bait and switch

Bait and switch is a tricky method in which a business attracts customers with low prices and then gets them to buy more expensive products instead.

Bait is something used to catch things, like fish. Similarly, bait and switch is a trick used by businesses to lure customers into their stores. Usually, the bait and switch will start with advertising an extremely low price for something that's usually expensive. That's the bait that gets people into the store. Then, the sale item will be out of stock, but other—more expensive—items will be available. That's the switch. Bait and switch is deceptive and unethical.

Definitions of bait and switch
  1. noun
    a deceptive way of selling that involves advertising a product at a very low price in order to attract customers who are then persuaded to switch to a more expensive product
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    type of:
    marketing, merchandising, selling
    the exchange of goods for an agreed sum of money
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