Bait and Switch

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Bait and Switch

A deceptive sales technique that involves advertising a low-priced item to attract customers to a store, then persuading them to buy more expensive goods by failing to have a sufficient supply of the advertised item on hand or by disparaging its quality.

This practice is illegal in many states under their Consumer Protection laws.

bait and switch

n. a dishonest sales practice in which a business advertises a bargain price for an item in order to draw customers into the store and then tells the prospective buyer that the advertised item is of poor quality or no longer available and attempts to switch the customer to a more expensive product. Electronic items such as stereos, televisions, telephones are favorites, but there are also loan interest rates which turn out to be only for short term or low maximums, and then the switch is to a more expensive loan. In most states this practice is a crime and can also be the basis for a personal lawsuit if damages can be proved. The business using "bait and switch" is an apt target for a class action since there are many customers but each transaction scarcely warrants the costs of a suit alone.

References in periodicals archive ?
Also, be aware of the Frankel-type bait-and-switch.
Bush's Baghdad bait-and-switch, two are particularly worthy of attention.
employ bait-and-switch and other aggressive sales tactics to sell
Given this city's history of bait-and-switch developments, no one can fault council members for being apprehensive.
Like the 1999 "Battle in Seattle," the Washington "peace" march illustrated the Communist network's skill at organizing mass protests using front groups and bait-and-switch tactics.
Indeed, one might go so far as to accuse Yergin and Stanislaw of playing a game of bait-and-switch.
Buggy software, bait-and-switch advertising, corporations that harvest personal information and sell it for a profit--mediocrity comes in many guises.
The Department of Corporations today warned consumers to beware of a bait-and-switch scam using CDs to lure seniors into buying risky financial products.
Even when you do your homework and study the plans thoroughly, (beneficiaries) are still likely to find out it's a bait-and-switch,'' Waxman said.