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In Short Supply

5 ways to use scarcity and exclusivity to fuel sales and boost your bottom line

learn more about Kim T. Gordon

By Kim T. Gordon • Jun 1, 2004

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Remember the last time you stood in line to get into a hot newclub or eagerly searched the Web for a rare, prized collectible?Scarcity and exclusivity drive demand. They make us long for whatseems hardest to possess, and we'll move mountains-and spendfortunes-to acquire the objects of our desire.

About 14 years ago, a Japanese collector purchased VanGogh's "Portrait of Dr. Gachet"-a rare and uniquework by an artist who sold only one painting in his entirelifetime-for $82.5 million. Today, that remains the highest priceever paid for a piece of art at auction. And in 1999, a one andonly item, Lou Gehrig's last glove from his final game on April30, 1939, set world records by selling for the astonishing price of$389,500.

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