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27 Comments

Fake sales, unethical?

  1. 13

    Is this a real question? Of course it is. You really want to start your relationship with your customers by lying to them?

  2. 5

    Unethical. And most people can see through this BS anyway.

    Focus on making one actual customer very happy. That's all you need for some great social proof.

  3. 4

    My first reaction was: I hate people like you who do that.
    But mainly because I know how effective it is. It's bizarre how effective.
    Although, after reading the comments here, I realised it's not unethical. It's not like those "fake gurus" as someone else claimed - only if you were selling crap too, it would be. The fact that you think about it so much that you even go on IH to post about it.... You are not like them.

    I've met people who wouldn't even think for a second about using the most unethical "hacks" to sell crap. You have already proven that you are not like them.
    Sure, that doesn't make unethical actions ethical - because that would be pretty self-righteous - but:
    How many girlfriends/boyfriends have you had that you didn't fall in love with in the first second, but were later grateful that you somehow got together... some of them may have (probably) used some of those very bad, unethical real-life black-hat methods, like "don't call back for 3 days to make yourself seem busy and popular and..." or similar...? I think my point is clear.

    I hated that. Still, it works. And actually, if it worked on me, I'm grateful for it. Otherwise, I would have missed out on a few girls in my life who have made my life much better thanks to their popularity hack or whatever you want to call it.

    So what I'm saying is: if possible, offer a refund option & go for the "fake bar".
    Because most likely the bar is just a little nudge in the right direction. But in the unlikely event that it was exactly this fake bar that made the user buy and he ends up being unhappy with the product and feels screwed: offer a refund... and then? What's the harm?!

    Methods themselves are rarely unethical. It depends on who uses them and for what. Just keep in mind: the end does not justify all means!

    1. 2

      wow that's a great answer. Thanks for your kind words!. I think I agree with you on most of it. It is a very controversial topic, and that's why I did the question, but at the same time, I don't see it as such a terrible unethical/evil move. thanks again!

  4. 4

    I've always found "Only X left" things very manipulative. Either show me the product if it's available or don't.

  5. 3

    It's not unethical if you buy it yourself with your fake money.

    1. 1

      hahaha nice I like your approach.

  6. 3

    Yes, it's unethical. Yes, people are often unethical. You're welcome.

  7. 2

    Honestly, it seems fine to me. I actually kinda like this UX, it's smart. I personally like mildly evil UX since I think it's more interesting than boring, standard UX. But if it'll make you personally feel bad then don't do it.

  8. 2

    Showing progress is perfectly ethical.

    Lying about it is always unethical.

  9. 2

    Yeah, I'd call it unethical and even worse, bad marketing, if you are desperate for some type of hack to increase lifetime deal sales, use a countdown timer not fake sales.

    1. 0

      Countdown timers are also lies.

      1. 2

        Less of a lie than fake customers, so IF you are desperate I'd suggest that over fake sales, don't you agree? Plus, I always suggest if you have a timer, stick to it.

        1. 1

          In an ethics forum you are asking me to choose evil when I can choose not to do evil. I reject your assertion.

          1. 2

            You're telling me that it is unethical to have a cutoff time for a lifetime deal and then countdown to that cutoff time and stick to it? So, let's say a LFT ends midnight Dec 31, and you countdown to that time, that is unethical? Please clarify

      2. 1

        Why the countdown timers would be a lie? If I just make that offer available for that certain time? what is wrong with that?

        1. 1

          Thats it. dont Listen to the Nonsenses here

  10. 1

    Sure, faking it can work and sell some stuff for you. I see sales people doing it all the time in the real world. But I still wouldn't consider it a good or an ethical way to sell a product/service.

    BUT the biggest issue for me is that using a tactic like this can be a very slippery slope to doing it more in the future. "OK, I've done it once and it worked. Should I do it again? What else can I fake than a progress bar? Can I fake some part of the products too?" And soon you're on the scamming path, not actually trying to provide value for your customers.

  11. 1

    In the scheme of unethical things in the world, this ranks very low. I don't see an issue with it..

  12. 1

    ...and not a single soul admitted.

    We are living in a cruel world Nicolas, brace yourself brotha!

    There is no urgency in between 50 and 40 and there is no comparison to see what price it's going to be.

  13. 1

    I don’t see this as any different to “fake it till you make it” to be honest.

    1. 1

      Yes, in fact, I would say that doing this is exactly following that motto. But at the same time, I believe that most people don't think that “fake it till you make it” is ethical haha. I believe that it could give you some great results, but sometimes you need to see how will you feel after doing it.

  14. 1

    “Limited to 40 deals” and remove the progress bar.

  15. 1

    You can create a sense of urgency by limiting the number of offers and/or limiting the time you are willing make the offers. But don't lie about it.

    I find that using a limited time offer or a limited qty offer is frequently sufficient for someone who is already interested in your product - if you can adequately differentiate the deal from your normal pricing, and convey why the deal is so special/unique/extraordinary.

    But don't lie about it.

    1. 1

      yeap, Most people agreed that is unethical, and I understand most of the points. So probably I'll hide the bar until I make a sale, or offer the LTF for a limited time. Thanks for your comment!

  16. 1

    If you want to go the extra mile there are lots of plugins to create unethical FOMO in your visitors... Why stop at the progress bar?

    :(

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