A woman on TikTok claims to have discovered a car dealership scam: Bait and switching consumers by offering trade-ins, only to try and trick them into buying a new vehicle.
In a TikTok video with over 212,000 views, Nilsa (@nilsaprowant) shares that she got a call from the dealership where she had an upcoming service appointment for her car. The caller said they had a customer who was interested in buying her car—and offered her a new car for a cheaper price.
Nilsa says she was intrigued by the offer as she was looking for a more affordable car. She agreed to come in and check out the new car, which was a 2022 BMW X4 for $39,000—a year older than her current car, “but a bigger model.” However, when she arrived at the dealership, she was told that the specific car had already been sold that morning. Instead, the worker offered more expensive cars.
She recounts saying, “I definitely want a cheaper car. I’m not buying brand new,” to which the worker responded, “You know what, we just don’t have anything.”
Is this really a trick they do to get you to buy a new car?♬ original sound – Nilsa
Nilsa speculates the dealership was lying to lure her into buying a new car, captioning the video, “Is this really a trick they do to get you to buy a new car?”
The video sparked a near-immediate response from viewers, who shared their own experiences and opinions on car dealership scams.
“Never trade your car in. Always sell it outright and YOU make the profit… Not them!” one commenter advised.
“bmw does this every single time I make an appointment lol they just want more money,” another claimed.
“Bait and switch!!!” a third said.
This isn’t the first time car dealerships have been criticized on the video-sharing platform. In October of 2023, car salesmen went viral for sharing what you should never say at a dealership. In October of 2022, another creator went viral with similar bait-and-switch scam allegations.
A bait-and-switch scam is a form of fraud in which a seller offers or advertises a bargain deal in an attempt to “bait” the buyer, only to then switch it around with a more expensive alternative. This practice is illegal in the United States.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Nilsa via TikTok direct messages for comment.