Shop like a pro with these 10 tips!
Updated: Sep 29
Whether you're new to the tag sale game or an old pro that's been attending sales for years... There are certain things you can do to be a better shopper! We've compiled some of our favorite tips for buyers so that they're ready for their next tag sale.
1. Have a "survival kit" in your car.
We don't mean a full-on bug out bag... But taking up a 10" x 10" space in the back of your trunk is never a bad idea. We recommend keeping a granola bar or two, a bottle of water, gloves and a hat for colder months, a lightweight poncho year-round, a pen or Sharpie for your Dibs! stickers, a flashlight and hand sanitizer. You might only need these things once in a while... But you'll be glad you've got them when a situation arises.
2. Looking for a specific piece of furniture for a space in your home?
Keeping a small list of measurements of the space available in your home either on paper or in your phone notes can be helpful so you know when you're looking at a piece whether it will fit in the space you're envisioning it to go or not.
3. Don't be afraid to pull staff aside and ask where a certain piece is.
Super pro-tip. Screenshot the item so you can show the staff exactly which piece you mean. Describing the 5 drawer chest of drawers in picture 154 doesn't narrow it down for us. Showing us which piece means we can point you in exactly the right direction once you're inside.
4. Decide how much you want something and plan accordingly.
There's a reason the expression "the early bird gets the worm" exists. If you absolutely fall in love with something you see in photos... Arrive early and bring a book or prepare to chat with others waiting in line. The best pieces typically fly out the door early in the day!
5. If you want it, grab it!
If you're a regular at our sales, you've probably heard Morgan say, "Some of life's greatest regrets are unpurchased tag sale items!". It's true! Prices are competitive, so even if you change your mind when you get it home, you're probably not out of too much and can easily consign or resell pieces... But you can almost never track down the same piece and get it. If you see something you love, snag it before someone else comes along and loves it too.
6. Planning to buy furniture?
Bring blankets to protect the wood and prevent unwanted dings and dents when you're traveling. If you don't have a truck- ask a neighbor if they'll be around so you can borrow their's during sale hours or plan to spend a little extra on movers or renting a truck. Having a plan means you're in and out and can enjoy the rest of your weekend.
7. Planning to buy breakables?
Instead of throwing the newspaper in the recycling bin, it's another item you can put in your car kit. Having paper on hand when you buy a set of China or a collection of ceramics will help with transport. (Tobacco Road Downsizing almost always have extra packing materials on hand for these occasions, but it's good to be prepared!)
8. Be nice!
Even if you miss out on the piece you really wanted or another shopper is less than kind to you, keep a positive attitude and move on. No one likes unnecessary drama and you don't want to ruin a relationship with any customer or the sellers because of a bad attitude.
9. Follow the rules!
Sometimes there are rules at tag sales. Review the online advertisement before attending and check for any rules signs outside of the home. Sometimes parking is restricted to one side of the street, you're asked to put on shoe covers or slide off your shoes to protect the floors or you can't bring in oversized bags.
Companies hosting sales are trying to make sure the sale is enjoyable for customers, but they also don't want to bother neighbors and they want to make sure their clients are happy at the end. You don't want to jeopardize your future buying abilities by not following rules.
10. Bring a friend!
Whether it's your best friend or your spouse... shopping is more fun with a friend! You can admire each other's finds, get a second opinion, have them for an extra hand carrying out your treasures and then compare notes after the sale.
Tag sales are also a really fun activity if you've got friends or family from out of town. It's a great way to get out of the house and experience something different!
We hope you find this list both informative and anxious to attend your next sale! If you're looking for upcoming Tobacco Road Downsizing sales, make sure you subscribe to our email list or check out upcoming sales by clicking here!