Surely Fake Scarcity Has Had Its Day? Message to all big name gurus

32 replies
I've been successful online since 2005 [successful=make my full-time living]
and learned about having a 'deadline' with my offers.

Looking through some recent emails from big-time-gooroo marketers I've realised that I
have become completely blind to 'fake scarcity'.

I mean c'mon....if you teach about using fake scarcity and then pitch me using the technique you taught me...do you really expect it to work?

And the thing is....I'm a past customer, and a big spender.....so just create something great,
get it in front of me....along with a compelling message and trust me to hit the buy button.

Your fake scarcity is just turning me off.
#big #day #fake #gurus #message #scarcity #surely
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    In some cases - especially with online courses - scarcity is not fake. They actually do only sell xxx amount and after that, you have to wait a year before the next version of their course comes out. Also, sometimes a special offer actually IS only up for the stated amount of time.

    I agree, though, that if a "special" is always around, you lose all credibility. In fact, I can't really trust anything in your course if what you did to sell it was a lie.
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  • Profile picture of the author expmrb
    Originally Posted by helisell View Post


    I mean c'mon....if you teach about using fake scarcity and then pitch me using the technique you taught me...do you really expect it to work?

    Deja vu huh!!


    If it happens then ditch them.
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    In some cases - especially with online courses - scarcity is not fake. They actually do only sell xxx amount and after that, you have to wait a year before the next version of their course comes out. Also, sometimes a special offer actually IS only up for the stated amount of time.
    Well, let's call that made-up scarcity. There is NO real-world reason they couldn't sell their course year-round, to as many people as possible. They simply choose to retract it from the marketplace in order to generate perceived scarcity.

    It's not like, say, Abraham Lincoln autographs, which truly are scarce.

    Or out-of-print books, which also are genuinely scarce. (For example, Eugene Schwartz's copywriting books.)

    Or a very desirable house for sale, which can only have one buyer.

    Marcia Yudkin
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    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      Well, let's call that made-up scarcity. There is NO real-world reason they couldn't sell their course year-round, to as many people as possible. They simply choose to retract it from the marketplace in order to generate perceived scarcity.
      That may or may not be true. If you are offering support or a forum for people who bought a certain course, you may only be able to support so many before the level of support falls off because there are simply too many people to handle effectively.

      Choosing to "yank it off the marketplace in order to generate perceived scarcity" is cutting off your nose to spite your face. I doubt anyone is intentionally deciding to limit the amount of money they can make on a product that no longer costs them a cent unless there is a little more valid reason than that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    The first time I saw 'fake scarcity' online was about 10-12 years ago. According to the seller there were 'only 37 copies of this ebook remaining'.


    ....right.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      That was correct. I had bought the existing 2017 pdf and the I broke their pdf printer coz I wanted no competition.!


      On a serious note, it works: they keep making new people who have not been exposed to fake scarcity in the womb.



      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      The first time I saw 'fake scarcity' online was about 10-12 years ago. According to the seller there were 'only 37 copies of this ebook remaining'.


      ....right.
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  • Profile picture of the author sgalla414
    Agreed. I'm sure a few years ago before I was introduced to the in's and out's of IM I would have fallen for it. But even when i'm shopping online "only 3 items left" just makes me roll my eyes. I'm sure there is some truth behind it but I am pretty immune to most of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author AR RIZVI
    Probably has had it's day. People are now used to seeing multiple offers thrown at them daily and have become more immune to it. Years ago when i started scarcity worked because not everyone used it, now it's all too common.

    There are products that scarcity will work on, depends on the quality of product, how it's presented..i.e. non salesy etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    I very rarely buy any IM products anymore but for some reason, I still sometimes check them out.

    What I see mostly for the last couple of years are fake price increases. (Maybe not technically scarcity like the OP but along the same lines.)

    They might actually increase the price during or at the end of a "launch." Often, however, it is just crazy psyco tricks like "$27 now but it will soon go up to $149... (or) ...it is going monthly for $67 a month." You check back in a few months and the sales page is frozen in time at the same price they claimed was going away.

    I know they work but I seriously want to click away as soon as I see the countdown timer which EVERY sales page has for the last many years.
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    • Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post

      I very rarely buy any IM products anymore but for some reason, I still sometimes check them out.

      What I see mostly for the last couple of years are fake price increases. (Maybe not technically scarcity like the OP but along the same lines.)

      They might actually increase the price during or at the end of a "launch." Often, however, it is just crazy psyco tricks like "$27 now but it will soon go up to $149... (or) ...it is going monthly for $67 a month." You check back in a few months and the sales page is frozen in time at the same price they claimed was going away.

      I know they work but I seriously want to click away as soon as I see the countdown timer which EVERY sales page has for the last many years.

      Yeah, you see a lot of that nonsense from JVzoo sellers, Janice.


      I wouldn't trust those guys as far as I could kick them.
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    • Profile picture of the author sgalla414
      Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post

      I very rarely buy any IM products anymore but for some reason, I still sometimes check them out.

