Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Observations from the World's Longest Yard Sale

This was my first year doing the 127 yard sales, but it definitely won't be my last. Between my dad, my roommate, and myself, we ended up filling the trunk of the car and pretty much had to cram in some small stuff between us in the backseat. I think we may need a much larger car next year! We left Dayton at 8 am, stopped at a small yard sale in Eaton, and got on 127 around 9 am. We made it just past Greenville by 5 when we turned around to come back, which was just over 40 miles. That's insane! While I don't yet have any pictures of my finds, I thought I would post a few quick observations.

(1) Someone(s) definitely got the message about Pyrex being a hot seller! The first booth I found with Pyrex had antique mall prices, which wasn't surprising given that the seller left her tags on her bowls. The cheapest thing in her set up was a divided dish with its lid for $18. The same seller had a set of Fire King mixing bowls that the roommate loved but not for $55. Despite that, I did pick up a few finds. I found a smaller opal casserole with lid for $2!! I also snagged a set of mixing bowls for $12.

(2) Barn sales were usually the worst. There's something about this route that seems to make anyone with a barn think they're a secret antique dealer. One sale had antique furniture marked anywhere from $200 to $1,000+. Did I mention that those "dealers" left things uncovered in the barn, or even worse, just sitting outside? There was so much damage to that stuff that I just had to walk away.

(3) "We had more stuff yesterday" seemed to be the mantra of several off the beaten path stops. One lady had a ton of overpriced "collectibles" and kitchen stuff. Stuff like $10 for a worn down pair of shoes and $15 for a newer Halloween figurine. She said everything was half off and that she had a lot more yesterday but sold a lot. Another vendor said he sold so much on Friday that he had to go gather some more stuff for Saturday. Yes, I'm sure that your crappy stuff sold out while people with cool stuff didn't.

(4) Old=expensive. While on the hunt for some cheap mouthwash, we wandered through a setup of sellers and found a woman selling mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo, razors, etc. She also had a table of older stuff with a box of Shiny Brites sitting out. When asked how much, she said she wasn't sure. She wanted "to look things up" and "ask some other dealers" before pricing it. She suggested $5, I said it was too much, and her husband popped up, handed me the box, and said $3. When I said I would take them, she flipped out about how "those are old" and "the box is worth more than that," which led me to point out that the plastic was damaged on the box. While she kept moaning and crying about selling the box so low, her husband took my money and grabbed me a bag.

(5) Where were the bake sales? We spent 7+ hours on the road and only came across one bake sale, which was run by cheerleaders and severely lacking in the brownie department. Everything they had looked like something bought in the store. Found another sale advertising baked goods, but all they had left were two pies: blueberry and peanut butter pie. The roommate loves peanut butter pies but balked at the price. They wanted $2.75 for a single small, tiny, oh so tiny slice. I don't care if those pies are homemade, that's insane!

(6) I learned (again) that I need to buy something on the spot. I still regret walking away from a green Pyrex serving dish for $5 and the electronic football and basketball games from the 60s that were priced at $10 a piece and came with all the parts and pieces.

(7) I need a much larger car or truck for next year! My dad bought a very large picture at one of our first stops, and I picked up a hamper at another sale. While we did manage to stuff the hamper full, those two pieces took up quite a bit of space. I saw so much stuff that I wanted to buy, including a mid-century modern bookcase for $10 and a set of three mid-century modern wood living room chairs for $5 each! There was just no room in the car.

(8) Prices were all across the board. At one field sale, a woman had a few tables filled with miscellaneous junk. Most of it was kids' stuff, but she did have one stand ashtray for sale. I had one years ago that got lost during a move and have been looking for a replacement. It wasn't the best or in the best condition, but I figured I could use it as a temporary solution. As soon as I asked, she said, "oh, he said that's really old so the lowest I could go is $25." For a metal ashtray stand missing its ashtray with pitting along the base and some serious rust issues? No thank you.

(9) Field sales are dangerous! We were walking through a field/barn sale, came around the side of a barn, and my dad almost went down hard. There was a huge hole probably 16 inches deep right next to a sale. As it was covered in grass, there was no way to see it. If the roommate hadn't been there to grab him, he would have gone down.

All in all, we had a lot of fun and were seriously tired by the end. I'll save my pictures for a future update. Until then, I'll leave you with a shot of this little Fire King bowl I picked up for $1.50 at an antique mall recently. Even though I "don't collect Fire King," I have a hard time leaving behind anything in this pattern!


  1. Hmmm...maybe you need to rent a van for next year!! It must have been hard to leave that midcentury furniture behind.

    I am all about the Pyrex, but I do love some of the Fire King-especially the tulip bowls. I love the FK bowl you picture, what is the pattern called? Great price!

    1. We've seriously considered renting a U-Haul truck for next year and starting further north on Friday. We'll see how it goes! I believe the Fire King is called Green Meadow. I have a few pieces of it, and I just really love the colors :)