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.
The 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.
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 email@example.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.
A Scotsman who spent many years in Taiwan is now wiring Westport.
In late 2007 Gordon Graham and his wife moved to Westport, primarily for the schools. His masters degree was in international marketing, but he started a hyper-local business: a website to help small businesses promote themselves.
A free bulletin board on the site also lets Westporters make announcements, and trade goods and services.
And a page of small business tips offers advice on writing Yellow Page ads and finding referrals.
WestportWire.com is perfect for local businesses like martial arts studios and real estate agencies. The bulletin board attracts math tutors, baby sitters and the like.
The natural question arises: What’s the difference between WestportWire and Craigslist?
“They’re similar,” Gordon admits. “This is a simplified version of Craigslist. It’s targeted only to the Westport area” — which he calls “loosely, Norwalk, Fairfield and Weston.”
“It’s possibly too narrow a niche,” he notes.
But Gordon is thinking big. Ultimately, he hopes, WestportWire will be his fulltime work.
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