sell a bill of goods

bill of goods

a quantity or consignment of salable items, as an order, shipment, etc.
Informal. a misrepresented, fraudulent, or defective article.
sell someone a bill of goods, to defraud or deceive someone: He sold me a bill of goods about that used car.

1925–30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

sell a bill of goods

Deceive, swindle, take unfair advantage of, as in He was just selling you a bill of goods when he said he worked as a secret agent, or Watch out if anyone says he wants to trade bikes with you; he's apt to be selling you a bill of goods. The bill of goods here means "a dishonest offer." [c. 1920]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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