Monday, October 3, 2011

Tag Sales

This seems to be tag sale season, everywhere I go.

Or if you prefer garage sale season…I guess if there’s a garage involved.

Then there are flea markets.

Swap Meets.

I’m not quite sure what that is, but I think it might involve Mormons.

Craft Fairs.

Art Fairs.

I guess the latter two are a bit less annoying since they tend to take place in parks, school yards and church parking lots.  And lots of their wares are pretty interesting. I can’t get enough of those bobbing chicken head things.  Plus the sellers are usually real crafts people and artist who are trying to make a living, doing what they love to do.

Although I once overheard an “artist” telling a potential customer that he could re-do a landscape with more blue to better coordinate with the person’s living room drapes.  No kidding….

But hey, I write about pharmaceutical sales tools, so who am I to talk.

Mostly it’s the tag sales I take issue with; especially if the issue takes place in my neighborhood. 

You can always sense when these “events” are brewing, the same as a bad storm. 

The first indicator is the “Tacker”.

About 3 or 4 days before, the “Tacker”.will appear on street corners, wherever there’s a telephone pole tacking up little notices announcing the place and time of the sale.

Then on the morning of the big day,the” Tacker” brings out even more signs, poster size in some case, with cute little arrows pointing the way…to your street

Which then leads to about 400 cars parked at the end of your driveway by noon.

It’s really quite a phenomenon.

Think about it. You spend years buying things, collecting things, storing things, and then one day you just decide you don’t want any of these things.

In the old days when this happened people would just put everything in boxes and take a trip to the dump.

Mostly, we called it garbage.

Today, you borrow a bunch of long tables and clothes racks from friends who have these items for some reason—I guess they got them at a tag sale—organize all your garbage in neat little displays with neat little price tags…and somebody will come and buy it.

Once I was mowing the lawn while one such event was taking place next door, stepped away for a minute, and when I came back found someone had rolled my lawn mower up to the cashier.

I would have sold it except they didn’t want to take the grass in the bag.


What?  It could be true….

Books for a buck. CD’s & DVD’s for "Fity" cent. VHS tapes for a quarter, unless it’s a Richard Simmons “Sweatin to the Oldies”, in which case they will pay you to take it away.

And it seems the “customers” that patronize these things are also the same people that have these things themselves. So essentially they buy your junk, then sell it back to somebody else, who then quite possibly sells it back to you some day, cuz you always had a soft spot for that velvet Elvis painting you used to have.

Of course the shrewd, veteran tag sale shopper knows what to look for.  What I might see as some sort of petrified corn nibblet, he recognizes as one of Washington’s wooden molars. What I see as a just another garden decoration, she sees as one of the original tablets from the Ten Commandments.

So you’ve got to know what you’re looking for.

I have to admit, in the spirit of full disclosure, while we were out walking, a while back, Z and I did spot a nice set of flannels sheets, all wrapped up in the original packaging.  And the price was more than right.

So despite my personal disdain for such things, we bought them. 

And to this day, I have to admit, we still enjoy wrapping ourselves up in those soft, comfy, green plaid sheets on the coldest of winter nights. 

Once we got past the blood stain and the permanent chalk outline of the body it was like they came right from the store.

Hey a good deal is a good deal…right?


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  1. Older folks still use the term "fire sale," but you don't hear it much anymore. Hot items, huh?

    1. My general rule of thumb still holds true—never buy anything from someone in a lawn chair.

      However, my rule of pinky is a little more flexible….

  2. Clue us in about pharmaceutical sales tools

    1. No way...the nightmares have only now started to recede....


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