Bait and Switch Advertising

Author - Mohd. Arham


Bait and Switch Advertising


The bait and switch marketing technique has existed and worked for a long time especially during the late ’90s and in the early 2000s but now the scene has been changed completely. Consumers have become more advance and careful and tricks like this are longer luring them to buy the products.


Working of Bait and Switch


Bait and Switch is the process of advertising where the dealer shows the product which is out of stock and on getting the order, they ask the customer to buy similar other product which is of higher cost or of different brands which the dealer wants to sell it. This shows that the customer has been “baited” by showing a low price product and then “switched” to a high price for another product.


From the customer's point of view its wrong and unethical but from marketers’ point of view it may seem correct, hence it is also called false Advertising. To get avoid from getting caught many retailers or e-commerce firm shows only limited stock remaining so that when they “switch” the product they can be safe and have a reason for it. Another Style or trick used by the retailers is that they advertise the product in stock but still do the switching of the product first. Baiting or attracting the customer is not wrong but switching the product while it's still in the stock is wrong.




Some Examples -


Clothes—In many shops, it shows Buy 1 for $3.00 and Buy 2 for $5.00its a type of lucrative deal to attract the customer that to buy both he must spend a higher amount.

Another could be the item showing the price $4.99 for today only but, its actual price is only $4.99 this is just to attract and buy as soon as possible.


Vehicle—In car dealership advertisement it is used commonly by showing the low price of the car and by the time buyer reached the shop the dealer says it's out of stock and in that case, he shows the different car with the higher price. Legally it's correct because the car dealer may have 1 stock of that particular and it got sold but showing different car of higher price is Switching.



Common bait and switch marketing accidents -


  • Attracting traffic to your product by using a competitor's name -

It normally happens when a retailer tries to show its product or compare it with the competitor’s product. This creates confusion and misleading for the customers and they accidentally click on the link which lands into the retailer’s website.

For example, if a person has a brand or product name Such Hennery Paul, he might label it as hp which is a famous company Hewlett-Packard which can mislead the customers.

  • Use of non-related or arbitrary keywords for SEO bait and switch -


In order to rank high in the search engine, some marketers make use of the keywords which are not relevant to their product but due to the competition, they use such keywords. Such as if a retailer is selling only laptops, he uses keywords such as printers, mouse, keyboards. So that when people google such words, they appear on the top.


Do you realize that you are charged for every click on your ad online whether it turns to sale or not? This expensive technique is called black hat tactic in SEO term. With this technique, you are working towards "100% traffic & 0% sales.


Do let us know in the comment section or our LinkedIn page if you are ever trapped into Bait & Switch Advertising. Don't forget to follow our Newsletter ;)


Till then Ciao :)


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