, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 1–23 | Cite as

Protocols for automated negotiations with buyer anonymity and seller reputations

  • Lorrie Faith Cranor
  • Paul Resnick


In many Internet commerce applications buyers can easily achieve anonymity, limiting what a seller can learn about any buyer individually. However, because sellers need to keep a fixed web address, buyers can probe them repeatedly or pool their information about sellers with the information obtained by other buyers; hence, sellers' strategies become public knowledge. Under assumptions of buyer anonymity, publicly‐known seller strategies, and no negotiation transaction costs for buyers, we find that take‐it‐or‐leave‐it offers will yield at least as much seller profit as any attempt at price discrimination could yield. As we relax those assumptions, however, we find that sellers, and in some cases buyers as well, may benefit from a more general bargaining protocol.


Transaction Cost Reservation Price Price Discrimination Negotiation Protocol Delay Cost 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorrie Faith Cranor
    • 1
  • Paul Resnick
    • 2
  1. 1.AT&T Labs‐ResearchUSA
  2. 2.School of InformationThe University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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