What does “PF” stand for and how do you use it?

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We are not talking about the popular Asian restaurant. If you’re looking for items on the second-hand market and don’t like animal hair, be careful of those that are “PF”. Here’s what it means and how to use it.

Free animals

PF stands for “pet free”. Sellers use it on online marketplaces like eBay or Facebook Marketplace to specify that an item, primarily clothing or other fabric products, has been stored in a furry-free location. The value of clothes, even if brand new, tends to drop if exposed to things like dog or cat hair. This is because pet hair is difficult to remove. On top of that, cats and dogs can claw at certain objects, causing scratches or stuck nails.

PF is usually used with “SF”, which stands for “smokeless”. Some sellers will use the combined acronym “SFPF”, which stands for “smoke-free, pet-free”. This signifies to buyers that the product has been kept in good condition and protected from elements that could deteriorate its condition.

If your pet is not something that can potentially shed, like a fish or a lizard, you can always safely say that a product you are selling is PF. In the context of online resale, the “pets” that count are those that have fur, hair or feathers that they can shed (or those that could relieve themselves of something). If you are selling a product exposed to pets, you must specify and provide photos of the affected areas.

The origin of FP

The use of “animal free” to describe the condition of a product has been around for a long time. However, the use of the acronym is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the 2010s with the growing popularity of online resale. The first definition of SFPF on Urban Dictionary dates from 2018 and describes it as “a reference to an item for online resale”.

Although “pet-free” is the most common use case, you should be careful of other definitions of “PF” on the internet. In rock music forums, posters may use PF to refer to the beloved English band “Pink Floyd”. You should also avoid confusing it with “PFP”, which stands for “profile picture” on social media sites.

How Pet Hair Affects Value

One of the main reasons people feel the need to specify that a product, especially clothing, has been in a “pet-free” environment is that pet hair is extremely difficult to remove. While shoppers can usually clean second-hand clothes with steam or dry cleaning, pet hair can cling to fabrics like a magnet. As a buyer, you should be wary of any clothing that comes from a place where a pet is found, especially one that frequently sheds.

A cat shedding on a woman's jeans.
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The sensitivity of a product to animal hair also depends largely on the type of fabric. According to animal blog Cataster, materials with textures such as velor or corduroy, as well as knitted patterns, tend to attract the most animal hair. Natural fibers like wool and cotton also attract a lot of animal hair. On the other hand, some materials are resistant to pet hair, so they may not require adding a “PF” warning to a post. For example, leather and silk tend to attract less dog hair.

There are also a few non-apparel products that could benefit from a “PF” rating. For example, bedding products like sheets, blankets, comforters, and pillowcases can also attract a lot of pet hair depending on the material, especially if they’ve been used and aren’t wrapped. There are also home furnishings like sofas, pillows, and chairs. Flooring products like rugs, carpets, and rugs can also attract tons of hair, depending on the material. Finally, some toys, such as stuffed animals, can attract a lot of dog and cat hair.

The other PF: Animals accepted

Very rarely on real estate and rental sites, you may also see “PF” referring to “pet-friendly”. Unlikely “pet-free,” pets have nothing to do with reselling goods online and instead refers to property that allows pets to be on the premises. Since these two terms have directly opposite meanings, you should avoid confusing them.

A dog and a cat sitting together.
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Staying at pet-friendly properties is especially important for current pet owners or those looking to get one soon. From short-term stays like hotels to long-term rentals, most pet owners have a habit of asking owners if their pet is welcome. Even when an establishment accepts pets, it is essential to check if they have additional guidelines for leashes or waste disposal.

RELATED: Moving? Here are the best cities for your pet

How to use FP

If you want to use PF to describe that your product is in excellent condition, add it to your listing description. For products that are both smoke-free and pet-free, use the acronym “SFPF”. You can also combine it with other condition-based terms, such as “EUC” or “excellent used condition”.

Here are some examples of SFPF in action:

  • “Selling a Pink Floyd t-shirt from a PF house.”
  • “Looking for a Mickey Mouse Wizard plush with tags, ideally SFPF!”
  • “Men’s Blazer – Navy Blue. SF/PF, EUC, used once.

Good luck and happy shopping!


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