21st-Century Tag Sales

Tag sales have been around since the first Americans put tags on everything they no longer wanted it, and put them outside for sale.

Now a pair of local sisters — working with 2 partners in Los Angeles — have brought the idea of “tag sales” into the 21st century.

They’ve created an iPhone and Android app that allows users to take photos of items they’re selling, “tag” them, and instantly offer them to local buyers.

Of course, the app is called TagSale.

TagSale logoThe primary market is college students. They often sell bikes, refrigerators, couches and textbooks. And they always use their cellphones.

The traditional way they got rid of most stuff was posting flyers — or dumping it outside their dorm or house. Then came Craigslist, but the interface is archaic and antiquated; sellers have no idea who they’re dealing with, and any ad is soon swamped by dozens of others.

Textbooks, meanwhile, have long been sold back to college bookstores. But they paid a pittance, then turned around and jacked up the re-sale price.

TagSale addresses those problems, says partner Ronnie Klein — a mother of 2 (with another due soon) who has lived here for 5 years. Her own mother, Cherie Flom Quain, grew up here too, and is a Staples grad.

Users take cellphone photos of whatever they’re selling — an entire room, if they want. They tag each item, with individual descriptions.

Unlike Craigslist, TagSale offers ratings and reviews — eBay-style — for every seller. Like Instagram, users can “like” or comment on items for sale.

Tagging items in the app is very simple.

Tagging items in the app is very simple.

TagSale’s creators — who include Ronnie’s sister Michelle, and the partners out west — are still figuring out the best markets. They lean toward college students, and will soon roll out a feature where only users who log in with a .edu email address can see what’s for sale on their campus.

Users without a .edu email can still find other offerings in their neighborhood.

The natural question is: “Show me the money.” Klein says local merchants will be able to offer (buy) information about their own promotions and sales — for example, “half off today at our dry cleaners”. Banner ads may be sold too.

Eventually, regional and national chains like JC Penney will be able to photograph, say, their clearance racks, and tag items they’re selling.

Since its launch last month, over 1500 users have downloaded TagSale. Feedback has been great — and sales are climbing.

Meanwhile, the app’s creators are seeking students to help promote it on their own campuses (email team@tagsaleapp.com for more information).

And, of course, it’s available to download. Even if you’re not a college student, TagSale is a great way to tag and sell items.You won’t need a real tag sale ever again.

10 responses to “21st-Century Tag Sales

  1. Cherie Quain

    Great article Dan!! As always!! Thank u thank u thank u

    Xo. Cherie 🙂

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Bonnie Adler

    this is a great idea. Bonnie Adler

  3. Eric William Buchroeder

    Maybe we should consider a return to anonymous snarking to be properly conditioned for the new cyber tag sale of the future. By the time I depart, they’ll probably be doing Willowbrook on the internet.

  4. Ann Marie Flynn

    So cool an idea….plus a nice savings on gas money…and dented fenders. But, how will we get outdoors to enjoy the wonderful Spring, Summer’ and fall days. The new system will be able to extend us through winter…and snow storms…..yipee!!

  5. Holly Wheeler

    GREAT idea !!!

  6. Marcy Anson Fralick

    This would be a great idea here at the University of Arizona. The Tucson area doesn’t do garage sales for some reason; and at the end of each Spring semester, the U of A, students just dump their stuff on the curb (dorms and apartments) and it’s a free for all as people drive by the first week of May for their cast-offs. With this app, students could make money, and Tucsonans could get some good deals, and the landfill wouldn’t be quite as full.

  7. Joan McCormick

    I don’t find it in the apps for Samsung.

    • Here’s the answer:

      Hi Dan, Unfortunately, the app won’t be Android-ready for about 1-1.5 more months (I meant to clarify that with you – I apologize if I miscommunicated) – our engineers are hard at work on it and hopefully it will be done sooner – in the meantime, I’ve been telling people to use a family member’s or friends phone to check it out (not a great solution but it works nonetheless).