Scarcity Tactics Ethical? 20 Limited Copies?? LIES??

50 replies
Hey guys i have a quick question for all and would like your opinion on this.

When IM launch product one of the recommended ways to achieve more sales is to use the scarcity tactics i.e. 20 Copies left or limited 40 copies to be sold.

However assuming for some IM that these are not genuine remarks and simply just for marketing purposes to boost sales, limit the saturation of the method or create a buying frenzy...

would this be ethical? its almost borderline lying, no?? i have seen many big name marketers do this and also many wso... whereby they either have a automated number which if revisited on a different browser resets.

Would be interested to know opinions guys...
#copies #ethical #lies #limited #scarcity #tactics
  • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
    If it's lying, then, yes, I think it's unethical - and could damage the reputation of the marketer. But, scarcity does work - and if done right, then it can help bring in big numbers quickly.

    Kindest regards,
    Karl.
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  • Profile picture of the author Erica Leggette
    I think ethics play a minor role in this tactic. If the scarcity method accumulates more sales then more power to it. This is advertising so there are a bunch of things that are gonna be said to boost sales, create expert status, or whatever. The goal is to be profitable and deliver quality, at least that's how I see it. If it works, it just works. As long as the product being promoted delivers what it is being said to then everything is everything in my eyes.
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    • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
      Originally Posted by Erica Leggett View Post

      I think ethics play a minor role in this tactic. If the scarcity method accumulates more sales then more power to it. This is advertising so there are a bunch of things that are gonna be said to boost sales, create expert status, or whatever. The goal is to be profitable, at least that's how I see it. If it works, it just works. As long as the product being promoted delivers what it is being said to then everything is everything in my eyes.
      How about those who limit sales of PLR packages... with each EXTRA one sold, the value for previous buyers diminishes. It's not even about ethics, it's about what is fair - and what is honest.

      If the pursuit of profit comes at the expense of the consumer's trust, then slowly but surely you will find that the consumers find somewhere else to buy.

      Kindest regards,
      Karl.
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    • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
      Originally Posted by Erica Leggett View Post

      I think ethics play a minor role in this tactic. If the scarcity method accumulates more sales then more power to it. This is advertising so there are a bunch of things that are gonna be said to boost sales, create expert status, or whatever. The goal is to be profitable and deliver quality, at least that's how I see it. If it works, it just works. As long as the product being promoted delivers what it is being said to then everything is everything in my eyes.

      You should never ever lie to your customers. ever. if one is using scarcity as a tactic and then a week later after those copies have been sold it says the same thing well just ask around in here and see how po'd people get about that not to mention it will RUIN your name never ever lie if you say limited to 100 people then mean that

      -WD
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by WD Products View Post

        You should never ever lie to your customers.
        What he said. All else is commentary. If I say only 20 will be sold, I can't sell any more than 20. If I say the price goes up on X date, it better go up on that date. If I say the product comes off the market on X date, it better come off the market on that date.

        Just do what you say you'll do. End of story.
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        • Profile picture of the author ProfessorMetal
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          What he said. All else is commentary. If I say only 20 will be sold, I can't sell any more than 20. If I say the price goes up on X date, it better go up on that date. If I say the product comes off the market on X date, it better come off the market on that date.

          Just do what you say you'll do. End of story.
          Spot on, Man. I think this sort of tactic is something that the FTC will be taking a close look at and cracking down on the people who are flat out lying. I've seen so many instances of "only X number will be sold" or "after such and such a time the price will go up", etc. only to see the same damn thing from the same person, that as soon as I see something like that I go the other way.

          Another thing that totally pisses me off is using the "countdown" technique to "panic" somebody into buying only to see the exact same "countdown" a dozen times later.

          When things are done in such a manner it's definitely unethical and should be illegal. That sort of practice is one of the things that gives IM a black eye and screws those of us who are trying to make a living legitimately and ethically. Another poster made a comment about seeing the "Going out of business" BS practiced by the brick and mortar businesses. Same deal. That needs to be cracked down on as well.

          OK, end of rant.

          Jeff
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      • Profile picture of the author Erica Leggette
        Originally Posted by WD Products View Post

        You should never ever lie to your customers. ever. if one is using scarcity as a tactic and then a week later after those copies have been sold it says the same thing well just ask around in here and see how po'd people get about that not to mention it will RUIN your name never ever lie if you say limited to 100 people then mean that

