I did something this weekend I’ve never done before. I worked “The World’s Largest Yard Sale“. A friend and I rented a “booth” to (try) and sell antique,vintage and retro furniture and such from my grandparents’ estate. Oh, the things you see and hear. Oh, the lessons you learn.
The event began in 1987 in Jamestown, Tenn. when a local official planned the event to encourage travelers to bypass interstate highways in favor of scenic routes. Kentucky and Tennessee were the original states to host The 127 Yard Sale.
The yard sales can be found in the front yards of people’s homes, fields, pastures, on side streets along the route, in empty lots, at businesses, community parks, town centers and church parking lots. Some areas have large groups of vendors together, while others set up separately along the way.”
Sitting out in the humid Kentucky weather for two 12 hour days was just the beginning, though we had an awesome Coleman awning to sit under.
Here is what I learned in no certain order.
1. You either love or hate the whole vendor gig. You love the game, you love the people, you love the food, the loading and unloading and making the deal…or not.
2. There are a lot of people who travel from near and far to attend The 127 Yard Sale year after year.
3. Antique, vintage and retro furniture doesn’t sell well at The 127 Yard Sale, at least not in recent years. 🙁
4. Really, you brought your dog?
5. Deep fried food is the only thing they sell at these types of events. Think State Fair fare.
6. Once you’ve sold a Waterfall 1940s veneer dresser, don’t detach the mirror until or unless the person who purchased it is present with the vehicle in which to load it, and they ask for your help. Never, under ANY circumstance take the mirror off and lean it against the dresser, just in case a gust of wind blows it over and it hits the van of the vendor next to you and shatters in big pieces, right before your very eyes. No, really!
7. A funnel cake and a deep-fried Oreo really does nothing to relieve the anguish of a sold dresser with a broken mirror, and the money you have to return to the buyer when she shows up.
8. A full size bed frame with an ornate head and foot board actually fits in a Mini Cooper! Who knew?
9. Golf clubs, guns, fishing gear, and anything with a motor does sell well at The 127 Yard Sale. Do you see where I’m going here? Men…shopping.
10. Vendor restroom privileges alone are worth the cost of the booth.
11. You really don’t need to be there at 6:00 AM. 7:00? Yep
12. A dollar really does make or break the deal.
If you look closely you will see a toilet for a camper…never used. No, really!
This, of course, isn’t an exhaustive list of the many things I learned at The 127 Yard Sale. I could tell a story or two, or ten. But suffice it to say it was an experience I will never forget. When all was said and done, we did pretty well as far as total money made.
Biggest lesson of all…there are some sweet deals to be had at The 127 Yard Sale…for the buyer.