Smithfield Herald

June 27, 2014

Endless Yard sale stretched 100 miles this year

Thousands of people passed through Johnston County on June 20-21 during the second annual U.S. 301 Endless Yard Sale last week.

Buy to keep or buy to sell? That was a dilemma for many people during last weekend’s U.S. 301 Endless Yard Sale.

Thousands of people passed through Johnston County June 20-21 in search of bargains at flea markets, in parking lots at stores and offices and at homes along the highway.

Some people at the yard sale were self-described “yard sale junkies.” They travel the resale circuit, buying items to sell to others at – they hope – a higher price. Other shoppers were looking for deals for their homes, old materials for arts and crafts, books for their kids and so on.

“We don’t know whether to sell or to shop,” said Lani Atkinson, 36, of Selma. She picked shopping this year but hopes to find a space along the highway when the sale returns in 2015.

Atkinson ventured out with her daughter, Amy, 8, to search for arts and crafts supplies. By midday Friday, they had found a stool and some flower pots to paint. “I wanted to see if me and her could find something good to do together,” Amy said.

On Friday, Will and Cindy Kennedy of Winterville were selling jewelry from a yard in Smithfield. They heard about the Endless Yard Sale from their vendor friends, who had sold a lot of goods at the event last year.

Will Kennedy said people should shop used to save money, especially in this economy. “Instead of getting full price, they can get a bargain,” he said.

Tracy David of the Cleveland community was in Smithfield selling home decor and toys to “de-clutter and make some money.”

David said the Endless Yard Sale was bringing her a lot of traffic, but like Atkinson, she faced the buy-or-sell dilemma. She said she might go shopping next year and then resell the items at later yard sales.

Based on a similar sale that stretches from Michigan to Alabama, the U.S. 301 Endless Yard Sale started last year on the 30 miles of U.S. 301 in Johnston County. This year, the yard sale expanded to 100 miles, stretching from Dunn to Roanoke Rapids and including Halifax, Wilson and Harnett counties.

Margaret Schwartzberg, 70, of Four Oaks was shopping in Smithfield for things she could resell later. Among her haul: chairs, dolls, planters and bowls. Earlier on Friday, someone tried to sell her some bowls for $2, but she offered to pay more because the bowls would fetch a higher price later. “There’s so much good old stuff, and people don’t realize what they have,” Schwartzberg said.

Tami Wood of Winston-Salem set up in a friend’s yard in Smithfield. “It’s amazing what people are looking for,” she said. “You have no idea.”

Wood said the yard sale was good for buyers and sellers. “You get to meet all kinds of people, and you have a variety and they can come and see what you got,” she said.

Shopper Wilma Britt, 69, of Mount Olive sifted through boxes in one yard, holding up varied items to the sunlight, including a long, dangling necklace. She said she was looking for hidden treasures. “You see so many interesting things,” Britt said.

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