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The Certifier

Applying the Seal of Approval
  • Marina Krakovsky

Abstract

One day several years ago, Mike Wolfe, in an episode of his hit cable TV show American Pickers, pulled his Mercedes-Benz van up to a rural property that looked particularly promising: out front were several beat-up old pickup trucks bearing “For Sale” signs, and scattered farther back stood more than a dozen trailers.1 Accompanied by his “picking” partner, Frank Fritz, Wolfe was in upstate New York, somewhere between Saratoga Springs and Syracuse, far from Wolfe’s home base of Eau Claire, Iowa.

Keywords

Search Cost Pickup Truck Initial Sale Feedback Score Reputable Seller 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Libby Callaway with Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and Danielle Colby, American Pickers Guide to Picking (New York: Hyperion, 2011), 11.Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    Decision scientists call this a sequential-search problem, the classic version of which is the secretary problem: candidates must be seen one at a time, and must be either accepted or rejected with no going back. The challenge is to find the optimal stopping rule. See, for example, Thomas S. Ferguson, “Who Solved the Secretary Problem?” Statistical Science 4, no. 3 (August 1989): 282–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Investing in a storefront is one of several ways sellers can elicit trust among buyers. See Patricia M. Doney and Joseph P. Cannon, “An Examination of the Nature of Trust in Buyer-Seller Relationships,” Journal of Marketing 61, no. 2 (April 1997): 35–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    George A. Akerlof, “The Market for ‘Lemons’: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 84, no. 3 (August 1970): 488–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 35.
    Richard Whately, quoted in Richard S. Howey, The Rise of the Marginal Utility School, 1870–1889 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), 4.Google Scholar
  9. 36.
    Richard Whately, Introductory Lectures on Political Economy (London: B. Fellowes, 1831), 253.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Marina Krakovsky 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina Krakovsky

There are no affiliations available

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