Okay, now we’re going to talk about the grand dad of all marketing scams, the good old Bait and Switch. Frankly I can’t believe in this day and age that this tired scam is still being used- I mean how many times will Charlie Brown try and kick that football that Lucy is holding before he finally gives up and punches her one…or at least goes and buys a kicking tee for cripes sake.
As a flooring retailer this one really irritates. We don’t do any of this crap, but we have to deal with the customer that comes in our stores with a giant chip on their shoulder because of it.
“Good morning Ma’am, welcome to the Car-“”yeah, morning, I’m just going to look around, is that OKAY!?!”….”well sure it’s okay, can I point you in the right di-“”Oh sure! You’d LIKE that, WOULDN’T you!? I’ll have you know that I’ve done my homework and I’m not going to fall for any of your ‘good morning ma’am’ trickery!”
Yep, the bait and switch. Here are some examples:
Whole house carpet cleaning $39!!
-please, show me one example of someone getting an entire house of carpet cleaned for $39
Drive away in this brand new Cadillac for $299 a month! – except when you get there they tell you that you were five minutes toooooo late darnit! They just sold the last one, but lemme show you this little number right over here…
Please, you could have shown up at that dealership the night before the ad ran and it still would have been too late. Oh, and while you’re there be sure to ask about the 0% financing they were offering too, I’m sure lots of people qualify for it.
There are tons of examples out there but the basic jist of it is that they lure you in with too good to be true offers and once you walk in they steer you towards other more lucrative items. A total scam, often times illegal, and you should not do business with anyone using any version of it. This goes double for flooring dealers. I am ashamed to say that our industry is one of the biggest culprits of the bait and switch. I can’t remember the last flooring ad I saw that didn’t have “.59 sf porcelain tile – (while supplies last, and we only have 98sf)” or 3 rooms of carpet installed for $299 (as long as your rooms are 5×5 or smaller)
Phooey. You should always be suspicious of these offers, and be suspect of the retailer offering them. Until things change you will unfortunately have to sift through a lot of it to accomplish your new flooring purchase, so I encourage you to put on your “if it looks too good to be true” blinders on and again -do your homework before arriving at the store. Educate yourself using unbiased resources, and check out the dealer’s reputation online before you go in.
…..which brings me to the topic of my next blogpost, the current champion of all dirty pool bait and switch gimmicks, the “Private Label” scam.