Faked Demand and Scarcity Tactics

by stanigator 17 replies
How do you tell whether the demand or scarcity was faked or legit as a consumer? I'm not sure if I'm correct on this, but I heard stories of marketers manufacturing the scarcity in order to generate demand (or even manufacturing fake demand in order to attract real demand and dollars). Hence I would like to learn how you deal with that when you're shopping around.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #demand #faked #scarcity #tactics
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    There's a lot of people creating fake scarcity and fake social proof. Whether it be manipulating the number of Facebook likes their page has or even the number of views a video has had.

    There is no easy way to separate the wheat from the chaff but to do your due diligence and get to know who you can and cannot trust.
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    • Profile picture of the author stanigator
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      There's a lot of people creating fake scarcity and fake social proof. Whether it be manipulating the number of Facebook likes their page has or even the number of views a video has had.

      There is no easy way to separate the wheat from the chaff but to do your due diligence and get to know who you can and cannot trust.
      How do you personally carry out the due diligence?
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    You hang around. You observe. You start to see who can be trusted and who can't.

    You also need to remember that whether or not the scarcity or social proof is somewhat manipulated, the product is all that should matter. I'm sure even some of the best marketers with solid products have used these types of tricks in the past so it's not a direct reflection on the quality of the product.

    The simple rule of thumb should be... if you are ever unsure, don't buy.
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    • Profile picture of the author stanigator
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      You hang around. You observe. You start to see who can be trusted and who can't.

      You also need to remember that whether or not the scarcity or social proof is somewhat manipulated, the product is all that should matter. I'm sure even some of the best marketers with solid products have used these types of tricks in the past so it's not a direct reflection on the quality of the product.

      The simple rule of thumb should be... if you are ever unsure, don't buy.
      I guess there's only so much you can do to see whether you can trust the merchant and the product or not. Good rule of thumb.
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  • Profile picture of the author claude20
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by claude20 View Post

      So what you're saying is you only buy something if you see others buying? sort of like if monkey see, monkey do?

      If not, then why would this matter to you? as an adult, you should be able to think for yourself and not rely on the opinions of others..
      I know what you are saying but at the same time, social proof is a VERY powerful technique and we often make decisions based on social proof in our everyday life without even realizing it. Like the old example of the two restaurants. One is empty and the other is buzzing. Which one are you likely to go to? It's just human nature to follow the crowd -- there is a lot of comfort in that.

      Although I do agree people should make decisions based on their own research but whether we like it or not, I do think social proof plays a big role in many of our decisions both online and offline -- whether we like it or not. It becomes even more important when there is nothing else to judge something on other than how popular it is... and that is why I think a lot of beginner marketers do use it to get a feeling for who they can and can't trust.
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      • Profile picture of the author claude20
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        • Profile picture of the author WillR
          Originally Posted by claude20 View Post

          That analogy get's thrown around recklessly... In my community, restaurants are judged by exclusivity so this doesn't wash with me.

          90% of my decisions are based on trial and error, I don't look to what others are doing and then follow

          I was a beginner marketer at one point, and within 5 minutes of browsing around I realized that if you aren't selling, you aren't making money.

          I realized this whilst everyone else was 'buying'...

          If i followed everyone else, I would probably be biting my nails today trying to figure out the best product to purchase instead of actually making money

          Moral of the story: Sheep are genetically designed to follow... Whilst 'fully grown adults' should have the capability to make logical and intelligent decisions. Which one are YOU?

          If all your friends started smoking crack today, would YOU?
          This is why I said I was referring to a lot of BEGINNER marketers. I am not saying what is right or wrong. I am saying that a LOT of beginner marketers use social proof as a decision making tool. There's no doubt about that and that is exactly why a lot of marketers use social proof to sell their products.

          Just have a look at the WSO forum if you need any proof of that. The reason it has gone so well is because it has a built in social proof factor that has never been seen before. All of a sudden you can read reviews and comments from people who have purchased a product BEFORE you hand over your money. A reason why eBay's feedback system worked so well also.

