Because I Can

Let me tell you about the first product online that got me to pay higher than $100 for the very first time (this was years ago).

He called it a "Because I Can" sale.  Basically the guy put together a huge package with a bunch of his own products, including resale rights.

  • This was long before that kind of thing was common!
  • JV giveaways didn't exist yet...
  • Pitch webinars didn't REALLY exist yet...

saleHe set the start price at $37 and the end price at something like $297, and the sale only ran for about 3 days.  Every few seconds the price would jump up a fraction of a penny.  I waited until it was above $100 before I bought.

Back then I think my highest priced product was $197, and if I sold two copies of it in a week I would be jumping for joy. I might not have had a $1000 launch yet.  I was still full-time in college, rent was only $625 a month (a lot for me at the time).  I didn't have a full time job or any other source of income.

But... I Still Bought!

What got me to buy?  Scarcity!

If you've read copywriting books (I've only read one and a half) they all try to corner you into this idea of "reason why." Why are you selling your product at this price?  Why are you limiting it to this number of copies?

Back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and the only infoproducts people could sell were cassette tapes, floppy disks, printed manuals, of COURSE you needed a reason-why.

Years ago before there were services like Amazon S3, Kunaki or even GoToWebinar I saw a couple marketers run "scratch and dent" sales. "A couple of my DVD sets fell off the shelf in the closet... the packaging is messed up, but I just checked and the DVDs still play fine.  But I want to get rid of these and that's why they're half price."

The Problem Is...

Once you have digital products all those scratch-and-dent sales, firesales, going out of business sales, overstock sales, blah blah blah... no longer work.  In fact they look cheesy.

Really, you're only limiting it to 100 copies?  Do you have a shortage of electrons on your web site?

In my past launches I have tried all kind of reason-whys.  I've tried, "I don't want to let these secrets out to too many people."  Yeah right.

I tried, "My server can only handle so much bandwidth at a time."  Yeah right.

I even tried, "I'm testing the market at a low introductory price and gathering testimonials."  Which is halfway decent except this has been used so often it's now a cliche.

So what's the real reason to limit the number of buyers, increase the price or set a deadline on the offer... the reason nobody can possibly argue with?

"Because I Can!"

Having no reason, being ballsy and saying I'm limiting the offer "Because I Can" shows you have a lot of confidence in what you're selling and you're sure it will sell out in a short about of time.

If you only let 20 people in and a few weeks later your sales letter still says 17 slots left, it hurts your social proof, doesn't it?  So you'd better sell out.  And even if you fake selling out (which you should never do) then guess what, you can't brag about your big victory without feeling bad about lying.

"Because I Can" selling pisses people off -- but ONLY that group of people who joined your list and bought from you to be your friend.  Not the ones who joined to apply what they learned from you and get more than their investment back.

But everyone else will love you and respect you more for it.

When you stick to your word about closing the offer, they'll know they can't mess around and WAIT next time.

They Have to Buy in Now!

I bought that guy's offer because I'd seen him use similar scarcity offers in the past, and he never let "just a few extra people in."  Ever.

dimesaleSo I started doing that with my low-ticket products.  I started with time based sales (deadline) and was the first person to offer what people eventually called dimesales -- increasing the price after each sale.  Scarcity and social proof combined into one!

The next time you're worried about justifying your price, or justifying any kind of scarcity, just remember -- you're an information marketer and you can.  As long as you're confident about it.

Speaking of scarcity, guess what... I'm limiting the number of comments on this post to 100 comments.  Why?  Because I Can!

So quickly leave a comment below and add your two cents before I close comments on this post forever.  (I did it last time!)

Has "Because I Can" selling made you buy?  Have you offered it before?  Do you think I'm right or wrong about this blog post?  Comment below right now!

Filed in: CopywritingMindset

Comments (100)

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  1. Robert – I totally agree with you! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve bought something because the price is going up by the minute, by the customer, by the day. It’s the fear of losing out.

    And yes, I think I remember the Because I Can offer – I probably bought it, too – although my first thought was “who the heck is HE to be saying that?” – but then that fear of loss kicked in – and there I was – a line on his sales sheet.

    Nope – haven’t used it myself. But maybe I will – Because I Can!


  2. Jim Fridenmaker says:

    Has “Because I Can” selling made you buy? No. Not enough motivation for me to buy. I’d happily buy if it met my needs.

    Have you offered it before? No

    Do you think I’m right or wrong about this blog post? I absolutely get your point about the change in “scratch and dent” not applying to info products. I don’t feel raising a price “because I can” is sufficient to motivate people to purchase.

  3. Robert Plank says:

    Jim, that’s what a lot of people tell me but not what they actually do.

    The other day I made 15 sales overnight for the Call to Action just from an e-mail to my list saying, “The plugin used to be $7. Now it’s $17.” No justification given.

  4. Dave Doolin says:

    Dude, you’re speaking my language here. You’re right about the respect. And about whether it pisses people off or not.

