Scarcity: Discover The Massive Psychological Influence Of This One Principle Throughout Time

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We have found it to be It an amazingly powerful principle for creating desire in our business, and so we were curious to see if we could find any examples of deadlines, restricted freedom or limited resources having astonishing impacts on other events.

The following infographic showcases some of the most fascinating instances from the past where the scarcity principle played a major role in the outcome of events, either purposefully or accidentally.


The History of Scarcity

Download this 100% free report on how to create scarcity in your own business. It includes tools, formulas and real life examples.

Scarcity: Discover The Massive Psychological Influence Of This One Principle Throughout Time

Embed This Infographic On Your Own Site (copy the code below):


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Author: Dave Danzeiser

When Dave isn't enjoying experimenting with the chemistry of copywriting and exploring the different powers of the unlimited combinations, you can find him traveling the world out of carry-on luggage—he has been living this way since the end of 2012. You can read his travel hacks, gear lists and ridiculous stories at The Quest For Awesome.

  • Sarah A says:

    Scarcity plugin? Where? Darn it! Played like a fiddle again!

  • Jorge says:

    Hello Dave, amazing infographic here, fun and inspiring :-)

    I agree, Scarcity is key to launch any product online, recently I finished with PLF from Jeff Walker and he is paying attention a lot.

    Thanks you!

    • Dave D says:

      Glad you enjoyed the infographic, Jorge :)

      Best of luck with your upcoming launch!

  • Samuel P says:

    The current importance and influence of scarcity is huge. Very excited to see what features this new plug in brings.

    Also… congratulations on the site’s first infographic – very nice!

    • Dave D says:

      Stoked you enjoyed the infographic, Samuel :) Double stoked you agree with the importance and influence!

      Stay tuned for the new plugin!

  • Michael U says:

    Scarcity absolutely works, provided it’s legitimate scarcity. Nobody is fooled by ploys like “Only 10 copies of our digital report left”…

    • Dave D says:

      Couldn’t agree more, Michael!

      Scarcity requires legitimacy and when you try and fool someone you might have some success with the ploy, but ultimately, it’s not worth ruining your reputation over, which will happen when people figure it out!

  • Jake says:

    My favorite part of the infographic is the “Beanie Baby Craze” because I was apart of the craze! Really looking forward to reading through the scarcity tactics you guys provided.

    • Dave D says:

      Haha, yes, the ol’ Beanie Baby Craze!

      Interesting times for sure…I seeing a photo of a courtroom where a couple was getting divorced. There was a pile of beanie babies in the middle of them and they were trying to decide who got what!

  • Trevor Mc. says:

    Interesting Info-Graphic.

    While some of your earlier examples need a bit of stretching to make your point, you nonetheless make your point well with your latter examples.

    Of course, this comment will only be available for another two days before it gets automatically deleted….


    • Dave D says:

      NOOOOOOO, don’t delete it!

      What can I offer you to make sure I don’t lose it???

      Haha, glad you enjoyed the infographic, Trevor :)

  • Shaun says:

    For the plugin, please have it so the countdown timer starts for each individual person, and when the timer is up they really no longer have access to that page / offer anymore. And they’re redirected to a page where they can buy it all the full price.

  • Thanks. I agree totaly. It would help a lot if Thrive Themes offer also a recurring timer for this reason.

    • Dave D says:

      Thrive Themes is gonna knock your socks off with this one, Thomas :)

  • Mike says:

    Great article but Infographics are the Emperors New Clothes. They look great but accessibility sucks. Can’t read on mobile – can’t print it. Why not use the creative storytelling but do it as a responsive webpage? And don’t get me started on PDF ebooks…

    • Ted says:

      I’d love to hear your thoughts on PDF / ebooks Mike…
      please drop me a line via linkedIN/in/tedbox

    • Ikechukwu Iroegbu says:

      I agree.

      Sometimes it’s a bit hard for old time IMers to remember that the way people access the web has changed.

      • Dave D says:

        Hi Ikechukwu :)

        Like I said to Mike, It seems like you feel the accessibility of the content is more important than the goals and substance of the information presented.

        Why is the accessibility such an important aspect for you?

    • Dave D says:

      I apologize, Mike :(

      It seems like you feel the accessibility of the content is more important than the goals and substance of the information presented.

      Why is the accessibility such an important aspect for you?

      • Ikechukwu Iroegbu says:

        Accessibility is a centerpiece.

        If someone can’t access your content, it might as well not exist.

        If I told you you have a billion dollars…but it’s on Neptune, do you really have a billion?

      • Dave D says:

        It seems like you’re saying this infographic is as unaccessible as a billion dollars on Neptune?

        I agree if someone can’t access your content, it might as well not exist, so it is an important aspect, for sure.

        Would you consider this infographic an unaccessible way to present information?