          Would I smoke crack tomorrow if my friend started to? No. That would be a stupid decision. Would I read through some reviews from people who have purchased a product before me? Yes, nothing to lose by doing that and it doesn't make me a sheep so long as the end decision is my own.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    In my experience and opinion, if it seems fake, then it probably is.
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  • Profile picture of the author SamuelCarter
    Hey

    Yeah just take the time to do you own research on review sites, you tube etc...
    Scarcity is a tactic used by many but used by many.... But never make a rushed decision. Also make sure you make a decision with you head opposed to your emotions...
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  • Profile picture of the author joefizz
    Hey Stanigator,

    As a buyer, my advice is take everything offered that way with a 'pinch of salt'...

    And, as a seller/marketer ...remember you only get one reputation. Use it wisely.

    Llwyddiant!

    Joe
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  • Profile picture of the author kartherma
    It is pretty clear to me that any and all 'scarcity' wrapped up into the sales pitches of IM products is mere smoke and mirrors. The big launches are specifically designed to whip up a frenzy for a few days to a week, then they open the shopping cart for a few days to a week and count down to cart closure.

    Funny, it seems it opens later with an equally scarce message that has elements of 'well, some people dropped out and we have a limited number of open seats as a result'

    It is a crafted (yes, crafted in advance in a planned way to raise the 'buy it now before I lose the opportunity' levels into the stratosphere) and all fake.

    Sure, once in a blue moon a person will come along and actually be presenting a limited opportunity- such as a good copywriter who can only handle so many orders per week/month etc. Or maybe a coaching thing where the coach is truly focusing on his students so again only so many can fit.

    Othewise, my rule of thumb is, it is fake and it raises just one more flag in the screening process that says 'scam'.
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  • Profile picture of the author Abul-Hussain
    Hey Stanigator,

    Here are a few rules to help you save you $$$:

    1. Use logic and common sense.
    2. If it sounds too good to be true, then look the other way.
    3. If the sale is ending at MIDNIGHT tonight, then it probably isn't.
    4. If there's only 7 copies of the product left, then there probably isn't.
    5. If you can't verify the testimonials, then they're probably faked.

    Hope that helps

    Abul
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Originally Posted by stanigator View Post

    How do you tell whether the demand or scarcity was faked or legit as a consumer? I'm not sure if I'm correct on this, but I heard stories of marketers manufacturing the scarcity in order to generate demand (or even manufacturing fake demand in order to attract real demand and dollars). Hence I would like to learn how you deal with that when you're shopping around.
    Here's a thought...

    Stop paying attention to all that nonsense and start buying
    only products or services that enhance your business.

    Who really cares what the demand is or how many copies are left?
    I'll tell you who... people who pay more attention to sales copy than
    to their business model and method of operation.

    When you know what you're doing you'll know if the product or service
    being offered will compliment and enhance your efforts.
    Signature
    If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      The only way to tell is to carefully monitor what's going on with the promotion.

      For example, if somebody offers something and says "Only 10 will be sold" and 3
      months later it still says "Only 10 will be sold" they're either a crappy salesperson
      or not being honest.

      Let me say this. If somebody says "Only 10 of this e-book will be sold at this
      price" even though they could technically sell more than 10, since it's a digital
      product, that doesn't mean this is false scarcity. A marketer can choose to
      limit how much of something he sells (for a number or reasons that are beyond
      the scope of this response) and it's perfectly legit, even though many will say
      that's a scam. It's not.

      In other words, learn to differentiate the "sour grapes" from the legit business
      practices.
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      • Profile picture of the author PvPGuy
        Originally Posted by stanigator View Post

        How do you tell whether the demand or scarcity was faked or legit as a consumer?......Hence I would like to learn how you deal with that when you're shopping around.
        Comes from experience and observation, as Will stated. And as others have stated, you need to learn quickly that regardless if its fake or legit, its all from the same pot of marketing tactics. Some marketers use them better than others, and so some fall into the perception of being fake, while others appear legit.

        Truth is, it doesn't really matter. Judge the product on its own merits. If that can't be done by the information given, ask a question. If that fails to provide adequate info, then move on. Also be quick to notice the absolute absence of negative reviews in "certain" forums. Social proof is very compelling when you are in a state of decision making, however the trust you place in that social proof is often an emotional decision. Understand the context, and make an informed, logical decision.

        Don't get sucked into "consumer-thinking" when you are evaluating a purchase decision that is supposed to improve your business. I think that was Claude's main point, although it was hard to see beneath the layers of condescension :p

        Originally Posted by claude20 View Post

        So what you're saying is you only buy something if you see others buying? sort of like if monkey see, monkey do?

