Today in “Yes, the world is unfair”, a new study from the University of Tel Aviv reveals that men make 20% more than women selling identical items on eBay. Sociologist Tamar Kricheli-Katz and economist Tali Regev authored the study, which appears in the journal Science Advances.
The study looked at transactions in the United States involving 420 of the auction sites most popular products between 2009 and 2012. It emerged that women got fewer bids than men on the exact same new product, and the final price was lower. Even though women tended to score better ratings as vendors and all. The rage, it is simmering right now.
While eBay doesn’t show a seller’s gender on their profile, the researchers claim that gender was mostly discernable when it came to usernames and the types of items sold.
Some articles about this news are using terms like ‘unconscious bias’ to explain the phenomenon of customers offering sellers with female names less money. The study authors tried to explain the tendency among folks to bid less on women’s items – perhaps people assign more value to male owned products. Actually they do. One online experiment associated with the study asked people to say how much they would pay for a $100 Amazon voucher. The user ‘Brad’ got mush higher bids than ‘Alison’.
When it came to secondhand goods the gap did close somewhat, The Guardian reports. Women made 97% of what men did when it came to used items. The study authors seem to think this difference might be down to the fact women are perceived as more trustworthy when it comes to writing descriptions.
So, how should women sellers combat this sexism? Change their usernames to Danny underscore I’m in my thirties? Change their offerings to something a little less easily recognisable as ‘feminine’? It’s a bit insane and infuriating that in order to make more money women have to pretend to men. Who knew 2016 would look like this?
The study’s authors feel that one way to help close the gap was for buyers to make an effort to buy from women vendors, a sort of Buy Local ethos that may pay equal dividends down the line.
Via The Guardian