When things go on sale, (while supplies last, our annual savings event, end-of-season markdowns) it is a combination of scarcity and abundance.
Abundance because there's more here for the person who takes action. More variety, more for your money.
And scarcity, because sales never last forever.
We can get a lot of mileage out of telling ourselves and our friends that we bought it on sale.
Sales are effective for two kinds of mindsets:
The person who is wired to enjoy the sport of the sale. You'll find people clipping grocery coupons who charge an hourly rate far higher than the money they're saving on coupons. They're not doing it for the money, necessarily, they're doing it because of how it makes them feel (like an active participant, like someone ahead of the pack). This person is attracted to the potential abundance of buying on sale.
And the person who was interested but had no real reason to take action. If what's on offer today is going to be on offer tomorrow, better to just wait. The scarcity that a sale creates means that the feeling of missing it, of being left out, is compelling enough that it's better to take action now than it is to wait.
It doesn't matter what the sale is ostensibly for. The sale is a signal, a chance to sit up and take notice and possibly take action.
[And today, in honor of the last day of the production of the Model T, as well as Harlan Ellison's birthday, two sales, each for just 48 hours, each limited to just 1,000 orders...]
40% off my freelance course via Udemy. Use code HarlanEllison.
40% off the party pack of my latest book, What To Do When It's Your Turn, also use code HarlanEllison. The three-pack actually includes 5 books, meaning they are less than $9 a copy.