        -WD
        I understand what you are saying but aint it hard to tell whether the product was intended to end once x amount of copies are sold and then sees the potential and extend it or whether it's a tactic to increase sales from the jump? I may create a product one day and launch it with the intent to put only a few copies out there, can I not relaunch it because I initially said I would only put a few copies out? What if someone sees the potential in my product, tell some friends about it and I am being asked to relaunch, am I liar because I did that. What if I really only want to put a certain amount of copies out there and then take a minute to analyze how everything went with sales and also get the ones started on the right foot with support that bought in on the first launch, then another 20 copies are put out on the market for grabs, is that wrong. But that is just an honest reason as to why it doesn't bother me one way or the other because I know it's a tactic used alot but there are some legit reasons for an extended promo of a product. But for the ones that are just blatant sales tactic, it's only so far anyone can go with an empty tactic because for one, the quality of the product is what will determine the relationship we have with our customers not what we used to get them to be our customers. Its just about the same as saying "this product will help you greatly with your problem" when we have not even tried the product ourselves. Don't take what about to say the wrong way but as far as I see it, we all have to say some things that we really cant pinky swear on to promote stuff online especially if it is a product we have not tried ourselves or just wanting to get a jump on things. So saying there would be only 20 copies sold is not too bad when we promote things based on researching to see what other people have to say about a product since we are not customers to all this stuff ourselves. All of this is a part of the grind we are all on at this time. I am a very ethical person and I will do it too just to tease the market and my bank account knowing all along that what I am putting out there is gonna sell but how fast will depend on the fire I put under the ass of the market. As long as I am giving them what I promised within my product, I will still sleep at night.
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        • Profile picture of the author peter_act
          I don't mind the scarcity factor used in "only $7 to the next 10 customers", then "only $17 to the next 25 customers" and so on.

          At least I don't mind it as long as I'm one of the $7 customers - it really hurts when I see something on sale for $47 when I could have bought it for $7 had I been quick enough!
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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
            Originally Posted by peter_act View Post

            I don't mind the scarcity factor used in "only $7 to the next 10 customers", then "only $17 to the next 25 customers" and so on.

            At least I don't mind it as long as I'm one of the $7 customers - it really hurts when I see something on sale for $47 when I could have bought it for $7 had I been quick enough!
            Yeah, that sucks...but it happens.
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        • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
          Wow steve now i understand what you meant)

          Hi Erica,
          quit while your ahead what you are saying quite simply is that i must lie even a little to get sales.then your in the wrong business better find a new one.

          if you think "little lies" are ok your already proving your not integral so i and others who read this forum should not ever deal with you because your unreliable in what your saying. i marvel at this but it is one of the reasons why our industry has a bad rep fact is lie and lose and one more thing people will never forget what's more important Erica a solid reputation in your field of business or a few quick dollars with bad rep and a guaranteed loss?
          -WD

          Originally Posted by Erica Leggett View Post

          I understand what you are saying but aint it hard to tell whether the product was intended to end once x amount of copies are sold and then sees the potential and extend it or whether it's a tactic to increase sales from the jump? I may create a product one day and launch it with the intent to put only a few copies out there, can I not relaunch it because I initially said I would only put a few copies out? What if someone sees the potential in my product, tell some friends about it and I am being asked to relaunch, am I liar because I did that. What if I really only want to put a certain amount of copies out there and then take a minute to analyze how everything went with sales and also get the ones started on the right foot with support that bought in on the first launch, then another 20 copies are put out on the market for grabs, is that wrong. But that is just an honest reason as to why it doesn't bother me one way or the other because I know it's a tactic used alot but there are some legit reasons for an extended promo of a product. But for the ones that are just blatant sales tactic, it's only so far anyone can go with an empty tactic because for one, the quality of the product is what will determine the relationship we have with our customers not what we used to get them to be our customers. Its just about the same as saying "this product will help you greatly with your problem" when we have not even tried the product ourselves. Don't take what about to say the wrong way but as far as I see it, we all have to say some things that we really cant pinky swear on to promote stuff online especially if it is a product we have not tried ourselves or just wanting to get a jump on things. So saying there would be only 20 copies sold is not too bad when we promote things based on researching to see what other people have to say about a product since we are not customers to all this stuff ourselves. All of this is a part of the grind we are all on at this time. I am a very ethical person and I will do it too just to tease the market and my bank account knowing all along that what I am putting out there is gonna sell but how fast will depend on the fire I put under the ass of the market. As long as I am giving them what I promised within my product, I will still sleep at night.
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          • Profile picture of the author Erica Leggette
            Originally Posted by WD Products View Post

            Wow steve now i understand what you meant)

            Hi Erica,
            quit while your ahead what you are saying quite simply is that i must lie even a little to get sales.then your in the wrong business better find a new one.