  5. you are ballsy Robert. I hope that it works for you.


  6. Doug says:


    Thanks again for the reminder on using scarcity. I have purchased many product offers based on the limited copies made available. But I also knew from experience the person offering the limited supply would hold true to their word.

    Crazy thing is, I don’t use scarcity often enough in my own offers. Time to change that…

    All the best,

  7. Robert Plank says:

    I hope so too, Sophie… I took “ballsy” lessons from you 🙂

  8. One more: if this setting a “launch date and time” for your blog post works, maybe you can do a webinar on it…

    I’d be interested in seeing the moment to moment stats

  9. Jim Fridenmaker says:

    Oops, posted too quick. I will say that fear of a future price increase beyond my budget has provided enough motivation to act when combined with another offer. (Webinar Crusher 2.0)

    Regarding dime sales, I’d always like to get in at a lower price for the deal, but the stronger motivation is the product itself. It wouldn’t stop me from purchasing if the price doesn’t exceed the value I expect.


  10. Robert Plank says:

    Sophie, if it works, I’ll do a webinar on it. I might have set the bar too high asking for 100 comments two posts in a row. But, if it fails and I fall flat on my face, so be it… 🙂

  11. Dennis Rosenberg says:

    Everyone will say they are above feeling buying pressure because of scarcity (and urgency), but the bottom line is that it works. Results prove it. I buy because of it (sometimes). There, I said it, and I’m not ashamed. It’s just human nature.

  12. Robert, a most excellent post! I totally agree — it used to piss me off that guys would say, “Only 20 left!” with a bunch of strike outs all the way down to…”only 2 left”

    I even wrote a post about WHY I would never do that…but you’ve convinced me otherwise.

    “Because I can…” I like the ring of that. It’s MY business, I can do with it what I please!!!

    Thanks for the eye opener.

  13. Jeff Bode says:

    Robert I like how you just simplified scarcity, now we don’t have to make up reasons to use scarcity that doesn’t help in selling the product.

    I like the strait to the point, honest approach of scarcity like this because I know if I follow thru people will trust me (more than making up some stupid excuse)

  14. Robert,
    I love the laser like way you get to the heart of the matter:
    Are people buying to be your friend… or to apply what they learned from you and get more than their investment back.
    We all have to balance ‘being liked’ with ‘being effective’ while building relationships with our clients and customers. And we all slip and forget ALL of this (this model we’ve chosen as our business model) IS ‘Because I Can!’
    Thanks for the timely reminder!
    Linda –

  15. Hi Robert,

    love your post!

    What about a variation where I randomly increase the price — because I can?

    Do you think that’ll work?

    It takes away the social proof element, but keeps the sense of scarcity.

    About the buying side…

    I too have bought many things because I wanted to make sure I got my hands on them while I still could. I did have a few regrets thhough…

    I also bought a few WSOs months after they were supposedly totally gone forever 😉 Some winners among them, some not so.

    Thanks for another great post.


  16. Annaly says:

    ‘Because I can’ is the best and only reason. Why try to justify?

  17. Dennis Rosenberg says:

    Guess I’ll hog 2 of the 100 comments. Why? Because I can!

  18. Mitch Powell says:

    I totally agree you need to get to the bottom line and not feed a line of bull to people. Most people see right through the hype and bull, and it only serves to hurt your credibility.

    Good for you to point this out. I’ve bought lots of great products due to the scarcity factor, but as Doug, above, mentions, I’ve known the marketer to be true to their word, (and they usually haven’t fed me a line of bull about bandwidth or “slightly damaged” goods.)


  19. Jack Tackett says:

    Good points Robert. I’m wondering if you’ve tried something like this with OTO or down/upsells? Do you see similiar results?

    Also want to say I’m looking forward to your presentation at the WF event in October! Any chance of elaborating on this topic there?

    Please let me know if I can help out in any way.


  20. Robert Plank says:

    Hey Jack,

    I’m looking forward to the warrior event too, just two weeks to go!

    Nope, I don’t apply this on upsells for the same reason I don’t split test my upsells. I put upsells in as an afterthought, and the conversion rate is pretty good (because they’re still in heat since they just bought).

    I’d rather put my time into getting more people to make that initial sale, since that’s the hard part and the easiest to improve… if that makes sense.

  21. Bruno Auger says:

    I think once I did that but not no more. I buy only because I think the product is good and not because it has only limited on how much they are selling.

  22. Hi Robert:

    Love these posts on “scarcity” and “because I can.” I rarely post on people’s blog BUT you’re “just 100 posts” grabbed me. LOL

  23. Robert Plank says:


    Hahaha… I knew I’d get you to comment! 😉 That’s how it usually is, most people just barely won’t post and need a little push to do it.

  24. Kevin Baker says:

    Hi Robert,

    Its been a while since I read a post of yours. So sorry to have missed the others.

