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Customer verification: where’s the beef?

3 Jun

I was impressed with a friend’s newly-outfitted salon, and asked him where he found all the interesting furnishings. He frequents a great consignment store in Saratoga where they have constantly changing cool furniture and accessories, and high traffic. But here was his tip: if you’re interested in an item, don’t let on to others in the store checking out all the latest stuff. Go directly to the front desk and quietly tell them you want that Thai bamboo bookcase with the wrought iron trim. Because the minute you want it, others will notice it and want it too. That’s how he got things easily without putting others on notice.

That made me think… at the most basic level, why does customer verification work? Because people want what others want. A crowded marketplace with lots of options is similar to a consignment store—so much stuff, how do you quickly find what is valuable? If someone else wants it/uses it = it has perceived value.