitative study consists of young men and women who utilize various goods that are used items from the eBay website. According to preset criteria related to the research topic, individuals are randomly chosen for purposeful sampling, a non-probability sampling approach (Campbell et al., 2020). In a research looking at the impact of online reviews and WOM on customers’ purchase intentions of used products posted on eBay, purposeful sampling proved a viable method for selecting participants.

Participants in this research were selected using criteria such as age, gender, income, frequency of purchasing used goods on eBay, and familiarity with online reviews and WOM. By utilizing deliberate selection to choose individuals who match these criteria, the researcher was able to guarantee that the sample was representative of the population of interest (Campbell et al., 2020). Purposive sampling was taken into consideration since it allows the researcher to hire individuals who have already obtained the required background knowledge (Campbell et al., 2020). The sample selection strategy was adopted because it was believed that engaged and passionate participants would be more likely to offer insightful and accurate information. Another advantage of purposeful sampling is the possibility for increased sample variability. By choosing participants that satisfy a variety of criteria, researchers may gather more detailed and nuanced data, improving the possibility that their sample will correctly represent the community (Ames, Glenton, and Lewin, 2019). The sample came from the university, and it focused on young people between the ages of 20 and 30 who had recently purchased used goods on eBay and left a review.

3.3 Maintaining privacy

Strict respect to the confidentiality principle is required to protect the names and personal data of research participants. Participants’ anonymity must always be maintained in order for them to feel comfortable enough to express their genuine ideas. According to Surmiak (2018), researchers have an ethical responsibility to protect the identity of their participants and the data they provide. The study included a variety of key techniques to guarantee the privacy of the information collected from participants. Direct participant identification may be avoided, and sensitive data may be encrypted and stored. During the interview, it was explained in full on the informed consent forms how the information would be collected, used, and preserved as well as any potential risks and benefits of participating in the study (Surmiak, 2018). It is essential to differentiate between secrecy and anonymity. Since protecting the privacy of participants is both a moral duty and a responsibility of researchers, failure to do so might have serious consequences. This calls for constant protection of participants’ personal information and privacy (Surmiak, 2018). Before agreeing to participate, the participants were fully informed of the study’s goals, their involvement in it, and what was expected of them. Additionally, they were told they could leave the research without being penalized. Ten people participated in the final sample.

3.4 Methods of research

Since it was convenient for the chosen target sample, the interview was held at the university’s lecture hall across from the auditorium. The environment is always quite calm, providing the comfort and quietness of the interviewees. The interviews were only scheduled to run for 20 minutes, so the researcher made sure everyone gave it their full attention and concentration. Additionally, since the respondents had the opportunity to choose a time that was completely consistent with Stahl and King’s (2020) reasoning, the interview was conducted at a time that was most convenient for them. In keeping with the ideas of Gruber et al. (2021), the researcher supervised the interviews and provided clarity where it was needed, but she prevented them from knowing what to write since doing so would have altered the data in terms of manipulation. Key topics of the issue under inquiry were sought after via the questionnaire used during the interview, including the influence of word-of-mouth marketing and the moderating impact of product type on the link between online reviews. WOM and purchasing intent for used items on eBay. In order to answer to follow-up inquiries, the researcher made use of skills including body language reading. To guarantee that relevant material was acquired, the interviews were recorded and afterwards coded.

4.0 Data analysis

This part conducts an analysis of the data gathered in accordance with the goals and in light of the completed literature study.

4.1 To investigate the effect of online reviews and WOM on consumers’ propensity to buy used goods on eBay

It is abundantly obvious from the qualitative statistics given here that consumers’ choices to purchase used goods on eBay are greatly influenced by online reviews. Participants in the study said that they heavily relied on online reviews when making purchases and that positive ratings affected their likelihood to buy. One kind of internet review that affects customers’ purchasing choices is product descriptions. To make an educated purchase, respondents indicated they relied on the product description. According to Al-Adwan et al. (2020), reviews helped consumers make decisions about which items to purchase by providing details on the validity, usability, and quality of the products. Another method of online assessment mentioned by the respondents is the seller’s rating. Respondents said that they are more inclined to make purchases from highly regarded merchants who have amassed a large number of positive reviews. It would suggest that the ultimate decision is heavily influenced by the vendor’s credibility.

