Selling It

Goofs, glitches, and gotchas spotted by our readers

Vintage photo of woman with newspaper GettyImages-671680625

Marketers want their products and services to be noticed and applauded, but sometimes the attempt backfires. When it does, our eagle-eyed readers let us know, submitting examples of rip-offs, poorly worded ads, half-empty packaging, outlandish claims, and goofs that have made them laugh out loud.

Clean Up Your Act, Please

These products and pitches are kind of a mess.


Vacuum car wash sign

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This Deal Sucks
“Free” just doesn’t mean what it used to.
Submitted by Steve Hilkemeyer, seen in Collinsville, IL


hand sanitizer

courtesy courtesy

Don’t Spread This on Toast
Ignore the label: This recalled hand sanitizer definitely isn’t edible.
Submitted by Amy Ho, CO


Dish detergent

courtesy courtesy

What’s That Smell?
Sometimes the “New & Improved Scent!” is actually the same old one.
Submitted by S. Neil Owen, Yellville, AR


Humming Bird Cleaning Kit

courtesy courtesy

When a Birdbath Just Isn’t Enough
Here’s a product that will never fly.
Submitted by Dale Gleason, Chillicothe, OH





Be on the lookout for goofs and glitches like these. Share them with us via:

Send us your funny ads. Please include key information, such as the publication’s name and date. We might publish your submission here.

See our Selling It archives for previously published silliness.

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the May 2021 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.