Yard Sale Packing List

Yard Sale Packing List
Robin Brown and Patricia McDaniel

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Yard Sale Survival KitPack a Cooler – It is important to stay hydrated! A cooler filled with ice cold water comes in very handy. Buy the little 8 ounce water bottles. If you are staying at hotels, you can fill the cooler with ice from the hotel ice machine.

Snacks – Depending on how quickly you move through the sale, it can be a long time before you get a meal.  Pack carrots, celery and grapes in baggies to store in the cooler as well as some pretzels, chips and granola bars to satiate hunger. Maybe even a cookie or two.

Packing Your Suitcase Travel light—you will want more room in the car for treasures! Pack a laundry bag for dirty clothing—you will not want to wear an outfit more than once. Late May, early June can be great weather during the day, but evenings and early mornings could be chilly. Pack a long sleeve shirt, windbreaker or sweatshirt. You may want to keep an extra change of clothing handy in case—dust, rain and general dirt with scrounging for treasures may mean you need to change during the day. Many hotels have washers and dryers so you could do a load of laundry during the trip. Throw a few detergent pods and fabric softener sheets in your bag. The hotel may or may not have these items for sale.   Sunscreen and Insect  Repellent  Caring for your skin is a must!   Pack that sunscreen! And no one wants a bug bite!

Bring a Hat
A hat will keep the sun at bay and will help keep you cool.

In addition to shielding those rays, vendors won’t see your eyes when negotiating.

Flush-able Wipes/Facial Tissue –  Pack a travel pack of flush-able wipes and carry it with you in your bag or backpack. Often, port-a-johns are your only option. As the sale progresses, toilet paper becomes scarce. If you cannot find flushable wipes, a pack of facial tissue will work just fine.  Hand Wipes and Hand Sanitizer  Between touching things that a thousand other people have touched, the hot, humid weather and not being able to wash your hands after using a port-a-john, — this is a definite necessity!   Maps and GPS -You don’t want to lose precious shopping time by being lost, do you?

Mini Trash Bags – Hefty makes these cute little trash bags in a cute little travel case. They are the size of a plastic grocery bag (OK, I guess you could just bring grocery bags). I find it helps keep the car tidy.  Tote/Packing Materials  Put a storage tote, or a box of some sort in your car. It helps keep the small items corralled. Packing materials such as bubble wrap or newspaper are helpful to have on hand as well. If you plan on purchasing furniture, a couple of old blankets will help prevent your treasure from being scratched.

Small Bags
Small, plastic zipped plastic bags are handy to keep smalls organized.  Rain Ponchos  These can be picked up at any big box store for a few dollars. A lot of vendors are under tents and will remain open if it rains.

Portable Umbrella
Bring a small umbrella that can fit in your bag. It may start raining when you are not near your car.

Extra Shoes
Those comfortable shoes may not be so comfortable after a day or two of traipsing through fields or treasure. A second pair of shoes in case you get a blister or step in something muddy, noxious or sticky and do not want to spend time cleaning them up at the immediate moment. Note: Another perfect use for those plastic grocery bags!

Tools  – A tape measure is a must. If you are looking for furniture, measure your space prior to the sale so you will know your purchase will fit your space.  Pack a flat head and a Phillips head screwdriver as well as an adjustable wrench. Sometimes you need to take something apart to get it into your vehicle…

First Aid Kit  – Sometimes you have to wrestle someone to the ground to get the item you want—just kidding! A small first-aid kit is a good thing to have on hand. At the very least, take some bandages and anti-bacterial cleanser.

Cash/Credit Cards – Cash is the preferred method of payment on the sale. More and more vendors are taking credit cards, but cash is king! Bring bills in all denominations. The nearest ATM machine could be miles away. Take plenty of cash in small bills. How much you should take depends on your budget.

Price Guides
Using a smart phone is a great way to reference the going rate for an item. Printed pricing guides are also handy to check prices.

Note Pad and Pen
You may want to note your purchases and the price paid. The seller may also have a great story on the provenance of your purchase. Jot it down while it is fresh in your mind or at the hotel that evening.

