Old, But Gold! How Age Stereotype Affects the Evaluation of Second-Hand Products: An Abstract

Felipe Pantoja, Marat Bakpayev, Patricia Rossi, Sukki Yoon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Imagine you are looking for a second-hand armchair on the Internet. You soon come across an armchair you like, but you notice the seller is a senior person. Would the age of the seller—whether he/she is old or young—affect the chances of buying this armchair? The global population is aging (United Nations 2013). Due to a combination of increased life expectancy and reduction in fertility rates (Lutz et al. 2008), the percentage of people over 60 years old is expected to double by 2050 (United Nations 2013). The online presence of seniors is rapidly expanding as well. In Europe alone, Internet usage has doubled among people over 65 years old (Edwards et al. 2015). The so-called silver surfers are turning to online technology to increase interpersonal interaction (Fosman and Nordmyr 2015; Jyoti 2014), but also to earn additional income (Telegraph 2014). Online second-hand markets are one of the fastest growing markets (Walia 2013; Walia and Zahedi 2013). It is worth noting, however, that these markets are peculiar to the extent that available products are pre-owned by someone that buyers often do not know. Research suggests that certain invisible properties of former owners can transfer to goods (Kapitan and Bhargave 2013). It seems thus that consumers draw inferences about used goods based on available information of previous owners (e.g. age), which can shape product perceptions and intentions. Drawing on age stereotyping literature (Fiske et al. 2002; Cuddy et al. 2008; Couto and Koller 2012), and consumer contamination theory (Argo et al. 2006, 2008), we investigate how a senior (vs. young) seller contaminates second-hand products. Specifically, we examine whether being a senior (vs. young) seller in a second-hand goods market can increase or decrease consumers’ purchase intentions toward the product. Two experimental studies suggest that consumers prefer to buy used goods that were previously owned by senior people. Findings show that interpersonal warmth fully mediates this effect. Our results suggest that the growing senior population might have competitive advantages when it comes to the online second-hand marketplace. Future studies will investigate if these effects hold with different product categories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Academy of Marketing Science.


  • Customer Relationship
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Increase Life Expectancy
  • Online Technology
  • Purchase Intention


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