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What Craigslist Ads REALLY Mean

Updated on March 1, 2015
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 5 years. She covers a wide variety of topics - anything from hamsters to office work.

The Fine Art of the Craigslist Ad

Craigslist is one of the most useful websites on the internet right now. Do you want to buy a cow for your farm? It's on Craigslist. Do you want to buy a Ford Pinto from the 1970s? It's on Craigslist. Do you need a new job, a new house, and maybe a new boyfriend? It is all on Craigslist!

Of course, with an amazing assortment of items and services like that, every type of person is going to use Craigslist. Each person placing an ad is trying to sell you something on some level. Naturally, the best way to sell anything (or anyone, for that matter) is to describe the person, item, or job in the best possible light. Over the years, I've started to notice a pattern in the way certain ads are worded. I am here to help you decipher the true meaning behind some of the most popular phrases on Craigslist.

Property Rental / Sale

Popular Phrase - Real Meaning

  • Lived-in Look - Old
  • Fixer Upper - Really old. Roof probably caving in.
  • Reasonably Priced - Maybe, maybe not.
  • Call for Price - You will never be able to afford this.
  • Priced to Sell - No one wants to buy this place.
  • Cute or cozy - So small no one weighing more than 100 pounds or over 5 foot tall will live here.
  • Rustic or Plenty of Privacy - No stores or medical help anywhere for miles. Hope you like bears and raccoons!
  • Charming - Lots of things are broken or old, but that adds to the "charm."
  • Convenient City Location (and low price) - Bring your gun.


Popular Phrase - Real Meaning

  • Flexibility Required - You are going to be forced to work the worst hours ever.
  • Evenings and Weekends Required - You will never see your family again.
  • Self Starter or Fast Learner - We aren't going to bother training you.
  • Positive Attitude - No matter how much we screw you over, you better keep that smile on your face.
  • Great Benefits (no salary mentioned) - The pay is going to be dreadful.
  • Seeking Open-Minded Applicant - Beware! This one could involve porn.
  • Fast Paced Environment - Do you like being so overworked you are crying in the bathroom? This is the job for you!
  • Challenging Environment - You won't have time for lunch breaks, our clients are grumpy, and your co-workers are obnoxious. Good luck!
  • Temporary Position, Could Lead to Permanent - We are going to test you out first, but pretend the permanent position never panned out if we don't like you.
  • Start Immediately - The last person in the position walked out.
  • Professional Appearance Required - The last person in the position wore sweat pants and fuzzy slippers, and was fired.
  • Professional Attitude - Please don't use the word "ain't" all the time or hit on the clients.
  • Previous Applicants Need Not Apply - We didn't like you before and we won't like you now.


Popular Phrase - Real Meaning

  • Free to Good Home - I am desperate to get rid of this animal.
  • Free - I am really desperate. I don't care what you do to this animal.
  • Free w/ all Supplies - I will never own a pet again.
  • Bird is a Talker - This bird will not shut up.
  • Bird has Colorful Vocabulary - This bird cusses up a storm.
  • Unsure of Age - This pet is old. Probably has one foot in the grave.
  • Moving Soon - Off to start a new life and Kitty is not a priority.
  • Energetic - This animal is so hyperactive a tranquilizer won't put them out.
  • Feisty Pet - This animal is hyperactive and a biter.
  • Not Enough Time for Pet - I've been neglecting this animal for a long time and just recently realized he is still here.
  • If No One Adopts Soon, Going to Pound - Now I will guilt trip readers into taking my┬áneglected pet.
  • Hamster Babies - Petsmart screwed me over and sold me a pregnant hamster. Here - take one!


Submit a Comment

  • DIYweddingplanner profile image

    DIYweddingplanner 6 years ago from South Carolina, USA

    I love this! And so true! The boyfriend thing, though, maybe I should check it out...

  • MsQuestion profile image

    MsQuestion 6 years ago from New Jersey

    This is so funny! Are you a professional comedy writer just hiding out here or something?

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    DIYweddingplanner - Thanks for the compliment! I don't know about the boyfriend thing. There are some scary dudes on Craigslist. I started to mention that in this hub, but it probably deserves it own separate hub since there is so much to say.

    MsQuestion - Thank you so much! One of my friends recently told me I should try to be a stand up comic. Maybe he was right.

  • ByChanceTV profile image

    ByChanceTV 6 years ago

    "Free w/ Supplies" - Ha Ha ha!

    So True, but in fact I just Today, sold an old video camera to a guy on Craigslist who picked it up for $100, so for me it works - Awesome Hub..!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I've actually seen the free w/ supplies phrase a lot on Craigslist. Poor unwanted pets! But I guess it just happens sometimes.

    $100 is pretty decent. You can make some great deals on Craigslist. Thanks for the comment!

  • Cogerson profile image

    Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

    Another great hub with lots of great favorites...Fast Paced Environment - Do you like being so overworked you are crying in the bathroom? ....Convenient City Location - Bring your gun. Voted up and funny

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you so much! The sad thing is, all of it is true. I mean, you can't really be honest in an ad. No one will apply for your job or rent from you. It helps to make the truth sound a little nicer.

  • profile image

    Jeanastra 6 years ago

    Always amusing, Jeannieinabottle! As a cautious individual, I avoid Craigslist and the like so as not to invite strangers into my home and I tend to think employers who post there are too cheap to post on more legitimate sites.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks! Yes, I do think people need to use caution with Craigslist. I have noticed a number of companies post legit jobs on the site now. I think everyone is really cheap and out to save a buck. However, there are still some shady characters out there posting those job ads. I went to a really creepy interview one time; I found the job on Craigslist. But I've also gone to a number of normal interviews too. I guess you win some and you lose some. Most of all, all of it makes for a good story later. : )

  • Shadesbreath profile image

    Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California

    This is funny stuff. My wife actually works for a company like you mention in "Fast Paced environment." Very clever, entertaining read.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you! Your poor wife! I've also worked at places like that, so I understand.

  • profile image

    Quddus 6 years ago

    When I moved from into my first unfurnished apartment I used Craigslist to get almost everything I needed at great prices, some even free. But some of the descriptions were very "creative". LOL!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yes, Craigslist is a great site. You can find some really weird stuff on it. Thanks for the comment!

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Very informative and hilarious. What a great combo~Thanks for helping us decipher what people are really saying on Craigslist.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I am here to help. : )

    Thanks for the comment!

  • weestro profile image

    Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

    This cracked me up, lots of truth to these!!! Voted up

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I am glad you enjoyed it. Craigslist can be a weird place! Thanks for the vote up and the comment.

  • davidmurree profile image

    David Murree 4 years ago from USA

    that's fact, am agree

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks so much for your comment! I am glad you agree.

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