Online Shoppers Less Likely to Purchase From Someone If They See They’re Black or Tattooed


(Photo: Jennifer Doleac/NYDN)

(Photo: Jennifer Doleac/NYDN)

So much for Obama’s presidency changing all of this: a new study reveals that online shoppers are less likely to purchase electronics from black or tattooed sellers. 

Researchers from the University of Virginia posted 1,200 online classified ads for Apple iPods featuring three different hands: white, black or white with a tattoo. Turns out a lot of the buyers were extremely discriminatory because bids for iPods with the black or tattooed hands showing received 18 percent fewer offers.

Moreover, the prices that were bid were lower than those offered in the posts with the white hands and people who communicated with the black sellers less frequently included their full names. 

Jennifer Doleac, one of the study’s authors, told the Daily News that she was surprised that tattooed sellers received similar results to black sellers meaning they weren’t discriminating based on race. 

“We might have moved many of our consumer transactions online, but personal biases in terms of who we trust still affect how we interact with others,” said Ms. Doleac to the newspaper. “This is true when we’re interacting online as well as offline.”