A common sales practice whereby a seller tries to get the customer to order a more expensive item in addition to or in lieu of the requested item. The following are all very common examples of upselling.
- RealPlayer, MusicMATCH Jukebox, and QuickTime asking you to buy the "Plus" or "Pro" versions for an additional charge
- A clerk at the movie theater concession stand asking "Would you like a jumbo soda for only 25 cents more?" Similar to fast food chains asking if you would like to (biggie size | king size | super size) your value meal.
- A pizza parlor offering you breadsticks, soda, Buffalo wings, and other items that are sold at enormous markup
- Any other form of food "add-ons" offered by a waiter (soup, salad, wine, appetizers)
- Electronics store personnel being prompted to offer you a $29.95 extended warranty for your $19.95 tape recorder (I know a guy who successfully sold such a deal -- twice)
- U-Haul asking if you want to Jumbo Size your rental truck for only $10 more (I swear I am not making this up)
- Lavish option packages or frivolous options like undercoating offered by new car salesmen
- Jiffy Lube offering "premium" oil for only $21 more, and also offering to change no fewer than five kinds of fluids for a total of well over $200
- The phone company offering you services like Caller ID, Call Waiting, etc. often in packages to disguise their true cost
- Those infernal credit insurance programs that telemarketers advertise until they're blue in the face
In the retail industry, upselling is a way of counteracting the low margins of some products. Most of the items mentioned above have a trivial cost (two cents' worth of soda for 25 cents more) and are almost entirely profit. Many employees get bonuses based on their ability to upsell. While this is frowned upon by many customers, it is not illegal. There are many rules that separate upselling from bait and switch tactics, namely that upselling can always be refused.