    O.K scarcity is used all over the internet and for the most part its a lame use of the tactic. I am rarely if ever these days convinced by the sales page using the same excuses you have described here. I may have become jaded or just bored with the rubbish that peddled every day.

    However “Because i can” is an interesting and more practical way of demonstrating that in fact its not scarcity itself thats being offered but a dose of plain old truth. I would rather be told in plain English that the product, eBook webinar is limited because it just is than be hyped out by 40 lines of rubbish on a sales page. I like the truth, and I have never used this tactic before, but I will now.


    Kevin baker

  25. Kevin Koop says:

    Scarcity works and it has worked on me more times than I care to admit. ;- )

    I’m using it now on my new site with no real justification given other than each “deal” is only available for a short time (between 1-2 weeks) and then it disappears for good.

    I’m not the type to scream “Because I Can” to my customers/subscribers but I agree that one doesn’t always have to “justify” their particular marketing strategy.

    Good luck in getting another 100 comments,

  26. Neal says:

    Good Stuff….what’s that ‘ole saying? Never under estimate a consumer’s desire to consume. I think scarcity, when properly applied, can work wonders in sales.

    Allen Say’s of the warrior forum was once asked why he limited sales of a certain product to only 500 copies. His reply went something like this: “If I didn’t limit the copies, it would have taken a year to sell that many; By limiting the orders, I’ll sell 500 in a month!”

    Keep up the great work!


  27. kat says:

    How did you do that technically? ‘Dimesales – increasing the price after each sale.’ You can’t do it with a Clickbank or any other ‘bank’ that I know? What kind of software did you use? Soon I should launch my JV with Jarred Hall and I will need it.

  28. Pamela says:

    Wow…I’ve learned something new for today…which is always a good thing. I’m completely new to this world and have not sold anything yet…nor attempted to sell anything yet…I’m building my knowledge base so I can go at this fast and strong! Thank you again for sharing your wisdom with us!

  29. David Hunt says:

    Great job Robert!

    I’ll add to Sophie’s comment about being “ballsy”. This is the first time I have ever seen anybody do a pre-launch for a blog post. Mike Filsaime – eat your heart out.

    During my glorious 2 week career as a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman in training back when I was 19, I was with the top salesman when he had a customer that would not pay full price but wanted to know if he had any returned or dented vacs. He went to the trunk of his car, and after 2 minutes with his tire iron, he did indeed find that he had a slightly scratched and dented vacuum with him. He gave her a slight discount. She was happy, and he was very happy.

    Recently Joe Vitale sold out all the hard products he said had his picture on them before he lost weight. Yeah, that’s plausible, but you can always print more album cover. I don’t think it works any more with digital downloads

    It really irks me something royal when I see “only 100” with the 100 crossed out and 44 left, and I go into the code and see it was probably like that since it was put up. I do respect people that have the huevos to do it for real – either a real count down timer, a real dime sale increaser or a real quantity left that goes down with each sale. If someone says their sale goes off at midnight it better not be there the next day. They lose all credibility with me. However, if it is gone, I’ll pay attention the next time.

  30. Dave Doolin says:

    I like that you respond to people in the comments. Not everyone does that.

    Helps your count here too!

  31. Robert Plank says:

    Dave, I respond to comments purely for selfish reasons 😉 It means that, worst-case, I really only need 50 comments (50 from other people and then 50 more I leave as responses).

  32. Hey Robert- Great post.

    Yes, scarcity works. People sometimes need a little push before they put an order in and this is one great way to do that.

  33. Jey says:

    Well written Robert. I always stay around you to learn more about things.

    I always look around to see they may offer more bonus, in the end I might loose the product. It has happened to me in the past.

    Thanks for the great post.

  34. Gordon says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about doing two posts back to back in such a short time… maybe if you did 5 in a row you could see the real value in the timeline.

    Think of it as just another way to test the market to see what they are willing to do.

    Scarcity works when the motivation is already in place below the surface and looking for a release valve.

  35. robb says:

    I think you point illustrates an age old issue in our culture in how we view each other.

    Phony scarcity is rooted in pragmatism where genuine scarcity is rooted in authentic relationship.

    It takes moral fiber and character to do the latter.

    So many get caught up in the first, on their way to a quick buck.

    But that is like killing the goose and expecting golden eggs.

    Keep up the good work….stay authentic.

    Robb Novak

  36. The first product over $100 that I purchased was a collection of PLR products. They were released for the first time.

    In this case the scarcity was a maximum of 500 that would be sold. A nice bonus package (via an affiliate link) very much helped also.

  37. Chick J says:

    I love your honesty. “Because I can”. No excuses, just the fact. Love it.

  38. The scarcity tactic is one thing that pushes a button with me. Nothing irritates me more then the selling out of a product I bought then only to find out later that the owner reopens the product to more people.

    There has been a couple of memberships sites I bought into that closed their doors, only to find later that they reopened at a lower price. That ticks me off.

