Bait and Switch
Sellers sometimes practice a form of false advertising known as bait and switch. A low-priced good is advertised but replaced by a different good at the showroom. The practice is surprising since advertising the wrong good discourages the appropriate buyers from shopping, attracting customers who will be disappointed when they see the good. Firms bait and switch to draw a greater number of shoppers. The cost is that some who would have bought the good that is for sale may not bother to look. Under a variety of conditions, bait and switch is a profitable strategy resulting in a fully rational equilibrium with false advertising. Copyright 1995 by University of Chicago Press.