I just returned from my first visit to the Worlds Longest Yard Sale and I came away with some definite dos and don’ts. I really enjoyed my day of shopping but if I had known what I will share in this article, it would have been much more enjoyable. I wrote another article on the World’s Longest Yard Sale, but that was before I experienced it myself.
Worlds Longest Yard Sale : The Don’ts
Let me first say we started at the southern most starting point of the Worlds Longest Yard Sale in Gadsden, Alabama. I regret not getting a photo of the sign saying this is the starting point. We presently live in northern Alabama so this was a natural starting point, at least so we thought. My hat’s off to the people of Gadsden, there were several good sale here. But the rest of the trip north all the way to Chattanooga was a waste of time. Why the Chamber of Commerce of Collinsville and Fort Payne, and other along Highway 11 don’t promote this event, I don’t know. I will skip that part of the route next year, in fact we will start the trip in Chattanooga next year on Highway 127 and skip the Alabama part all together. It just wasted too much time and there were better places to spend our time. If you want to hit the sales in Gadsden and then get on the interstate to Chattanooga, that might also work, but only if it is convenient.
Worlds Longest Yard Sale : The Dos
Another big lesson we learned is to start the trip much earlier. This time a doctor’s appointment and other obligations kept us from starting until Saturday. The official start of the the Worlds Longest Yard Sale is Thursday and it runs through Sunday. But many of the people set up much earlier in the week. So, since we are looking for bargains in antiques and collectibles, we will start on either Tuesday or Wednesday next year. My experience is only based on Alabama and Tennessee, so it might be different the further north you go, but I doubt it. If you are only interested in yard sales items like, clothes, appliances, etc. I would wait till Thursday to start. On other blogs I have read about how disappointed the people were in the quality of items found. But we were surprised at what we found even on Saturday, after many had been set up since Monday or Tuesday. I have posted a few pictures and also a short video to try to give you a feel of what kind of things you might find.
My favorite thing I found at this year’s Worlds Longest Yard Sale is shown in the first photo. If you don’t share my love for architectural items, this one will not impress you. It is a large copper panel that came from a building in New York City. This one still has remnants of the red paint left on it. The dealer was so happy I loved it and was going to show it on my blog. She bought 16 of these panels and they were from the Longacre Building which was located on Longacre Square, which was renamed the famous Times Square. It was demolished many years ago, but these wonderful panes survived. They were priced at $1200 each.
If you watch “The Pickers” you can see I like some of the same things they like, although I don’t have a passion for old bikes and motorcycles. I loved the old Sherman Williams Paint sign that was priced at $375 and the Coke stuff, both shown in the photos. And remember we were there toward the end of the sale. We left the field where the copper panels and Coke stuff about 7:30 in the evening. People were covering up and we had shopped til we dropped, almost literally. We hurt all over.
Some general things I learned about the Worlds Longest Yard Sale. There were a lot of professional dealers and some had traveled quite a distance to set up here. Most of the people I talked to were pleased with their sales. We saw all kinds of people. Some people were literally just selling at their own yard sale along the way. Others set up in fields where they were large numbers of people set up. One church pitches a large tent and had been in the same location for twelve years. Their four hundred families save up all year and bring it here to benefit the church. It was like a mini Goodwill Store with the typical things people would be selling at a yard sale or donating to a worthy cause. There was plenty of that kind of stuff and also plenty to satisfy the antique enthusiasts. I can only imagine what would have been available if we had arrived much earlier in the week, even on Thursday, the official start.
We spent most of our time in the two small Tennessee towns of Signal Mountain and Dunlap, the very southern part of Tennessee. This is just a tiny portion of the Worlds Longest Yard Sale. We didn’t even get close to the headquarters in Jamestown, Tennessee,. much less Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan. Since everyone likes to eat, let me recommend a great little Mexican restaurant in Dunlap. Coming from the south it was at the very end of the town neat to a Shell station, sorry didn’t keep the name. But it was great Mexican food and I’m from Dallas where Tex-Mex is king.
I think it goes without saying that the Worlds Longest Yard Sale is in August (starts the first Thursday in August) and wear appropriate clothing and wear proper sunscreen protection and drink plenty of fluids. We were lucky and it was cloudy all day and not bad at all. You can buy bottles of water for $1 many places, so drink plenty. You need to plan for accommodations if you are planning to spend the night, which is a must if you want to see much of this 675 mile World‘s Longest Yard Sale. If you don’t book well in advance, you will probably have difficulty finding a place to stay.
So if you follow my suggested dos and don’ts, I think you should have an enjoyable experience as I did on my first visit to the Worlds Longest Yard Sale.