1. Airbnb and Ebay Are Similar in That Both Companies Run Online Marketplaces That ‘Match’ Buyers with Sellers. How Should Airbnb’s Reputation System Differ from That of Ebay?

Topics: The Guest, Electronic commerce, Negative feedback Pages: 2 (758 words) Published: November 25, 2012
1. Airbnb and eBay are similar in that both companies run online marketplaces that ‘match’ buyers with sellers. How should Airbnb’s reputation system differ from that of eBay? Although both Airbnb and eBay provide online marketplaces to match buyers and sellers, Airbnb focuses on one specific area: online marketplace for accommodations whereas eBay runs online marketplaces in a much broader scope, from Fashion items electronics all the way to collectibles, in other words, the transactions happening on eBay everyday are related to almost every corner of our daily life. More specifically, Airbnb's customer base can be narrowed down to hosts (sellers) and guests (buyers) respectively while eBay serves everyone who performs online transactions. Also, in many cases eBay transactions occurred when the buyers purchased concrete merchandises from the sellers while Airbnb marketplaces are for virtual services accommodations. A lot of details can be put in place to describe concrete merchandises but it is much harder to do so for service like "virtual" commodities. The most direct impact of such differences regarding to the reputation system is that we need to take into account the special needs of Airbnb's special customer base in addition to what hold true to both eBay and Airbnb customers in general: people who perform online buying and selling. Some of the issues mentioned in the 2011 paper may have been fixed but the below statements are based on the description of 2011 paper for Airbnb.

1. When it comes to accommodations, we know the guest wants to know if the room the host posted satisfies his/her needs. Airbnb should provide a neutral system to rank the houses/apartments based on some standard criteria. The host can certainly brag about how good of the house is (e.g. location close to nearby grocery stores) but only those houses/apartments that satisfy the Airbnb standards can be "certified". For example, in addition to the number of positive/negative feedbacks...
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