In a massively multiplayer online video game, I have had the experience of attempting to sell a rare item on the game's forum, bumping the thread for a while before giving up for many months, and then being contacted by someone who came across the old thread (despite its reduced visibility) and reached out to me to negotiate a transaction. I have since wondered whether, for psychological reasons, my abandonment of the thread counterintuitively increased the likelihood of an interested party making contact. For example, actively bumping a sales thread over a long period without success could function as negative social proof that would further detract potential buyers.

Has there been any research done on this? In particular, I am interested in the scenario of low probability offers; rare products being offered for higher-than-historical prices, undertaken with the hope of finding a buyer with an unusually high preference for the product relative to currency. Is there a higher likelihood of finding such buyers by displaying continual effort to maintain the visibility of the offer (thread bumping), or letting the offer sink deep into reduced visibility and waiting for an interested party to stumble upon it via search?


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.