A-Z Popular Blog Encyclopedia Search »
Business Guide





11 Examples of Bait And Switch

Bait and switch is the questionable practice of offering one thing but delivering another. This is often unethical. The following are illustrative examples.


Bait and switch can be out-and-out fraud. For example, a moving company that quotes a low price but delivers a much higher final bill.

False Advertising

Bait and switch can involve deceptive advertising. For example, a telecom company that advertises monthly fees that don't include basic fees that are effectively required.


Promising to deliver something with the knowledge that it won't be delivered. For example, an airline that aggressively sells a flight it knows will be cancelled that issues low value flight coupons as opposed to refunds.


A title of a link that doesn't truly represent the destination of the link.

Cost Escalation

It is common for a manager or vendor to lowball estimates for a project in order to gain approval. This is done with the knowledge that a firm is unlikely to cancel a project once it's inflight even if it becomes clear costs will be far greater than initial estimates.

Introductory Offer

The practice of offering a low price or rate for a limited time in exchange for signing up for a service. This is done with the knowledge that most customers won't cancel at the end of the introductory period.


Foot-in-the-door is a common sales practice whereby a salesperson closes a sale at a low price in order to establish a relationship that can be leveraged to sell more. For example, a bank that provides a corporate customer with a cheap line of credit in hopes of winning more investment banking business from them.

Razors & Blades

Selling something cheaply that requires regular consumables that are sold at a high price. For example, a printer company that sells printers below cost that requires ink cartridges with an extremely high price per page.

Motte & Bailey

Motte and bailey is an influencing technique whereby an individual pushing a controversial idea retreats to a less controversial position when challenged. For example, an individual selling communism who retreats when challenged to the argument that the rich should pay taxes. Motte and bailey is an analogy to a common two-part castle structure with one part up on a hill that is easier to defend in an attack.

Trojan Horse

Delivering something malicious inside something innocuous. For example, a useful mobile app that is freely provided that contains malicious code.

Final Amendments

The political practice of proposing a relatively non-controversial bill to meet legal requirements for public notice and mandated public hearings. The bill is then extensively reworded and passed in a final session thus effectively bypassing meaningful public review.
Overview: Bait And Switch
The questionable practice of offering one thing but delivering another.
Related Concepts
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.