Blind savings or unforeseen costs? How consumers perceive the benefits and risks of using opaque travel selling Web sites

Hsiang Ting Chen, Jingxue Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Opaque selling Web sites are considered to provide deep discounted rates compared with a products’ market price. However, consumers have to endure several uncertainties that are associated with purchasing a product with an unknown identity. This article aims to identify how consumers assess the perceived benefits and risks when purchasing opaque travel products online and how they formulate risk reduction strategies in order to acquire desired outcomes. Two focus groups were conducted in April 2013 with a total of 12 participants. The analysis revealed low price, value-added deal, and enjoyment from playing with the bidding system as the main benefits. The main risks included insignificant value margin, uncertainty of product quality or performance, and potential hidden fees. The study defined the ‘intentional buying’ process and provided insight for hospitality and tourism suppliers to cautiously evaluate and target customers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-322
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Vacation Marketing
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 27 2014

Keywords

  • Consumer bargaining behavior
  • opaque travel selling Web sites
  • perceived benefits
  • perceived risks

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