Well, this is it folks, I’m wrapping up my series on the Longest Yard Sale with some Trip Tips. While some of these tips can be useful for all kinds of flea market or tag sales, you will definitely want to remember them if you decide to venture out onto the old 127 Corridor in the coming years for the World’s Longest Yard Sale!
1.) Have a big trunk (ha ha). Or bring a trailer. Preferably the latter, if you can manage. There are just so many goodies (mixed in with a lot of not so goodies), and having the extra space will keep you from saying to yourself “If only I could fit that in my car it would be perfect!”, because you will say that. A lot.
2.) Buy it! Ok this one may seem a little ridiculous, you can’t go around buying everything you like (or can you?), but if you fall in love with a piece, and it is a great price, why not buy it? Because if you decide to go back for it, it will most likely be gone. You can always find a place for it. You will make it work if you love it. I mean if you really really love it. Nothing is worse than non buyer’s remorse (ok most things are worse, but on this trip you really don’t want that feeling).
3.) Wake up early! I mean really early. The sales start when the sun is up, and you can bet all of the good items will be the first to go. You won’t want to miss out. Go to bed early, grab some coffee in the morning and hit the sales!
4.) Bring plenty of water! You will be walking around all day, in the summer, in the heat, sometimes in open fields with the sun beating down on you. I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it again. Stay hydrated, you don’t want to pass out and then miss out on all the good pieces!
5.) Scan. Scan. Scan. Don’t walk around aimlessly (unless that is your thing, it usually is mine) and stare at every little thing. Scan the areas for the bigger items you are looking for (as they will go first), and then go back for the small stuff.
6.) Make a list. What do you really need? What do you really want? Keep these in two separate columns, try to get everything from the need column first then hit the want column as your reward! Your list will evolve with the more sales you hit, but it is good to start with one anyway.
7.) Bargain. Bargain. Bargain. Don’t pay the price listed, or the price they ask for. They are expecting you to bargain with them. The prices are set high because they know you will haggle with them, or dicker (as my mom calls it). If you are looking at an item, have a set number in your head that you won’t go over, try to work out a deal to get to that number (buying in cash, or combo deals help lower individual prices). Tell yourself you will walk away if it is over that number. Then keep telling yourself, because this part is hard.
8.) Everything is cheaper the last day! Or sometimes even free! On the last day and last hour of the sales there will be slim pickings, but what is left is like 50% off, if not more! Let’s just say I walked away with like ten items (candle sticks, tea plates, and a few items I still don’t know what they are), but free is free! Sellers want to get rid of their stuff on the last day, throw out a number (even if you think it is low), they will probably take it!
9.) Stop for lunch. Or at one of the food trucks. Oh there will be plenty of food trucks. Similarly to staying hydrated, stay fueled. You don’t want to get weak and tired from walking around all day. I get cranky when I am hungry, and that makes shopping not fun. Shopping should always be fun, so pack a lunch (like we did) and eat quickly, and keep moving!
10.) Bring packing supplies. Boxes (they run out), old towels/blankets (to protect your furniture), and rope or rope ratchets to secure your purchases, especially if you have a trailer. Oh and bring someone who knows how to use ratchets (thanks Amanda!).
These are the most important tips I could think of, but please feel free to leave a comment with some other tips that you have found to be useful! Anyway, I hope these help you get that little extra junk in your trunk!