Attention Bargain Hunters: The World's Largest Yard Sale from Gadsden, Alabama to Hudson, Michigan

Sherri Granato By Sherri Granato, 30th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Money Saving Tips

There is nothing quite like 675 miles of treasures that spring to life in this 4-day long yard sale that occurs every year on the first Thursday in August. Over 5,000 individual yard sales will be stretching across Highway 127 from Gadsden, Alabama to Hudson, Michigan.

The Luck of Finding Valuables Amongst the Junk & Yard Sale Tips

Ask any great junk detector or yard sale treasure expert and they will tell you that more then likely you own something that is worth much more then you thought it was. And there is a fifty-percent chance that your unknown treasure was bought from a garage, tag, or yard sale. In fact many bargain hunters are constantly on the prowl for next to nothing prices as they dig deep for this stuff right in the comfort of another person's property with their permission.

The sad part is that most people are unaware of what they could be selling to another person that is looking for cheap treasures that you have quite probably categorized as nothing more then clutter, old junk or future thrift store donations. Reseaching popular and valuable items on eBay and reading up on collectibles is never a bad idea when you are attempting to make a quick buck. Becoming familiar with names that bring in a good market value is something that just takes time and patience. Picking through piles of inexpensive yard sale items can eventually reap big rewards to a trained eye or to a collector that finds grandma's broken armoire a true masterpiece that they simply must have.

Old furniture, paintings, coins, certificates, dishes, vintage jewelry, books, and any other old or questionable item that you are considering adding to your list of garbage that simply must go should be given at least a second glance. This is where the sad tale of the other persons junk is another's treasure may truly have serious meaning, especially when the price tag jumps from a mere $2.00 to a staggering $200 million dollars.

Hot ticket items found within the last decade at garage sales include glass negatives reported to be taken by the famous photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams. The images are of Yosemite's landscape that were shot somewhere between 1919 and the early 1930's. The fragile glass plates were individually wrapped in newspaper inside deteriorating manila envelopes. Notations were hand written on each envelope by the photographer's wife Virginia Adams. This unexpected treasure found in the bottom of a box cost bargain hunter Rick Norsigian $45.00. A Beverly Hills art appraiser estimated their worth at $200 million. This particular find remains under investigation until they are in fact proven to be the original works of Ansel Adams.

A recent visit to a Nashville thrift store turned out to be a lucky day for one man who purchased what he thought to be was a really cool imitation of history that simply needed to be added to his collection of goodies and relics for a whopping $2.50. What he actually got his hot little hands on was an original 1820's copy of the Declaration of Independence estimated by experts to be worth more then $300,000.

Pablo Picasso gave both Pete Pivens and Tiesha McNeal quite the unexpected paydays when they separately discovered that the pictures they had purchased at two different yard sales in two different states were believed to be worth over one million dollars if proven authentic. Tiesha paid $2.00 for the painting she dubs the bargain of a lifetime, and Pete paid just a buck for his basement bargain find. Both paintings, if originals; have been estimated to be worth over 1 million dollars each.

You may want to think twice before placing that $50.00 price tag on Grandma's armoire as Mark and Liz Thompson recently found out. They are in the business of buying old furniture from yard sales, auctions, and estate sales, and their bargain hunting recently paid them a little extra when they discovered hidden envelopes stashed in the back of an antique armoire. After looking inside of the over-stuffed envelopes clearly marked with the Banners Bank insignia, the Thompsons discovered a total of $20,000 dollars in cold hard cash. Our faith in humanity can now be restored as the Thompsons have since returned the money to the family after questioning them in detail.

When it comes to yard sales, books are just a part of the deal. In fact you can usually find them by the box full or stacked to the ceiling in any garage sale. This just happened to be the case for a California woman who purchased an old dusty Russian leather book written by Carl E. Schmidt for a $1.00 at a local yard sale.

