What is "fake scarcity?"

54 replies
What is "fake scarcity?"

Don't you as a vendor have a right to place a limited quantity or deadline on your offer?

What makes it "fake?"
#fake scarcity
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    What makes it "fake?"
    The fact that three weeks later the same "last 9 copies" are still remaining (even though you bought one of them yourself and know someone else who did the same).

    I won't become an affiliate for a Clickbank product whose sales page announces that "only 9 copies are left" (and surprisingly many do) because ... call me a skepchick ... I assume that the vendor's a liar.

    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    Don't you as a vendor have a right to place a limited quantity or deadline on your offer?
    Yes, absolutely.

    And if Steven Wagenheim announces (as he sometimes does) that he's selling 20/30 copies only of a WSO, then he's selling 20/30 copies only. But that's because I know him, and I know he's not a liar.
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  • Profile picture of the author goindeep
    Yes. You do have a right to do that.

    The fake part comes in when you actually do continue to sell past the point you said you where going to stop because supply is gone or time limit is gone.

    Its like those scam websites with a timer on it saying 'this discount is only available until 9pm tonight'. You go to the site the next day and the message has auto generated the same text again...

    Personally i dont believe that setting a limit to create scarcity is 'fake'. I could be wrong. As long as you keep to that limit. If you say you only have 100 units to sell, then only sell 100 units.
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  • Profile picture of the author KatieWilliams
    As Alexa says, it's hyping your limited remaining copies dishonestly.

    If you're going to take as many orders as arrive, don't claim there's only 2 left.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
      Originally Posted by KatieWilliams View Post

      As Alexa says, it's hyping your limited remaining copies dishonestly.

      If you're going to take as many orders as arrive, don't claim there's only 2 left.
      Is that the only difference between fake scarcity and real scarcity? So if the vendor sticks to his deadline or limited quantity, then it's never fake scarcity?
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      • Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

        Is that the only difference between fake scarcity and real scarcity? So if the vendor sticks to his deadline or limited quantity, then it's never fake scarcity?
        If he pulls the offer as soon as the remaining copies have been sold, the scarcity wasn't "fake" but "real".
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

        So if the vendor sticks to his deadline or limited quantity, then it's never fake scarcity?
        This has always been my understanding, Ron. (Have never thought about it very much, though.)
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      • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
        Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

        Is that the only difference between fake scarcity and real scarcity? So if the vendor sticks to his deadline or limited quantity, then it's never fake scarcity?

        Fake scarcity involves lying and real scarcity involves telling the truth.


        To me it isn't much more complicated than that, it isn't rocket science.

        Same goes for anything else which involves specifics, it's all fine if it's truthful.

        If anyone wants to know how to use scarcity properly, they can learn from the main man himself ... download and read Allen's Private Posts in the War Room.
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

        Is that the only difference between fake scarcity and real scarcity? So if the vendor sticks to his deadline or limited quantity, then it's never fake scarcity?
        Sounds about right to me. I bought a WSO some time ago that said a certain amount of copies would be sold. In fact, quite a few more copies were sold and it came out in the WSO thread. I didn't bother with a refund, but I never used the product. I bought it because it was limited. Once I knew that everyone and his mother would be promoting it, it lost the value that it had to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewStark
    The worst examples of recent time are found in the clickbank marketplace.

    Salespage says limited to 300 customers, but the JV pages talks about the bonus a single affiliate could get for selling 500 copies. Basically fake scarcity is just under pressure tactics to try and close the sale.

    It's the same as carsalesmen who tell you a discount won't apply next month to make you buy today something that you don't need.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    What is "fake scarcity?"

    Don't you as a vendor have a right to place a limited quantity or deadline on your offer?

    What makes it "fake?"
    This is one of those subjective words that can have a myriad of meanings, especially depending on the context that it's used in (hey, waitaminute, I think that's most of our language! ).

    To me, "fake scarcity", is anytime a marketer promises that they will only sell 500 or 1,000 or whatever copies. The reason that is usually cited is that they don't want too many to have their "information". Usually I find that reason disingenuous.

    Of course business people have the right to limit whatever they want, it's a somewhat free market society, and yes, I'll go so far as to say they have a right to change their mind, but just because you CAN do something doesn't make it right. To me it's about INTENT, which is nearly impossible to prove (unless you catch them in an outright lie or contradiction, which I have done on more than one occasion).