      What I see mostly for the last couple of years are fake price increases. (Maybe not technically scarcity like the OP but along the same lines.)

      They might actually increase the price during or at the end of a "launch." Often, however, it is just crazy psyco tricks like "$27 now but it will soon go up to $149... (or) ...it is going monthly for $67 a month." You check back in a few months and the sales page is frozen in time at the same price they claimed was going away.

      I know they work but I seriously want to click away as soon as I see the countdown timer which EVERY sales page has for the last many years.
      YES. The countdown timers ! I'm sure they must work but you are so right, everyone has been using the countdown timers lately !
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  • Profile picture of the author Adrianne_
    The reason some marketers use fake scarcity is because it works. Period. Experienced marketers may not fall for it but they are not the target audience. They are trying to reach buyers who are gonna be moved by a sense of losing out, and it works all the time. Otherwise they wouldn't be using it.
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  • Like anything, fake scarcity will disappear once it stops working for people. I stress this is not a judgment on whether it is right or wrong from a moral point of view, just that like most things, the market usually dictates what strategies are used and which get dumped.

    From a personal standpoint, I would be happy to (and do) use 'created' scarcity i.e. removing a product or service from sale after a period of time. I wouldn't be so happy about using 'fake' scarcity, i.e. lying.

    Who knows, I might be leaving cash on the table, but it is something that sits right with me and my conscience, so that's fine with me
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    FOMO is sales 101. It has been taught for generations and anyone who thinks it is going anywhere is misleading themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    Choosing to "yank it off the marketplace in order to generate perceived scarcity" is cutting off your nose to spite your face. I doubt anyone is intentionally deciding to limit the amount of money they can make on a product that no longer costs them a cent unless there is a little more valid reason than that.
    Sorry, but you are wrong about that. I have two clients who proved, by testing "always open" enrollments against allowing people to sign up for a program only once or twice a year, and the latter always proved more profitable.

    Perceived scarcity - manufactured in this way - is that powerful.

    Disney does this also, by putting some of its products away for a while and then suddenly making them available again. That's more profitable for them than having the product be available continuously.
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    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      Sorry, but you are wrong about that. I have two clients who proved, by testing "always open" enrollments against allowing people to sign up for a program only once or twice a year, and the latter always proved more profitable..
      Well there you go ... two whole people did it with their online courses; therefore, it applies to every type of website out there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Depending on the niche and the product being offered, scarcity really does "scare" people into rushing and buying now. In the IM/MMO industry sure it's been beat to death, but to the new beginner who wants to sell online and perceives an offer to be their ideal solution.... alot of them will definitely respond to scarcity simply because of the illusion that the offer might not be there tomorrow.
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  • I think it's just simply ridiculous. Well if you're talking about obviously fake scarcity.

    But some really believed those 10-year old tactics. At that time, at least.
    And they probably didn't know the difference between an ebook and a physical one though -- I mean the process of selling it online.

    So I think that still affected the conversation in their heads.
    But I think it affects a lot less buyers, now.
    More of us likely know how ebook sales or many things digital work at this point, I guess.
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  • Profile picture of the author wisecoach
    It is very strange, everybody use this wrong and still people comfortable with it. But if you think it is not going to work, what i think it will always work because of constant flow of new people coming online each day. These guys are victim of this...
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  • Profile picture of the author King Manu
    We know how things work, that's why we perceive them. Just like an app developer would look like at some famous apps and say "they are awfully made", but yet those apps are heavily downloaded and used. Because they are created to please people that have no idea about app development.

    But in the OP's case, the seller should have been wiser towards approaching their audience, since that audience has copywriting experience.

    After all, the most important rule is to adjust to your audience. Scarcity is a technique, but that doesn't mean it should be applied to all situations and services. And most importantly, scarcity shouldn't be more important than providing value, no matter who your target audience is.

    As a copywriter, I cringe at people that focus too much on techniques and too little on value provided.
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  • Reading all the answers here it seems there's a mix up about what you mean by 'fake' scarcity.

    Do you mean 'fake' in that they say the product is only available for a limited time, but when the time is up, they continue to just sell it anyway?

    That's obviously just straight up lying to people. But hey, most people on here selling 'easy money' are also liars. They are just more sophisticated liars.

    However, the 'scarcity' used by only having a program open for a couple of weeks a year, really does work. The fear of missing out on something, and having to wait a couple of months before it comes back around, is definitely a strategy that works.

    It's not 'fake' scarcity to limit the amount of copies sold at any given time, even if you could sell the program all year round.

    It's smart.

    The fear of missing out, is enough to get the people who are dragging their heels, to buy now. As they say, if you don't buy now, chances are you won't buy at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Epic Gamer
    Totally depends on the marketer. A good marketer will always know about his/her audience.
    It is still a great tool to make people open their wallet.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by helisell View Post

    I've been successful online since 2005 [successful=make my full-time living]
    and learned about having a 'deadline' with my offers.

    Looking through some recent emails from big-time-gooroo marketers I've realised that I
    have become completely blind to 'fake scarcity'.

