I blame my friend Marie. She provided the gateway by inviting me to the group. I’d heard about Facebook tag sales groups, like Chappaqua Moms Sales, where people (mostly moms) sold things—cookbooks, a bike helmet, a Fender guitar—they no longer needed to neighbors. A mom’s version of eBay or Craigslist, without the shipping or abductions.
I paid little attention until my friend Maureen told me she’d funded her summer vacation through the site. So I started checking the page, and was getting notifications that Maureen was cross-posting to Yorktown Tag Sales, Chappaqua Children’s Sales, and Westchester Tag Sales. “That’s a little much,” I thought. But when the toddler bike seat I posted didn’t get any comments, I decided to cross-post myself. Within an hour, someone in Yorktown wanted that seat.
Next: the drop-off. I couldn’t imagine that someone buying a toddler bike seat would do me harm, but I still arranged to meet in a public place. The buyer showed up, $10 in hand, and I made my first sale without incident. High on this first cash exchange, I went home and photographed the rest of my treasures: an UPPAbaby stroller; gently used size 9 Uggs; American Girl dolls.
Soon I was venturing out of my town, like a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot in North White Plains to buy a NWT (new-with-tags) item for my son. I saw a great Star Wars T-shirt for only $2, but did I really want to drive to Armonk for a $2 T-shirt? No. But I would drive to the Home Goods in Port Chester after work.
Quickly, the pages started taking up too much of my time and left me frustrated. I couldn’t keep up with ones like Westchester Tag Sales, which has more than 14,000 members! “What?! The oak desk I’ve been looking for had 10 people interested in only 30 minutes?” So I went cold turkey, and didn’t look at one tag sale page for a couple of weeks.
But then my teenage son wanted to go to a local Italian festival, and I didn’t want to spend $50. “Find something in your room that will sell for that much,” I told him. He and my daughter both took off to do what I’ve been trying to get them to do for years: get their junk out of their closets.