Family & Home

7 Useful Tag Sale Tips For Bargain Lovers!

Spring means the start of tag sale season! Who doesn't love the fun of the hunt and a good bargain? 'The Rummage Queen' knows everything and anything to make the most of out your weekend tag sale excursions.


Here are 7 sure fire tips from the professional tag sale goer:

1. Make a List

You don’t have to stick to it if you see something fabulous. In fact, most of my favorite finds have been totally unexpected. But large tag sales can be overwhelming! A list will at least give you a starting point, and remind you to look for things you might forget.

2. Plan Your Day

Tag sale ads hit the internet as early as Wednesday for the following weekend, and some are advertised an entire week in advance. You can check the online classifieds of your local paper. Many ads include photos of what’s for sale to help you gauge if it's worth going to. Once you’ve selected the sales you want to get to, planning a route will be easy and save you lots of time.

3. Be an Early Bird…or a Night Owl

Camping out overnight in your car is a definite no-no, and some ads today specify “no early birds.” Be respectful, but if you want the best stuff you really need to be there as close to the start time as possible. An alternate strategy is to arrive just before the sale is scheduled to wrap up, when sellers are ready to bargain. A dresser that was optimistically priced at $125 at 8:30 am, can be had for as little as $20 when the thought of dragging it back into the house is quickly becoming a reality.

4. Bring a Tag Sale Kit

I’m not talking about anything over-the-top, but some basic tools will go a long way. My kit includes a tape measure; a loop, or magnifying glass to read maker’s marks on items; an “extra” twenty dollar bill; and rope to tie down the trunk or hatch in case something’s a little too big. I also keep a furniture blanket and newspaper in the back of my car to protect delicate things. Re-usable shopping bags in different sizes are also a good idea, and cut down on using the dreaded plastic bag.

5. Be Prepared

The boys scouts had it right. Empty the car the night before. Have cash, preferably in several denominations, on hand. Sunglasses, water bottles and car keys should be ready to go. Dress comfortably. I believe in “hands free” shopping, so I leave my handbag locked in the car and wear something with a zippered pocket for my cash and shopping list.

6. Bargain…Politely

“Can you do any better on this Ice Cream Maker?” Not, “You want what for this??? You’ve got to be kidding me!” A little bargaining kindness goes a long way, especially when the owner may be sentimentally attached. Complimenting an item is a preferred tactic. “This pillow will look great on my new love seat, will you take $5 instead of $8?”

7. If You Love It, Don’t Leave It

Don’t be the person who realizes just how much they really wanted that weird 70's wall hanging just as they are pulling back into their driveway. Chances are someone snatched it up right after you left. Many items are one of a kind, vintage or antique, and you can’t just order another one online. Think it through before you leave the sale, and then don’t look back. My favorite saying when regret settles in is, there must be a better (fill in the blank) in your future!

About The Rummage Queen:

My name is Marilyn Marino, but I’m also known as The Rummage Queen. For years I’ve been rummaging around tag sales and thrift shops searching for vintage treasure. Some things I keep, some I sell for a profit in my eBay store, and some things I give as gifts to family and friends. Follow me as I search for unique and interesting items, and learn about their history. You never know what might turn up when you’re rummaging around with The Rummage Queen!

Stay tuned for more tag sale wonder!

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