Influence of scarcity claims on product evaluation: The role of reversibility of decision

Seung Yun Lee1, Sangdo Oh2, Sunho Jung3
1College of Business, Konkuk University, Republic of Korea
2College of Government and Business, Yonsei University, Republic of Korea
3School of Management, Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Lee, S., Oh, S., & Jung, S. (2018). Influence of scarcity claims on product evaluation: The role of reversibility of decision. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 46, 281-292.

Volume 46 Issue 2 | e6576 | Published: February 2018 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.6576

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Marketers often employ scarcity messages to attract consumers. In this study, we showed that consumers make inferences about the truth or falsity of scarcity claims. When consumers interpret scarcity as a value signal, scarcity will positively influence product evaluation. In contrast, when scarcity is interpreted as a signal with manipulative intent, the positive effect of scarcity on product evaluation is reduced. Accordingly, we identified reversibility of decision as a moderating factor in the positive effect of scarcity on product evaluation. Results showed that scarcity had a positive effect on product evaluation only when reversibility of decision was high. Further, this effect was mediated by an inference process, whereby consumers perceived scarcity claims to be either a signal of product value or of manipulative intent. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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