The Honest Salesman…or Making Markets Perfect

Gloves (photo credit: ebay)


Even though my perspective on many issues is through strongly left-tinged glasses, I believe that markets are generally a better mechanism for distributing most goods and services than governments.  A perfect market would be even better than the market systems currently in place.  Perfect markets are quite impossible in real life, and one of the reasons for this is that information is unequally distributed (internet shopping a noteworthy anomaly).

Yesterday, I went shopping with a work-friend who’s a super data/computer/technology guy.  He rides a Royal Enfield Bullet and was looking for good quality gloves to keep his hands warm.  We visited several street vendors selling identical products at identical prices (assuming proper bargaining procedures were completed).  When we said we wanted really good quality gloves, each vendor would show us a number of items, highlighting the warmth, the material, the style, the “grip”, etc.  The fourth or fifth shop we visited had the same products as all the other shops.  But this guy, when we asked him to show us high quality gloves, said that he doesn’t have any.  We were baffled.

“You don’t have any good quality gloves?”

“No sir, all of mine are mediocre to bad quality.”

We tried a different approach.  “What about special gloves or bumper gloves?”

“No sir, all of mine are regular gloves.”

“I have never seen a shopkeeper like this before!”, exclaimed my friend.

“Yeah this guy is an idiot”, I replied as we continued our stroll through Nehru Place.

Now Nehru Place is not at all known for its clothing products.  It’s a great place to buy computers, phones, and any electronic product, but the clothes here are all mediocre to bad quality.  Since I didn’t go back and ask the honest salesman any follow-up question, I have chosen to believe that he was on a solo mission to perfect the Nehru Place clothing market by providing accurate information to all potential customers.

Well done sir!  You win my first Don Quixote Ambition Award.