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Craigslist & Other Classified Ad Phrases Alternative Meaning Humor

Last updated by on 5 Comments

Why do we dance around the obvious when it comes to classified ads? I was looking through some Craigslist ads the other day and had a moment of pontification while embracing the absurd code-talk. When someone includes this phrase, it generally has an alternate meaning that they don’t really want to say. But wouldn’t it be great if everyone said what they really wanted to? Being a Craigslist power user, I’ve learned how to decode the lingo:

AS IS = This piece of crap is not functional and you sure as hell aren’t returning it if you’re crazy enough to buy it and I won’t be held legally liable if it blows up in your face because I remember this Matlock episode where this guy did and Matlock was able to get him off the hook.

Or Best Offer (OBO) = I know that I’m asking too much for this, but can you at least give me an offer somewhat close to what I’m asking for? Please? Pretty Please?

Price is Negotiable = I know that I’m asking too much for this, but I want you to feel like you got a good deal if you ask me for half price (but honestly, I’d take 25%).

Funny_Craigslist_AdFIRM = I hate haggling. Please don’t haggle with me because I know you’ll win and then I’ll be pissed at myself.

Like New = I only dropped it once, otherwise it’s as good as new.

Must Sell! = I stole this and I need to unload it before the cops catch up with me!

Mint Condition/Never Used = I can’t believe I bought this junk and never used it, but hopefully you’re as gullible as I am because I don’t want to add to my guilt if I have to throw this in the landfill – then I’d be a money waster and earth killer – EEK!!!

Free = It’s a piece of junk, but I will feel so much better if I don’t throw it in the landfill.

Must See! = Hey, if you come over, I think I might just be able to use the negotiation skills that I learned during my brief stint at door-to-door selling during that one dark summer to sell you my stuff, because God knows it’s not good enough to sell itself.

New in Box = I didn’t break it, and luckily I kept the box and with my precision glue-job you won’t be able to tell the difference and you’ll think you got a bargain.

Craigslist/Classified Humor Discussion:

  • What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen in a Craigslist or classified ad?
  • What phrases have you been guilty of and what was the alternate meaning?

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  • Andrew says:

    So funny and so true!

  • Budgeting in the Fun Stuff says:

    My favorite is when ads contradict themselves like “New, only used twice!”

    I actually just sold a bicycle with that wording and didn’t notice until I was taking the ad down how absurd it sounded. The bike was 3 months old, ridden twice by my little sister, and my mom wanted me to sell it for almost what they paid since it never got used. The title said NEW and SHINY and the ad explained the situation…I’m very happy that people understood what I was trying to say since that was pretty dumb to me…

    I put OBO and the wording “or best offer” in almost every ad I post…people like thinking they can haggle, so I price it at the I’d-be-so-happy price and will never go lower than the if-I-go-any-lower-I’ll-be-sad price. Usually there’s 20%-25% wiggle room.

    Right now, I’m selling a box of gamer stuff (original Nintendo games, D&D books, board games, etc) for $85 OBO…I’d be willing to take $50 just to get it out of my house. All of it put together is worth about $125 on Ebay, so I just need to find a lucky buyer who has the time that I don’t…

  • Al says:

    Hah, hilarious stuff. The Matlock reference had me cracking up. We’ve all been guilty of this at one point or another. And yeah, it’s pretty absurd.

  • Credit Girl says:

    Haha I didn’t know what some of those things meant but I certainly do now!

  • Robert says:

    I think my favorite ad I’ve seen was back when the ‘Tickle me Elmo’ doll was a big hit and everyone was fighting to get one. The ad said — and I am paraphrasing – one new Tickle me Elmo doll for $13,500; It comes with a free 1993 Camaro with 50,000 miles.


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