After careful consideration, the woman later had the book appraised at the Southern California Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America's "Rare Book Round-Up" and discovered that her book, titled "A Western Trip" was worth a staggering $6,000. Why the hefty price tag? According to the experts, the book contains twelve full-page mounted color photo-chrome prints by the famous 19th century painter and photographer William Henry Jackson who took the first pictures of Yellowstone National Park while working on the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871.

Another classic case of excellent yard sale and junk detecting techniques goes to Vaneisha Robinson of Akron, Ohio for her yard sale find of a LeBron James 'King 23' diamond pendant purchased close to five years ago for a mere $5.00. When asked about the pendant, the pretty young teen didn't think twice about wearing her yard sale bling to high school, but she also couldn't help but to notice the way it was made when several people remarked on its quality workmanship. After paying $200.00 to have it appraised, she walked away with a nice chunk of change equaling $10,000 for her bargaining efforts.

The World's Longest Yard Sale: August 7-10, 2014

Every year in August, bargain hunters look forward to the longest yard sale in the world. This is what bargain hunters, junk detectors, and yard sale diehards live for. There is nothing quite like it as 675 miles of treasures spring to life in this 4-day long yard sale that occurs every year on the first Thursday in August. Over 5,000 individual yard sales will be stretching across Highway 127 from Gadsden, Alabama to Hudson, Michigan. The 93 mile Lookout Mountain Parkway and the U.S. 127 Highway from Gadsden to Chattanooga become not only become a shopper's paradise complete with relics, antiques, junk and jewels, but it is the quintessential scenic hot spot in America that is a must see. For more information go to:

Tips for Having a Great Yard Sale

1. Pick a holiday free weekend with mild weather where treasure hunters will not melt away or possibly faint from heat stroke while digging through your gold mine of junk.

2. Advertise your yard sale on Craigslist, the free boards in grocery stores and on the post office bulletin board. Make huge neon painted signs with directional arrows pointing to your sale.

3. Get over it! No emotional attachments allowed. Sell that Picasso. Price items reasonably and offer a table filled with "FREE" unwanted items that you would otherwise donate!

4. Offer coffee in the morning and soda or tea in the afternoon. Buy Dollar store cups and allow people to help themselves. Leave a jar next to the drinks clearly marked "DONATIONS".

5. Always smile and allow bargain hunters to browse. Do not follow people around with high pressure sales tactics. Take all reasonable offers. You weren't planning on keeping it anyway or else it wouldn't have been a consideration in the first place.

6. No matter what it is, mark it with a brightly colored price tag. Be careful not to ruin items with sticky price tags. People don't like the unknown, and they hate offering a price even worse. Make life easier by stamping that fine China with a five cent price tag.

7. Lock up the house and other doors leading to the house or garage where you wouldn't want people nosing around. Your attention should be left on your yard sale. If selling items indoors, get a helper. Do not let people into your house unescorted.

8. Play upbeat motivational music, but not so loud that people can't hear themselves thinking.

9. Set up a table strictly for collecting money and keeping collectibles, antiques and higher priced items within sight.

10. If all else fails, sell your unsold items on Craigslist or eBay.


Antiques, Armoire, Bargain, Books, Collectibles, Craigslist, Donation, Ebay, Free, Furniture, Garbage, Junk, Lebron James, Nashville, Pablo Picasso, Paintings, Payday, Price Tag, Rare, Yellowstone

Meet the author

author avatar Sherri Granato
Sherri has lived in several haunted properties, including a morgue turned basement apartment. Instead of fearing the paranormal, she has opted to embrace, investigate and understand it.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
31st Jul 2014 (#)

Sherri, great article. I love garage sales, yard sales and flea markets. I go to them all the time. I find a lot of craft items and I bring them home for projects I'm working on. I've got enough beads to share with my little ones to last a very long time. I get them for next to nothing. I was in our craft store just last week and those beads are now very expensive. I'm glad I bought them at garage sales.

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