Starjournal Quotation Schnurr, Benedikt, Fuchs, Christoph, Maira, Elisa, Puntoni, Stefano, Schreier, Martin, van Osselaer, Stijn M. J. 2022. Sales and Self: The Noneconomic Value of Selling the Fruits of One's Labor. Journal of Marketing. 86 (3), 40-58.




A core assumption across many disciplines is that producers enter market exchange relationships for economic reasons. This research examines an overlooked factor, namely the socio-emotional benefits of selling the fruits of one’s labor. Specifically, the authors find that individuals selling their products interpret sales as a signal from the market, which serves as a source of self-validation, thus increasing their happiness above and beyond any monetary rewards from those sales. This effect highlights an information asymmetry that is opposite to that in traditional signaling theory. That is, the authors find that customers have information about the quality of products that they signal to the producer, validating the producer’s skill level. Further, the sales-as-signal effect is moderated by characteristics of the purchase transaction that determine the signal strength of sales: the effect is attenuated when product choice does not reflect a deliberate decision and is amplified when buyers incur higher monetary costs. In addition, sales have a stronger effect on happiness than alternative, non-monetary forms of market signals such as Likes. Finally, the sales-as-signal effect is more pronounced when individuals sell their self-made (vs. other-made) products and affects individuals’ happiness beyond the happiness gained from producing.


Press 'enter' for creating the tag

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Journal of Marketing
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A+
Starjournal Y
Language English
Title Sales and Self: The Noneconomic Value of Selling the Fruits of One's Labor
Volume 86
Number 3
Year 2022
Page from 40
Page to 58
Reviewed? Y
Open Access N


Fuchs, Christoph (Former researcher)
Schreier, Martin (Details)
Maira, Elisa (Ortec Finance, Netherlands)
Puntoni, Stefano (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Netherlands)
Schnurr, Benedikt (Technical University of Munich, Germany)
van Osselaer, Stijn M. J. (Cornell University, United States/USA)
Marketing DP (Details)
Google Scholar: Search