The leading business activity of the Internet is surveillance. The second largest category is trickery and the use of “dark patterns” to persuade you to take action – often, and probably usually, based on falsehood.
We’ve all seen these games:
The most common dark pattern is scarcity bias: Put an item in your cart, and you’ll be served a message claiming “Only eight left in stock!” thereby urging you to buy immediately before the item is gone.
Major fashion retailers often tease a sudden, temporary drop in prices, crowning a page with a banner reading “Sale ends soon!” and a countdown timer. The “urgency” creates anxiety and uncertainty, pushing us to take advantage of lower prices immediately.
The third most frequent pattern, “social proof,” has to do with the pop-up messages displayed on the sidebar of some sites: “90 people have viewed this item!”; “Joanne from Florida just saved on a sweater!” The tactic harnesses the power of both bandwagon thinking (This is popular, so I should get it) and scarcity (If I don’t get it, someone else will).
Read the whole thing: How Dark Patterns Online Manipulate Shoppers – The Atlantic
Everything online is designed to manipulated your thinking, your beliefs and your actions. Not surprisingly, your brain is no longer your own.
And yes, a lot of sales people really are evil and not looking to meet your needs.