Would you buy a used car online, sight unseen and without a test-drive? How about a plane? A vehicle changes hands on eBay Motors every 60 seconds, including one private business jet that sold for 4.9 million. Every second buyers collectively swap more than 1,839 for products through eBay, sending money to complete strangers with no guarantee that the goods they buy will in fact arrive, let alone in the condition they expect.
As a rule, they are not disappointed. To some economists, this is a borderline miracle, because it contradicts the concept of Homo economicus (economic man) as a rational, selfish person who single-mindedly strives for maximum profit. According to this notion, sellers should pocket buyers' payments and send nothing in return. For their part, buyers should not trust sellers--and the market should collapse.