Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
Bait and switch is a deceptive means of sales where a product is advertised at an attractive price (bait) then the price or product is altered to the advantage of the advertiser (switch). The bait and switch tactic is often fraudulent and illegal, but sometimes a bait and switch can be performed in a more subtle and therefore technically legal manner. Often the consumer will grudgingly accept the bait and switch offer after investing considerable time and money on a particular purchase. For example, the bait and switch tactic may be used in mortgage sales when one interest rate is promised, but a higher rate is offered at closing. Not every counter-offer should be construed as a bait and switch.
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This glossary post was last updated: 4th February, 2020