Exploring the Social Dynamics of Online Bartering

With the exception of few studies, bartering behavior remains a highly understudied phenomenon in consumer behavior literature. With this research, I depict the social dynamics of an online community that has constructed a self-sustaining, self-regulating and interactive bartering system of used cosmetics. Through a multi-method investigation that incorporates netnographic fieldwork and in-depth interviews, I examine the processes that sustain this informal market system. Additionally, I discuss the vulnerabilities that participants face by partaking in exchanges that violate the legal, economic and hygiene norms of the formal marketplace. Lastly, I discuss the coping mechanisms that the participants employ to address these vulnerabilities.


Zeynep Arsel (2010) ,"Exploring the Social Dynamics of Online Bartering", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 65-68 .


Zeynep Arsel, Concordia University, Canada


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Consuming Commodified Selves – Accelerated Identity Co-Construction Dynamics Through Fashion Performances on Instagram

Jonathan David Schöps, University of Innsbruck, Austria

Read More


The psychological impact of annuities: Can pension payout choice influence health behavior?

Anja Schanbacher, London Business School, UK
David Faro, London Business School, UK
Simona Botti, London Business School, UK
Shlomo Benartzi, University of California Los Angeles, USA

Read More


Contested and Confused: The Influence of Social Others in Disrupting Body Projects

Aphrodite Vlahos, University of Melbourne, Australia
Marcus Phipps, University of Melbourne, Australia

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.