When purchasing ephemera (paper items), the price is often written directly on the item. You may want to have a white vinyl (magic rub) eraser on hand to ensure the pencil marks can be completely removed. If the vendor has placed a price sticker directly on the piece, ask the vendor to remove it to ensure there are no smudges or tears on your treasure.

Magnifying Glass or Loupe
This will help in identifying maker’s marks.

Shoulder Bag/Backpack or Rolling Cart
If you are shopping a large field, you may want a bag to hold your cash, measuring tape, and those small items. You may also want a rolling cart to help haul those medium and larger items.

A magnet will help identify various metals.

This sale traverses our beautiful country. You will want to document the beautiful scenery, your adventures with your pals or those little bits of crazy that can be found along the way.

You may need an antacid when you have passed up that bargain sixty miles back. You will also want headache relievers as well as any of your regular medications.

Large Truck or Rental Trailer
Really assess how large your vehicle is. What can you really fit in there? How many friends will be with you? Think about renting a large van or truck or possibly a trailer to attach to your vehicle.

Emergency Equipment
Hopefully you won’t need a road flare or fire extinguisher, but you may be able to help a fellow yard-saler if you have one in your car!

Good Luck Charm
If you believe in such things, bring along that rabbit’s foot or whatever brings you luck. It can’t hurt to have that extra oomph to help find your treasure.

Yard-Saling Pals
Finally, a pleasant and patient companion that shares your passion for finding a deal is a must. Hopefully they are strong enough to help move furniture if needed! Someone in your group has some possess some mad negotiation skills—it never hurts to ask for the best price, but don’t be rude and criticize the merchandise or the price, move on, there are more treasures down the road. Patience is needed by all—this is a grass roots sale—the organizers of this sale are paid nothing for their efforts. People will park where they can and the traffic will sometimes move at a snail’s pace. Find the humor in the situation and just have a good laugh. Be kind to all and pass it on!


Travel the National Road

Travel the National Road this summer and explore some history of our country, their are many unique shops, family owned restaurants, historic motels where you can park at your door, museums, historic bridges, historic brick roads and so much more.  Plan your trip to unwind and leave the stress of the city behind, do not make your trip a rush but start with the mindset that you are going to enjoy a laid back weekend.

Explore the Historic National Road

Travel the National Road
Travel the National Road

The weekends are always a great time to explore the Historic National Road also known as US 40 which crosses 6 states though you do not have to cross all of the state in a weekend, start by enjoy the National Road in your state and when you have seen all that needs to be seen you can move on to the next state.  Weekends are great though because many people are out having yard sales where you can pick up on some great deals and potentially some lost treasures, you just do not know.  When we raised our kids we would make the weekends like an adventure where we would hit yard sales or garage sales to see what type of deals we could find of course today I am trying to sale all of the deals that I got then, though now we call them treasures.

I have been in the lodging business now for over 37 years, last year I put in an antique shop which my wife runs with our son in law so the tradition continues, at first last year we were looking to buy a shop but then I thought Why?  Many years ago I cleaned out one section of my large property so I cleaned up the open space and made it an Antique shop and more where we sell many of the items we purchased all of those years ago plus treasures my wife continues to find on her weekend excursions though now with the grand kids but none the less it is still fun.  Weekends are also fun to hit up auctions, normally at auctions  you can also find much homemade cooking at prices you cannot beat so it really is fun to make a day or weekend of it.

National Road Antiques – Norwich Antique Shop

We will be opening our shop on May 3 this year and are in the process of adding a sign to the building though last year we had the sign on the entry and found most people could not find the building so this year I am adding a sign on the building also.   Should you happen to be in the area fill free to stop in an look at some of our treasures and even stay at our historic property, Baker’s Motel was built in 1937 at it present location though this past year I found out from some locals that just over the hill was the original site of Baker’s Motel then in 1937 it moved to the top of the hill where it remains today.

Staple in American Life – Garage Sales and Yard Sales

With all that is changing in the world today I see the one constant as yard sales and garage sales these remain great opportunities to pick up many items at good prices simply because people just do not want to store things, they would much rather have them out of the house so they have space for new items.  If you are a young family you can also pick up like new clothing for your children or babies, cribs, chairs and more.

