of, related to, or employing an illegal or unethical sales technique in which a seller lures customers by advertising an often nonexistent item at a bargain price and then attempts to switch their attention to more expensive items
The unethical and illegal practice of a business promoting an item at an especially attractive price with the intention of convincing customers to buy something else that offers the business more profit. The business is likely to begin a bait and switch by telling customers who want to buy the promoted item that it is of inferior quality or is sold out and no longer available.
The practice of advertising a product or service at a low price to bring
customers into a store and, once they are there, urging them to buy a more
expensive product or service by disparaging the original item or by saying that
it is no longer available. This is illegal in most states, especially when the
original product or service was not available at the time it was advertised.
A deceptive commercial practice in which customers are induced to visit a store by an advertised sale item and then are told that it is out of stock or that it is far inferior to some more expensive item. For example, I won't buy a car from this outfit; they're notorious for their bait and switch tactics. The verb to bait has meant to supply a hook or trap with a morsel of food so as to attract a fish or animal since about 1300; the verb to switch has meant to change, alter, or transfer from one thing to another since the 1890s. The pairing of the two, however, dates only from the 1920s, although the practice is surely much older. It is called switch-selling in Britain.