This article is the last in our series about Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
The scarcity principle boils down to this: we want what we’re afraid we can’t have.
He observed appliance salepeople at another company routinely inform potential buyers that the item they were interested in had just been sold to another customer, but they “might” be able to find another in the back if these customers wanted to buy it.
Of course, another one was always found, and by then the consistency principle was at work, too.
We tend to see far less value in things that are more common, or are readily available, but that may actually be substantially more valuable, especially in accumulation.