I had good experiences with both, so I consider myself lucky, but I was also a motivated seller. I was moving out of a house I shared with 2 roommates and into my own apartment-- the first time I've ever had anything that's just MINE and I can do with it what I please (except paint, boo). So I wanted to find pieces that were my style, and I wanted to get rid of some things that weren't.
The tag sale was stressful, that is for sure, but to be honest, I was not as organized as I should have been. (For example, instead of pricing and organizing the day/night before, I was at my friend's house until 11pm having wine and girl talk-- but hey, some things are more important than tag sales.)
Here's what I did:
I made tag sale signs. I put them at a couple intersections around my house and also at the top of my street and at the end of my driveway.
I also advertised on Craigslist. Since I had my tag sale the weekend of Easter, I planned on having it on Friday and Saturday. Since Friday was good Friday, I figure people would have the day off and kids were on vacation. I had the tag sale until 4pm hoping to catch some of the church-going crowd, since I live right near a church.
I was going to advertise in the paper (and went as far as calling and dictating my ad) until I was told it was $25. WHAT? No thanks. Mine is a small tag sale, and that $25 would effect my bottom line too much to make it worth it.
Ok, anyway. BEWARE OF THE EARLY BIRDS. I didn't think they'd bother with my little tag sale. I was wrong. They were parked on my street at 7:55am (my tag sale started at 9) and since I hadn't prepared too much the night before, I was flustered. Some of those earlybirds got some great deals! But maybe that's the idea...
So-- to make a long story longer, my tag sale was successful. I made $200, which was more than my goal of $160 I needed to buy a couch I'd found on Craigslist. I sold nice, clean stuff-- candles, dvds, a Nintendo DS, costume jewelry, games, furniture, crafts. It wasn't a big tag sale, but people kept commenting on how nice my stuff was. I ended up not even having it on Saturday since everything was sold. Anything that didn't sell I put "FREE" at the end of the driveway and it was gone within the hour.
I had very good luck on Craigslist. I had some furniture to sell in order to make some money to buy other furniture from CL and tag sales.
Here's what I sold:
Tons of people were interested in this, I included the link to Target where I got the table for over $200. I had it at the tag sale for $30, everyone loved it, but no one took the plunge. I put it on CL for $45! And I had a ton of emails. It ended up going to a cute girl Heather. I wasn't home at the time, so I left it outside and asked her to put the money under my welcome mat. She did. :)
Ceiling Fan, again I included the link from Home Depot for this bad boy. $40
Corner Desk, I included the link to overstock.com, the desk was originally $91.00. I asked for $40. A guy in my own town emailed me in minutes. Again I left it outside for him and hoped he left me the money, he did. I regained faith in the honesty of people after this exercise!
I also sold a huge bundle of scrapbooking stuff left over from the tag sale for $25. The guy who picked it up for his daughter came with the intention of offering me $20 for it. (I would've taken it.) But after seeing how much stuff was there, he gave me the $25 without hesitation.
So, tag sale profits: $202. CL profits: $150.
CL was definitely easier for me. Luckily all my interested parties showed up when they said they would. Also, my boyfriend was always with me, so I always felt safe. However, I would not have been able to sell all the tag sale things on CL.
So, my opinion: Sell big pieces on CL- people go on CL specifically looking for furniture, meanwhile, tag salers are usually just browers. Sell housewares, clothes and doo-dads at tag sales, it's too much work to post all that on CL for such little profit, and again, tag salers aren't usually looking for anything in particular.
So, stay tuned for a post where I show what I did with that LOOT! :)