Beware when bidding on eBay items with red backgrounds, because a new study shows that you could end up paying more than you bargained for.
The study published recently in the Journal of Consumer Research explained how the color red has the effect of making eBay shoppers bid higher when they’re competing with other shoppers. Interestingly, the color red had the near-opposite effect when negotiating with the seller, making shoppers actually lower their offers. Eureka Alert reports:
"Red background color induces aggression through a feeling of arousal and it increases aggression relative to blue or gray backgrounds,”
“This causes individuals to make higher bids in auctions but lower offers in negotiations.”
As the study notes, “red signals vigor and dominance and induces aggression,” which may be why it's been known to have physiological effects in arenas other than online shopping. Previous studies have found that wearing red makes both women and men more attractive to the opposite sex; red jerseys have also been linked with a boost in wins for sports teams; and the color red can also increase a worker's attention to detail.