    There was a WSO a year and a half ago where the seller swore they would not sell anymore PLR rights to their infoproduct. Then a few days later, they began selling more PLR rights to their infoproduct which directly went against their sales copy and the comments made within the WSO thread. To me that's "fake scarcity". In reality, it's just outright lying.

    I'm only in evergreen niches, so I might use scarcity when it comes to price, but have yet to do it with any of the products that we offer. The one exception was discontinuing a very specific infoproduct.

    RoD
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    What is "fake scarcity?"

    Don't you as a vendor have a right to place a limited quantity or deadline on your offer?

    What makes it "fake?"
    There are two kinds of "fake scarcity."

    There is FALSE scarcity: "I said I would only sell fifty of them, but I actually sold several hundred." This is essentially lying, fraud, and all those other unethical things.

    Then there is ARTIFICIAL scarcity: "I have several hundred of these, but I am only selling fifty of them." This is a perfectly legitimate business decision which drives a higher perceived value.

    The problem is that most people don't understand the difference between these two things.

    A lot of people complain that artificial scarcity is a lie, too, because you COULD sell several hundred. And that's as may be, but it's not unethical until you DO sell several hundred after you SAID you'd only sell fifty. If you honour your word and do what you said you would do, nobody has any bitch coming. Just because you have it does not mean you MUST sell it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Gray
    It's quite funny sometimes.

    Occasionally I search through some WSO and manage to find a title such as this:

    "Make x,xxx in xx days - HURRY - IT ENDS ON FEBRUARY 7TH"

    ....7 days later, it's still running strong.

    In my opinion, if someone doesn't stick to their plan... They won't be taken seriously with future products they may launch.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Ron,

      My interpretation is that fake scarcity is when it's an artificial limit, such as when it's a pdf that can be 'reproduced' infinitely but the seller decides to only sell a finite quantity.

      I can't think of any reason why that should mean that it is therefore underhanded or unethical.

      Regarding fake orgasms, well you'd need to ask someone who has experience of them.
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      • Profile picture of the author DawnMarie
        Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

        Regarding fake orgasms, well you'd need to ask someone who has experience of them.
        LOL Such confidence!

        The other half of this equation (scarity, not orgasms) is the REASON given for scarcity. I think it's much better to say something like, "I'm only selling xx copies because that's my choice" than it is to say "we only have xx copies and then there are no more." On a digital product it's ridiculous, and any REAL reason is better than saying you've run out of digital bits to construct and send the products.

        Then on these "scratch and dent" sales of physical products - do they REALLY have enough "damaged" copies to continue to sell them for weeks? If so, maybe they need a new shipping company. Either that, or they're having to sell everything twice because their return rate is through the roof - which obviously means they're not giving enough value for the money.

        Bottom line, keep it real and you've got respect rather than problems.
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        • Profile picture of the author ExRat
          Hi Dawnday,

          LOL Such confidence!
          Or just plain denial.

          Or perhaps I've just never created the opportunity to experience it, real or fake {sob}

          Edit - Hi oneplusone,

          RE - the second part after the dots - yep, that's what I meant. If the limit was surpassed, then (as mentioned by Caliban) I would class that as false scarcity a.k.a. shenanigans.
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      • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
        Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

        Hi Ron,

        My interpretation is that fake scarcity is when it's an artificial limit, such as when it's a pdf that can be 'reproduced' infinitely but the seller decides to only sell a finite quantity.

        I can't think of any reason why that should mean that it is therefore underhanded or unethical.
        It isn't my interpretation ... but I agree if a seller wants to sell 100 copies of their e-book it's up to them, nothing wrong with it as long as 100 copies for sale actually means 100 copies for sale, and they close the offer once they've sold out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Derek S
    Someone making some personal claims there Ron? LOL

    Here is the way I look at two different types of a "deadline" in copy writing...

    There is "scarcity" where you limit a number of quantity... and "urgency" where you limit the time they have to order.

    If you sell over the amount of product you said you would OR sell past a deadline ("next 24 hours only") than this is obviously fake and you wont get away with it when selling to an internet marketing crowed...

    Now there is an ethical way to do both and that is simply by eliminating any specifics such as date and quantity.

    For example you can say:

    "Because I don't want this powerful information to become diluted over time and want you to have the same impact in your business as it has had with mine, I'm going to eventually close the doors and take this product off the market forever...

