“Authentic” products fetch up to 50% more money than “genuine” ones, according to an analysis of language used on eBay.
Researchers at Birmingham City University trawled through 68,000 items listed and sold on the auction website to see how sellers describe their products.
The results showed a pattern across the 15 million words that they looked at — showing that the type of language used in a post significantly affected how much money the seller got.
The study showed that “men’s” watches sold for an average of $43, while “gents” watches went for $100. Additionally,”genuine” fragrances fetched $30, while “authentic” ones earned $49.
Similarly, buyers paid nearly three times as much for “on-ear” headphones ($102) than “in-ear” headphones ($36). Meanwhile, watches described as having “resistance” earn nearly 50% more than watches described with ‘resistant’.
Researchers also noted that grammatical errors, such as missing apostrophes and internet slang, had a negative effect on the price paid for products.
The words were analysed using the team’s research and teaching WebCorp software.
Results also revealed that antique sellers were most likely to make their product listings personal with words like “I,” “me,” and “my,” and used car sellers shied away from the term “second-hand.”
However, car postings regularly use words such as “honest” “reliable,” “clean,” and “reluctant.”