    I see no need for anything like that because it just seems to alienate people more then anything.

    Now I have a membership site coming out in the near future That I am going to strictly limit the amount sold. Not To create a scarcity tactic but to be able to give more personal attention to my members.

    I have been part of memberships where the number of members made in damn near impossible to get questions answered from the site owner(s)

    I think if you cant answer a simple support email you shouldn’t be running a membership site. Any site for that matter.


  39. Steve Jones says:

    Human nature … anyone who understands it has a huge advantage over those that don’t. Even those that do understand it have a hard time resisting it’s power. I suppose that’s why a good confidence man can manipulate even the most suspicious and cynical of us. In the end, if the other party “believes” they’ve been conned …they have. On the other hand, if they “believe” they benefited…thay have. They key is what they “believe.” So, my point is that, after being “led” to a certain decision, what people believe may be even more important than how they arrived at that decision or even the reality of whether it benefited them or not.

    I guess this is a “King and His Cloak” type of thinking. So, why am I here writing this comment? I’ve got a million other things I should be doing. I guess I didn’t want to be #101. I better leave now, I feel a cold breeze.

  40. Jim Fridenmaker says:


    Pg. 7 from Robert’s “7 internet marketing cliches” is a great read!


  41. audre says:

    “Because I Can” is pulling the curtain back on most marketing, whether online or selling barrels of oil on the global market.

    And offline retailers do it all the time, too. Holiday sales, 3-day weekend sales, “Black Thursday” didn’t even exist when I was growing up…it’s a total retail invention. It’s the part of marketing that’s a game, and we “participants” play along (some people take it more seriously than others).

    I do it sometimes to create “movement” (it does make people, including me, take action). I try not to take advantage of knowing about it.

    I have definitely bought from fear of missing out on the low price, on the product, on the membership, etc. I stay away from it as much as possible a buyer, now that I know about it, because it’s a powerful pull. We humans are obviously hard wired to respond to the fear of scarcity. 🙂

  42. Hey, strangely enough, I just got a DVD in the mail that talked about this very subject. 🙂

    Seriously, you rock.


  43. Robert Plank says:


    The DVD played correctly? Whew, I feel better now… I had 3 people e-mail me yesterday saying their personal disc was blank, so at least they all didn’t go out that way.

  44. David Weaver says:


    I certainly agree that marketers who use the scarcity tactic and keep their word are more respected than those who just use it as a ploy.
    The truth of the matter is the “because I Can” strategy probably more closely approaches the truth.

    I for one am a lot more cautious when I purchase a product online. Some of the salesletters i’ve seen could sell ice cubes to an eskimo. I sure have fallen for some of the BS and hope I am a little wiser.

    Dave Weaver

  45. Allen says:

    The ole creative part of the brain is trying to think of as many ways to create scarcity as possible. Some marketers and products – you can just tell it’s a load of non-sense.

    Then there are a few, when they say it you know they mean it and then jump on it.

    Nice use of the comment pluggin too – looks good.

  46. Bil says:

    Hey Robert –

    Thanks for the page here – found out about it from your Twitter update. Thought you might enjoy this quote that I found recently.

    “They can because they think they can.”

    Keep up the good work.


  47. Steve Jones says:

    David Weaver expresses my feelings well. I am so reluictant to use “proven tactics” because many conflict with my sense of integrity. I have got to get over this because I know I can bring real value into people’s lives, but they want to be convinced (sold). That’s how I am… I don’t want to be conned, but I do want to be convinced. Sometmes, I even need a little push to get me to committ … so a little scarcity usually does the trick.

  48. Mano says:

    The count-down timer that comes along when we scroll the sales letter is great for scarcity.

    Lot of elements in play – ‘its now or never’, ‘my offer is darn good just take a look and order- you don’t have to read every word’, ‘if you can’t make up your mind within that time you are not smart enough’ – a challenge to ego.

  49. Owdoac says:

    Been there, done that! Can’t tell you how many times I’ve set an alarm to remind me when a sale will start. As for the “limited quantity” business, I’m in the habit of checking the html for a script or a simple strikeout to find out if the limit is real or just dramatic sales copy.

    No matter what, though, the product still must be perceived as beneficial otherwise price makes no difference.

    A key ingredient, too, is the credibility of the marketer. For example, I’ve learned that your products (at least the ones I’ve purchased) are worth the money. I think that’s why you can adopt the “because I can” attitude.

    I’m sure you’ll reach your posting limit.

  50. J Jackson says:

    Good Post Robert… I do so like the way you tell it like you see it and your ‘go get ’em’ demeanor. I’ve learned a lot from you over the last few months.

    You asked “Has “Because I Can” selling made you buy? Have you offered it before? Do you think I’m right or wrong about this blog post?

