What is Bait and Switch?

Bait and Switch

“Bait and Switch” is a type of advertising fraud that involves offering a product at a very low price and then switching the potential buyer onto another product with a higher price and an inferior quality. This scam may be practiced when selling any kind of goods; starting with electronic items and ending with automobiles.


Let us see what specifics vehicle Bait and Switch has. The scenario of vehicle Bait and Switch is the following: a buyer sees a car advertisement in their local newspaper or on a news website. The vehicle price is usually surprisingly high. The advertised vehicle is a dream car with all the features any car shopper would dream about. The potential buyer hurries up to the dealership for the advertised vehicle. However, as soon as the car shopper is in the dealership, he/she finds out that the desired vehicle is out of stock. Instead, the salesperson offers the buyer another vehicle at a higher price and with less charming features.


In another scenario, the advertised vehicle may turn out to be a real wreck offered at a low price and with numerous add-ons that the buyer has to pay extra money for.


Of course, one can avoid becoming a victim of such a fraud. Number one step you should take is reading the fine print of the car advertisement. The second crucial step you should take is just having the courage to say a definite “No” to whatever bothers you. Be ready to leave the dealership at any moment. If you are confident enough to leave the showroom at any moment, the salespeople will surely feel this and will be more honest with you.


This is what “Bait and Switch” is in general. Feel free to add stories of your own experiences below in the comments’ section.