Private Sales Clubs: A 21st Century Distribution Channel
Private sales clubs are a novel service institution arising out of the Internet's ability to allow an exclusively online channel to distribute out of season or out of fashion inventories to a large set of customers. They have become a thriving industry in the 21st century. In this paper we enhance understanding of this technoloy mediated institution as a distribution channel. Furthemore, we show how to measure the impact of the distribution services it provides through the Internet on customer satisfaction and of the latter on economic performance. We rely on quantile regressions in this endeavor. Our most important empirical finding is that the distortions introduced by ignoring asymmetries in the response function with respect to customer satisfaction are extremely misleading for managers of private sales clubs in the performance of their duties.