A Craigslist PSA

Dear Craigslisters: I believe you have been overvaluing your silly items and wrongly representing them.  Please let me assist in clarifying with a little vocabulary lesson.


adjective lux·u·ri·ous (ˌ)ləg-ˈzhr-ē-əs, (ˌ)lək-ˈshr-

(1) very comfortable and expensive : richly appealing (2) feeling or showing a desire for expensive things

cl hunting chair

If your chair has hunting scenes on it, please do not represent it as "luxurious."  Manly, maybe.  Luxurious? no.  This word should be used VERY sparingly as most items that are being sold on craigslist are well, NOT luxurious.


adjective gor·geous ˈgr-jəs

(1) very beautiful or attractive (2) very enjoyable or pleasant

Another word that should be used sparingly or never on craigslist.

cl gorgeous orange desk

Your 'gorgeous custom painted desk' hurts my eyes.  How about calling it "funky," "fun," or "bright."  These words are all positive and might actually prepare the potential buyer's retinas for this vision.


adjective ˈrer

(1)  marked by unusual quality, merit, or appeal :  distinctive

The word "rare" should be used only if your item is very very very Very Very VERY hard to come by.  Most of the time, using the word makes you look a bit like a sleazy used car salesman.

cl rare phone

This old phone is certainly antique and cool, but I would never use the word rare for it.  If I can go to a flea market and come across at least 1 or more each time, rare it is not.  In this seller's defense, it seems that either English is not a language they are comfortable with or they attempted to write this listing on their phone with their toes as this is the entire listing: "thissa really nice and good conditions hand work player.....good price..."

Aside from "luxurious," "gorgeous," and "rare," a few more words that should be primarily avoided include "amazing," "custom," and "high-end"

Instead of trying to describe your items with cliches or over ambitious descriptive words, how about being straight forward.  I recently read a winning description that told the story of a husband who was selling an area rug because a new rug just 'happened to appear in the room.'  While the rug wasn't one I wanted, I wish I had saved the listing- it was hilarious.

So please, next time you write up a listing on craigslist, leave your delusions about your item or it's value aside and put forth a listing that is honest and fairly priced.  I guarantee you'll sell it faster.

Yours Truly,

A Craigslist Addict