    No, “Because I Can” selling has never made me buy a product – just the opposite. I have not and will not offer it. I think you are right in that creating a real or assumed scarcity will push a lot of people to buy that otherwise wouldn’t. I think you are wrong in claiming that “Because I Can” shows ballsiness and confidence. It shows bulliness and condescension. Not how I want to be treated and not how I want to treat my ‘people’.

    50 more posts to go… now I do like this. I don’t see it as scarcity but as a race, a competition… another great motivator.

  51. A great argument for demonstrating uniqueness as a sales technique


  52. Robert,

    You’re so darned right about these “scratch and dent” sales being cheesy. I hate seeing them and when I do… my reaction is “yeah right! What kind of a mug do you take me for?” (Don’t answer that one).

    I hereby promise NEVER to use that line as a reason why when selling a digital product.


  53. Rob says:


    This is great story! It really gave me a good perspective on what I might be doing in my own business in regards to conversions.


  54. Hey Robert, i bought some of your products
    because of your scarcity techniques and it

    I’m going to use this on my online business.

    Thanks for sharing this gold nuggets.

  55. Robert Plank says:

    Hey Anthony,

    What’s cool about scarcity and “because I can” stuff is it works even better when you’re freelancing where the competition is even tougher than with infoproducts.

    I started making real money in freelancing when I stopped trying to offer every single service and ran specials for a single, very specific service with only 10 slots available.

    And then once you get a bunch of paying clients you can use “because I can” to raise your prices and not feel bad.

    That’s another thing most marketers forget about — they price low trying to satisfy the highest number of people, or even make the most short-term profits.

    You need to price your stuff at the highest price the market will bear. Dan Kennedy said: “If you tell someone your price and they’re not shocked, it’s too low!”

  56. Joachim Klein says:

    Hi Robert,

    the idea of increasing the price for example every hour or every day is very interesting. But maybe it will work only for people who are already known for producing good content …

    Best regards

  57. Robert Plank says:


    Actually I used a bunch of dimesales (sometimes two per week!) to build up my list from nothing to several thousand in a short amount of time.

    So having the scarcity and the “because I can” confidence can get people to buy — and get them on your list — even if you’re an unknown.

    The guy I bought the Because I Can sale from WASN’T an unknown, but I hadn’t bought anything from him before so it’s a good way to get first time buyers even if you’re not well established… especially if you start the price low and then bring it up quickly to the correct value.

  58. Ron says:

    Hey Robert,
    Yes, I have bought because of scarcity and for price increases, but haven’t tried it myself yet. I never understood why marketers limited the product to begin with, yeah I know “Because they can”. Only a small percentage of people buying a product ever use it anyway! So limiting something to 100 copies is actually limiting it to maybe 25 used copies, and that is if it is a great product.

    One of the first people to buy one of my products emailed me for support 4 months later saying; “I just found this on my hard drive, how do I…”

    On that note I need to get back to studying WP Crusher.

  59. Lloyd Hester says:

    I think scarcity/countdown strategy is still a good strategy to use on launch and new relaeases etc.

    The very fact you use it here on your blog proves it works… I just HAD to post 😉

    Where it falls down is trying the same tactic on products that have been around for a while. People really lose credibility when they use the only 97, 54,ooh quick 1 place left.. tactic for 6 months!! that you see all the time.

    However, I think you have to be very careful with a “because I can attitude” Maybe it is the British thing in me. We Brits hate cocky..

    So, if someone says hey it’s mine so I can do what I like with it then, a lot of people will simply reply ok, you can stick it where the sun does not shine, even on the brightest days.

    Even if they would benefit from said product. Therefore, cutting off their noses to spite their face.

    You see, a lot of people believe that the customer is king and whilst not always right, they deserve to be treated respectfully and to say “this is my business therefore I can charge what I like” is not beneficial in my humble opinion of course..

    The pricing level is also a big factor. The jump from 7$ to $17 is no big deal. Without trying to blow smoke up your butt, your stuff is really good and very, if not too cheap.

    If I need something or can benefit from a product I will buy it whatever the price (up to about $49 that is). Unless it is an excellent sales letter then I buy just about anything. Am I the only one?

    Another factor is the character of the person. I have only just started reading your stuff, I bought one of your products which is how I got on your list :-).

    You build a rapport with people and get personal. This puts you in a position of trust and likability. You can get away with it.

    By the way I only have two copies of my digital down-loadable expert course. Available on a first come first serve basis of course. It is called

    “Get rich quick, 12 hours to massive riches, Super affiliate and CPA – CB classroom, blueprint, making money from autoresponder underground tactics and traffic secrets”.

    Plus 500 super bonus products that have never been seen before and will change your life forever..

    The best work from home for 2 minutes a day to make a million spondooleys and live on a tropical island surfing and getting a suntan and drive a Ferrari training course available on the net today.

  60. Robert Plank says:

    Lloyd… you’re right… it works, even on something as silly as “leave a comment on this blog post” …

    Why do you think I can get away with it but others can’t?

