What is Scarcity Marketing?

Scarcity marketing plays with human psychology, companies all over are using this marketing strategy, yet there are only a few that are doing it right. The fact is that if done right, scarcity marketing can benefit you a lot.

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It’s no secret that scarcity marketing works more than any other type of marketing company use. The cause of its success? Simple, it’s human psychology and behaviour to want what you can’t have, the assumption that the grass is greener on the other side. 

Scarcity marketing plays with human psychology. Companies all over the world are using this marketing strategy, yet there are only a few who have been able to tap into the market the right way. The fact is that if done right, scarcity marketing can benefit you a lot. However, if not done properly, it can hurt your brand image and sales pretty badly. This is why in this article, we’ll walk you through what Scarcity Marketing is and a few tricks you can try, so let’s begin:

What is Scarcity Marketing?

Let’s start with exploring what it means and how it is different from other marketing strategies. Scarcity is the concept in which a good or brand becomes much more appealing when its availability is limited (or perceived to be limited). The scarcity principle of persuasion means that the rarer or difficult it is to obtain an offer, service, or product, the more valuable it becomes. When you were a kid, and your mother told you not to buy that toy, didn’t it make you want it more? Exactly!

Scarcity marketing targets the fear of missing out (FOMO) if the product becomes unavailable, which drives people to buy that product even more. 

Types of Scarcity Marketing to Increase Sales

Generally, there are two types of scarcity marketing strategies you can use; 

  • Time-related scarcity.
  • Quantity-related scarcity. 

Time-related would be enticing the customers with countdowns and times till the service or product is restricted. For instance, companies state that it’s the last day to buy or the sale ends in 24 hours. 

On the other hand, quantity-related scarcity would be appealing to the customers by telling the number of products left. For instance, only 2 movie tickets left for sale or the last 10 shirts available.

Examples of Scarcity Marketing


Bumble is a well-known dating app that has always incorporated a sense of scarcity in dealing with its users. They had a one-day countdown timer at first. Women had that much time to strike up a conversation with their match, or the match would vanish. This strikes a level of urgency in them in case they miss out on their one true love. They’ve added another scarcity factor to level the playing field. Guys now have 24 hours to respond as well. So, it’s game time.


You’ve most likely seen the red and white Supreme logo on the back of a sweatshirt or someone’s phone case (or JR Smith’s leg). It has grown massively popular in recent years as a result of its ardent supporters and cult-like following. Supreme owes all its hype and massive sales to scarcity marketing. Why? Because Supreme has only 11 stores worldwide, it releases its clothing in “limited drops” and is popular among celebrities, making for the ideal scarcity recipe.