Public accounting firms and other independent assurance providers have developed and marketed web assurance services resulting in a seal as an indicator of compliance. Academic research finds that seals potentially meet some of the most acute consumer concerns, but that consumers have inadequate understandings about the seals, and low regard for them. This study extends the research on the role of information assurance seals as an antecedent of trust by examining the use of seals on the eBay auction site.

The study analyzes a sample of transactions in which buyers acted with their own money, and had time to learn about various signals and consider their strengths. The transactions are examined to see whether presence of a seal on the seller's web page made a significant difference on actual consumer purchasing behavior. Empirical tests found significant associations between the presence of seals and consumer purchasing behavior in both auction and posted‐price contexts.

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