Ngo-Ye, Thomas L.
January 2014
Issues in Information Systems;2014, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p360
Academic Journal
Nowadays, E-commerce has become so ubiquitous that millions of individuals and small businesses buy and sell things online. Do sellers engage in E-commerce activities just as a hobby and for fun? Or do sellers' E-commerce experiences shape them to become serious professionals? In this paper, we attempt to examine individual seller's Ecommerce experiences, understand lessons learned at individual level, and investigate the impact of such experiences on professionalism development. We conduct an exploratory empirical case study by interviewing a local small business on its E-commerce experiences. We report the online seller's unique eBay experiences. Consistent with the literature, we find that feedback system and reputation building are important institutional mechanism on eBay. The interviewee's first-hand experiences reveal that the complexity of eBay marketplace and the extraordinary steps eBay take to protect and maintain the marketplace integrity. We also learn the innovations that eBay/PayPal/UPS implemented to encourage E-commerce activity with long-term customers. Overall, this study provides several interesting new business insights on E-commerce. Moreover, this research demonstrates that a seller's E-commerce experiences transform the individual not only in terms of acquiring a more sophisticated business understanding and increasing business curiosity, but also forming solid work ethics and developing professionalism and self-responsibility.


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