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.
KeywordsSearch Cost Pickup Truck Initial Sale Feedback Score Reputable Seller
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- 2.Libby Callaway with Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and Danielle Colby, American Pickers Guide to Picking (New York: Hyperion, 2011), 11.Google Scholar
- 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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