Should you want to plan ahead for a garage sale or a yard sale please feel free to take advantage of my free classifieds on Mammasmarkets.com and since I do not charge for garage sale or yard sale advertising I might as well plug my website.   You can check my rankings simply by typing in your city and and free classifieds, as an example type in Zanesville, Ohio Free Classifieds.  In case you are wandering how I came up with this name a couple years back a lady contacted me and wanted me do create her a platform for people advertising products for sale, ie.  Free Classifieds so I created her this platform.  Then after I took the time to make her the site she decided she did not want it, so with a good name in hand I have optimized the website for rankings and this year added it to my National Road advertising platform to provide people with some great advertising opportunities.  Enough said.


Enjoy Traveling on the National Road

Enjoy Traveling on the National Road

Enjoy Traveling on the National Road
Enjoy Traveling on the
National Road

When making the trip just imagine 70 years ago families making the same trip and 40 was the main road and your traveled through many small towns along

the route.  Most of the lodging was Mom and pop motels as chain were just starting out, plus the restaurants are pretty much the same as the motels all independently owned and operated.  High end back then was getting a room with a black and white TV and air-conditioning then fast forward to today when people are not happy unless they have Jacuzzi tubs in the rooms and new everything.  Though I must say that I see people looking back to a much simpler time, even our youth are enjoying more of the simpler things where they also find much less stress.

Stepping Back to a Simpler Life

When making your trip plan on just enjoying a simpler life and find some nice independent properties to enjoy where you can enjoy walking around the property, sitting on a bench and just having a nice conversation with your partner enjoying something to drink, sure sounds relaxing doesn’t it.   It is simple as getting yourself in the frame of mind to simply relax and enjoy a trip into the past, just plan for a week or two long journey across US 40, the Historic National Road to really enjoy some of the great places to visit, eat and stay.   There are many chains available for those that do not want to enjoy the classic ambiance of diners and motels, though you will find some very nice independently owned motels along the National Road also.    Please take some time to view our business website NationalRoadEast.com to view the many things to see and do along the National Road.  If you don’t see a place let them know that it might not be a bad idea to place a listing on our site.

A good informational website on the National Road is Route40.net as this guy has been traveling the National road for years and the website is his passion, he spends many hours on updating the information.  Maybe as many hours as I spend on optimizing my sites,  well that might be a little over the top to expect.

Personally owning a business on the National Road I have a deep appreciation for the history and the businesses on the National Road.   I remember 37 years ago when I purchased my motel we were renting rooms back then for $12.00 a night and our weekly rates were $35.00 a week, also when we purchased our motel all of the rooms had not changed since the property was builtHistoric National Road.  The office had a cord board switchboard, what a nightmare back then you had to basically sit in the office all day answering and transferring calls. Back then we had all of the big time wrestlers staying with us each year when they had an event at the Secrest Auditorium, they use to practice out in the front yard.  Also there were many times when we had helicopters land in our front yard to get a room in the back section.  Well I could write a book on my experiences in the lodging business and the people that I encounter on a day to day basis.

Changes in Travel Business

Changes in travel business,  we see all to much businesses come and go plus even companies that have been handed down for generations mainly because they did not make the changes in the way they do business as the times change.   Over the years in our business also I have seen people change from where they appreciate things to simply expecting things.  Back in the beginning you just rented a room, there were no smoking and non-smoking,  then in the 80’s non-smoking rooms were added though if you had more than 10 or 12 those were the rooms that sat vacant then in the late 90’s it switched.  Also in the 60’s -70’s hotels and motels all had restaurants attached, mainly because at the time it was a great revenue generator and a convenience for travelers though as time progressed most of these properties only offered high price meals so people moved back to other alternatives and smaller hotels and motels got out of the restaurant business, then in the 80’s – 90’s all of the restaurants attached to motel and hotel along the interstate were closed.

Bed and Breakfasts – New type of Lodging

The early 2000 brought bed and breakfasts then the hotels and motels started providing breakfasts again for the guests as they were loosing business to the B&B’s,  though I think in a few more years we will see that go again as history has away of repeating itself and it appears properties that provide this are loosing money again since most properties that offer breakfasts normally 40 to 50 bucks over normal rates and now most negative reviews on what guests have available for breakfast.

