Watch out for the “bait and switch”

“The old bait and switch” is a common term, yet not all drivers know exactly what it means. It might be the oldest trick in a salesman’s book, but that doesn’t stop them from using it time and time again – often successfully.

According to Edmunds, salespeople are quite skilled at this technique, probably because nearly ever dealership and salesperson uses this tactic at some point. Yet that doesn’t mean that drivers have to fall for it.

One of the first steps is to be careful with advertisements. Often, a dealer will lure buyers in with an ad for a car at a low price, then try to talk them into a different vehicle. Sometimes, this phantom car may not have even existed, or if it did, it didn’t stay on the lot fast. Then a salesman will tout how much better another car is – all for an additional 50 to 100 dollars per month. Don’t buy it – if the vehicle that a driver came in for is gone, it’s probably a good idea to walk away.

Of course, one way to avoid the bait and switch is to do research beforehand. Rather than listen to a salesman sell a vehicle, a little time spent online can help drivers pick out exactly what car they want. This way, they don’t get bumped up into a more expensive model.

While online, it might also be a good idea to apply for a car loan. Whether a driver has good or bad credit, arranging their financing ahead of time is just one more thing that the salesman can’t talk to them into or out of at the dealership.