    Invest today because this product could be taken off the market at any time... If you don't invest today and i take this product off the market tomorrow, you're out of luck and don't say I didn't warn you"

    Thats a quick unpolished example of the copy i might use to keep thing legit and ethical.
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  • Profile picture of the author theemperor
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    What is "fake scarcity?"

    Don't you as a vendor have a right to place a limited quantity or deadline on your offer?

    What makes it "fake?"
    Fake scarcity is when a product that isn't really limited, e.g. an ebook or software license is shown as only 50 copies left.

    Yes - The vendor has a right to do this.

    If he lies and sells 1000 copies when he says only 50 this in unethical.

    Especially if it is a product where that scarcity matters. E.g. a special money making technique that will fail if too many people know it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Ron,

    My definition is pretty much what Caliban described. But, obviously, the scarcity tactic only works if the buyer believes the vendor. The fact that so many MMO sales pages (especially those on Clickbank) are clearly misleading in that respect, encourages a general skepticism of all such claims, legitimate or otherwise.

    dawnday,

    Originally Posted by dawnday View Post

    Then on these "scratch and dent" sales of physical products - do they REALLY have enough "damaged" copies to continue to sell them for weeks? If so, maybe they need a new shipping company. Either that, or they're having to sell everything twice because their return rate is through the roof - which obviously means they're not giving enough value for the money.
    This 'damaged goods' ploy is well known in certain physical products markets. I remember once talking with an employee whose task it was to 'batter' the boxes a little before dispatch. :rolleyes:

    Hi Roger,

    Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

    Regarding fake orgasms, well you'd need to ask someone who has experience of them.
    Must admit, I've had to fake one or two. Just out of chivalry, you understand...


    Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Gordon Gekko View Post

    The real question should be: Even if a marketer is using the fake scarcity tactic to sell more products, why is it anyone else's businesses?
    That should be fairly obvious. Buying one of ONLY 50 is more valuable than buying one of INFINITE quantity. If I'm paying for exclusivity and not getting that, then it is fraud. Plain and simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasons
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    What is "fake scarcity?"

    Don't you as a vendor have a right to place a limited quantity or deadline on your offer?

    What makes it "fake?"
    I think what they mean by when they say "fake scarcity?" is when they say that the offer is limited but they keep selling the product they say it was limited to only a certain number of copies but sell it at that price indefinitely.

    Thus creating fake scarcity and making the person think that the price is going up when it really isn't. That is what I think it is but I could be wrong..

    Jay


    :O)
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      It's amazing how many products use this "fake scarcity" BS nowdays (especially in the MMO niche). I was searching for a particular type of product to promote at ClickBank not long ago, and I noticed that the vendor used an *image* (that looks like text) for the part that says "Hurry, there are only x copies left".

      I thought "who is this jackass trying to fool?" LOL

      It's a shame, because the product itself looked good, and I was actually thinking about promoting it until I saw that crap.

      Next!
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      • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
        There was a warrior who posted that his support was overwhelmed having sold thousands of copies during the launch yet his website's sales copy said only 200 copies were to be sold. That IMO is fake scarcity.

        Had they really limited it to 200 copies then it would have been real scarcity and that's a fine strategy to use.

        I don't believe most folks object to scarcity as long as it's true vs. false advertising (which the gov loves to go after).

        There was a furniture store in Texas last year that got in trouble for having a "going out of business" sale which wasn't true. Thus creating fake scarcity.
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        • Profile picture of the author TheCG
          You want "fake"?

          I found this website today that lets you hold "fake" webinars made to look like they are live.

          It even makes it look like "fake attendees" are joining the webinar a few at a time to look realistic. Fake attendees are their words, not mine.

          http://cheapinternetmarketingtools.com/automated-webinar-generator

          I am not affiliated with these guys in any way, by the way.

          Boy, I have led a sheltered life.
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  • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
    I use fake scarcity all of the time on eBay. My old method was to list all of my inventory up, say 100 of something, and if you have more than 10 of something on eBay it shows up as "More than 10" ( so, eBay uses scarcity themselves ) so people would go back and look for things selling as an auction but sometimes would end up spending more money.

