Creating A False Sense Of Urgency

urgentI find it very interesting as an owner of a company that provides marketing services and consulting that there are still businesses today that use the tactic of conveying a message of urgency falsely to promote themselves and the products they sell.

It’s like they know in the back of their own mind that if they aren’t first in line to capitalize on the impulse of a buyer, they don’t stand a chance. If they aren’t the first at the trough they won’t get enough to drink.

I can’t in recent history remember when a main stream kit manufacturer’s products were ever in such short supply that those who wanted one were not able to acquire it.  Aside from not having the necessary funds at the time to purchase it.

Yes, there are limited or short run items but the manufacturers themselves advertise that fact far in advance so customers wanting said release can plan to acquire them through their favorite retailer or from the manufacturer or its preferred vendors. Such as those kits sold by distributors who pooled together with some of their larger resellers to fund and produce a kit which a manufacturer agreed to produce a limited amount of for them.

Exclusive…in this industry is misleading.

I can think of only one mainstream kit manufacturer which has a single source provider…Wingnut Wings. They manufacture and sell factory direct only, which is a business model that works for them. Other kit manufacturers generally prefer to use a tiered distribution method to get their products into consumer’s hands. They may have distribution agreements to protect a geographic territory giving its distributors or retailer a sense of exclusivity, but in this global economy where retailers can acquire products is not limited to the “guy next door” as it was in the past. Free enterprise and global trading allows every retailer to shop around to find the best deal to in turn provide their customers the same…well some do. There are those who sell at a price they themselves set, selling the item to someone else then go on to complain later when the entity they sold the product(s) to sells it for less…or much more.

Recently there has been chatter on the various modeling forums about product exclusiveness, available quantities and pricing. If you do a little research you’ll find in most cases there was a false sense of urgency being conveyed. One has to remember that every wholesaler/retailer who wants to resell any given product will 99% of the time have access to and ample supply of those products to fulfill their own and their customers needs. There are even retailers buying direct and reselling WNW kits to service their customers!  Now some wholesale/retailers will not stock truckloads of the item but amounts they feel they can sell within a reasonable period of time, restocking those items as deemed necessary.

Which brings up another point!

Did you notice that those products which were touted as limited and only available exclusively were also available elsewhere? They were and are! When the retailers initial stock had sold out,  reordering and restocking of the items were soon in hand yet again. Proving that the false sense of urgency was an unfounded and misleading tactic. What’s next? Well as more wholesale/retailers acquire these products and pump them out to their customer base, watch the availability increase and prices become even MORE competitive.

Consumer Beware!

There are those out there who will continue to promote this false sense of urgency to lure you to purchase from them. Take a breath. relax and remember that unless the manufacturer itself says…We are only offering this product through Reseller X…you have nothing to worry about. Focus your attention on who is going to be up front with you as they have with other purchases you have made from them. Availability, pricing, shipping cost and service all should factor in who you purchase from. This applies equally to your neighborhood retailer or those online vendors.

In marketing urgency is a good and useful tool, if it is real. However, when consumers discover that it is being used falsely, the consequences it has on the user can have dramatic negative effects.


  1. The wonder of the internet is that you can get nearly any item at any time. If it was made ten years ago and went out of production, someone may still have it on Ebay. I’ve never had a problem finding stuff I need, and I feel no need to buy the latest, greatest thing right effing NOW. Exclusive, limited time deals like the ones of which you speak succeed mainly in parting fools from their voluminous amounts of hobby cash, IMHO.

  2. First, thanks Chris. ;0)

    There are many of us who are patient and take advantage of the second, third or even fourth time an item changes hands before acquiring it. The trick is knowing when something you want is at its lowest price and not on the way up to being sold at a collectors price. Like the 1974 Pinto Wagon kit I so hope gets rereleased…prices for them are ridiculous on eBay and at shows!

  3. I imagine that the kit manufacturers have people hired who check the “interest” in items on eBay and other resellers. And they think “oh hey! There’s somebody interested in Pintos over there. We’ll pull out the molds and do a reissue.”

    Of course, in the interim you’ve bought a NOS kit at an usurious price and once you’ve finished your build, 100,000 of the reissue hit K-Mart.

    Market research cycles work, but they’re slow on the draw.

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