How to avoid the “Bait and Switch” Scam?
The “bait and switch” scam is a common advertising scam. It is practiced mainly when selling vehicles; however, there are cases when the scam is practiced during the sale of other consumer products, as well.
The scam involves advertising a specific vehicle on the Internet or in a magazine and then switching the potential buyer from the advertised vehicle from another one usually with a higher price.
Sometimes, when the car shopper goes to the dealership, he/she is offered the same vehicle as in the advertisement. But the thing is that the vehicle usually comes without cables and other necessary equipment the installation of which turns out to cost a huge amount of money.
Another way the dealer may rip off a car shopper is telling him/her that the advertised vehicle has just been sold. Then they will try to sell you a similar vehicle that costs a lot more money.
In the dealership, the dealer is able to manipulate with the situation as he/she wishes. It is quite easy for them to convince a buyer and make him/her purchase any vehicle as long as the buyer is in the showroom.
The “bait and switch” scam may be avoided if you follow the given tips:
- Research car prices online before entering the dealership. This will prevent you from buying a vehicle not worth buying.
- Be careful when reading the advertisement notices either on the Internet or in printed magazines. Dealers usually include the limitation of the deal in the fine print. Thus, do not omit what is said in the fine print.
- If you visit a car dealership and you feel that the dealer is using aggressive tactics to make you purchase the vehicle, leave the dealership immediately.
- Do not visit a car dealership alone. Take a friend or a family member with you to give you good advice when you are in the dealership.
At the end
Being one of the oldest tricks in the book, the “bait and switch” scam may be rather hard to detect. Hopefully, this article will help you being scammed. Be careful when reading car advertisements, or going to car dealerships and purchasing vehicles.