• Mariah Cope

Top 5 Tips for Choosing a Tag Sale Company

Updated: Sep 29

Here are our 5 top tips for choosing a company to help you with a tag sale!


1) If you have the time, visit sales going on in your area.


This is the best way to know what you're walking into.


The best way to see how things are done is to see for yourself. If you're in the area, check out sales that are going on over the course of one or two weekends.


You don't even have to introduce yourself if you're just browsing companies... Just walk in and see how you're greeted, check out whether items are actually moving (the goal is an empty house at the end of the weekend... but also to make some cash for your stuff!), check out their prices and how everything is presented.


We've run a number of sales for people that love to shop at tag sales! Why? Because they've already done the fieldwork and know that Tobacco Road Downsizing does a great job pricing all items at a spot that's agreeable to clients and customers, aims to serve clients and customers fairly and we're enthusiastic about our job!


2) Read Google Reviews!


Google Reviews can tell you *a lot* about a company. Everything from a company's client and shopper satisfaction to whether they have a heavy online presence. If a company responds to a shopper or client, are they polite and helpful, or nasty and standoff-ish?


Here are a few reviews clients and customers have left us recently!



3) Don't get hung up on commission.


The lowest commission you'll find is by running a sale by yourself. That said, if you don't have proper advertising and signage, you won't get customers into your sale. You also probably have an attachment to your own items... Which can then make it hard to establish the "fair market value".


A company with a low commission doesn't necessarily mean you'll end up with the biggest check at the end...


Companies with super low commission tend to use "box lots", they don't touch every item before the sale happens, they don't price every item (they'll call prices during the sale without doing the research before) and they tend not to have the budget to have adequate staffing, which means customers aren't offered help (and then won't buy as much) and items can walk out the door.


The industry-standard commission in the Triangle area for tag sales ranges from 25% to 50%, depending on the company.


Companies that are in the higher range tend to do the best job advertising, staging, pricing, and making sure their customer and client satisfaction is off the charts. They have the resources for that.


Think of it this way: Company A spends 1 - 2 days in your house, with a team of 1 - 2 people setting up and pricing. They don't unpack boxes or make items look appealing... They charge a 25% commission. You make $5,000 from your sale, and your sale proceeds are $3,750.


Company B spends 2-5 days in your house, with a team of 2 - 4 people setting up. They unpack all the boxes and display all items that are tucked away, they research items properly, advertise on multiple platforms, spotlighting the cool finds from those boxes they unpacked and then provides staff to help customers get their items out to their car when they're at the tag sale without a friend to help them. They charge 40%... Your sale makes $10,000 because of that extra time and effort. You make a check for $6,000.


For a company, making $1,250 versus $4,000 makes a huge difference in how much time can be spent getting a sale ready and making sure customers and clients alike have a great experience. For a client, accepting a higher commission often means having a more appealing and lucrative sale and a bigger check at the end.


Which would you rather have?


4) Check out their pictures.


Most companies don't offer "previews" of the house and its contents until the day of the sale... Other than photographs. Check out upcoming sales from different companies that you're considering. In the Chapel Hill and Durham area, the best place to check is estatesales.net. The best time to do this is the Wednesday or Thursday before the sale is set to happen.


Tobacco Road Downsizing personally aims to post at least 250+ high-quality photos of items available for sale. For larger tag sales it's not unheard of for us to have 600+ images for one sale!


5) Don't just interview one company.


Know your options and make sure you mesh well with whoever you're hiring... You're entrusting them with your lifetime of "stuff". Make sure that they're knowledgable about what you've got to sell.


Consider their timeline and how it meets yours. Are you meeting the owner? Was the owner on time? How clearly do they explain the process? Do they have a contract that spells out the entire process?


Pro tip- never, ever, ever hire a company without a contract! Contracts protect both you as a client and the company you're hiring! A handshake doesn't cut it if something goes wrong! You should never feel pressured to sign a contract if you're not 100% sure and don't forget to ask questions!


If you're in the Durham / Chapel Hill area, we hope that Tobacco Road Downsizing is your top choice to host your downsizing sale! Mariah has helped hundreds of other local clients and we hope that you will be among that list in the future!

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