Reputation, Certification, Warranties, and Information as Remedies for Seller-Buyer Information Asymmetries: Lessons from the Online Comic Book Market
Signaling strategies that sellers of higher-quality products or securities employ to differentiate their products include (1) development of a reputation for quality, (2) third-party certification, (3) warranties, and (4) information disclosure. These signaling strategies are compared using data from the online auction market for classic comic books. This market's advantages include that (1) the information asymmetry is substantial, (2) good measures of reputation are available, and (3) all four signals are common. We explore which signals are strongest and why, which are substitutes or complements, and how choice among the other three strategies depends on the reputation of the seller.