Bait and switch trick

I guess you could call a bait-and-switch a “trick”.

This is an internationally used sales tactic in which a customer is attracted (bait) by the advertisement of a low-priced item but is then encouraged to buy a higher-priced item (switching).

A customer is attracted by a favorable offer and finds that the item is unavailable, or available only in insufficient quantity. As the customer is disappointed by acquiring nothing at all, he/she is well placed to purchase more expensive available stock offered, potentially considering the substitute a similarly good deal. Sellers often won’t show the advertised product at all but will present an analogical product with a higher margin instead.

Such procedures may be subject to lawsuit by customers for false advertising. However, no cause of action exists if the vendor is capable of actually selling the advertised products, but aggressively pushes a competing item.

This kind of approach was used by a hustling friend of mine to verify demand for a product without actually owning the item in advance. Let’s say he was planning on buying sunglasses in China and reselling them online in the United States. To minimize the risk of beeing left to foot the bill he published a product listing using the suppliers photography, descrpition etc. and started accepting orders (all before ordering the glasses from China). He then emailed the buyers, apologized for the item beeing out of stock and offered them additional “discounts”, if they were willing to wait 7–14 days for the item to be delivered. Most of the time the buyers said yes. He ordered the specific amount of sunglasses bought by customers and almost completely eliminated any risk of losing money. This is very “blackhat”, still I found this pretty cool, when I heard it.

Hope this helps… Good luck!

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