    So, what I started doing was only listing 3 items, when 2 would sell, I would edit the inventory to 3 again. This kept scarcity, and to make it a little better, eBay has a section that says "26 Sold" - so people really felt like they were going to be missing out on a deal if they didn't buy soon. This takes a lot of effort, because if you list 3, and then all 3 sell, then you have to start a new listing and you lose the "26 Sold" part. Totally worth it though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Miranda
    I myself am so tired of seeing this concept overdone. Every single sales page or WSO seems to use this technique. I think people use it as it is supposed to be a sales method that converts lookers to buyers. I think it is really annoying myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Gordon Gekko View Post

    why is it anyone else's businesses?
    Because I don't want to associate myself professionally with a liar.

    Which means ad swaps, media buys, affiliate promotions, JVs, guest spots, interviews, and various other things are out of the question.
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    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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    • Profile picture of the author All Night Cafe
      CD you nailed this on the head. They cut their on
      throats for any futher growth.

      Each thing you mentioned always increases our
      long term growth.

      People have to be able to trust you, always.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
    Every two weeks I get limited-time 25% off coupons in the mail from Macy's department store. When you go into the store a couple of days after the coupon expiration date, they usually still honor the coupon.

    Would you consider that fake scarcity?

    If you look at it, they could easily give you the reduced price everyday of the week because they send out the same coupons again each time the previous ones expire. And their deadlines and reasons given are not really believable.

    I know it's all a marketing ploy. However, when I get my coupons I'm still happy to use them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

      Every two weeks I get limited-time 25% off coupons in the mail from Macy's department store. When you go into the store a couple of days after the coupon expiration date, they usually still honor the coupon.

      Would you consider that fake scarcity?

      If you look at it, they could easily give you the reduced price everyday of the week because they send out the same coupons again each time the previous ones expire. And their deadlines and reasons given are not really believable.

      I know it's all a marketing ploy. However, when I get my coupons I'm still happy to use them.
      Ron, on the same note I never pay full price in any retail store for
      purchases over $100. When I see something I like I dicker the price.
      My wife used to walk away because she said it embarrassed her...lol

      After seeing me save hundreds of dollars she now wants me to dicker
      over everything...lol

      For those Warriors that may have read my post in another way. I was in no
      way referencing anything to do with ExRat's comment regarding orgasms.

      Have a Great Day!
      Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

      Every two weeks I get limited-time 25% off coupons in the mail from Macy's department store. When you go into the store a couple of days after the coupon expiration date, they usually still honor the coupon.

      Would you consider that fake scarcity?

      If you look at it, they could easily give you the reduced price everyday of the week because they send out the same coupons again each time the previous ones expire. And their deadlines and reasons given are not really believable.

      I know it's all a marketing ploy. However, when I get my coupons I'm still happy to use them.
      Discount coupon's and saying you're only going to sell x amount of something (when you're lying about it from the get go) is different. I still think they should stick to the expired date but if a customer is fussing about it and it just expired it must just be easier to honor it. But I don't know, I've never worked retail.

      I doubt Macy's would advertise a "Closeout" item if it's not really a closeout limited until supplies last. Although you never know.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

      Every two weeks I get limited-time 25% off coupons in the mail from Macy's department store. When you go into the store a couple of days after the coupon expiration date, they usually still honor the coupon.

      Would you consider that fake scarcity?
      That's a subtlety. The person breaking the "scarcity" rules isn't the person who set them.

      It's the "David and Goliath" thing. Goliath the mean old corporate Macy's store demands that you pay full price, RAWR!

      David the poor downtrodden customer is sitting there with nothing but the little sling of his 25% off coupon but OH NOES it is being expired! Whatever shall he do?!

      And then the cashier, secretly part of the anti-Goliath underground, slips David a rock under the table by honouring the coupon anyways! Yay!

      And with a whirl and a throw, Goliath is toppled and u getz ur discountz.

      And yes, it's a drama play. But what Macy's is leveraging isn't the falseness of the scarcity... they're leveraging the human psychology that they know they're Goliath, and they know you're David, and they know all their "little people" employees fancy themselves as underground freedom fighters working from the inside. It's an American cultural thing.

      So even though they know the underground will slip you the rock, they still go "HA HA, YOU ARE PUNY LITTLE MAN WITH ONLY A SLING" because it pushes the right buttons to give you what you want, which is the chance to strike a blow for the little guy with the help of the dissident underground.

      Which is very old-school advertising genius.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

      Every two weeks I get limited-time 25% off coupons in the mail from Macy's department store. When you go into the store a couple of days after the coupon expiration date, they usually still honor the coupon.

