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On this page : http://boston.craigslist.org/i/autos the fourth point of "How to recognize a vehicle scam attempt on CL"

What does "fraction of blue book value" mean?

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@Macro's answer is correct, in both English usage and auto valuation context. If you want to know more about this practice, or anything beyond the fact that percentage implies multiplier less than 1.00, you could ask about this on Personal Finance SE money.stackexchange.com too. –  Ellie Kesselman Jun 14 '12 at 19:21

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The Kelley Blue Book is a commonly used resource to value new and used cars. Fraction of the blue book value presumably refers to a price that is a fractional multiple of the blue book value.

As it relates to scamming on craiglist, I would imagine that many scam artists try to draw in potential victims by claiming they're selling a car at a fraction of the blue book value.

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"Fraction" of course literally means anything up to and including 1/1 or the whole thing in a mathematical context, but idiomatically implies a significantly smaller part than the whole. –  dodgethesteamroller Jun 23 '13 at 3:31

The Blue Book value of a car is the dealer or "wholesale" value of a car. It's unlikely that a buyer would get a better deal than that.

"A fraction of Blue Book value" means "cheaper than the best possible deal," i.e. one that's "too good to be true."

The only way that someone could "reasonably" offer such a deal is if the goods were stolen or counterfeit.

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