    I mean c'mon....if you teach about using fake scarcity and then pitch me using the technique you taught me...do you really expect it to work?

    And the thing is....I'm a past customer, and a big spender.....so just create something great,
    get it in front of me....along with a compelling message and trust me to hit the buy button.

    Your fake scarcity is just turning me off.
    Well, I've removed myself from all "big-tme gooroo marketers" lists, so I don't see these much. Don't we learn a lot from what they DO, as opposed to what they say? By the time it gets filtered down to we hoi polloi, the technique they used might not work.

    But, as has been pointed out, real scarcity still works, and always will.

    I'm just as bugged by WEEKLY DEALS, which are only promotions for an affiliate site.

    Not much of a deal if I can buy it next week for same price, is it?

    GordonJ
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  • Gotta figure real scarcity be 'bout clean air, seafarin' mammals don't got frisbees in their throats, an' mebbe dried skin offa Michael Jackson's feet before he bleached 'em or got sick, whichevah is your POV.

    "Scarce" ebooks either means the supplier got lazy, greedy -- or died.

    Bottom line is ... wait for the Zaaahmbie Apocalypse an' figure what stuff has value.

    (Clue: It ain't Granma, bcs she gonna suck your brains out with a straw while you asleep.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

    In some cases - especially with online courses - scarcity is not fake. They actually do only sell xxx amount and after that, you have to wait a year before the next version of their course comes out. Also, sometimes a special offer actually IS only up for the stated amount of time.

    I agree, though, that if a "special" is always around, you lose all credibility. In fact, I can't really trust anything in your course if what you did to sell it was a lie.
    Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

    Well, let's call that made-up scarcity. There is NO real-world reason they couldn't sell their course year-round, to as many people as possible. They simply choose to retract it from the marketplace in order to generate perceived scarcity.
    Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

    That may or may not be true. If you are offering support or a forum for people who bought a certain course, you may only be able to support so many before the level of support falls off because there are simply too many people to handle effectively.
    Dave is right. My primary online business is creating and selling digital products. One of my list of clients pay me $5.000 per product with support. I offer no cost 1st come 1st serve support for 30 days and that includes minor additions to software products when applicable to the offer. After 30 days there are different prices for different levels of support!

    We do this because.. support costs me money.. after the product is released, I retain a support staff in part or full for the first 45 days wherein the support is available to customers for 30 days and the support team is retained for 45 days. After 30 days the support is stand in line. In this way I know when the lion's share of the product will be sold and supported.
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  • Profile picture of the author toydistrict
    It isn't going away anytime soon. Why? Because new people enter IM everyday. There are always fresh eyes and minds to manipulate.

    The funny thing is, I've seen some products with scarcity. I come back later to buy only for the scarcity to be real and the product taken down.
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  • Profile picture of the author myob
    So-called "fake scarcity" is a proven and a powerfully effective sales tactic, when used properly. However, you'll lose big time and perhaps forever if the "scarcity" is perceived as fake by prospects.

    Sometimes called a "take away" by sales professionals, the product or "special deal" must really be taken away, made unavailable, or have a real "expiration date" to be effective. Holiday sales or special event sales are especially effective for this reason.

    The concept is to incentivize the buying decision for the here and now rather than perhaps with someone else later. If prospects have been effectively qualified for the product/service, they still often expect a special offer for acting promptly.
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    • Originally Posted by myob View Post

      So-called "fake scarcity" is a proven and a powerfully effective sales tactic, when used properly. However, you'll lose big time and perhaps forever if the "scarcity" is perceived as fake by prospects.
      Ha!

      As a hapless mortal, I would wanna look in on summa these days, hours & minutes flagged up as LIMITED in ads for crapola gonna run till the entreprenoor in question either goes bust or sucks sufficient profit from the Cosmos to warrant minor deities dishin' the BLINDNESS curse.


      Yeah, yeah ... LIMITED till kinda 2075 ...
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by Princess Balestra View Post

        Ha!

        As a hapless mortal, I would wanna look in on summa these days, hours & minutes flagged up as LIMITED in ads for crapola gonna run till the entreprenoor in question either goes bust or sucks sufficient profit from the Cosmos to warrant minor deities dishin' the BLINDNESS curse.


        Yeah, yeah ... LIMITED till kinda 2075 ...
        My "specials" are limited for just 24 hours - then they're gone - poof! Kinda like never seen again, that is - until the next month! All 'cuz that's how the cursed Amazon deities roll the dough with affiliate cookies.
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        • Originally Posted by myob View Post

          My "specials" are limited for just 24 hours - then they're gone - poof!

          Ha! Anywan shrank or miscolored a bra in the wash understands this torment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    Fake scarcity is annoying but the fake "Live Webinar" starting every 6 miniutes is worse


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  • like fake:

    "penis enlargement pills"
    "diet pills"
    "muscle pills"
    "make $20,000 a month no work"
    "5000 MT of gold"
    "Super model wants an old sugar daddy"

    etc..........there a LOT of dumb suckers out there.
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