The Highway 127 World's Longest Yard Sale.
By: Karl & Tonya (@wiwcool)
Every year in early August, the longest organized yard sale on Earth takes place up the spine of the Appalachian mountains through some of the most scenic small towns in the United States. The Highway 127 Yard Sale, better known by it's nickname "The World's Longest Yard Sale" stretches from near Gadsden, Alabama to Addison, Illinois winding it's way through several states.
This year was Tonya's third trip and Karl's sixth or seventh (he can't remember anymore) and every year they started near Gadsden and worked their way north until daylight or stamina wore out. This year, the When It Was Cool family tried a different approach instead, driving to just north of Chattanooga, Tennessee and working their way south toward Alabama over Lookout Mountain and down through Georgia before crossing the Alabama state line near Fort Payne (home of the country music group Alabama).
What they found out was... well, it wasn't necessary really as the duo only managed to cover about ten miles before they were exhausted. The thing about the World's Longest Yard Sale is that it really lives up to it's name. While there are stretches of several miles without a single yard sale, there are many places along the way with dozens of them packed together. It isn't unusual to see people rent out their yards, fields, and store parking lots to yard sellers with sometimes many packed together.
"Every year I go and just get overwhelmed. I honestly don't think I've ever bought that much stuff here, I just like to go and see all the cool stuff offered.", said Karl from WhenItWasCool.com. "This year, I literally spent $1 on a bag of little green Army men but I saw hundreds of things I would have liked to have had if only I had somewhere to put it!"
Yard Sale Tip: Never, ever over pay for anything. Some yard sellers are actually antique dealers and wanna-be "Pickers" who aren't yard selling at all but selling antiques and novelties for inflated prices. We literally saw one vender selling old car tags for $25 each in one booth and two booths further down another vender selling them for $1.
Yard Sale Tip: Wear good shoes. Marathon yard sales are not a flip-flop endeavor. Many are held in yards (duh...) and fields yet others are held in parking lots and on pavement. Wear good shoes because you will do lots of walking.
Yard Sale Tip: Choose your vehicle wisely. I know it sounds like a good idea to drive your giant pick up truck in case you buy a large item but understand you are parking in people's yards and on the roadside where space is at a premium. Even in a full size sedan, Karl & Tonya found parking sometimes difficult.
Yard Sale Tip: Learn the phrase "What is the least you will take for this?" About 75% of the time the seller will take significantly less than what the item is marked. The worst outcome to using this phrase is going to be not getting any discount so you literally have nothing to lose.
Yard Sale Tip: Learn to spot a shyster. People who are legit yard sellers will gladly answer your questions if you have them. However, if you enter a yard sale and someone immediately starts watching everything you pick up and begins telling you "facts" about it then you know this is probably a retail or antique seller and the price is probably going to be steep. Watch out for terms like "first edition" as collectors seldom use those terms and know how to spot them when applicable anyway.
Yard Sale Tip: You've got your smart phone- use it! It is for more than directions. If you have doubts about the price on something then look it up on eBay. See what the going rate for an item is before you buy.
Yard Sale Tip: Just as important as spotting a bad deal is spotting a good one. You can seldom go wrong on a dollar table.
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