We’ve all seen it: an advertisement for a nice big TV at an unbelievable price.  You get all psyched up about it, rush to the store the morning the sale starts only to find that the TV you want is already sold out.  You may not find the TV you wanted, but what you are sure to find is an eager salesperson who is all too willing to show you a comparable, but probably more expensive TV for you to buy.  

This is a bait and switch sales tactic, it’s illegal, and it’s something you need to recognize and avoid being sucked into.  Retailers will stock a small quantity of the item that is on sale, with the full intention of immediately running out. They will also stock plenty of similar products with beefier profit margins for the store; those are the items they actually want to be selling.  The unbelievable sale you saw was just a way to get you into the store to buy other products; the store never had the intention of selling more than a handful of the deeply discounted item.

Avoid being a victim of the bait and switch tactic.  When you go into a store to take advantage of a mind-blowing sale, make a promise to yourself (before you enter the store) that you are going to buy only the specific product you came for; the one on sale.  If the product you wanted isn’t in the store, just leave and buy nothing…don’t let the retail bullies win! Better yet, if you become aware that you are the victim of a bait and switch scheme, speak to a store manager, call them out on it and let them know that you know it’s illegal. Who knows, that might get you an even better deal than the original sale you came for!

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