            if you think "little lies" are ok your already proving your not integral so i and others who read this forum should not ever deal with you because your unreliable in what your saying. i marvel at this but it is one of the reasons why our industry has a bad rep fact is lie and lose and one more thing people will never forget what's more important Erica a solid reputation in your field of business or a few quick dollars with bad rep and a guaranteed loss?
            -WD
            Oh c'mon Father Theresa!! Are you serious??
            Just so you know, the niches I am interested in would not even require this type of tactic anyway so that is going a little overboard but if it did, it would be the MY business. My reputation when I develop one will be built on delivering my audience quality content teamed up with some products that I feel would help them with their problem and to later on create my own product to help them even more. The rest will work itself out in due time. I am only stating my honest opinion about this issue which you and everyone else is doing so why you feel the almighty need to label me as someone unreliable in your eyes and even to speak for what everyone else on this forum that reads my post is a little wack to say the least, but whatever floats your boat, float on brother. hint: If you or anybody else are having a problem that I am in the niche of and you type in the KWs that I am targeting in my campaign and have done my job properly to be the first page you see and satisfy your problem and concern and offered you a good product to help you and you make the sale, that is what my reputation will be build on delivering quality and this is will not be hendered because I was being a little too honest on this forum. I am sorry that I am not the type of person that will pretend to be Mother Theresa just to state why I don't agree with someone else's marketing tactics. But seriously, relax and be real. I want to participate in this forum with my HONEST opinion just as well as you or anybody else so don't attack my character or better yet tell me to quit while I am ahead because we are all adults here trying to make a living doing similar things, sharing ideas, and opinions and just because you don't agree with it doesn't make your post anymore worthy to be shared than mine because as I stated in the post, if I did use that tactic it was would be my business, and the business of my customers to do so as well as I would have my own reason's for relaunching. So pull it out ok....if you know what I mean. Just be careful how you try to size someone up because it just shows your shortcomings because I asked a series of questions that shows the reasons as to why I would do it as well but you chose to say all that nonsense about my character rather than answer one question. It was like saying, "hey because you gave your honest opinion on this forum, me and nobody else on this forum will ever do business with you even though your product may be great but it made you unreliable and untrustworthy", damn that sucks!! So that to me sir, would possibly make a newbie like me not want to listen to a word you say
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            • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
              HAHAHA Father theresa i like that one. you can be po'd at me all you want but that does not and will not change the facts as stated.

              you saying you have to lie is wrong simple no matter What Niche your in for crying out loud! I am not the only person who treats his customers as gold why bother to lie they will find out and you will be ruined for it you make no sense newbie or not take some advice now you make yourself look silly by writing all this to defend yourself i could not even read it because for the second time you strung it all together. your reaction to be told to be honest is proof in the pudding enough Erica. not sure why you would have a problem with that but surely indicates dishonesty being a tactic you would use. i told you to quit while you were ahead .My dad used to say better for people to think your a fool then open your mouth and prove them right. what you need to have in all things Erica is integrity=uncompromising moral character.
              -WD

              Originally Posted by Erica Leggett View Post

              Oh c'mon Father Theresa!! Are you serious??
              Just so you know, the niches I am interested in would not even require this type of tactic anyway so that is going a little overboard but if it did, it would be the MY business. My reputation when I develop one will be built on delivering my audience quality content teamed up with some products that I feel would help them with their problem and to later on create my own product to help them even more. The rest will work itself out in due time. I am only stating my honest opinion about this issue which you and everyone else is doing so why you feel the almighty need to label me as someone unreliable in your eyes and even to speak for what everyone else on this forum that reads my post is a little wack to say the least, but whatever floats your boat, float on brother. hint: If you or anybody else are having a problem that I am in the niche of and you type in the KWs that I am targeting in my campaign and have done my job properly to be the first page you see and satisfy your problem and concern and offered you a good product to help you and you make the sale, that is what my reputation will be build on delivering quality and this is will not be hendered because I was being a little too honest on this forum. I am sorry that I am not the type of person that will pretend to be Mother Theresa just to state why I don't agree with someone else's marketing tactics. But seriously, relax and be real. I want to participate in this forum with my HONEST opinion just as well as you or anybody else so don't attack my character or better yet tell me to quit while I am ahead because we are all adults here trying to make a living doing similar things, sharing ideas, and opinions and just because you don't agree with it doesn't make your post anymore worthy to be shared than mine because as I stated in the post, if I did use that tactic it was would be my business, and the business of my customers to do so as well as I would have my own reason's for relaunching. So pull it out ok....if you know what I mean. Just be careful how you try to size someone up because it just shows your shortcomings because I asked a series of questions that shows the reasons as to why I would do it as well but you chose to say all that nonsense about my character rather than answer one question. It was like saying, "hey because you gave your honest opinion on this forum, me and nobody else on this forum will ever do business with you even though your product may be great but it made you unreliable and untrustworthy", damn that sucks!! So that to me sir, would possibly make a newbie like me not want to listen to a word you say
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              • Profile picture of the author Erica Leggette
                Originally Posted by WD Products View Post

                HAHAHA Father theresa i like that one. you can be po'd at me all you want but that does not and will not change the facts as stated.

