Scarcity As A Marketing Tactic For Sellers

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The secret to sustainable business is repeat business – not a one and done sales mindset.

For years, retailers have used limited quantities, closeouts, and seasonal pressure to cause consumers to make a decision when to purchase a product or service.

So, in the marketplace, when is it appropriate to use scarcity to “make the sale?”

There is good scarcity and bad scarcity. 

Scarcity is an economic system that works with consumer demand to set a value (price) in the marketplace – this is good scarcity.  When sellers use false or manipulative scarcity techniques to sell a product or service this is bad scarcity. It’s about ethics.

Many consumers have a scarcity mindset.  A scarcity mindset says, “There is not enough!” and it kicks off a “fear of loss” which causes them to emotionally choose to purchase now before it runs out.  Whereas an abundance mindset says, “There is more than enough.” Scarcity is a lever; it gets consumers to decide now vs later. Abundance allows consumers the “time” to choose what is best for them.  I am sure we have all made a purchase and then got home and said, “What was I thinking when I bought this?” This is called “buyer’s remorse.” Ethical retailing should never result in buyer’s remorse.  

Why?  The secret to sustainable business is repeat business – not a one and done sales mindset.  As retailers we should we get a fair price for the products and services we sell; not because we manipulated the buyer, but because it met a need of the buyer.  I am not saying don’t place products on sale, everyone loves a bargain, just don’t make it your only sales method. It needs to be a win-win – the consumer gets value and you make enough margin to stay in business.

At Unify! CoOp, education of our members is foundational.  We teach members to determine, “How much is enough.”  Once as a consumer you can decide how much is enough, you can now shop with confidence and not be manipulated by a scarcity mindset or bad scarcity.

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