    Is it because most people don’t build a list? Or they forget to write follow-up to drip out after the sale?

    Or they forget about mailing their list for a month or two? Hit them multiple times a day with pitch after pitch, or give them 100% content and are afraid to sell to them or say anything at all?

    Who knows… 😛 But anyone can build rapport, it isn’t that hard.

  61. Dale Maxwell says:

    Scarcity is very powerful stuff and I love the way you are bribing people to comment with your “7 Internet Marketing Cliches to Avoid”

    It’s a double whammy!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts


  62. Robert Plank says:

    Yep Dale, it is a double whammy… and guess what else… there is no squeeze page for “Internet Marketing Cliches.”

    The ONLY way to get it right now is to leave a comment, and if all the slots for comments are filled up then guess what… they can’t even get a copy! Why? Because I Can!

  63. Joe Tufo says:

    Wow! Thank you, Robert!

    The advice that you provide in this post is exactly what I needed to read. Thanks for the confidence boost!

    Scarcity, or, better yet, take-away, is the best strategy to urge people to take ACTION! Someone once said, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”

    I know how much I appreciate Dale Maxwell introducing me to you. Your sage advice and unstoppable spirit is inspiring and has given me some great ideas to implement on our website(s).

    May God bless you exceedingly, abundantly above whatever you may think or ask.

  64. Thanks for this post, Robert. Yes, scarcity marketing works. And it some markets, you can use the same “Because I Can” tactic more than once (for the same product).

    There are certain products which have a seasonal demand, so you can use the same “for a limited time only” technique at the start of each demand cycle.

  65. What am I missing? I just got a confirmation request for the internet marketing cliches… Robert, did you add that to the action-comment thingy?

  66. Robert Plank says:

    Sophie: Yep, I’m changing up the bribe… instead of getting the newsletter, right now the bribe for commenting is the “7 Internet Marketing Cliches” report.

  67. Trevor Baret says:


    I LOVE it!

    Not many are as blunt and honest as you. “Because I Can” will become a regular for me in future.

    I really look forward to your comments and blog posts, Congratulations on being one of the more interesting marketers around.

    Trevor – #69

  68. Mike says:

    Yes, Robert,

    Honesty IS the best policy to promote and maintain trust. While it is perfectly legitimate to declare you are limiting access to, for instance, a new item with Resell Rights in order to protect its value for the buyers, it makes no sense to do so for the same item with saleable Master Resell Rights whose value will drop steadily (if not rapidly) as these rights go viral. Better just imply (if not say) “Because I can” or “Because I have other projects in the works, and X number of sales of this one is quite enough to justify the time I’ve already spent on it, so I’m moving on to the next one as soon as my quota for this one is met.”

    You’ve likely lost some sales you could have had with the tactics you’ve used, but you’ve been freed to complete more new offerings in the process. For those who have both the ready cash and the “always-on” email to catch all your many sales before they’re gone, this method is surely appreciated. But for those who (for whatever reason) read their email less frequently, or who don’t always have room to spare on their card, there can be more than a little disappointment about missing your always excellent offerings.

    Of course, that last is the real key: you truly do provide real value in your products, and sustain that with your continuing no-cost updates and enhancements. Accordingly, it really IS a loss to miss one, no matter what the reason.

    But that’s life: we can’t have everything we want just because we want it. Still, most of your products are too useful to retire forever…


  69. Robert Plank says:

    Hey Mike, you make a lot of good points there. A polished turd is still a turd, right? So only use scarcity to enhance an already good offer.

    And to catch the people who check their e-mail less frequently, you build it up a few days or weeks before the launch.

    Just like I did with this blog post. I knew trying to get 100 comments twice in a row would be pushing it, so I sent an e-mail out every day for two days to get people ready to show up at a certain date and time.

  70. Dane Morgan says:

    Well it’s working on me. This is your second scarcity post and I’m commenting again. I just have to be one of the 100 to leave my mark on this post. And I love it.

  71. BarbaraG says:

    Wow! That was an insightful post, Robert. Honestly, you made some great points. I have been caught up in the scarcity strategy more times than I care to admit. What is that anyway? I don’t want to miss out on something that I might not be able to get later on, I guess. Bottom line, it works. But, you are so right about the being honest part. It really irks me when I go back to a webpage weeks later and still see the same numbers there that I saw before about how many copies are left.

    I learned a lot from your post. I will be back to read and learn more from you.

  72. It’s always funny to catch people in “Fake Scarcity”…
    Last night my wife and I went out to dinner at some fancy place (anniversary dinner) and the hostess told us there was no way we could get seated. They were completely booked.

    Luckily my wife is good at charming people and she got the hostess to seat us.

    Funny thing is… we sat at dinner for over 2 hours and no one else ever came in. Just us and one other table.

    Bottom line? You usually get caught… better to just say “because I can”…


  73. Robert Plank says:

    Hey Lance, that’s awesome.

