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What is Bait and Switch?

By October 25, 2019No Comments

Taking one look at the Car Trackers- Car Buying Center’s Yelp, one can see the solid 4 star rating we have with our customers. With a total of 263 reviews to scroll through, a 4 star rating is admirable. Our rating speaks to the quality of service we aim to give to every customer. Even those who we don’t end up purchasing cars from. However, as you read through the numerous reviews you may start to notice a common phrase used. “Bait and switch” is found in a majority of the lower 1 star reviews. But what exactly is ‘Baiting and Switching’?

Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are “baited” by merchants’ advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items (“switching”).


One of the most famous examples that everyone recognizes is the infamous scene in The Peanuts cartoon. Lucy holds a football to the ground and waits for Charlie Brown to kick it, a split-second before his foot swings forward Lucy removes the ball and Charlie flops onto his back. Lucy was setting Charlie up for disaster. So, as a company, it would be bad business to practice such tactics. Here at Car Trackers, we don’t “bait and switch” and the many five star reviews confirm that for apprehensive customers. In fact, the sheer number of five star reviews greatly outnumber our negative ones.

, What is Bait and Switch?
This famous scene is recognized by everyone. Lucy pulling the football out from under poor Charlie Brown.

In order to explain why people seem to think we bait and switch them, first I have to explain how our process works. All of our offers given over the phone are “up to”, or in other words they are subject to appraisal. The reason for this is we need to see all vehicles before buying them. Would you purchase a car that you’ve never laid eyes on before? The answer to that should be an easy “No way!” Hence why we appraise every vehicle before purchasing.

So, I know the next question pending is “Do you give high offers over the phone just to swap them for a lower one in person?” Again, the answer here is a solid “No.”. There may be cases where our over the phone up to offer is much lower than our final after appraisal offer. However, there are always very detailed reasons for our offers dropping. These reasons are disclosed to every seller as well. Reasons can range from undisclosed accidents on the vehicles to severe interior or exterior damage that we don’t see until we get to the car.

When we give up to offers over the phone, those numbers are based simply on the year, make, model, and mileage. Of course there are other variables that go into pricing vehicles, but those cannot be examined over the phone. We never aim to bait customers with higher offers, we go based off of numbers and averages. It is important to keep this in mind when selling a vehicle to anyone, even private party sales. So, take all those 1 star reviews with a grain of salt, our 4 star average is a clear indicator of our true service.

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