To assess customer satisfaction with eBay second-hand purchases.

Participants emphasized the importance of being happy with the things they purchased via the site. Since the majority of participants said they had never had a negative experience with the items, various things purchased from the platform often satisfy the consumers. In accordance with Qalati et al. (2021), reviews on the items, the seller, and the shipping and handling of the merchandise all helped the customers’ satisfaction levels by enabling them to make educated purchasing choices. This is consistent with the Theory of Reasoned Action, which holds that perceived conduct affects whether or not a consumer decides to buy a product after reading a review on a platform. The majority of respondents have generally had positive experiences using the platform to buy used goods, which demonstrates how satisfied users are with the company’s offerings. They made up 7 of the 10 responders. Likewise, customers who use the site to buy a product and discover problems with it return it for a refund; as a result, they get good service, which helps to explain the high satisfaction investigate customer perceptions of risk and trust while buying used goods on eBay

The study, which focuses on the consumers’ confidence in the reviews, found that eight out of ten respondents read and take into account online evaluations published by other buyers before making a purchase on eBay. This has a significant impact on consumers’ faith in the items and their desire to make a buy. Despite this, the rise in cybercrime and fake merchants seems to have increased respondents’ perceptions of danger related to fraud and being duped, leading them to put a high value on the company’s system. The platform’s security is discussed here by eight respondents to show that it is not susceptible to fraud, which has harmed them due to high fraud risks. All of these indicate that people rely on online reviews as a reputable source and that they consistently examine them before making a new product purchase. However, there are perceived hazards that the clients seem to be fully aware of, which supports the claims made by Ma et al. (2022). Reviews that provide a clear image of the goods, the seller, and the buying experience may have a big impact on a customer’s willingness to purchase. This leads to the conclusion that customers are more likely to trust items with more reviews. This supports the claims made by Ma et al. (2022).

To research how people respond to eBay client purchases.

Reviews are crucial for both new and used items on the site, as is abundantly obvious. Nine out of the ten participants indicate that they give internet evaluations a lot of weight since they demonstrate that other customers have used the product and have had positive experiences; this, in turn, influences their choice to purchase used goods. Even before making purchases, the respondents pay attention to many factors. Only one responder expressed the unusual opinion that he gave reviews of new items greater weight than evaluations of used products, with the justification being the product’s quality. Here, the responses to previous purchasers and users of the items seem to be quite significant in boosting consumer confidence.

5.0 Conclusions

5.1 Research limitations

The aforementioned research have a number of drawbacks. First, just eBay was used for the study. As a result, its conclusions may not hold true for other websites of a similar kind. The study is restricted to used goods, thus it could need to be generalized to other product categories. This is another restriction. On the same vein, the study’s applicability is constrained by the need to take into account several important variables that may have a substantial effect on purchase intention, such as brand reputation. Fourthly, since it is limited to a qualitative technique, the research could only be able to capture a portion of the range of consumer attitudes and behaviors. The last weakness of the research is that it relied on participant self-reported data, which might have been skewed by social desirability bias or memory recall bias. Results should be interpreted with caution, and future research should think about using a mixed-methods approach that includes precise assessments of customer behavior.

5.2 conclusions

The qualitative data and the reviewed literature may be utilized to draw several significant conclusions regarding how online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations affect customers’ buy intentions for used goods on eBay. First, it was shown that people’s willingness to purchase used goods on eBay was significantly influenced by online reviews. To gauge the repute of the goods and seller, consumers heavily rely on online reviews. The likelihood that a consumer will make a purchase increases with the number of favorable reviews, and the inverse is true for negative ones. those that cover the product and the customer’s experience in more detail often carry more weight than those that are more broad.

The recommendations consumers obtained from their social networks also had a substantial influence on their decision to purchase used goods on eBay. People are more likely to make purchases based on the recommendations of their closest friends and family members. WOM has also been shown to be especially helpful in situations when clients have minimal prior exposure to the product. It was shown that both favorable and negative reviews had an impact on consumers’ likelihood to purchase. In addition, we found that the overall number of reviews is significant; more reviews indicate more interest in making a purchase.


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