    • Martin says:

      Mike one of the reasons for the infographic
      is so readers can imbed them on their own site this getting white hat backlinks. PBN’s are the old backlinking way and considered black hat. Notice the embed code provided. Reducing the pixel size is important and Thrive had a reducing service built into the Thrive Themes. Each article on my blog from now on will have one for readers to embed on their sites.

  • Sadie Gecke says:

    Really liked the infographic. It was comfortably visible and amusing (and you got the point across quite well, of course). Look forward to more…

    • Dave D says:

      Stoked you enjoyed it Sadie, thanks for letting me know :)

  • Mike C says:

    Scarcity indeed – went to member’s area Today and… Scarce!

    Looking forward with baited breath.

    • Dave D says:

      I’m excited to hear what you think once you get your hands on it!

  • I am already a Thrive Themes customer so I find it frustrating when I get the whole “sign up to learn more” every.single.time. Can you please work on sharing with your paying customers in a less salesy way? Thanks.

    • Dave D says:

      Hi Tara, stoked you’re a Thrive Themes customer :)

      I apologize for the “salesy” :(

      One of our main goals here at Thrive is to make sure our customers get an amazing value from our products. One of the ways we do this is by not only continually updating our existing products to make them better, but also continually releasing new products.

      As you’ve noticed, this happens quite often, so you see it a lot…

      How should we share with our paying customers in a less salesy way? Would love to hear your thoughts :)

      • Pulkit says:

        You could just create a new section in the Members Area where you provide access to all current and previous PDFs and other stuff that non members would be required to provide their email address for.

        I mean, you have the Smartlinks feature (which is awesome) and the whole point of that feature is to make sure that existing customers aren’t bothered with signup forms all the time.

        This way you get what you want and paying customers get what they want. Everybody wins.

      • Dave D says:

        Amazing idea, Pulkit! I’ll see if we can’t make that happen :)

  • Sherry says:

    Love the infographic! Gives me all kinds of ideas for my next blog. Remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

    • Dave D says:

      Haha, glad you enjoyed the infographic, Sharyn! Would love to see what you come up with for your next blog :)

  • Lorenzo says:

    Looks like our pleads for the Thrive version of Deadline Funnels are going to be answered very soon…if it’s even just near the quality I’ve come to expect from you, you will once again tear the competing softwares to shreds.

    Frankly, I counted on it, and that’s why I haven’t purchased any of them yet :)

    Keep this up, and my subscription money is yours forever. How long until Thrive 2.0??

    • Dave D says:

      Love to read comments like this, Lorenzo! Can’t wait for you to get your hands on it :)

      Will keep you updated on Thrive 2.0!

  • Dean P says:

    Been waiting for this for a while. Currently using Deadline funnel which has:

    1. Expiring links

    2. Email countdown gifs

    3. Intergration with Active Campaign triggers (this is awesome)

    4. The ability to have someone HAVE TO go through a funnel (so they have a 100% deadline)

    5. Obviously the mobile/desktop/page expiration (you guys will no doubt have this)


    • Dave D says:

      Thanks for being patient Dean :)

      As always, we aim to create and continually develop our products to meet and exceed the other options in the space!

  • Ted says:

    Blashemous is a funny word.
    Fictitious but, still funny.

    Don’t ya just hate it when a graphic gets released and promoted and there’s a glaring typo in it?
    sort of distracting for me…

    heck, I must have been an editor in a previous life ;-)

    • Dave D says:

      The joke’s on you, Ted.

      We don’t have a budget for a professional editor so we release the post to a small audience, first…

      All the editors can’t resist leaving their typo comments and we get professional editing, for free!

      Thanks for the help :)

  • Ikechukwu Iroegbu says:

    Hey Dave, so where’s the plugin?

    Couldn’t find in the dashboard…

  • Hey, Dave

    A very nice infographic and I agree that scarcity pumps up desire and impact our life willingly or by accident.

    Thanks a ton!

    • Dave D says:

      Glad you enjoyed the infographic, Tauqir! Thanks for letting me know, I really appreciate it :)

  • James says:

    Good examples. Loved the potatoes one. Hells yeah bring on the scarcity (in limited quantities)

    • Dave D says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! Haha the potatoes one was my favorite, too :)

  • Graeme T says:

    Yeah, great post and infographic. Real class. Hope it works better than Scarcity Samurai.

    • Dave D says:

      Glad you enjoyed it :)

      We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how well it works (and how powerful it is).

  • I discovered this works quite by accident. When it was time to raise tuition at our academy, I posted an alert to my email list and was astounded by how many wanted to beat the increase. In my case, I want to let people know so they can plan. It’s only fair. But it turns into a win-win each time.

    • Dave D says:

      Awesome discovery Leelo! This something we have found as well, so it’s great to have some other validation :)

  • Gareth Naylor says:

    Very interesting. I’ve seen an artist use this. He showed his paintings at a discounted price for one week and then doubled the price. From what I saw on his page he seemed to be selling well.

