Tag Sale with A Twist

A farmgirl reuses, recycles, and re-purposes! She also loves her “treasures”, especially great bargains! With winter’s hold tightly gripping us, summer flea markets and tag sales seem so far away. Recently, I was introduced to a great resource I hadn’t heard of before now…

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Tag sales are fun for bargain hunters, and a place for sellers to find homes for goods they no longer use. Online auction sites offer great bargains, but large items can be difficult to buy or sell because of shipping rates. Online, local “tag sales” through social media combine the best of both worlds, and as a bonus, can also bring a sense of community.

A friend invited me to join a local Facebook tag sale, assuring me I’d love it. My first great find was a juicer, something we’d priced in stores, yet hadn’t splurged on, not positive we’d really use it. (We do)! Fresh produce make for a delicious, healthy boost to our New Year’s resolution. The seller felt juicing was too time-consuming.

A typical day's mix for the juicer. Delicious and frothy!

A typical day’s mix for the juicer. Delicious and frothy!

One morning, I saw a vintage-style, cast iron wood burning stove in excellent condition. We’d often talked about installing a wood stove, but they can be pricey “new”. This one was perfect for the playroom we love during summer months, but close off in winter because it stayed so cold. Now it’s toasty warm, and the heat from the wood stove helps the whole house stay warmer, too. The wood stove, permit, hearth pad, and professional installation cost us less than the price of just a “new” wood stove. The seller no longer had use for it, and was thrilled to get rid of it.

I have to keep convincing the cat that he can't lay under the stove!  He does move when it gets warm, thankfully!

I have to keep convincing the cat that he can’t lay under the stove! He does move when it gets warm, thankfully!

We attended my friend Andrea's birthday party last weekend, a festive 1940's-themed costume party.  Andrea found this vintage A&W root beer table on the tag sale site for $20! She fixed it up and provided props for party guests to take fun photos with.

We attended my friend Andrea’s birthday party last weekend, a festive 1940’s-themed costume party. Andrea found this vintage A&W Root Beer table on the tag sale site for only $20! She cleaned it up and provided props for party guests to take fun photos with.

My stunning friend, Andrea, with her vintage, bargain table.  -Photo courtesy Carol J. Gibson, Creative Photography by Carol

My stunning friend, Andrea, with her vintage, bargain table. -Photo courtesy Carol J. Gibson, Creative Photography by Carol

Rae, founder of “Sandy Hook Tag Sale”, offers sound advice to anyone looking to start or join a social media tag sale. Together with her friend, Katie, they closely monitor the site that’s grown to several thousand members.  

Rae’s a friendly, busy working mom who says being a moderator is time consuming, but a labor of love. She started the site last April while recovering eight weeks from a car accident. Inspired by the acts of kindness witnessed after December 14th, she envisioned “a tag sale where people are nicer”, as sometimes manners are forgotten behind a keyboard. To keep an efficient, safe site, rules are set, and members are asked to remember kindness. For sellers, items must be posted properly, with the “4 P’s”: post with item description, price, pick- up or willing-to-meet location, and  photo. No spam, home-business or personal service ads of any kind are allowed. Prohibited items include weapons, tobacco, liquor, cribs, animals, baby food/formula, and designer bags and accessories, since there’s no way to verify non-counterfeit items. There’s news reports of moderators being prosecuted-by-association for counterfeit bags sold by others. Rae encourages those looking to start a tag sale to have a clear mission statement, and keep a “closed” site.  On Facebook, this means potential members can see the site description, but not the posts of members, as opposed to an “open” group that anyone can see, or an unsearchable “secret” site that no one can join unless invited. Don’t overprice items; a good rule of thumb is ⅓ the price of new for something in like-new condition. Sellers should indicate if an item is offered elsewhere, or “cross-posted”. When a time is established to pick up, respect each other and don’t be a “no-show”. The moderators request items be “bumped up” or deleted if not sold in thirty days, to keep the site “clean”.

Potential buyers type “Interested” in the comments section. Items are first-come, first served. “Sneaking around” interested buyers or posting rude comments on an item is not tolerated. Personal information, such as pick-up times and addresses should always be discussed over a “PM”, or “personal message”, and both buyers and sellers should feel comfortable. Ask questions, look for clarification, and just like any tag sale, “Buyer Beware”. If a pick-up location’s too far for you, move on. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Don’t post jokes or non-sale posts, keeping in mind anything posted is seen by many.    

