How can a woman make more on Ebay? Pretend to be a man

Men earned  20% more than women when selling brand new products on eBay

There is a way to make more money if you are a female seller on eBay: pretend to be a man.

Women received less money than men for selling the very same product on eBay, according to a study of more than 1 million auctions from 2009 to 2012.

Dr. Tamar Kricheli-Katz, a sociologist and legal scholar from Tel Aviv University, and Tali Regev, an economist from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, found that when the seller of popular items identified as female, the auction got fewer bids and a lower final price.

Men earned 20 per cent more than women when selling brand new products, according to the study first published in the journal Sciences Advances.

The gap nearly disappeared for used items. Women won 97 cents for every dollar a man did for old items, as opposed to 80 cents for every dollar for new products.

The lower gap seen with used products might be due to buyers subconsciously  trusting women to give more accurate product descriptions, the researchers said.

People willing to pay less for money-value gift cards, when they are sold by women rather than men, despite the fact that it is evidently the same product, was a particularly striking example of the gender bias pointed out by the research.

Women selling gift vouchers were paid 6.8 per cent less, on average, than male sellers did for the same gift cards.

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Children’s toys, pet supplies and accessories were the only categories where women earned slightly more than men.

eBay does not explicitly state the gender of its users but the same study has demonstrated that users were quick to identify the sex of the sellers through usernames or items that were on offer. Users could correctly tell a seller’s gender in 1,127 cases out of 2,000.

Benjamin Mako Hill, an internet and communication scholar at the University of Washington, Seattle, told the Science Journal that the study proves that gender inequality doesn’t end when people go online.

“The fact that gender seems to lead to such a gap in eBay, where gender is such a relatively tiny signal, is striking,” he said.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced in July that businesses with more than 250 staff will be forced to publish the difference in salaries between male and female employees in an effort to “end the gender pay gap in a generation”.

The new transparency measures have been created in an effort to close the UK’s pay gap, where women earn on average 19.1 per cent less than men - a reality that Mr Cameron described as a “standing rebuke to our country”. 

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