People and small businesses selling things on eBay could experience higher demand for their products and make greater use of eBay courier services if they place a red banner on their auction page.
A study on the effect of background colours on people's willingness to bid and pay for items for sale, due to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research, found that red encourages prospective buyers to become more aggressive.
The survey suggested that people are likely to place higher bids when they see red than when they see blue, reports the Wall Street Journal.
However, placing blue banners on an auction page could be preferable for sellers who are willing to negotiate by setting a 'buy it now' price and inviting customers to email their own offers.
In this case, the use of red could result in unacceptably low bids owing to the heightened competitiveness inspired by the colour.
The study authors write: "Consistent with physiological literature on the effects of colour, we find that exposure to red colours increases aggression."
Another phenomenon that could lead to higher online sales and greater use of eBay delivery services in the near future is the emergence of 'third wave' shopping technologies, following on from the growth of internet and mobile commerce.
The auction website recently commissioned research which found that making the most of new technology could result in £235 million worth of additional sales for the UK's ten largest retailers by 2014.
New innovations have the potential to provide a direct boost of £2.4 billion for the industry as a whole over the next two years and indirectly influence £9.1 billion worth of sales in the same period, according to the eBay and Conlumino study.
With some 17 million unique visitors every month, eBay is the largest online shopping destination in the UK.
Author: Adrian Medland