Twenty First Century Tag Sale: Tech & Tips

Twenty First Century Tag Sale: Tech & Tips

Jeff Heaton
Mar 19, 2012

Now that the weather's gotten warmer we've decided to do some spring cleaning, which for us almost always ends in getting rid of some junk. We've tried the following tips over the years and have got it down pat. Getting things done in advance takes the annoyance out of the process and saves you some Saturday to do something else with.

1. Keep an Inventory
The first thing to do with all the stuff we're going to sell is keep a list. You can use an Excel spreadsheet, a Google doc, your existing home inventory system or in our case we like Bento from Filemaker. At first it may seem unnecessary but inevitably you'll forget some of the little tidbits you're getting rid of and they might disappear back into the abyss of your house. It also makes it easy to see how much you've made at the end and how much you've donated.

2. Sell things online
We don't start on the yard or driveway because we usually have some things that have relatively good value that would fetch better prices on Ebay or Craigslist. For reasonably shippable stuff like electronics we'll usually use Ebay. For large pieces like furniture that are also in good condition we'll try Craigslist first. You may find you've got nothing left after trying these, as we sometimes have, and the rest goes to the donation pile.

3. Announce Your Sale
Of course, the traditional signs help, but a Craigslist post will draw those from further away than just putting up signs. Be sure to do a specific listing of what you've got in case someone is searching for a particular item. We find a week or so beforehand is plenty of notice for bargain hunters, who even plot these sales on google maps.

4. Take Payment
The traditional currency for tag sales is cash, simply because it's easy, guaranteed and you'll never need to see the person again. However, most people these days carry other forms of payment and if they like an item but don't have enough cash you may not be making a sale. Square has been our go-to credit card acceptance system, but Paypal just came out with a new service called Paypal Here that does the same thing.

5. Donate/Destroy
That junky table nobody wanted would probably at least help at a Goodwill or ReStore, but your dirty, holey underwear isn't helping anybody. This is is the time to bust out your inventory, add up what you made, see what you have left and decide what goes where. Ideally it'll all be donated, recycled or otherwise gone when you're done.

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