The effects of scarcity appeal on product evaluation: Consumers' cognitive resources and company reputation

Seung Yun Lee1, Sangdo Oh2, Sunho Jung3
1School of Business, Konkuk University, Republic of Korea
2School of Business Administration, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea
3School of Management, Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Lee, S., Oh, S., & Jung, S. (2014). The effects of scarcity appeal on product evaluation: Consumers' cognitive resources and company reputation. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 42, 743-756.

Volume 42 Issue 5 | e3815 | Published: June 2014 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2014.42.5.743

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We proposed that when consumers considered that scarcity claims signal a product is valuable, such claims would have a positive effect on product evaluation. However, when consumers interpreted scarcity claims as a sales tactic, the positive effect of scarcity claims on product evaluation would be diluted. Our participants were 100 undergraduate students at a large university in Canada. We found that when consumers had sufficient cognitive resources available to draw inferences about persuasion motives underlying marketers’ behavior, they were more likely to perceive scarcity as a sales tactic. Further, our results showed that company reputation could influence consumers’ inference of scarcity as a sales tactic, and, hence, moderate the effect of scarcity on product evaluation.

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