The Exclusivity Trap: 3 Reasons It's So Effective
Star Wars - Disney merchandise

Money at 30: The Exclusivity Trap

If you’re reading this article shortly after it’s posted, there’s a good chance that I am currently on Disney’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. In case you missed my previous post on the matter, this is a pricey experience — and one that can get even more costly if you let it. Once onboard, while things such as food, beverages (minus alcohol) and, later, park tickets are included with your room rate, there are some merchandise items available for purchase that cannot be bought elsewhere.

As you can imagine, this can lead to some very real temptation and FOMO for collectors and everyday customers alike. In fact, exclusivity is an effective trick that retailers and other brands looking to get us to spend money often use. So why does it work? Here are three reasons why “exclusive goods” can lead consumers to buy things they otherwise might not.

3 Reasons Exclusivity Is An Effective Marketing Tactic

It makes us feel special

Let’s face it: a big reason why we want to purchase items that are being billed as “exclusive” is so that we can feel special. In our Starcruiser example, having this specialty merchandise will immediately broadcast to our fellow Disney geeks and parkgoers that we were among the early adopters of this new experience — and don’t you wish you were as cool as us?! Sure, we may try to justify picking up these items as souvenirs or “something to remember the experience by,” but make no mistake that the slight feeling of superiority you’ll receive along with the items themselves is definitely billed into the price.

It demands a timely decision

The best purchases we make are those that we have time to fully consider, assess, and even price hunt for. Alas, that’s not often possible when it comes to exclusivity. After all, this opportunity is only coming around once so you’d better not miss it. In reality, purchases made under such conditions can easily lead to what’s known as “buyer’s remorse” — but, in the moment, many of us can only think of what will happen if we don’t pull the trigger and open our wallets. However silly, we all fear the one that got away… even if that’s a t-shirt.

It implies scarcity

Going hand in hand with the timeliness that exclusive items demand, there’s also the implication that these items are in high demand and may not be available to you for long. Of course, this might not be entirely true, but we worry it might be. While it may be the case that these items are only sold by Disney as part of this experience, who’s to say how long these particular pieces of merchandise will be sold? In other words, the pin you impulse bought for fear of never having the opportunity to buy it again may well still be available 10 years from now — not to mention that Disney is under no obligation to keep the items exclusive forever. Unfortunately, by the time that happens, the damage is already done.

To be clear, I’m don’t mean to imply that it’s never a good idea to purchase exclusive items when presented with the opportunity. Instead, I’m merely suggesting that consumers acknowledge the mind tricks at play in these situations and navigate them accordingly. Then, if you decide the purchase is right for you, congratulations! But, if you start to realize (like I often do) that the promise of exclusivity is really what’s attracting to an item and not the item itself, it may be best to just walk away and leave that piece of gold for some other sucker.


Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

2 Qatar Airways Privilege Club Credit Cards

Cardless Launches Two Qatar Airways Co-Branded Credit Cards

The FinTech startup Cardless is partnering with Qatar Airways to offer two new co-branded cards to the American market. About the cards: Recently, Cardless introduced its two latest rewards credit cards: The Qatar Airways Privilege Club Signature Card and the Qatar Airways Privilege Club Infinite Card. Starting with the Signature card, it earns 4x Avios on Qatar Airways purchases plus 2x Avios on dining purchases, and 1x Avios on all...
Yendo logo and credit card

Vehicle-Secured Credit Card Company Yendo Raises $165 Million

A FinTech that offers the first-ever credit card secured by a customer's vehicle has announced its latest round of funding. About the round: This week, Yendo announced that it had raised $165 million. However, this includes $150 million in debt financing and $15 million in equity. The debt portion was led by i80 group, while the strategic investors that participated in the equity round were not disclosed. Yendo previously raised...
woman holding her hands to her temple thinking

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: Worst Time to Buy a House? There Are Always Exceptions

If you've been thinking about buying a house, looking at the news lately has likely disheartened you. As CNN reports, a recent Gallup poll found that 76% of Americans believe it's a bad time to buy — with only 21% saying it's a good time. There are several reasons for that sentiment, with the top two being the combination of high interest rates and high home prices. So, are you...

Leave a Reply

The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get the Latest News Delivered to Your Inbox

A Guide to Building Credit and Increasing Your Credit Scores

When it comes to credit, there’s some good news. The average credit score in the United States has been steadily rising in recent years, coming in at 715 in 2023. That may be because, today, consumers not only have more ways to access their credit reports and scores than ever before but also because there are an increasing number of options that Americans have for building credit in the first...

2024 SoFi Checking and Savings Review

Ever since I started taking an interest in the FinTech sector, one company whose name I’ve seen pop up over and over again is SoFi. Lately it seems as though that theme has been sent into overdrive as the company has not only become a household name thanks to its stadium naming rights deal but also because of the company’s continued product expansions. The most interesting development in my mind...
Brim logo

Brim Financial Raises $85 Million as It Eyes Global Expansion

Toronto-based FinTech infrastructure startup Brim Financial has announced a new funding round. About the round: Brim has revealed an $85 million round. The Series C was led by EDC Investments while new investor Vistara Growth and returning investors White Owl Group, Epic Ventures, and Zions Bank also participated. To date, the company has now raised $110 million including a Series B in 2021. According to Brim, the latest funding will...
Chase Freedom Flex card

Chase Reveals Q2 2024 Freedom 5%(+) Bonus Categories

Chase has announced its bonus category picks for the second quarter of 2024 — including some interesting twists. About the categories: As April approaches, Chase has revealed what categories Freedom and Freedom Flex cardholders can earn bonuses on. From April 1st through June 30th, customers can earn 5% (or more) in three categories:, Hotels, and Restaurants. Similar to how Chase embraced a "New Year, New Me" theme last quarter,...
Rent Day

Bilt Announces Home Collection Deal for May 2024 Rent Day

For May's Rent Day, Bilt is offering a deal that will allow members to decrease their rent bill while also adding to their home decor. About the Home Collection offer: Bilt has crafted a unique Rent Day offer for May 2024. Through the 1st, when Bilt members redeem their points toward rent payments, they'll receive the same number of points to be used toward Bilt Home Collection items. To take...