Bait and Switch Advertising

Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 231

Definition: Bait and Switch Advertising

Bait and Switch Advertising is a form of advertising in which first customers are lured for products  with discounts or at low prices (Bait)  & when they visit the store, they find that the advertised product is not available on the store or they are pressurized to buy similar product but with a higher price ( Switching). This type of advertising is considered wrong. There is also substantial legalization in the US against this. Also this type of advertising is most prevalent in the retail space.

The Intention:  Here, the intention of the marketers is to increase the sales of the substituted goods. Also satisfying the customers with the available stock offered. At times it is also the motivation to sell a similar product with a higher margin.

In various countries like England this form of advertising is banned. Apart from the retail sector, this form of advertising is also heavily used in the Airline Industry, Travel Industry & also in the Hotel Industry.

One of the tools used in bait & switch advertising is not just in the retail space but also in terms of financing etc. It is also used by financing companies which use it by showcasing lower interest rates for items such as Cars, Homes etc.

It is also used to drive foot traffic to the store. For example If I am offering a free mouse with  a new purchase of a laptop. It will drive the traffic to the store but the offer is only till the supplies last. Most of the customers will be coming when the supplies will be exhausted. Hence the Retailer is in profit as it has sold it’s laptop, made new customer engagements, increased the foot traffic. Thus helping to efficiently drive up sales. The Bait & Switch Technique is also known as a “ Sequential Request”.


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