Tag, you’re it.

by Terry Rosen

Some people brake for animals. I brake for tag sales, yard sales, garage sales. I mean, seriously. Having been on both the buy and sell sides, here are a few tips on tag-saling. And as your endorphins kick in, do reflect on the tenets of the great Marie Kondo (Google it, if you must).

#1 Mid-week, check out the local Craigslist, YardSales.net and, in the Berkshires, The Shoppers Guide, my personal bible for tag sales. Organize your hunt based on the listing dates, towns, times and rain dates. Read carefully as some tags advertise a week in advance, so get your dates correct. I tend to map out tags in contiguous towns and then plan a route. Especially now since gas prices are so high, you’ll want to be efficient.

#2  In the age of Venmo, tag sales up here are still cash-based, so find an ATM and stock up on bills—the smaller the better, as you’ll be helping the sellers out by having change.

#3 BYOP! Bring your own packing materials—Ikea bags (de rigueur), newspaper, bubble wrap and boxes. These will come in handy if you buy ceramics and other fragile items. Again, this will make it easier and safer to transport your haul, and also ensure that you’ll have the materials on hand—the sellers may be running low. 

#4 Yes, sellers are negotiable—so ask if they can do better, but don’t make them ridiculous offers. For the best prices, shop at the end of the day. 

#5 Pre-scouting and ETSP—extra tag sale perception. Some sales aren’t for you. Do you need auto equipment? Hummel? Back issues of Real Simple? Mr. Coffee machines?  

#6 Enjoy the hunt. Some of the best items I found at tag sales were plants—iris, hostas and other perennials. 

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