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The Effects of Scarcity Appeal on Product Evaluation: Consumers' Cognitive Resources and Company Reputation

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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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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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