Red Backgrounds Drive eBay Shoppers To Place Higher Bids

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   (2012-07-18 00:00:00)

London: Researchers including one of Indian origin have found that red, which is the so-called "aggressive" colour, causes people to spend more than they normally would while bidding on eBay.

The study reveals that buyers are subliminally influenced by hues, and will pay more in a bidding war if the page's background is red, as opposed to a less vivid hue.

Rajesh Bagchi of Virginia Tech and Amar Cheema of the University of Virginia asked study participants to pretend they were buying a Nintendo Wii on eBay.

They then showed the consumers the game console on a white screen, with either a blue, red, or grey banner.

The researchers found that higher bids were offered when the background screen was red, perhaps because they were competing with other bidders.

When bidding with others, buyers were willing to pay up to 131 dollars for the Wii, as opposed to 125 dollars with the blue background, and 126 dollars with white.

Red, they wrote, "induces aggression and excitation, while green induces withdrawal, and black, anxiety."

In their study, they presented a second group of people with the option to 'buy it now,' for the price of 149.99 dollars. In that instance, participants were more hesitant to place a bid with a red background.

Bagchi and Cheema discovered that when the background was blue for the 'buy it now' option, the group would pay more.

But red was a poor choice for negotiating, as there is little outright competition, they note.

"Just as influential as the product itself is its selling mechanism - auction or negotiation - which moderates the effect of colour on willingness to pay," the Daily mail quoted them as writing.