Polls / December 17, 2014

If there is only one left on a store shelf of something you want, are you more likely to buy it?

Only 38% of respondents to the eZonomics online poll say they are not more likely to buy if there is only one left on a store shelf of something they want. Meanwhile, 46% say they are and 16% do not know if they react that way.

Is there really only one left?
Imagine there’s only one wedge of your favourite cheese left for sale on the local market stall.
Or a single pair of shoes that you’ve had your eye on out on the shelf for sale.
Evidence suggests that scarcity – which can be produced in this type of scenario – might lead people to think the item (or the deal offered on it) is better.
This might be the case but it can pay to be alert as this feeling of scarcity can be conjured if sellers actually have more stock but do not show it all and actually hold a bit back.

For a limited time, only four per customer
It is similar to the reaction that might be invoked if an item is on sale “for a short time only” or if there is a limit of, say, four per customer of an item.
In an earlier eZonomics poll, 55% said they were more likely to buy if an offer was only available for a limited time.
To avoid being swayed, take time to objectively think through costs and benefits.

But wait, there’s more
A study on pricing practices written for the United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading highlighted several traps for shoppers.
The eZonomics article Five tips for shopping smarter explains five, including limited time offers, the power of the word free (applied to delivery, buy-one-get-one deals and more).
There can be good deals to be had but it pays to be wise to tactics that encourage shoppers to part with their cash.


eZonomics team
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