                you saying you have to lie is wrong simple no matter What Niche your in for crying out loud! I am not the only person who treats his customers as gold why bother to lie they will find out and you will be ruined for it you make no sense newbie or not take some advice now you make yourself look silly by writing all this to defend yourself i could not even read it because for the second time you strung it all together. your reaction to be told to be honest is proof in the pudding enough Erica. not sure why you would have a problem with that but surely indicates dishonesty being a tactic you would use. i told you to quit while you were ahead .My dad used to say better for people to think your a fool then open your mouth and prove them right. what you need to have in all things Erica is integrity=uncompromising moral character.
                -WD
                Ok you win but even though we dont agree, please I will ask again, do not insult me or my character. you have insulted me without cause twice already, just be careful not to do that, it is not a good look because this situation is not that serious to take it to the extreme you are with me because for one.... I DONT HAVE A FREAKING PRODUCT AND ITS NONE OF EITHER OF OUR BUSINESS WHAT THE NEXT GUY DOES!
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                • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
                  Originally Posted by Erica Leggett View Post

                  I DONT HAVE A FREAKING PRODUCT AND ITS NONE OF EITHER OF OUR BUSINESS WHAT THE NEXT GUY DOES!
                  To a degree, yes, it is.

                  In any business, there will always be con artists that rip people off, lying to them, overcharging them, whatever. So long as those people are few and far between, the impact is minimal on reputable businesses.

                  When more and more people behave like the con artists, when business people think that it is acceptable to lie and deceive their customers to get sales, that gives customers a bad impression about business people. Just look at how business people get hammered in the media for the current economy when, if you really dig deep, it's largely the politicians that are to blame.

                  But, I digress... At any rate, the point is that deceitful business practices hurt us all. Not only do they give us all a bad impression in the minds of consumers and make it that much harder for legitimate business people to make a sale, it can also lead to onerous government regulations, which are typically more burdensome on honest business people than on the crooks and con artists.

                  So, yes, the things that other people do are my business because they affect my business. And I think it's important that we make it very clear to people that lying and deceitful actions are not acceptable business practices.

                  Otherwise, the FTC will step in and push a bunch of onerous regulations that will hurt legitimate marketers more than the con artists.

                  Oops.

                  Wait.

                  Too late.

                  Yeah, thanks to the fake bloggers, the fake review sites, the fake testimonials, etc., the FTC did step in. Thanks a bunch.

                  And, before the FTC steps in again, how about we put the kibosh on fake scarcity before the FTC requires that we have third-party evaluations of our product sales to document that scarcity?

                  So, again, yes, what other people do is, to an extent, my business because, no matter how honest or ethical I may be, I will be the one getting screwed by new regulations.

                  The con artists will continue to do what they do or simply move on to easier targets.
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            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
              Erica, I would have loved to have read your reply but run on paragraphs
              make my eyes hurt.

              Just a friendly suggestion. If you want more people to read your posts...

              paragraphs.

              They work wonders.
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              • Profile picture of the author Erica Leggette
                Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                Erica, I would have loved to have read your reply but run on paragraphs
                make my eyes hurt.

                Just a friendly suggestion. If you want more people to read your posts...

                paragraphs.

                They work wonders.

                LOL...
                My bad. I really write better than this. LOL
                I just don't get what am I saying wrong to the douche above. If I wanted to do a test run, I don't see why that would be wrong.
                I am trying to learn different stuff and what the experienced people are doing to succeed but at the same time.
                Rather than playing the card as if I am some type of low life because I said I would do it, I would really like to know would I be wrong if people asked for an encore of my launch.

                Dudes like the ones above makes this forum very hard to feel at home in because although I spend alot of time reading around here, I see too many times where the ones that thinks they know it all totally disrespect others opinions and questions like there is no tomorrow. Not you though because although you disagree with the scarcity tactic, you didn't insult me for my post.

                I hope this is better than the other posts I typed. LOL
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                • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                  Originally Posted by Erica Leggett View Post

                  LOL...
                  My bad. I really write better than this. LOL
                  I just don't get what am I saying wrong to the douche above. If I wanted to do a test run, I don't see why that would be wrong.
                  I am trying to learn different stuff and what the experienced people are doing to succeed but at the same time.
                  Rather than playing the card as if I am some type of low life because I said I would do it, I would really like to know would I be wrong if people asked for an encore of my launch.

                  Dudes like the ones above makes this forum very hard to feel at home in because although I spend alot of time reading around here, I see too many times where the ones that thinks they know it all totally disrespect others opinions and questions like there is no tomorrow. Not you though because although you disagree with the scarcity tactic, you didn't insult me for my post.

                  I hope this is better than the other posts I typed. LOL

                  Erica, it's hard to reply to what the problem is because as I said, I can't
                  read your post.

                  But I am going to assume from this response that you are talking about
                  testing out an offer, say 100 sold at $X or whatever and then after
                  seeing that the offer either is or isn't performing the way you like, you
                  make a change to it...as you say...testing. Please correct me if I am
                  wrong.

                  If this is the case, I am sorry to have to say this, but it's just wrong.

                  There is no way around it.

                  Okay, let's take this scenario.

