Limited Availability

Limit time and supply to drive urgency

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Many travel services like to remind people that plane tickets and hotel rooms are inherently limited in supply.

Taking away something, or making something that once was accessible inaccessible is a powerful way to call on the scarcity principle. Things that become less available are actually seen as more valuable than things that have always been unavailable.

Airbnb has a few messages to trigger this feeling. One is to tell users that the place they’re looking at is a rare find. This feels like a compliment and warning all in one: you better act soon before someone else takes away your discovery.

Limited Availability

The other message that Airbnb commonly uses is “this home is on people’s minds.” By showing how popular the home is through view count and a not-so-subtle stopwatch, Airbnb nudges users to book soon, before tens of thousands of other people take action first. The hint of competition also makes scarce resources seem all the more attractive.

Limited Availability

While it’s simple, it works. I often act with a little more haste when I think that I might lose a great travel deal to someone else.