    • Dave D says:

      That’s a great example of the principle at work. Thanks for sharing, Gareth :)

  • Harvey S says:

    scarecity plug in??? I’m drooling!!!

  • Alvin Curren says:

    The plugin is so scarce it seems to be missing.

    • Dave D says:

      Hey Alvin, this post is just marking the announcement that a new scarcity plugin is coming soon.

      Sorry for the confusion :(

  • Tasha says:

    Yey! I love it. A scarcity plugin? Can’t wait! :)

    • Dave D says:

      You’re gonna love it Natasha, can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  • Beth B says:

    Scarcity creates urgency to act, and it’s urgency to act that creates well action. So there are other ways to create that urgency. Scarcity is just one tactic. Don’t worship the tactic just because. Use it because it’s right for you. I for one am tired of having my chain pulled.

  • John Z says:

    Thanks Dave, so good!

  • George says:

    I love it! Shane you make my day, giving away great content to use with your very nicely themes!

    • Dave D says:

      Glad you’re enjoying the content George! Thanks for taking the time to let us know, we appreciate it :)

  • Sam says:

    Can’t wait to see how the new plug-in functions and try it with my customers. Thanks for the visual history lesson! Still lookin’ fine, ‘specially with that ‘stache, Dave. ;-)

    • Dave D says:

      You’re going to be stoked on how powerful the plugin is. Can’t wait to hear your results.

      Glad you enjoyed the infographic & dat ‘stache :)

  • Chris says:

    I second that all of the features in “Deadline Funnel” need to be included. Date based expiring links that redirect after a specific date are in high demand and the tools that can create them are either pricey or wonky to say the best. Can’t wait to get my hands on this new plugin and keep up the good work!

    • Dave D says:

      I think you’ll enjoy everything the plugin can do, especially as we continue to develop it to make it more and more powerful :)

  • Leonardo B says:

    My favourite Story is Romeo & Juliette

  • Reona S says:

    Wow, new plugin!? I can’t wait to see how it turns out (I know it’s awesome!)

    Also, I’m patiently waiting for A/B testing feature for Thrive landing pages. The biggest feature that this awesome conversion optimized theme is missing right now!

  • Nayan Kariya says:

    Hey, Great Infographic…Love your creativity…Scarcity is the best it THE KEY for any product. Can you tell me how do you create such Infographic?

    • Dave D says:

      Glad you enjoyed the infographic Nayan :)

      Unfortunately there’s no “simple” way to create an infographic like this without having a quality designer. We wrote up the brief for how we wanted it to look, sent it to the designer and then gave feedback until satisfied with the final product :)

  • Hilary E says:

    This ultimatum got me super excited, but I’d like to know how the sales work with woocommerce, etc. Also, if I can use the top bar and things like that across my whole site or just on thrive pages. Do you guys have a FAQ section?

  • Priscilla says:

    You guys have done it again! I tried out Thrive Ultimatum on my blog and then immediately uninstalled my old scarcity plugin. Never going back :)

  • karamath says:

    Hai ,

    Nice Infographic.Scarcity is the best for any product.

    I love the Infographic thanks.

  • nikhlesh says:

    hey, awesome post mate
    i loved your method of info graphics, how do you create them
    only photoshop or anything else ?

    • Dave D says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! We had our design team build it in photoshop :)

  • Gagan Kamboj says:

    great infographic and awesome post keep sharing :)

  • Illeyas says:

    Hai ,

    Nice Infographic.Scarcity is the best for any product.

    I love the Infographic thanks. It was very useful tahnks…

  • mack says:

    hey Dave amazing infographic..i like it !!

    • Dave D says:

      Thanks Mack! Our design team gets all the credit though :)

  • Hi Dave D,

    I really liked the concept of scarcity and will soon implement it on my website.

    I also like the infographics would you mind sharing how are you creating these infographics?

    Thanks for sharing :)

    • Hanne says:

      Hi Dipen,

      We had our in-house designer make this one.

  • Smith says:

    For the plugin, please have it so the countdown timer starts for each individual person, and when the timer is up they really no longer have access to that page / offer anymore. And they’re redirected to a page where they can buy it all the full price.

  • Mate awesome work I like u creative ideas and I waiting for ur plugin

  • David vil says:

    I love this Infographic and really liked the concept of scarcity.

  • sagar says:

    Amazing Infographic!!! I like this website so much it’s awesome.I have also gone through your other posts too,

  • Animesh says:

    Can I know what tools are you using to create this image in this blogpost?

    • Hanne says:

      One of our designer created this from scratch in Illustrator and Photoshop

  • Info Graphic is the bestest tool for attracting people on our blog

    • Dave D says:

      They work well if you can get people to share them :)

  • Haider Jamal says:

    I love it. A scarcity plugin? Can’t wait

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