                  John Doe goes to your sales page and sees this.

                  "This offer will be taken down on January 1, 2010."

                  It is now December 31, 2009 and he knows he has only today to pick this
                  up. So he does.

                  Now, tomorrow comes and you realize that he was the ONLY guy who
                  bought your product. It didn't go over so well.

                  So you change the page to extend the offer to January 7, 2010.

                  What is John Doe going to think if he returns to your page?

                  He is going to think that you lied to him...plain and simple.

                  Now, you might not care. But do you think he will ever buy anything
                  from you again?

                  In addition to that, do you not think that he will then crank out his blog
                  and start bad mouthing you to everybody in existence?

                  Sometimes, we have to eat our mistakes.

                  I ONLY use scarcity when I KNOW it is going to work in my favor.

                  How do you know?

                  It comes with experience, and that experience comes from having to eat
                  a few offers.

                  Take this advice for what it's worth to you.
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                • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by Erica Leggett View Post

                  LOL...
                  My bad. I really write better than this. LOL
                  I just don't get what am I saying wrong to the douche above. If I wanted to do a test run, I don't see why that would be wrong.
                  I am trying to learn different stuff and what the experienced people are doing to succeed but at the same time.
                  Rather than playing the card as if I am some type of low life because I said I would do it, I would really like to know would I be wrong if people asked for an encore of my launch.

                  Dudes like the ones above makes this forum very hard to feel at home in because although I spend alot of time reading around here, I see too many times where the ones that thinks they know it all totally disrespect others opinions and questions like there is no tomorrow. Not you though because although you disagree with the scarcity tactic, you didn't insult me for my post.

                  I hope this is better than the other posts I typed. LOL

                  With just 15 posts under your belt, you enter a forum and probably knowing very little to nothing about either the Warrior Forum, it's "culture" or about marketing in general, you go on and on and on again about how it's ok to tell lies to your customers.

                  Then you call a poster a douche, Father Teresa, etc. and generally insult everyone who plays by a different standard of ethics. You're a real piece of work.

                  If I were you, I'd be checking out the WSO section for an ebook on Forum marketing, Forum manners and yes ... perhaps one on business ethics.
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            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Erica Leggett View Post

              Oh c'mon Father Theresa!! Are you serious??
              Just so you know, the niches I am interested in would not even require this type of tactic anyway so that is going a little overboard but if it did, it would be the MY business. My reputation when I develop one will be built on delivering my audience quality content teamed up with some products that I feel would help them with their problem and to later on create my own product to help them even more. The rest will work itself out in due time. I am only stating my honest opinion about this issue which you and everyone else is doing so why you feel the almighty need to label me as someone unreliable in your eyes and even to speak for what everyone else on this forum that reads my post is a little wack to say the least, but whatever floats your boat, float on brother.
              It doesn't matter what niche you are in. Nobody here really cares. What we do care about is getting what we are paying for. By saying that little lies are ok, you are already building your reputation. That's starts the minute you open your mouth on a forum.

              Many on this forum will remember that you "think ethics play a minor role". That little lies are the norm, the standard, expected and therefore, ok.

              Got news for you Mother Theresa, a lot of us care about ethics.
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        • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Erica Leggett View Post

          What if someone sees the potential in my product, tell some friends about it and I am being asked to relaunch, am I liar because I did that. What if I really only want to put a certain amount of copies out there and then take a minute to analyze how everything went with sales and also get the ones started on the right foot with support that bought in on the first launch, then another 20 copies are put out on the market for grabs, is that wrong
          If I tell my wife I would never cheat on her, but then do because a once in a lifetime opportunity presented itself, is that wrong? What if I truly meant to be faithful, but then my hot neighbor who I never thought I had a shot with tells me I do have a shot? Is that wrong?

          Yes, you are a liar if you say you'll only sell 20, and then sell 20(or 200, or whatever) more just because you can. If that's your intention, then say that upfront. Be honest and say you only plan to sell 20, unless something comes along and you're able to sell more. Of course, that kind of undermines the scarcity tactic, doesn't it.
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          • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            By saying that little lies are ok, you are already building your reputation. That's starts the minute you open your mouth on a forum.
            That's exactly right! And consumers are being educated more and more. It isn't hard to do a couple quick searches on a person's name and find the kinds of things they say in forums. I know people who do this before they buy any product from people they don't know.

            Originally Posted by Erica Leggett View Post

            LOL...
            f I wanted to do a test run, I don't see why that would be wrong.
            There's nothing wrong with a test run, just call it a test run. Tell people you don't know when or if your product will be back on the market. That's honest and still creates scarcity. There is no need to lie. Lying is a lazy tactic. A little honest creativity goes a long way and spares you from being branded as a liar.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterkailo
    I, too, agree that it will hurt your reputation for lying. I like to build relationship and trust than to make a few quick bucks.
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    • Profile picture of the author swilliams09
      It reminds me of how furniture stores always have that "going out of business sale".

