I've been shopping the World's Longest Yard Sale for several years. It's like no other yard sale! It is different in many ways including the number of venders and the hours spent shopping. This sort of yard sale needs a different strategy than the ones in your town. Below are my tips for shopping this sale along Route 127.
10 Tips for Shopping the World's Longest Yard Sale
1) Throw all your other yard sale tips out the window! This one is different and needs to be shopped differently. So get rid of your neighborhood yard sale tips and open your mind to the enormous length of this yard sale!
2) Dress for comfort and bring clothes to put on or take off as the weather may change quickly. Yesterday I shopped this sale in my most comfy trekking sandals with thick soles and breathable leather and my feet gave out by mid-afternoon. Wear comfy shoes and clothes that breathe because August is humid and hot!
3) Plan your route in advance. Yeah, I know the sale is on one roadway, Route 127, but sometimes you will drive for miles with no towns and no sales. Do you really want to pee in a farmers field? Yeah, I didn't think so! Plan ahead and take a map so you will know where the next town is that might have food and a restroom. Also, tiny towns might not have any food, drink or a restroom but the are great for junking!
4) Take water with you to stay hydrated. If you do not have a cooler, then freeze bottled water the night before. It will melt, and sweat, in your car but keep your thirst at bay. Some vendors do sell water but don't count on it.
5) If you see it, buy it! If you pass it up and come back for it, it will be gone. So if you think you want it, might be able to use it, might really want it in 10 minutes, buy it now! Tens of thousands of people are shopping this sale and someone else may purchase your item before you can get back to it.
6) Don't be afraid to make an offer! But don't insult the seller with a low ball offer. Only make a low ball offer if they have signs up saying "no offer too low" or "must get rid of everything". This will most likely not happen on this sale. So don't insult the seller!
7) Frequently you will find fields or parks or shopping centers with numerous venders set up. Some of these might be antique dealers with their shop tags on the items. You can tell this by the nice quality tags vs. masking tape and the quality of all their items. In these situations, don't be afraid to ask for "their best price" or "can you do a little better" on the price. If you play nice, they will come down at least a little on the price.
8) If you buy something large, ask the seller to keep it while you go get your vehicle to pick it up. Some sellers will even suggest it. Sellers on this sale are pretty honest and come back to this sale every year. They don't want to get a reputation for ripping off customers. So trust them to keep your item from being sold again and gone when you come back. But don't leave your item all day! Give them a time frame in which to expect you back to pick it up. This is a courtesy to the seller who is being kind enough to hang on to your item while you continue to shop.
9) Stop when you are tired to take a break. This is a road weary trip so frequent breaks are a must! In some of the small towns, churches and other organizations open their doors with food, drink and restrooms. Take advantage of their hospitality! They love chatting with you!
10) As with most yard sales, the early bird gets the worm. In this case, vendors often have back up or extra merchandise in their trailers, garages, basements, where ever! So don't feel like you missed out on all the "good stuff" by doing the sale on the weekend. There is plenty of "good stuff" to go around. And also, some people don't even set up until the weekend!
Shop a different part of this sale every year! Or extend your shopping experience over the course of several days! This sale is the first weekend in August every year and lasts four days. So get out there and get your junk...it's waiting for you!
Most important...have fun shopping!