    And remember when we were in downtown Austin a few weeks ago? It was a slow night and they had the shouters outside (whatever they’re called) asking for people to come in offering one dollar shots and whatnot.

    And then you said: if this was Vegas the guys would be smart enough to put a line outside the bar and then everyone would want in.

    And sure enough, later that night we walked past a bar with a loooong line… did anyone know why there was a long line and why they weren’t letting people in?

    Nope, they didn’t need to. Just not being able to get in right away made them want in, no explanation needed.

  74. There are some valid reasons besides “because I can” to limit online sales, particularly if there is service given, a special course with teleconferences. consultations, and other special services associated with the offer.

    I also respond to scarcity very often, but not so much when the only real reason is “because I can,” and not when I’ve seen the same dude use the same tactic 3 months earlier for virtually the same offer.

    Liz Nichols

  75. Robert Plank says:

    Elizabeth, heck yeah… change up the bonuses every time you give the offer so you can’t easily compare them.

    That’s a big problem with people who keep re-launching the same product… why would I want to get it right now if you’ve had the same scarcity play every month for the past 6 months?

    Increase the price, remove bonuses, add a live service to make the scarcity offers incomparable if you repeat them.

  76. Robert,

    I’ve sold $7 ebooks, and $700,000 houses (when that was a big price for a house) and the one thing that will get more sales faster is…


    With a house it’s easy (unless it’s in a cookie-cutter development with 127 others sitting there) but with a digital product, you have to have the balls to STOP SELLING when you get to your cutoff.

    You’ve done this a bunch of times with your list (I’m on it, I’ve bought). We know you’re serious.

    So perhaps we have another concept to go alongside scarcity…

    Training. 😉

    Yep, you have to train your list so they know 100 means 100. If you’ve ever missed a sale on someone’s site and go back 2 weeks later after reconsidering – to get a SOLD OUT notice. You’re trained!

  77. Daviette says:

    I think that ‘Because I can’ is the best strategy for marketing digital products.
    Some folks like to feel as if they are a part of a exclusive club. Some people seem to be addicted to buying things even if they will not use them right away.

    I will definitely use it in my marketing.
    Thanks for the awareness Robert…


  78. Robert,

    Just as the Take away works with product selling, so does “because I can”. I think the scarcity thing is beginning to personally wear me a little thin. No doubt about the fact that it works especially with firm deadlines, like we will accept no more new clients tonight at midnight… Some of them are so ridiculous that I just quit reading and close the page. Just be a little creative with your marketing…

  79. Gary Evans says:

    Hey Robert,
    Thanks for the article, technique and continued education. I have a great deal of experience in life and a passion to share it. I will make a significant effect in this field and I am intently learning the power of it. I have an eight week journey with intricate details and structure. I am gathering any and all powerful learning and result strategies I can employ! Thanks again for this incredible teaching tool you have offered to us. I will succeed—Because I CAN, Too!

  80. Darrel Hawes says:


    The scarcity tactic has absolutely worked on me on a number of occasions.

    It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a:

    * Limited time offer.

    * Limited quantity offer.

    * Or even a “dime sale” (not true scarcity except that you’ll never be able to buy at X price again).

    So… if it’s something I wanted or think I need anyway, scarcity is one of those tools that pushes me over the edge.

    – Darrel Hawes

  81. Robert – not only are you brave enough to ask for the 100 comments – but you follow it up with ACTION. That’s what makes the difference.

    Why can you get 100 comments when others are struggling to get 2 or 3? Because you can! You just ask – and expect it to be so. (then of course the ACTION step.)

    Whether it’s selling a product or selling people on making 100 comments – you do it Because you can.


  82. Robert,

    I must admit I was up late (for me) one night and watched as your counter changed pries at midnight. I was mesmerized by the ide that you raised the price “because you could”. Sticking with what you say and having fun with the process adds to the fun. I have bought the last pair of shoes in my size and did not appreciate the scarcity as much as buying before the price went up.
    You rock, Robert!

  83. John Nada says:

    I often pay attention to scarcity sales but am not very good at offering them. I’ve definitely taken a few pointers away from this post on how to change up my offers while adding value AND maintaining my finger on that scarcity hot button.

    Thanks Robert!

  84. Dave. Doolin says:

    Sitting at Code Camp… Watching a Sproutcore demo…

    Good idea on packaging services. Never seen it done that way.

  85. Robert, you may do it because you can.

    I think sometimes you do it to see what response you will get.

    But you only do it a second time if it worked.
    So, watching your actions is an education for us.

    Thanks, John Williams

  86. Tad says:

    You got me! Scarcity only seems to work on me if: 1) I really want or need it. 2) There is a reason for it to be.

    I like the because “It’s worth it” tactic too.