        ...as an adult, you should be able to think for yourself and not rely on the opinions of others..

        It's like they said when you was growing up, "if all your friends jumped of a cliff, would YOU?"

        If you're fickle enough to buy something just because you 'THINK' it is in demand, then that is all you are.. a 'consumer'...

        ...If you can't make your own decisions in life and always rely on what other's are doing, then you are demonstrating a severe lack of intelligence and also setting yourself up for failure
        Harsh. And somewhat hypocritical, since no man is an island unto himself, as we all rely on what others say on some level. And he didn't say he abandons all critical thought, he only mentioned he wants to learn how to better evaluate the integrity of scarcity and demand. /shrug

        Stan, I will say that you deserve some credit for recognizing how easy it is to fabricate "social proof." So it sounds like you're on the right path.

        g/l with it
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        • Profile picture of the author Steve B
          Stanigator,

          The fear of being left out (scarcity) or left behind when a new product comes out or an old one goes on sale is a powerful motivating factor in making sales.

          How many times have you personally seen folks buying something, not because they really needed it, but because it was "on sale"? No doubt scarcity played some factor in that decision to buy.

          There are no Internet police that regulate the online selling community. It is wide open, there are really no barriers to selling online, and there is no way of really being sure which marketers are being totally honest and which are trying to pull a fast one with their offers.

          Because there is no regulation in this arena, the test of any "fake" advertisement or claim lies with the consumer. Marketers are typically going to use any tactic or method they can to make a sale.

          It would be easy for the buyer if all (or even most) marketers were 100% truthful in everything they claimed. It has been my experience that many marketers don't think in terms of telling the truth vs. lying, doing what's ethical vs. what's not, or only using scarcity when there is an actual scarce situation.

          Marketers use certain tactics because they see others using them or they hear that "such and such" works in selling more product.

          As others have said, you will have to come to your own conclusions about which markets are feeding you a plate of horse do do and which are telling it like it really is.

          I can tell you this:

          • Marketers set their own prices and value on products and services. If a product is said to be a whopping value at $1,995 or $9.95 you can safely question that person's judgment and bias.
          • If there are only 7 copies of a digital product left, you can legitimately wonder why.
          • When a sales closes at midnight with no exceptions, you can often find the same or a better deal on the same product tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
          • Screen shots of anything can be easily doctored - I've seen ads for this kind of "service" selling at $5 per image.
          • Testimonials are given by friends, family members, and other marketers who owe their buddy a favor. I especially enjoy getting a laugh out of those that swear by a brand new product they haven't tested yet. And just like screen shots, testimonials can be doctored or even created by the seller - and, no, it's not right.
          • I love product guarantees, they are so reassuring. If someone claims you'll be making six figures in 30 days guaranteed! . . . what they are really saying is they will give you your $4.95 back if you're not happy with the product but that's the extent of the seller extending himself.
          • "This will change everything!" "This is the most important email you will ever receive!" "Make a Million by Monday!" "Product XYZ is flying off the shelves!" "1,500 copies sold in the first hour" Do I have to say anything about taking it all with a good sense of humor?

          I once saw a product that a guy was selling on eBay. He called it the "BS Meter." All the user had to do was add two double A batteries to this little metal box then point the antennae end at any ad on a computer screen or TV and the box would make an obnoxious squeel if the ad was BS or it would be silent if the truth was being told.

          Where can I sign up as an affiliate?

          Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Grace
    Scarcity or "The take away" is one of the most powerful motivators to get a prospect to action now instead of procrastinate. That's why you see it so often whether it's real or not.

    Also, it can be implied in ways that make you think "Only five copies will be sold" VS "Only five more copies will be sold". The latter seems like five will be sold but technically adding the "More" part can change the whole meaning of the statement.

    Is that trickery? All depends on your point of view but I would pay more attention to if you got value from the product. If not just return it and move on.

    Personally when writing copy for my clients I advise NOT using fake tactics. In the long run your list will think you're FOS. (Seen it happen first hand unfortunately). But if it's real it works like a champ and even builds trust when your customers know it was true.
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  • Profile picture of the author neonfinkiejack
    Also be quick to notice the absolute absence of negative reviews in "certain" forums. Social proof is very compelling when you are in a state of decision making, however the trust you place in that social proof is often an emotional decision. Understand the context, and make an informed, logical decision.
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