      Would you consider that fake scarcity?
      Ron, who gets hurt if they honor 10 coupons or 5 million coupons. No one. Big difference in honoring a coupon past expiration and promising your buyers that only 50 will be sold and then selling hundreds or thousands. The value of the product being sold is based on its exclusivity. It has no value if the limits are not honored.

      Steve Wegenheim instantly comes to mind when dealing with limited copies. I have bought his niche revolution packs that are limited in the amount that will be sold and he NEVER sells NOT EVEN ONE MORE than he advertises. His customers trust that will be the case when they buy. The exclusivity of the product is one of the product benefits. If it's a lie, it is fraud.
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  • Profile picture of the author Woody C
    I also believe that fake scarcity can happen with time limits.

    I bought a WSO once because it said "24 Hours Left, Never to Be Opened Again". 1 week later, it was back open with a new headline. I felt ashamed to have left the guy a review and wanted to call him out as a liar.

    I also love the countdown timers that start at 59:59 when the page opens. I always exit immediately without reading the sales page.

    That was about 8 months ago and this same WSO is running on a weekly basis.
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    • Profile picture of the author craig j
      Originally Posted by Woody Crenshaw View Post

      I also believe that fake scarcity can happen with time limits.

      I bought a WSO once because it said "24 Hours Left, Never to Be Opened Again". 1 week later, it was back open with a new headline. I felt ashamed to have left the guy a review and wanted to call him out as a liar.

      I also love the countdown timers that start at 59:59 when the page opens. I always exit immediately without reading the sales page.

      That was about 8 months ago and this same WSO is running on a weekly basis.
      I've seen this a bunch of times too. I think the whole fake scarcity thing absolutely stinks and I wish these liars would get called out more often. I'm shocked how many times I've seen it done by big name marketers and it really makes them lose credibility in my eyes.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDayle
    Real scarcity is when you just can't get more than a fixed number. If you hold a dozen copies of an original book printed in 1923, and there are only a few hundred copies known to exist, that's one level of scarcity. Holding one of the only three or four copies of something known to exist is an even higher level of scarcity.

    However, claiming you only have "9 copies left" of an ebook (which obviously has unlimited number of cownloadable copies if you wish) is at least pushing the limit of what shoudl be called "fake" scarcity. If, a week later, there are still "9 copies left" then it's obviously fake, unless you only had 10 copies to begin with and there haven't been any real sales...

    Fake scarcity is merely a marketing technique that is used to get the gullible to purchase today, and not wait for later. "Gee, there are only 9 left, I better buy now, there might not be any left tomorrow" is what the seller is wanting the potential buyer to say. Given the typical high hype product launch these days, I'd personally be really surprised if the seller cut off a product at a thousand or even ten thousand sales. You just can't make a half million dollars on a product launch if you don't have nearly unlimited number of copies to sell...

    The whole issue of (rather) misleading marketing statements is (unfortunately) looked at by many vendors as a "game" where the goal is to sell as many units as possible, no matter what techniques are required. Blind advertising, false promises and fake scarcity are all fair game to these folks. It casts a blight on all of us, and until it changes we are all painted with the same brush, unless we can prove otherwise.

    To answer your second question, yes, the vendor DOES have the right to limit quantities for any reason. Two viable reasons in my mind are: 1) limits to keep customer service at a sustainable and responsive level. 2) to maintain a price point (not dilute the price because of unlimited supply). Both of these only work if the vendor actually does limit the sales. As above, saying there are only a few left (or only 300 total) and finding out later that ther are still the same number available (or they are offering bonuses for affiliates that exceed reasonable portions of the total) essentially void the premise that is is a limited quantity.
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    What is "fake scarcity?"

    Don't you as a vendor have a right to place a limited quantity or deadline on your offer?

    What makes it "fake?"
    Fake scarcity could be related to "numbers" - "Only 300 will be sold - ever" (and then 600 or 6,000 are sold) or "This ends ABSOLUTELY on ___" (and then doesn't)

    Fake scarcity could be related to "product" - "We have only 300 copies in our inventory"... for a DIGITAL EBOOK! :lol:

    Fake scarcity cold be related to "reason why" - "I have to raise $X in Y days"

    Fake scarcity could be related to "process" - "Because each copy takes so much effort to create, we can only sell..."

    And some more I could come up with if I thought for a while.

    Interestingly enough, all of these could be reasons for TRUE scarcity.

