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Laura Serino

After visiting Maine only a handful of times, Laura Serino packed up her studio apartment in New York City and headed north for "the way life should be." After a summer on North Haven island, she and her boyfriend, a Maine native, settled in Portland, Maine. Serino is a former magazine editor who has been published in national and regional publications. When she isn't blogging, she spends her time antiquing, scouring thrift shops, exploring new places in Maine and cozying up to her cat Jasper. She recently completed her first book, "Twentysomething Girl, 1001 Quick Tips and Tricks to Make Your Life Easier." Reach her at Follow her: @ForeFrontFash

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Fore Front Fashion with Laura Serino
Posted: May 20, 2013

How to hit the tag sales like a mofo pro

May and June are the months for tag sales. If you’ve yet to try my favorite summer sport known as “garage sale-ing” then you’ve come to the right place. I’m a self-professed pro thanks to a Mother that has dragged me to them since I was in diapers. Here are some ways to hit the tag sale circuit to scour other peoples trash in search of some treasures.

 1) Have a plan – or don’t
I like to check Craigslist a couple days before to see what garage sales are on there. I keep my eyes open for “multifamily” or  “estate sale” since you can get more options in less time. Estate sales are great but often pricier. Tag sales being held at schools are major goldmines since you’ll find a bigger assortment from varied households.

2) Start in one place
Though planning out an entire day of tag sales is too exhausting, I always plan the beginning of my day. I try and hone in on a sale that I want to definitely hit and from there I let the tag sale gods tell me where to go. You’ll inevitably drive by sales or signage pointing to others going on, so you’ll want the freedom to explore on a whim.

3) Be prepared

Always travel with a tape measure, cash, a few reusable bags and a road map. Or if you’re fancy, I suppose you can just use your smart phone.

4) Search the main roads
People that are planning last-minute clean outs will always put signs on any major roads or intersections to try and alert people. Sometimes I’ll grab a coffee and just drive down Forest Ave and see what neon poster boards catch my eye.

5) Drive a hard bargain

Listen. People are trying to get rid of their stuff. Don’t be afraid to knock $20 off a piece of furniture or offer your best offer. Chance are if they’re serious about cleaning house, they’ll take what they can get! Buying in bulk also helps. If you’re looking at that pine dresser but don’t want to pay the asking price, toss in another item and say “Would you take $xx for the dresser and the blender?” If folks are going to get rid of more, they’ll be more apt to lower a price for you.

6) Never go with a plan
This probably goes against everything tag saleing is about, but don’t go looking for something in particular. If you’re in search of a new kitchen set, you’ll never find it. It’s the way the world works. It’s a cruel, cruel world out there. Instead hit up the sales with an open mind and you’re sure to come home with some major treasures.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever scored at a garage sale?

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