since i have been back from my 127 yard sale adventure, i have had a good amount of people asking about the whole experience and what i found, etc... for sure i must say that i will be trying to do this event for years to come, but i did discover some interesting tips as well that i think would be helpful to anyone going out and partaking in this monster of all monster yard sales.
Tips for the 127 Yard Sale
by, delilah snell
1. You will not be able to do the whole sale, so don’t even try it. Start small, do less than 200 miles- ideally 100-150 miles.
2. What to bring-very important as you do not want to spend money on things you could have brought from home: flip-flops/crocs/sneakers you can throw out, sunblock, canvas bags, clothes that you don’t mind stinking up, packing tape. Travel light, you will want to use your baggage for yard sale room!
3. Shipping: unless you have the will power of a god, you will probably buy more than you expected (at least that is what I did). Make sure you know where all the UPS/Fed-Ex/Post Offices are in each major town you will pass. More importantly, make sure you can find where you can get durable cardboard boxes, packing tape, and bubble wrap. The Post Office has a great deal where you can ship items AT ANY WEIGHT in a small $14 box.If you bought a lot of small heavy things- get it!Remember, they are not open on Sunday!
4. Tennessee seemed to have the best deals and the best selection of goods- at least from my point of view. Don’t get too excited at the beginning unless you know your stuff, I am telling you this thing is big and there will be EVERYTHING!
5. Food in general is pretty greasy and not the best for vegetarians and hit or miss. We found decent breakfasts at the chain Cracker Barrel, which are located in all major towns along 127. However, don’t be afraid to ask locals what is out there. Also, Mexican food does not have 2 dishes in one name: Fajita Quesadilla??
6. Speaking of eating- most of Tennessee (and Kentucky) along 127 was dry. What is that you ask?? Well, if you have had a long day shopping and haggling, don’t expect a frosty glass of beer at your local pizza parlor. It took us a few to figure this out. SOLUTION: Get your meal to go, ask for a couple large glasses of ice and go buy yourself a few margarita wine coolers and have your meal at your hotel (for extra-strength, buy tequila in Alabama). There is a winery across the street from the Jordan Hotel, get there before 6PM and you can have the only bottle of wine we could find for miles!
7. PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD! We almost got in a few head-ons. People are not paying attention and there are a number of accidents, plus people are stopping all the time to look at the sales.Make sure your pilot is not distracted-get drinks and snacks for them and don’t let them talk on the phone or touch a map-that is the co-pilots job. Bring your I-pod and a car connector and plenty of playlists, talk shows and other things on it so that you don’t even have to touch the radio. Avoid driving long distances at night.
8. Photography: This trip is great for photographers. The natural settings in the morning and evening are beautiful as well as the trinkets, food, people and displays of all of the sales. Another thing that I want to focus on for the next rip: the signs of route 127. You will find below are just a few images that I love.
9. Bring a small cooler with snacks and drinks. It gets HOT and if you are watching your weight or have a certain diet, you should bring those special things along with you. Road-side food is meat and fried only…(except the occasional fruit stand)-it’s good, but not the healthiest.
10. Don’t tell people you are from California:I guess they think we are all rich and famous and can afford everything at full price. Before you leave, find a small town in a state next to where you are…find out a little bit about it- guess where you are going to be from??? About deals and where you are from:I only say this for the larger sales where there are dealers and people who are doing this for a living. There are tons of small tiny yard sales where they would love to talk and know where you are from, here you will get the best deals and met great folks.
11. Talk to people: the great people along 127 are super friendly folk and great conversation is not only a way to know who makes up the sale and area, but a great way to lead into bargaining. Ask them about how to know about items, where to find them and why they do what they do… it will enrich the whole experience.
12. Make at least some sort of list of things that you want: I am telling you, this event can become overwhelming very fast and if you do not have some sort of guidance you can easily get off track. Set aside about $50-100 (depending on your budget) for that one thing that you were not expecting to find or event think about until you saw it-much like an old-school bottling contraption that i found for $30-man I was pissed that I could not buy it!
The last tip I would give is to go with people who you don’t mind walking around in the hot and humid environment and are not advert to junking it whether by road or shopping-this trip is all about the experience of finding things…and the work to look for them.