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Gracie Fogo,10, explains why the resale value on Beanie Babies is higher when the tags are still attached at a yard sale on Highway 189 in Lookout Mountain, Ga., on Friday. The sale is one of thousands that make up the 2012 World's Longest Yard Sale which runs for four days at the beginning of August.

Joe Smialek has experienced both sides of the World's Longest Yard Sale - one year he traveled the sale as a buyer in a motor home, and this year he set up shop in his daughter's Georgia garage as a seller.

This year, he's met people from all over the country and watched hundreds of buyers browse his sale during the first two days of the event, which continues through Sunday.

"I should have had a guest registry, because I've met people from all over the country, I couldn't believe it," he said. "I've met people from Jackson, Mississippi; Nashville; Louisiana; Alabama. There's just all kinds of people."

The World's Longest Yard Sale was created in 1987 as a way to pull people off the interstates and onto the rural back roads of America, said Leann Smith, director of tourism at the Fentress County Chamber of Commerce in Jamestown, Tenn. The Chamber serves as headquarters for the sale, which stretches for 690 miles.

Smith said the sale brings hundreds of thousands of people to Tennessee each year.

"This time of year, our hotels are booked, people are buying gas, stopping and eating at restaurants - and you can distinguish that in past tax revenue surges," she said. "So it's working for us economically."

For Lookout Mountain resident Lori Whitmore, the sale isn't about making money. She has set up in her front yard every year for the last 10 years, but she usually makes less than $100.

"I just have fun with it," she said. "I like to hear where people are from. One lady came in from Mississippi and said she left at 1 a.m. this morning and drove down. And I was like, 'Why!'"

Smith said she thinks buyers just enjoy the thrill of the search.

"It's now kind of trendy, and people are looking for rare, hard-to-find items," she said. "Even if they don't find exactly what they're looking for, there's some treasure hunting involved."

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