How Prejudiced Are We When We Shop Online? Survey Says, More Than You Think

slidePhoto: Courtesy of Sydney Hass.
Ever relied on gut instinct rather than a seller’s credentials when shopping online? After all, letting a must-have purchase slip through your hands is a cardinal e-shopping sin. But, what if your skepticism to buy was based purely on the seller’s skin color or lifestyle choice? A new study appears to suggest that our click-to-buy decisions are hugely influenced by the race of whomever is at the other end — and whether they have tattoos.
Advertisement
The study, which was published in the Economic Journal of the Royal Economic Society, consists of findings from a year-long field experiment involving researchers selling iPods via online classified ads in 300 different cities and towns across the United States. Although the iPods for sale were identical, they were “hand modeled” by a black man, a white man, and a white man with a wrist tattoo, reports Mashable.
The results from the experiment were pretty striking. Black sellers received 13% less buyer responses and 18% less offers to the ads. Any offers made were, on average, 12% lower than those received by white sellers. The results for the tattooed white sellers were similar to those of the black sellers.
The findings reveal some nasty behaviors when it comes to buyer perceptions, but we’re going to take these findings with a pinch of salt. High-value gadgets often attract skepticism on the buyers’ part, but as this study only took out 1,200 classified online ads during this experiment, it is a tad niche in its method to make any slippery generalisations. As for tattoos tarnishing trust, talk to us when Zombie Boy, Rick Genest, is out of work. (Mashable)
Advertisement

More from Shopping

You never want something until you can't have it. So, each week in The Sell-Out, we're getting the scoop from your favorite retailers on what's selling ...
Some trends are easy to dive into head-first: Give us all the athleisure in the world, and we're definitely not complaining. Because no matter how many ...
We first heard about Nike's plans to really, truly make the self-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future Part II a reality back in March, after the ...
Flex dancing, a dance form characterized by rhythmic waving, gliding, and contorting of the body, is often thought of as a man’s world. But there are a few...
This story was originally published on October 8, 2015. You can expect to see a certain set of characters at every Halloween party. Cher Horowitz is in ...
Kendall Jenner recently admitted that she's always either braless or in a bralette, and she's not the only one. Tons of women (regardless of chest size) ...
Velvet in fall is like florals in spring; we've seen it before, and chances are high that we'll see it again every single year hereafter. That being said, ...
(Paid Content) Classic white Keds have been in my shoe rotation since I was a wee one. As a picky shopper early on, this simple and economical option was ...
Let's face it: When it comes to buying shoes, we (unfortunately) can't purchase the entire store in one go (but if you can and you got that $$$, shoutout ...
The hunt for good-looking, affordable clothing (and accessories) can have you feeling like you're about to rip your hair out. Sure, you might happen across...
Get the skinny on your skivvies, right this way
People travel near and far to shop in New York City. And, why wouldn't they? It's practically the shopping mecca of North America. There are flagship ...
Butts: We all have them, and lately they've become a hot topic of conversation. Here at R29 HQ, we cherish derrieres of all shapes and sizes — and, we're ...
Once tights season rolls around in just a few short weeks, discussions about the quest for the perfect pair (affordable, comfortable, and rip-resistant, ...