Using Secretary Problem Strategy in Used Car Search

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Using Secretary Problem Strategy in Used Car Search

Post  James Yeung on Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:37 pm

My friend is currently looking for a used car to buy for med school. He's been showing me used cars that are up for sale for the past month or two. I just hit me that he could easily apply the secretary problem strategy to his used car search!

So I explained to him...since he wants to buy a used car before he goes to med school, in 2 months time, and he has been searching for the past month of so, using the 37% rule, he should settle for anything that is better than all the previous offers that he has seen. This situation fits the model pretty well because the used car offers generally gets taken pretty quickly, so it is like having to take the secretary on the spot right after an interview.

It's cool to see that something we learned in class is directly applicable to our own real life situations.

James Yeung

Posts : 16
Join date : 2009-04-01

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Bite the Bullet

Post  wizeguy on Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:40 pm

That is actually a very interesting application. I too am looking for a used car and have been unable to decide because I always feel I can find something better. So if I were to just buy the next car that surpasses the others, then I would have the same level of happiness than waiting for several more months to find something better. Plus there are always upgrades you can make to a car to make it just as good as the next car you may or may not find.

wizeguy

Posts : 33
Join date : 2009-04-11

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