Bait and Switch Advertising and Fraud

New Jersey law defines bait and switch within Administrative Code regulations. As an example, the regulation specifically says that when you advertise a vehicle and it is part of a plan not to sell it or lease it at the advertised price is considered bait and switch.

As an example, if a car dealership would advertise a car for $1, lure potential consumers into the car dealership to purchase a car for $1, and not have it actually ready or available or willing to sell it for $1, this would be considered bait and switch.

There are also terms in the industry such as the golden hammer. An example of this is when there might be a vehicle advertised at a very good price, however, when ultimately, the consumer, arrives at the dealership, it is damaged or has some dings or dents to it and the customer does not want to buy it even at the advertised price.

The very point of bait and switch is to lure customers to the dealership with the promise of low priced automobiles. Also, if the vehicle was actually purchased, they would have to withdraw the advertisement from the newspaper or other published advertisement. In essence, bait and switch is baiting customers and switching them into another car as the term implies. Again, this would violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act in addition to potentially violating other administrative regulations constituting per se consumer fraud under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud. Quite simply, bait and switch is illegal and improper.