  87. Ruchi says:

    what about tactics like ‘we’re closing orders on wednesday’ i know you can’t justify why unless you fake a personal trip on the Thursday (to prove your a human they can relate to)

  88. Sherm says:

    I have definitely ordered many products when under the gun of an arbitrary deadline. At first I couldn’t imagine why anybody would refuse to take my money after the deadline, but when I started selling my own product my mind was changed.

    When selling without a deadline the orders would trickle in at a very slow rate. When I took my item off sale and only opened it up for sale for only one week every few months, the orders barrelled in! I sell way more items overall when I use the “because I can” scarcity tactic. Buyers will learn that you’re serious!

  89. “Because I can” is a great mantra for justifying high prices for consulting work. And not just for clients either.

    I’ve found clients just accept it when I started charging higher prices, and a high ticket is an instant authority generator.

    People respect people who have confidence in their abilities, and one way to project that is to charge a reasonably high rate and feel good about it. “Because I can” is not only about feeling OK about billing high, but an explanation for myself as to why I can/should be expensive – because I can do the job better than anyone else.

    Confidence… it rocks. I can already feel a huge boost in mine just from reading this post and the other comments and having a think about it overnight. Thanks, Robert!

  90. Neal says:

    You’re right Robert. The “because i can” and genuinely following through does work for a lot of people.

    I know that I have succumbed to the tactic of incremental pricing in the past.


  91. Doug says:

    Just added an upcoming price increase to one of my recent promotions…”just because I can” – and i have succumb to the technique enough to believe it works.

  92. Michael says:


    I’m leaving this comment because I can (and because you added an unnecessary bribe).

    I don’t know whether you’re right or wrong. I’ll need to test it and get back to you.

    It seems a poor way to build a relationship with a list (all the rage at the moment) and piss them off, but then again who needs them.

    After all, if they don’t like your personality, let them get out of the way of those who do.

    I predict you will soon be one of the “gurus” the rest of us look up to. I already do, but then I’m easy.

  93. Pamela Miles says:

    “Because I want it”…is why I’m leaving another post.

    Thanks Robert!

  94. Olwyn says:

    Lots to think about here, Robert. Does this scarcity tactic work because we want something that others may miss out on or is it purely based on the quality of the product being offered for sale and we want in before the deal closes altogether or the price jumps up? Does bragging really work “because I can” and “the product is worth it” or does it annoy the heck out of possible purchasers? I know it is a great marketing technique but ethically I find it quite annoying and intimidating. Is it about the product or the dollar?

    Food for thought for all of us.

    Many thanks for your kind offer.

  95. Robert,

    I love the idea of “Because I Can”. The underlying point of this statement goes to what you mentioned in other posts is to let people know that you don’t need them as much as they need you.

    I have to work hard at that concept, but I’ve found that it is so true.

    For example, if you are a meeting and everyone is flocking to the “guru”, notice their attitude. The “groupies” as I like to call them, seem so desperate and definitely are actually saying with their actions “I Need You, I Need You…. Please Help Me…”

    Agree or disagree?

    Thanks for the tip.


  96. Jared says:

    Robert, you are great.

  97. Ron Barrett says:

    Hey Robert,

    I agree with you…I distinctly remember a ‘guru’ marketer earlier this year who used the scarcity method and then claimed his servers crashed, so he offered the deal to anyone who wanted it…yea, whatever.

    I really don’t want to leave a comment, but because I can, I will!


  98. Oscar Toft says:

    I think “Because I Can” is as good a reason as any, and like Nathan I also think it boosts your authority.

    My customers paying full price per hour for my IT services is satisfied with my work.

    When I try to be nice to some neighbour, letting him/her pay only half price for helping them out with some IT problem, they very easily think I’m some kind of uneducated guy, not able to charge more. The next time they need some help with something they feel is a complex problem they might contact someone charging them more than I did, wrongly thinking that they will get their problemed solved by a more professional person. You also easily get more problems and unpaid follow up work from those customers.

    P.S.: When dealing with scarcity correct time announcements is important. Check your first mail about this blog post. Noon Pacific Time is not the same as 8 pm GMT. GMT doesn’t change with daylight saving time. People turning up for your blog post at 8 pm GMT would have been one hour late. Noon Pacific Time. this time of the year, equals 7 pm GMT.

  99. Naveed says:

    Hi Robert

    It would be interesting to know the ratio of new customers to existing customers who bought. If the ratio of sales is in favour of existing customers that shows that you have a good relationship with them, that you have trained them well and they don’t mind you saying what you do because you have built good rapport with them.

    New prospects may be put off because there is a fine line between cockiness and confidence but may still buy if your sales letter is good and ticks the right boxes in the prospects search criteria.

    All transactions between humans are based on relationships if you get that right then you’re onto a winner but if you get to be known as a bullshitter then you will ultimately loose and regret it.



  100. Martin says:

    Hi Robert,

    You’re absolutely right.

    Something I need to get nailed down in my campaigns.

    Your programs and advice is always top notch. Keep it coming!


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