The 127 Yard Sale – What You Need to Know!
Have you ever attended the World’s Longest Yard Sale aka the 127 Yard Sale? It covers 690 miles from Alabama to Michigan & happens once a year, every year. I’ve been attending this sale as a buyer/picker every year since 2018. Here’s my tips & tips for lodging, food, shopping, best places, worst places, and much more.
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I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks over the years and as we are just a few days ahead of embarking on it again, I thought it was a good time to share.
Where does the World’s Longest Yard Sale, aka the 127 Yard Sale, go?
The World’s Longest Yard Sale aka the 127 Corridor Sale covers 690 miles from Gadsden, Alabama to Addison, Michigan.
When you are doing the World’s Largest Yard Sale, you aren’t walking the entire thing. If that was the case, medical personnel would be coming to take my pitiful overheated self away by mile 2. You basically just follow the 127 route & there are yard sales all down the 690 mile stretch. Sometimes there is 30 miles between sales, sometimes there is a few feet. Some are huge, as in there are 100+ vendors at them. And some are small… just 1 or 2 folks set up in their yard. There are also countless yard sales set up in the neighborhoods and churches off of Highway 127 too. A lot of folks tell me that’s where you find the best deals, down in the neighborhood yard sales right off of highway 127, but honestly – I am always pretty overwhelmed with what was on 127 that I don’t stray from that route much.
You can try to go from one end of the sale to the other or you can pick an area on the route and just stick to it. I have personally never been able to do the entire route, but each year – I leave a little earlier and try to beat what I accomplished the year before.
How long does the 127 Yard Sale last?
It runs officially for 3 days – the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in August. Check their website for more accurate dates for each year.
However, even though it technically only runs that weekend – a huge amount of vendors set up 1 to 2 weeks early. This is an event, y’all. The first year doing this sale, I didn’t know this. I saw the dates announced and I figured that those were the only dates any sales were going on. Boy, was I wrong! I learned real fast that vendors and shoppers alike are there way early, so if you’re looking for something particular – the early bird definitely gets the worm. In that same sentiment, the late ones get the deals.
Are their any areas that have more sales than others?
Crossville, Tennessee – by all means, Crossville, Tennessee! It’s also where you are going to find some of the highest prices. It took us an entire day to cover Crossville because there were just SO many sales and things to see there.
Once you cross the Kentucky/Ohio state line into Ohio – I feel like the prices go way down on a lot of things! Maybe this is just me and my experience, but I definitely think that it’s worth it to venture into Ohio.
Are their areas that have less yard sales than others?
Anything below Signal Mountain, Tennessee! Some people in that area might not like me for saying it but I’ve done this for several years now and once I make it to Picker’s Field in Signal Mountain (the last large area that vendors have sales out), I’m done. The road from Signal Mountain to Gadsden, Alabama just isn’t worth it in my opinion. First, there are barely any yard sales in that stretch. Each year that I’ve gone to that area, it’s just nothing. There might be a small yard sale here and there but mostly, it’s a long stretch of road with nothing on it and a whole lot of driving. Also, the road changes once you get to Alabama. You have to make several turns to stay on the route and none of them are labeled – so it’s confusing to say the very least. I tried it two different years and I won’t do it again.
Where do you stay at if you’re doing a multi-day 127 Yard Sale trip?
I’ve done in a couple of ways. Sometimes, I’ve grabbed hotel rooms along the route as I go – always about 20-30 minutes of of the 127 route. The hotels on 127 are crazy expensive during this trip, so going off the route for lodging is your best bet. I’ve also booked hotels and Airbnb’s ahead of time in certain areas along the route. When you book ahead of time, it gives your more of a schedule to follow and a time that you need to be headed to your next destination.
After doing this a few years, here’s my preferred way to do lodging. I look for a few AirBnB’s around the areas that I want to pick and decide how many days I want to go, and how far I want to travel on the route. I will stay in the same destination a days. One day I will travel north of where I’m staying on the route and the next day, I’ll travel south and head towards the next Airbnb that I’ve rented. Most times, you can find an Airbnb for comparable or even cheaper rates than many hotels, and they have kitchens in them. For me, kitchens while traveling are a life saver and a great way to save money on dinners each night and breakfast in the mornings.
What do you eat for lunch along the 127 Yard Sale road trip?