    What makes it 'fake' is when, well, umm... they ARE

    All success
    Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author JeedoAquino
    Hi Ron,

    It only becomes fake when you DON'T do as you promised. If you only intend to sell 500 units of a product, sell only 500 of those. If you intend to stop selling on a given schedule do it. When your customers understand that you mean business with your schedules, they'll know that when you make an offer the next time it's FOR REAL and they'll understand why they need to take the opportunity.

    Too many marketers with bad ethics muddle this industry, those that have stayed long and at the top were those who did business with integrity. Take for example James Jones of Micro Niche Finder, when he makes an offer and he says he's gonna take it down, he does it and on schedule. No, I don't work for him but I do use MNF and I still do until now. I trust him because when he makes an offer I know he means it.

    IM's with integrity, now that's REAL scarcity. Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Hey Ron,

    You're a clever guy - are you seriously asking this for your own education? or just to get the issue discussed so others can learn?

    You can look at the word 'fake' in several contexts.

    Fake = If we're talking about digital products then there really is no actual 'real' limit on how many we can sell.

    Therefore saying "only 10 available" can only be true if you've decided to only sell 10 and then refuse to sell any more.

    There are reasons why that may make sense - but it's not 'normal'.

    Then there's the timing element as you've indicated - maybe you've decided you want feedback on your product and therefore to boost short term sales to get that feedback you offer a time-limited price discount.

    When it comes to pricing there are many aspects to consider. For example - in the UK (it may be the same in the US) it is illegal (yes - against the law) to say something is 'reduced' unless it was genuinely on sale for a higher price at a previous time. i.e you can't just release a product and say it's "on sale" and quote "reduced from $197 to only $37" if it was never offered at $197.

    I see a lot of IMers doing this.

    As someone already said - when you look at WSOs you often see these things stated and many are illegal or just plain lies.

    I've run a few WSOs where I've said only 20 will be sold and literally refused to take orders (or refunded) people who tried to buy after that limit was sold. This isn't some cheap trick for me, I literally never sell that stuff again when I do that, so if I say it - I mean it.

    There do seem to be a lot of people with the mindset of "you can say whatever you like to get the sale - that's marketing".
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    nothing to see here.

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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      Hey Ron,

      You're a clever guy - are you seriously asking this for your own education? or just to get the issue discussed so others can learn?
      More of the latter. Just thought it would be an interesting discussion. I had a couple of hours to kill before my webinar last night .
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      I've run a few WSOs where I've said only 20 will be sold and literally refused to take orders (or refunded) people who tried to buy after that limit was sold. This isn't some cheap trick for me, I literally never sell that stuff again when I do that, so if I say it - I mean it.
      That's GOOD! Remember Joe Kumar? He thought differently. MAN, wikipedia must hate him, because he didn't even get a MENTION!

      Marketing Scarcity Or Joe Kumar Lie? | Embrace Internet Wealth

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author Gary King
        Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

        That's GOOD! Remember Joe Kumar? He thought differently. MAN, wikipedia must hate him, because he didn't even get a MENTION!

        Marketing Scarcity Or Joe Kumar Lie? | Embrace Internet Wealth

        Steve

        I remember him...

        My two cents is to be honest.

        If you are going to make something limited, then make limited - BUT, put the price point where you want it and build the buzz around it so it sells out in seconds.

        We never know where our pricing will do the best - we can take an education guess, but you have to test to find out - if you're raising the price and it bombs, put it back.

        Just be open and SAY you put it back because you priced it out of reach for too many people (indicated by the slow in orders).

        Then (and this is critical) - over deliver for anyone that bought at the higher price - otherwise, you're ripping them off IMHO.

        All success,

        Gary
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        OFFLINERS! Warning: Unless You Know These Pricing Secrets, You are Leaving THOUSANDS on the Table. Get Your Free Report Now.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Some very bright people here (love this place, really, I do) have answered
          this question better than I ever could. Caliban, you really are scaring me
          with the way you think. Sure you aren't my clone or something?

          Anyway, I'm going to add only this and it's about as simple as I can make it.

          Mean what you claim on your sales page.

          If you do that...nobody can have a legitimate beef with it...even if they
          don't like that fact that your digitally reproduced PDF is only going to be
          on sale for 7 days or 50 copies...whichever comes first.

          Check my latest WSO...it's sold out. Link removed and all.