Reviews / Serving Breakfasts

Personally I think roadside hotels and motels should leave breakfast to restaurant operators and concentrate on the customer experience at the their property.  Today we also see properties running based on reviews online which personally I think is can be a good thing if customers provide quality and informative reviews, which many reviews you see online today simply have no value,  many negative reviews are given because maybe the traveler was having a bad day, or a fight with his or her spouse, the kids are cranky, or the traveler is just mad at the world.  I feel the laws will change where if a customer posts a review based on problems in his life then he or she will be able to be sued or the reviews should simply be removed.

Also now with the bed bug craze to many times people blame the property when they are the ones traveling and can transport these little beasts,  once several month ago I had a guest stop in for a room and I noticed a bite on his neck,  I asked him where he stayed the night before and he stated a friends Travel the National Roadhouse.   I asked him to step outside and have a seat on the bench,  then I asked him if he would remove his shoes for which he did.  Guess what was in his shoes?  You guessed it about 5 of them just waiting for him to take them off.  Of course I did not allow him to stay though I am sure he went to the next property and did stay.  Additionally most properties take care of this problem as soon as they find out about it so rest assured that the lodging industry is aware that this does happen and simply is part of doing business.  Hotels and Motels do not breed these creatures, they are brought in by guests who unsuspectingly carry them from either their homes or other properties.  In many cases the guest that complains the loudest is usually the one that creates the problem and the establishment is left paying the price which is not cheap by the way to eliminate these pesky insects which by the way this cost will be past on to the customers anyways,  please take some time and read my article on posting a review.

More coming soon, thanks for reading!


Yardsale Season is just around the corner

Yardsale Season is just around the corner, time to pack up the kids and get some deals,  the kids love it also and they learn a good life lesson which is no price is the final price.   Everyone know’s that the price listed is not the final price, I hope!

When our kids were growing up they enjoyed the weekend yardsale and auction runs with the many deals that abound.  Plan your yardsales accordingly so that you are ready to deal. Nationalroadflyer (1)

If you are a Yardsale seller?

  1. Price your items above your bottom dollar so you always have some wiggle room, usually never price an item at what you will take for it as potential
    Yard Seller
    Yard Seller

    customers love to deal,  a deal is only achieved when you pay less than the asking price so it is imperative that if you want to sell the item than price it accordingly.

  2. Keep you area well organized so people can eyeball exactly where they want to be.  Remember also that this is a yardsale and you need to keep items cheap if you want to sell them.  When advertising high ticket items it is best to put them in your listing with the price so people will be more app to pay your price when they get there.  It is a good idea to put pictures in your listing also so they can see  the condition of the item you wish to sell.
  3. If possible try to plan the event when your neighbors are also having a sale as to keeps customers longer and bring more traffic.
  4. Try no getting in the habit of selling new items at your yardsale as then your sale really is a business and not a yardsale and would require additional licensing by the state depending on what you are selling.
  5. Post No-smoking signs around the area to prevent discomfort of some guests especially if they have children.

If you are a Yardsale buyer?

  1. Plan your route according for the kiddo’s so if you are making the day of it you either bring food or have a stopping point.
  2. If looking for large ticket items do your checking of prices online to see what comparables are selling for,  better yet with a smartphone you can check pricing when you are there as you can see the condition.
  3. If their price is high you can show them what other similar items are selling for online, probably get a better price also.
  4. If re-purposing make sure the item is not a valuable antique, otherwise your modifications may ruin the actual value.
  5. Remember negotiate,  if the price is $50. offer $25. and go up from their depending on how much you want the item.  Be ready though as if people hear you negotiating and you walk away someone may walk over and simply buy it for the lower price.

National Road Yard sales

If you happen to have a property located on the National Road you can always post your yardsale on Mamma’s Markets for free.   Presently the big event for the National Road Yard sale falls May 31 – June 4th though I would suggest planning other community yardsales if you are located on the National Road, US40 at other times also through the Summer,  Planning ahead is the key!