      I'm doing a wso on video where I'm providing a service. In order to give the best service and not get overwhelmed (or to have problems with timely delivery), I'm setting a set number of customers that I know I can handle effectively.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        If I say that I am only selling 100 of an item and it is a digital product, even
        though there is no actual limitation to the number of digital products you
        can sell, as long as I stop selling it once that 100th copy is sold, there is
        absolutely nothing unethical about scarcity.

        Same with saying that a product will only be for sale for a limited number
        of days.

        Last year, using time scarcity, or whatever you want to call it, I had my
        best December in my, at the time, 5 years of marketing online. Actually,
        not only was it my best December, a time where many marketers struggle,
        it was my best month ever.

        Marketers use scarcity for a variety of reasons.

        1. To see who is serious about wanting the product.
        2. To sell a product quickly and make a fast profit.
        3. To test for future products.

        If one scarcity promotion goes well, as long as it's honest, then the
        marketer might decide to use the tactic again.

        I use it for almost every product I've come out with in the last year. I
        find it makes sales faster and easier and I can sell for almost any price
        (within reason) that I want. The fewer the items, the higher the price
        you can usually sell for.

        Nothing unethical about scarcity if it's done honestly.
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        • Profile picture of the author Pat Blank
          Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

          Nothing unethical about scarcity if it's done honestly.
          This, and Steven Wagenheim is one of the few people I buy products from who I trust about his scarcity limits. If he says buy today only, he means it, so I'd better order now. I know this from experience.

          For someone I don't know, I assume that it's just another sales technique and take it with a grain of salt. It's such a common sales phrase that it just doesn't mean anything. I can't imagine how some random marketer could truly convince me that he did, in fact, only have X copies left of something available!

          I sell the occasional PLR pack and I do sell only the stated number, but that's because I wouldn't feel good about myself if I did anything else. I have no idea whether my customers take that number seriously - and frankly, I don't know how anyone would know if I sold a few extra.
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Thanks for posting this question.

    I agree with Steven, you have to be ethical about the end that you want to achieve. Convincing someone to buy something which will improve the quality of their life covers a multitude of sins. However, people procrastinate. They always have and they always will...even so much as endangering their own life (i.e. not being proactive in managing their health even after they've been told they're at risk for heart disease, not getting a marriage counselor until the couple is a breath away from divorce).

    As marketers, we encourage and inspire people to take the actions they really KNOW they need to take. Keep that in mind and the rest will take care of itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    If a product says only 50 will be sold and I buy it, I expect only 50 to be sold. I am buying a "limited edition" for a reason. I'm not interested in owning some products if everyone and their mother also owns it. Happened not too long ago on a WSO .... the guy kept bumping his WSO over and over again and by all the comments, it was obvious that he way oversold the 50 copies he said he was going to sell. A lot of buyers were pissed. He was banned for awhile. Back now, but I won't ever buy from him again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Scarcity is a two-edged sword. If brings you more sales just before
    the offer closes and so you are tempted to EXTEND the deadline
    to make more sales which makes the scarcity un-scarce.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      Scarcity is a two-edged sword. If brings you more sales just before the offer closes and so you are tempted to EXTEND the deadline to make more sales which makes the scarcity un-scarce.
      Make apologies, and tell people you're sorry you had to turn so many of them away (even if it's just one - you're still sorry, right?).

      Then promise to make it up to them with another similar, yet more expensive product...
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  • Profile picture of the author Lance K
    Originally Posted by Antony Le View Post

    Hey guys i have a quick question for all and would like your opinion on this.

    When IM launch product one of the recommended ways to achieve more sales is to use the scarcity tactics i.e. 20 Copies left or limited 40 copies to be sold.

    However assuming for some IM that these are not genuine remarks and simply just for marketing purposes to boost sales, limit the saturation of the method or create a buying frenzy...

    would this be ethical? its almost borderline lying, no?? i have seen many big name marketers do this and also many wso... whereby they either have a automated number which if revisited on a different browser resets.

    Would be interested to know opinions guys...


    If it's fake scarcity, there's no "almost borderline" about it. It's a lie. Period.

    Scarcity/Urgency are legitimate, powerful strategies if used properly.
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    • Profile picture of the author Erica Leggette
      Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

      If it's fake scarcity, there's no "almost borderline" about it. It's a lie. Period.

      Scarcity/Urgency are legitimate, powerful strategies if used properly.
      Exactly. I actually know of people that I bought stuff from that sent emails to us explaining why they were relaunching so this is where I am coming from mostly but the only people who would know are the people that were actual customers. I just feel like we as marketers should not be so quick to judge each other unless it's just down right harmful to somebody. As long as the product is quality, I don't see what the problem is honestly.
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    I have been burned with this in the WSO section before. A popular warrior had a WSO that said "buy this now and the first 20 people will get my special report on XYZ". I didn't want the main product but the special report sounded good so I bought it.

