The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

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What Is 'Scarcity'?

Scarcity encourages people to act quickly. If people think they may lose the chance to acquire what you offer, they may take the risk.

Loss Aversion ensures that the possibility of losing feels bad enough to prompt them to act now. Scarcity makes waiting feel like a loss.

Here are a few ways to create Scarcity:

Add an element of Scarcity to your offer, and you'll encourage people to buy now instead of later.

Josh Kaufman Explains 'Scarcity'

Due to Conservation of Energy, people have a natural tendency to decide to "do things later" unless there's a compelling reason to act immediately.

As a businessperson, "later" is a big issue, because "later" turns into "never" if the customer forgets about you. How can you encourage your customers to act immediately?

Scarcity encourages people to make decisions quickly.

Scarcity is one of the things that naturally overcomess our tendency to conserve-if you want something that's scarce, you can't afford to wait without the risk of losing what you want.

Loss Aversion ensures that this possibility feels bad enough to prompt us to take action now. As a result, adding a scarcity element to your offer is a great way to encourage people to take action.

Scarcity makes people understand that they'll lose something valuable if they wait, making it more likely they'll choose to act immediately if they desire what is being offered.

The more scarce the value, the more intense the desire.

In 1996, "Tickle Me Elmo" was the hot toy of the Christmas season. Elmo was already a popular character, but limited quantities of the toy drove parents into a buying frenzy. Normally rational people started spending hundreds of dollars on eBay for the toy and mobbing retailers when new stock became available.

Here are a few ways you can add an element of scarcity to your offer:

Scarcity that appears blatantly artificial can backfire. For example, putting an artificial limit on sales of eBooks, downloadable software, or electronic music files makes no sense-everyone knows electronic files can be Duplicated infinitely at essentially no cost, so the scarcity feels manipulative, which makes people want to buy from you less.

Price increases with deadlines, on the other hand, tend to work well-raising the price after a certain number of orders or a certain amount of time is a reasonable policy, and is less likely to come across to the customer as unreasonable or manipulative.

Add an element of scarcity to your offer, and you'll encourage people to buy now instead of "later."

Questions About 'Scarcity'


"The way to love anything is to realize it might be lost."

G. K. Chesterton, English writer


From Chapter 6:

The Human Mind


https://personalmba.com/scarcity/



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The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

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