bait and switch

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bait and switch

  1. An unscrupulous and sometimes illegal sales technique, in which an inexpensive product is advertised to attract prospective customers who are then told by sales personnel that the inexpensive product is unavailable or of poor quality and are instead urged to buy a more expensive product.
    • 2002, Jyoti Thottam, "Predators in Paradise?," Time, 7 Oct.,
      Seereeram and other critics say it was a sort of bait and switch. Citibank met with Trintomar three times in the spring of 1992 to pitch its original $66 million refinancing proposal, and in a letter dated Sept. 9, Trintomar asked for a formal proposal. The next day, Citibank sent a letter outlining the extra $96.5 million loan in several pages of eye-glazing detail.
  2. (by extension) Any similar deceptive behavior, especially in politics and romantic relationships.

Related terms[edit]