    When I asked where my special report was I had a rather condescending reply pointing out how it was only for the first 20 people and that had already gone before I bought (although there was no mention of this anywhere in the WSO).

    Rant over, and back on topic. Scarcity does work, just use it ethically. Whenever I introduce scarcity I make sure there is a plausible reason to back it up. Scarcity without a reason rings alarm bells. Scarcity should be used as a nudge, not a sledgehammer. Think about the buying process of your customer, will the outcome generate buyers remorse? There is no better way to destroy a sales funnel than using shady tactics that alienate your customers on their point of entry.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by GuerrillaIM View Post

      I have been burned with this in the WSO section before. A popular warrior had a WSO that said "buy this now and the first 20 people will get my special report on XYZ". I didn't want the main product but the special report sounded good so I bought it.

      When I asked where my special report was I had a rather condescending reply pointing out how it was only for the first 20 people and that had already gone before I bought (although there was no mention of this anywhere in the WSO).

      Rant over, and back on topic. Scarcity does work, just use it ethically. Whenever I introduce scarcity I make sure there is a plausible reason to back it up. Scarcity without a reason rings alarm bells. Scarcity should be used as a nudge, not a sledgehammer. Think about the buying process of your customer, will the outcome generate buyers remorse? There is no better way to destroy a sales funnel than using shady tactics that alienate your customers on their point of entry.

      I'm sorry, but scarcity needs no other reason other than, "I just choose
      to only sell X number of this item."

      If you only sell X number of that item...it is ethical.

      Nobody owes anybody an explanation of why as long as they keep their
      word.
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      • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
        Erica,

        No one attacked your character you present yourself in a very bad manner and i called you on it don't want that then don't say things like little lies are ok NO they are not!

        your opinion of me and calling me a douche is really not a concern to me i will get over it .

        if you think i don't practice what i preach. i put a product up said a certain date it would be gone and voila Sorry it is over now
        if you google wd's success kit you will then see it is no longer available because that is what is known as integrity

        enough said this thread is not about you you don't like what i have to say then get over it and get on with it but don't think for one second what your saying is doing anything except hurting yourself though there are many that practice quite unethically you will not find so many in here and find a lot more that have the same perspective as I .

        as i said above what is more important having a solid rep in the field of business or a few dollars and guaranteed loss?
        -WD
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  • Profile picture of the author Imran Naseem
    Banned
    *Grabs popcorn..

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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
      I think the real problem has been demonstrated in the past couple of weeks...

      New product comes out

      In order to increase the value of the product they say only XX or XXX copies will be sold

      Then they sell XXXX copies

      At that point, the people that bought (me included) are pissed off because the product isn't worth XXX if XXXX's of people are in possession of it.

      When scarcity is used as laid out above - It's dishonest, wrong, and gives everyone a bad name.

      BUT

      They justify it by saying "I felt bad because so many people didn't get to the order page in time" - Great, refund me the difference between XXX and the $27 the product is now worth.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebSolutionKey
    Building trustworthy customer base and being loyal to our customers is a must. Be it Internet Marketing or any other niche, we should follow some good business ethics so that buyer and seller are benefited.

    If you provide quality service, obviously your sales is gonna boost. Using scarcity tactics is not a sin, but instead of that you can have offers for limited orders and once when your offer closes you can provide discounts only to your returning customers. That would be a better way of retaining your customer base as well...


    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Erica Leggett View Post

      LOL...
      My bad. I really write better than this. LOL
      I just don't get what am I saying wrong to the douche above. If I wanted to do a test run, I don't see why that would be wrong.
      I am trying to learn different stuff and what the experienced people are doing to succeed but at the same time.
      Rather than playing the card as if I am some type of low life because I said I would do it, I would really like to know would I be wrong if people asked for an encore of my launch.

      Dudes like the ones above makes this forum very hard to feel at home in because although I spend alot of time reading around here, I see too many times where the ones that thinks they know it all totally disrespect others opinions and questions like there is no tomorrow. Not you though because although you disagree with the scarcity tactic, you didn't insult me for my post.

      I hope this is better than the other posts I typed. LOL
      I suppose calling the guy who you think disrespected you a "douche" is complimentary? You aren't doing yourself any favors here.

      As far as doing a test run, there's nothing wrong with that. Just call it a test run, people will accept that.

      As far as re-launching a product goes, it depends a lot on the original offer.

      If, as Jeremy posited, your value proposition depends on the fact that there are a limited number of copies available, and you decide to ignore that, you are, in effect, stealing value from your original customers.

      If your scarcity is due to some physical limitation, such as the poster who offered a limited number of slots for a personal service, and that limitation is no longer in effect, then a relaunch is perfectly legitimate. Just be upfront about it.

      If your scarcity is due to a marketing test, say so. If the test succeeds, you can relaunch. If it fails, the original buyers now have something that others will not. If it delivers the value promised, then no one is harmed.

