How Scarce is your Product?

How scarce is your product? Or more importantly, how scarce do your customers think it is? Scarcity explains why a Picasso painting or a rare coin, both of which serve little purpose, can cost millions of dollars. Whereas water and oxygen, which give life to billions of people, are usually free. Scarcity explains why waterfront properties often make better investments than properties in country towns.

There is nothing like a bit of FOMO to set your customers into action. And the best way to create FOMO is to demonstrate that your product is scarce. The more scarce your product, the more you can charge for it. So how do you do that?

Here are 3 methods to create the perception of Scarcity.

1. Limited Edition

A limited edition distinguishes a certain line of your product from your normal line. Just about any physical product can have limited editions – cars, watches, clothes, books, artworks, and wine are common examples.

2. Exclusive Offer

An exclusive offer is only available to a select group of people, for example members of a particular club. Those people are made to feel special because they can get something that isn’t available to anyone else. 

3. Almost sold out

If you tell your customers that your product is nearly sold out, it achieves 2 objectives. Firstly, it creates social proof that other people have already bought. Secondly, it creates urgency. This tactic is successfully used by Online Travel Agents such as Booking.com and Airlines.

You can even combine these together. You might have a limited edition of 100, only available to your loyalty card customers, and only 5 are left.

In all 3 of these methods, it doesn’t matter whether the limited edition is different to the normal edition, how exclusive the offer is, or how many are really left. It is the perception that counts. However, a word of warning: In business you shouldn’t mislead. Not only is it illegal in most countries, it is a breach of the 10 commandments!

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