          Build a reputation for meaning what you say and, love you or hate you,
          people will at least know you're a person of your word.
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      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

        That's GOOD! Remember Joe Kumar?
        I thought that name was banned here.. Last I heard he was in jail. That was a classic case of someone wanting everything immediately when he could have built a very successful business.
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        • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
          There's real scarcity, fake scarcity and an area that
          you could call manufactured scarcity.

          In real scarcity the product is really scarce and there's
          trully a limited quantity. For example, there's only ONE
          white Stratocaster that Jimi Hendrix played the Star
          Spangled Banner on at Woodstock in '69. It's rare, it's
          authentic and consequently it's highly valuable.

          Or there's a reason for real time-limited scarcity such as
          a concert that's happening on a specific time and date.

          In manufactured scarcity, you as the marketer limit your
          offer so that you only sell a limited number of items and/or
          you limit the time period within which people can purchase.

          Here, you set-up the terms of the transaction to introduce
          elements of scarcity to increase the likelihood that people
          will snap out of their lethargy and buy.

          Then there's fake scarcity. This is where a wank seller says
          that their offer is limited (in quantity and/or time) but they
          don't honor that promise. So, they sell more items that they
          promised they would do or they continue selling after their
          fake deadline.

          Real and manufactured scarcity have their place in any
          marketer's arsenal.

          Fake scarcity should have no place in any marketing plan
          but a quick trip online and offline will quickly show you
          there's no shortage of people who act otherwise.

          If you use fake scarcity, you're a lying low-life and damage
          the reputation of fellow marketers.

          Dedicated to mutual success,

          Shaun
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Even with digital products you can have real scarcity...

    Using WSO Pro I set it up to sell
    33 copies at $X
    33 copies at $X+Y
    33 copies at $X+Y+Y

    (because it works like that: you can increase the price only after the same number of sales [33 in this case] and every time with the same amount [$Y])
    After the 99 sales the WSO was over - you can buy it now at the full price which, btw, was online from the very beginning.

    And yes, there was the sign: ONLY 12 copies left at this price. And it was true = not fake scarcity.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    As far as I am concerned, fake scarcity is arbitrary. BESIDES, if you have 50000 rocks to sell, won't you want to sell every one? I mean they take up space! If you have 500 ebooks, eventually a buyer is likely to resell. USUALLY that is no big deal, but if it is using a limited resource, etc... it could mean the difference between something worth millions, and something worth nothing.

    BTW clickbank, last I knew, had NO api controlling price or sale. And they charge BEFORE delivery. So the idea of limiting to 9 copies, etc... is just WRONG!

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author TheLongRoad
    Using the "fake scarcity" method will catch up with everyone sooner or later. People will always come back to the person with the honest sales pitch.
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    • Profile picture of the author Oggyoi
      It's trying to manipulate supply and demand.

      Plenty of people have already commented as to the; "buy this one time offer , today is your last chance before stocks run out"
      then next day, the item is still there for sale, then the day after, the week after etc..

      I think though this is different to the limited to strictly 100 and you discover there are more than 100 made and sold- that in my eyes is fraud.
      If you were buying a specially minted coin and the run was say 1000, there is no way the mint should make more to distribute as they are voiding the exclusitivity of what you are buying.
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  • Profile picture of the author Critic
    Fake scarcity should be illegal, and anyone using such techniques needs to be sent to jail.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cali16
      Scarcity significantly elevates the value of an item. Savvy marketers (and unfortunately many unethical marketers) know that people are willing to pay a higher price for the item when they believe there is only a limited number available. So, if you use this tactic, knowing full well that you are not actually going to limit the number, you have just screwed your customers (and if they find out, don't expect them to buy from you again).

      As for changing your mind and deciding to sell more at the same price, well, you can certainly do that, but that isn't fair to your initial customers who bought based on the alleged scarcity of the item.

      Anyway, as Steve W. said earlier, honor what you say on your sales page. Long term credibility is far better than a quick sale that earns you a bad repuation.

      P.S. Alexa - "skepchick"?! Have to remember that one, lol!
      Signature
      If you don't face your fears, the only thing you'll ever see is what's in your comfort zone. ~Anne McClain, astronaut
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  • Profile picture of the author omk
    What makes it "fake" is that a lot of vendors keep on selling their product or service, even after they've reached their supposed ending point. That's why they call it fake scarcity, because if you say you will only sell 500 reports, then you really have to sell, just 500, not 2,000!!, LOL
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