When these simple rules are followed, an online tag sale becomes a friendly community. Rae describes it as “re-purposing taken to another level”, adding she’s gotten to personally know so many nice people, reminiscent of times-gone-by “when neighbors knocked on each others’ doors and knew community members by name”. It’s a way to purge one’s self of items that might have an emotional attachment, but take up space, (like baby items), and that can be empowering. The moderators allow some non-sale posts such as local fundraisers, and lost pets have been reunited with their families. When someone posted “ISO” (in search of) a toddler sled that was sold out everywhere, I realized I had one in my garage. Nothing’s better than seeing someone thrilled to find something they really want, or as a buyer to find that perfect bargain, like the holiday mugs I found for $1.00 each that perfectly match my everyday dishes.

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How do you find an online tag sale in your area? Rae suggests typing “Tag Sale” in  different ways (for example, “TAG SALE”, “tag sale”) in the general search on Facebook, or start one with friends. You never know what “treasures” you might find!

Do you love flea markets and tag sales?  What about online tag sales?  What great finds have you found lately?  Share with me in the comments, and let me know you stopped by!

Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

Leave a comment 14 Comments

  1. What a great idea! Going to check it out. I have utilized Craigslist, Freecycle, and local swap meets, but it all gets so HUGE to wade through.
    Greetings
    Heike
    Farmchick #2245

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Heike, I agree…I really thought this was a super idea, too. You just never know what you might find. Let me know if you find one in your area and how it works for you! Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  2. Rae says:

    Nicole what a wonderfully written article about our little Sandy Hook Tag Sale FB page. You are a gifted blog writer. It was such a pleasure to talk to you yet another great neighbor I have yet to physically meet. I am excited about the treasures you found. I too get giggly about some of my “finds”. We hope you continue to enjoy our little shopping treasure trove. Regards, Rae

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Rae…Oh my goodness, thank you and Katie for all the work you put into the site. It’s great, and such an awesome idea! – Nicole

  3. Rebecca says:

    This is such a great idea. I have yet to try it, but my daughter does this all the time. She’s scored some great items for her six year old and two year old….a playhouse, wonderful bedroom sets, as well as lots of other useful things. She has re-purposed a lot of the things they no longer use, too, so it saves her money twice. Oh, and I love your woodstove. It looks like your cat does, too!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Rebecca! Sounds like your daughter found some great items, too. Isn’t the wood stove cute? It has an embossed squirrel on the side, which I love. I can’t believe the heat it gives off, and we’ve been cleaning up our property of all the downed trees from the past storms that have made their way through here. Thanks for reading and commenting! -Nicole

  4. Laurie Dimino says:

    Nicole,
    You and your story are a girl after my own heart. I love the thrill of the hunt and finding bargains and treasures. I live by the motto one mans junk is another mans treasure….it’s just SO TRUE!! I am actually thinking about starting a little challenge for myself where for 1 month I have to try and purchase anything that I ” need/want” from thrift stores/ second hand shops etc ( with the exception of food etc). I think it will be fun to see if I can get by just on second hand items( I bet I can!!!)
    Thanks as always for your great blog post!
    Hugs to you!
    Laurie

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Laurie, That sounds like a fun challenge! I’d love to hear how that turns out. My dad built his entire farmhouse at his ranch (quite beautifully, might I add) from re-purposed, reclaimed items. I think I get my eye for bargains from him, with a little love of vintage/antique mixed in! Every time you leave a comment, I think, “This Farmgirl and I are so much alike!” Can you imagine us “treasure hunting” together? (Giggle)…What fun we would have! Thanks for commenting…Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  5. Joan says:

    Oh I love hearing about this ‘tag sale’ site idea. Going to check my area right now. Thanks for letting us know about it. God Bless.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Joan! I was not aware of sites like this until my friend introduced me to it. I just knew farmgirls would love to know about them! Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  6. Torben bagh says:

    This one was perfect, and it is a Danish one from Morsø a little Ø in Limfjorden in North Jutlland, Nicole
    love from far

    Mors
    Mors eller Morsø er en ø i Limfjorden mellem Salling og Thy. Arealet er 363,3 km² og indbyggertallet 21.474. Mors forbindes mod nordvest med Thy via Vilsundbroen og mod sydøst med Salling via Sallingsundbroen. Wikipedia

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Far! We were very happy to see it is a Morso, since we had been shopping that brand. Such high quality! Love to all in Denmark! -Nicole

  7. Beverly Battaglia says:

    Nicole, this is very thorough regarding the benefits and rules of a tag sale. Rae and Katie were smart to not allow designer handbags. I love a bargain, but have never really thought some sites on the internet were safe. Love the pictures, too.

    Love,
    Mother

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mom,
      It’s good to be cautious, but with good rules set in place, tag sale sites can (and are) great places to shop. Same with auction sites like eBay. I’ve found some awesome things.
      Love you! – Nicole

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