Pebble Smartwatches Sold Out: A Scarcity Or a Consumer Demand?

Jaycee De Guzman July 12, 2013 0
Pebble Smartwatches Sold Out: A Scarcity Or a Consumer Demand?


Hours after its debut, the Pebble Smartwatches were out of stock, making the debut as the major retailer of electronics. For the company, that is good news. But, the succeeding news and the consumer’s notion and critics according to the Best Buy Website, the “Sold Out” label has something to do with the manufacturing scarcity. According to the Forrester Research senior analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, when people cannot have that, they want that. Pebbles’ management can conclude that the Pebble smartwatches were sold out among typical consumers.

Single Digits Stocking of Pebble Smartwatches

When people raised complaints regarding the scarcity of Pebble smartwaches after its debut, there has been investigation implemented at Best Buy Stores. By 11:05 am, the Best Buy at San Carlos was out of stock of Pebble smart watches.

Certainly, the case is purely anecdotal and doesn’t take into consideration for online orders which received watches through the Best Buy website. Bear in mind that the smartwatch have received over $10 million from backers of more than 69,000 for their product. This has also been acknowledged as a front-runner among product category that is hot enough for giant players, such as Apple and Google to enter the market.

Rumored No Backorders for Pebble Smartwatches

The chief executive officer of Pebble, Eric Migicovsky denied the Rotman Epps’ charge of manufacturing scarcity. According to him, there is no control when it comes to distribution of items to individual stores. He added that stores were not distributed equally. Some received few Pebble smartwatches, while other stores received more. When asked about the estimated number of smartwatches sold, he refused to comment. The Best Buy ordered an X amount of Pebbles, and shipped them with X units.

Pebble Smartwatches Sold Out A Scarcity Or a Consumer Demand (2)


According to the Best Buy’s Director of Public Relations, Jeff Haydock, running out of stocks is pretty normal for high demand consumer products. In such cases, sales associates’ have already backordered the Pebble smartwatches (in aid of store customers) through the internal inventory management systems of Best Buy. Depends on the inventory’s threshold, the internal systems may or may not accept the orders.

The Unspecified Date of Availability

In Pebble’s case even today, the sales associates are not able to place orders on the system. This is because the item is also sold out online, the Pebble smartwatches are also out of stock through the Best Buy website. Authorities at Best Buy could not provide estimated dates for Pebble smartwatch availability again. After the debut at best Buy, the only and best way to order is through the Pebble website.

Is this Officially a Manufacturing Scarcity?

Rotman Epps, the Forrester analyst says that the company is creating a “false scarcity” for their product in the market. “Scarcity creates publicity,” she added.

Rotman Epps also explained that the established companies and startups regulate demand to create such scarcity. She states cases like the Mailbox app, which is a Smartphone app for email management that racked up thousands of users for a short period of time this year. The company utilized the combination of mailbox and invites numbers for marketing. As a matter of fact, at one stage, the waitlist numbers for the app had 380,000 ballooned.

Amazon applied a similar strategy when the Kindle tablet launched a limited edition before distributing the product for wider consumers. Amazon is an established brand with billions of cash for product development, distribution and marketing. Due to the fact that Pebble is a beginner, it has controlled resource at its clearance. Rotman Epps, who’s doubtful about Pebble’s projections, says that propaganda of the company’s products is totally not an indication of demand.

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