Some folks eat lunch out, but the pickings can be slim when it comes to food and very overpriced at times. A lot of venders sell food too.
We pack all the makings for really good sandwiches and bring chips and such and lots and lots and lots of water. I always bring a small cutting board and a chef’s knife along with a some fresh tomatoes. A freshly sliced tomato on a sandwich really makes all the difference! I also bring lettuce, salt and pepper, condiments, etc. We look for a nice shady area and park my truck underneath and turn the bed of the truck into a sandwich making station.
I invested in one of these picnic backpacks with all the accessories a few years ago and it was seriously the best decision and is still in great condition. I actually use it all year long.
What about drinks?
BRING. LOTS. OF. WATER. And a cooler. Once you’ve bought your water, go back and buy more. Trust me. You will thank me later.
So, I’ve eaten and drank lots of water… where’s the bathrooms?
Bathrooms are sometimes hard to find and you’ll be lucky to find a Porta potty. Whenever you find an actual bathroom that’s open to the public, take advantage and empty your bladder even if you don’t feel you have to go! If you’re a woman, get you one of these. Yes, I know you may feel odd but you’ll thank me when you can’t find a bathroom and you have to pee NOW.
What else should I know about the World’s Longest Yard Sale? Any more tips for the 127 Yard Sale?
Carry as many small bills as you can. Venders will love you if they don’t have to break a 20 to give you change for a $2 item. Also, if you have lots of ones – many vendors will negotiate the price even cheaper just for that reason.
Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray. And reapply often!
Bring large Rubbermaid containers with a lid, newspaper, plastic bags, etc. You will want to pack your items carefully in your travels to be sure nothing breaks and bringing these items really helps in that process.
Bring car snacks and lots of them. This is a lot of work and the heat can be bad sometimes – keep yourself hydrated and fed!
Don’t forget rain boots, umbrellas, ponchos and extra socks in the vehicle with you. Fields can be super muddy and rain can happen at any time. Be prepared! I personally really like these super affordable lined rain boots. They are super comfortable compared to other rain boots I’ve tried so I can walk in them all day if need be and the price is right. If you prefer boots that cover more of your leg, then these are my go-to (I have the chicken printed ones!) I keep a pack of these disposable ponchos in my truck too. They are one time use, have drawstrings to help keep you dry, and don’t take up much room.
If a rain shower happens, many vendors will start selling things cheap left and right to prevent any damage to their items while some will tarp up and close down during.
Baby wipes! You will find so many uses for these while traveling. Paper towels are helpful too.
Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!!! And remember, you win more bees with honey. Be nice and use your manners!
Ok, Mrs Happy Homemaker – what do you do with all the things you pick?
Well, that depends! I go for two purposes. One – to find things to add to my own personal collections. Finding things ‘in the wild’ is much more fun than finding it them on eBay.
Second – I am finding unique things to sell. I’ve had antique booths for years. After my husband died, it was one of the avenues that I used to make money – as well as running this website and making videos for all of you. As time went on and my website got larger, I had less and less time to devote to making all the antique booths look nice, so I downsized some of them leaving just my booth at Vintage Revival Antiques in Monroe, Georgia.
As I was doing this, many of y’all contacted me and asked if I’d ever consider listing my vintage finds online for everyone to be able to shop from. Wow, what an idea! Then, COVID hit – and the antique stores that my booths are located in closed for a while. That put the final spark in me to start listing more of my finds online. So, I purchased the domain AntiqueCookbooks.com to list all the awesome vintage cookbooks that I find and I started closing some of my many booths, one at a time and simplifying to just one booth – and then starting to list my vintage finds online as well.
So, I take this trip every year – and I try to video it and photograph it as I go so that I can tell y’all all about it as I’m doing it – and show you all the cool things I’m finding. Who knows, you might find a treasure of your own on my little treasure hunts!
Each year that I do this, I try to go further and further north. This year (2021), I hope to actually do it, or super close to it. I’m driving straight up from Georgia (where I live) to an area of Ohio that’s not too far from Addison, Michigan and I’m going to attempt to go from Michigan to Signal Mountain. Wish me luck – check back to the blog or my facebook page for updates!
Do you have any tips or tricks you want to share? Maybe a question of something I didn’t cover?
Leave them in the comments!