      No one said "never relaunch a product", they just said "tell the truth, so I know what to expect."
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      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
        Hi John,

        a limited number of slots for a personal service
        Ooer!

        Sorry
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      • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
        Well said John,

        that is exactly it if i offer a product at x amount of copies which i do then after that x amount of copies it comes down. i know some who launch relaunch and relaunch again each time for a different reason. however. i also notice they end up including bonus after bonus after bonus...... why because no one is buying it now. it hurts us in the end if we do not do what we say that is all i am trying to get across and i appreciate that i am not the only person with this perspective. Just like jeremy said reaffirmed what i said it just pisses people off plain and simple and it may produce a few dollrs but it will hurt and limit if not destroy your success.

        that's MO

        thanks for putting it so well
        -WD
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        • Profile picture of the author Alminc
          This is very important if products with some kind of resell rights
          or PLR is sold. In that case it's 'business to business', you are selling
          to your fellow marketers, not to the end user.

          If you say you are selling only 100 copies of a PLR ebook then you
          should not sell 200 or 500 copies. Even 100 copies is actually too
          many people having same ebook and selling it.

          What I laughed at a couple of times was when people said in their
          sales letter ' only 500 copies will ever be sold' .
          I wasn't scared, I was entertained
          You really need to be total newbie to buy a PLR product that
          is sold to other 499 marketers. Same applies PLR membership sites.

          When do I get scared?

          Only when a killer product (proven seller!) is sold with resell
          rights to no more than 20 people!
          Then and only then I want to be one of those 20 lucky guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author SuiteJ
    I personally buy products often BECAUSE they are limited. That adds value in some cases (PLR, etc.). It would piss me off if I saw it being sold again later, and it would tarnish the respect I had for the seller.

    I agree with what some have said above. Sales/scarcity tactics are fine, but don't bull**** your customers to make more $$. Trust me, even if you make extra $$/sales in the short term, it won't be worth it in the long run when you develop the reputation of being a bull****ter.
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  • Profile picture of the author markgilbert
    Originally Posted by Antony Le View Post

    However assuming for some IM that these are not genuine remarks and simply just for marketing purposes to boost sales, limit the saturation of the method or create a buying frenzy...

    would this be ethical?
    Sounds like you already knew the answer before you asked? Disingenuous = Dishonesty = Unethical
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  • Profile picture of the author DogScout
    I must be a douche. Sold cars for 27 years and never couldn't 'pinky swear' whatever I told a customer. Yes there are those that think you have to 'stretch the truth' to sell, but for some reason, those that don't stretch the truth usually out sell those people.
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  • Profile picture of the author tresfavian
    Sorry to bring this back to life, but I had posted a question quite similar just this morning and no one responded. It has to do with clickbank's affili8 products.

    So if I may ask it here - I found 2 similar products on Clickbank. When I went thru both pitch sales pages. One said only 500 copies to be sold and the other said bonus offer expires Dec.21st, which has already passed.

    Wasn't sure how this works for the new affilliates, doesn't this make people mad when they see this 2 months later? After reading this thread - I suppose I should stay away from promoting this becuz yes, it would then could also damage my reputation.

    If the orig. owner would not use this tactic I certainly would feel better about it. I really liked the offer and started to get ideas but it didn't sit well with me when I saw this at the end of their pitch. Now I'm disheartened and back to the researching drawing board.

    Does anyone else make this one of the deciding factors whether you promote as an affilliate ?
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  • Profile picture of the author Nickolie0990
    The only time I use this kind of scarcity tactic is when I'm shipping physical products. I do have to agree that if you have a purely downloadable course, and you say "There is only X number of copies left", then that is a lie. Even if you say your only going to release a limited number of copies, you better have a good reason why, you decided to only limit the copies.

    My favorite type of scarcity method is giving bonuses and extra's to the first 100 people that buy. I always like to stay away from the negative scarcity feelings.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Nickolie0990 View Post

      The only time I use this kind of scarcity tactic is when I'm shipping physical products. I do have to agree that if you have a purely downloadable course, and you say "There is only X number of copies left", then that is a lie. Even if you say your only going to release a limited number of copies, you better have a good reason why, you decided to only limit the copies.

      My favorite type of scarcity method is giving bonuses and extra's to the first 100 people that buy. I always like to stay away from the negative scarcity feelings.
      Why do I have to have a good reason why I am limiting a digital download?

      What if I just want to limit the number so that I make the sales right away
      instead of having to wait who knows how long for those same number of
      sales?

      There is nothing unethical about saying, "This is a digital product and I
      am only selling 100 of these...PERIOD...END OF STORY."
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      • Profile picture of the author tresfavian
        Yeah but to offer this product for affilliates to promote then putting a limit is not doing the affilliate any good to promote for the affilliate's reputation too.

        So it's best to stay away from these offers from Clickbank?
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