Bait And Switch


Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales, but also employed in other contexts.

Bait And Switch

What is ‘Bait And Switch’

A dishonest marketing tactic in which a marketer advertises a very attractive price/rate/term that is really a teaser rate meant to attract customers. Once the customer comes into the store/office to inquire about the advertised price/rate (the “bait”), the advertiser will attempt to sell the customer a more expensive product (the “switch”).

Explaining ‘Bait And Switch’

The bait and switch tactic has gained notoriety in the mortgage market as an unscrupulous marketing tactic meant to drive business. In a mortgage bait and switch an agent or company will post exceedingly low mortgage rates, knowing full well that the vast majority of applicants will be unable to qualify for these teaser rates. Once customers begin to come into the office to inquire about the low rate, the agent will proceed to offer them the higher rates they are more likely to qualify for, thus earning greater commission.

Further Reading

  • Austerity as ideology: The bait and switch of the banking crisis – [PDF]
  • Bait and switch or double-edged sword? The (sometimes) failed promises of calling – [PDF]
  • Economic Crisis and New Social Realities: Bait and Switch and the American Dream—Presidential Address 2010 – [PDF]
  • Fairness and Equity, or Judicial Bait-and-Switch-It's Time to Reform the Law of Just Compensation – [PDF]
  • From Sense to Nonsense and Back Again: SRO Immunity, Doctrinal Bait-and-Switch, and a Call for Coherence – [PDF]
  • The problem of funding off-label deep brain stimulation: bait-and-switch tactics and the need for policy reform – [PDF]
  • Liberalization: How Economic Reforms Consolidated a Bait-and-Switch Male Dominance – [PDF]
  • Trump's bait and switch: Job creation in the midst of welfare state sabotage – [PDF]