BRENDA RUSH HOYT Another Man’s Treasure
Experience says bargains truly ‘galore' on 64
When Altus resident Linda Hiles and her husband shopped the 127 Corridor sale — a gargantuan roadside yard sale that stretches for 690 miles from Michigan to Alabama — a kernel of an idea took shape.
“I thought, ‘Golly, that would be terrific to have something like that in Arkansas,’” she remembers. So the antique shop owner set about to make it happen. In August 2000, the first “Bargains Galore on 64” sale kicked off.
“We have so many hotels and restaurants and other tourist services available along this route, and the access to I-40 makes it convenient for a lot of people,” she says of the choice to set the sale along U.S. 64 from Fort Smith stretching to Beebe. “I got together with advertising and promotional services and Chamber of Commerce organizations from all those towns, and they agreed to help fund marketing services.”
It’s no wonder cities are eager to participate: Hiles says an impact study completed by Robert Wofford of the College of the Ozarks in 2004 estimated that approximately $190,000 was brought into tiny Ozark, a town along the route, as a result of the sale.
“After the first year, it started growing like crazy,” says Hiles. “There are no requirements to get a permit during this event — all you have to do is set up, as long as you have permission of the property owner. It’s such a great money raiser for any nonprofit or civic organization.”
This year’s sale will start on Thursday and run until Aug. 12. Want to know how to make the most of the 160-mile treasure hunt? Consider these tips and tricks from area junking professionals.
MonkeyBox at Fayetteville’s Funky Yard Sale Years shopped? Three
Favorite purchase? A box with three very old composition dolls. It was at a
sale that I always stop at but rarely make a purchase. The dolls weren’t priced, and I almost didn’t ask, but at the last minute I went back. When they said $10, I couldn’t pay quickly enough. I sold one for $80, one for $50, and I still have the most valuable one — she’s a Rose O’Neill Kewpie doll. I didn’t know their value when I first found them, but I knew they were valuable!
Favorite stretch? I generally go into Alma to the city limit, turn around, and head to Ozark, then back to Alma. I only go to the sales on the side of the road that I am driving. Most of the church sales are low on merchandise by the time I get to them. I think people purposefully go to them first. I just go in order and stop at any that look promising. Backyard sales are often the best. They’re bigger, and the merchandise is behind the house so they can close up at night.
Tips or tricks? Watch out for traffic and pedestrians. Watch out when YOU are a pedestrian. It’s hot. Take a cooler full of ice and water and snacks. If you see a bathroom, use it. They are few and far between. Flea and Easy at Daisies and Olive in Prairie Grove Years shopped? Six
Favorite stretch? The Alma area is full of great sales, and I spend a lot of time in that area because there’s a great stretch of highway with a lot of sales to stop at. The Ozark area is also a favorite because there are flea markets in that little town that are great. There is an open air market close to Mulberry, close to the river, that a lot of folk come out for. Morrilton and Menifee are also favorite places. These are the “larger scale,” if you will, areas to shop. But along the way, people have yard sales set up everywhere you look. In Menifee, there is a great flea market right on 64 called 2 Brothers who specialize in reclaimed and repurposed goods, and they rent space to vendors during the sale. We always stop in Morrilton and work the railroad tracks.
Tips or tricks? One of my favorite things to do that has nothing to do with
pickin’ is stop in Atkins, the home of Fatman’s Original Fried Pickle. You are on a busy sttate highway so it is imperative to always, always, always be aware of the traffic. Don’t open your door until you’ve looked at your mirror for oncoming traffic behind you. Be courteous to others who are pulliing in and out from the shoulder. Bring water. Wear comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing. Negotiations are a must! You never know how low they will go. Hit the flea markets — they always have sales going. Be ready to have some great conversations with some great people along the way — there’s always something to learn.
Years Favorite Shopped?at purchase?Daisies Two and EverythingOlives I purchase But one of is my my favorite favorite finds— hard was to in decide! Ozark, where I pulled in for lunch. There was a little flea a market with a mechanic’s shop in the back where the owner was selling a few things. I looked over by the door, and he had a wood work table for sale. It was rustic and rough, but I saw potential in it. My handy dandy man is a wonderful carpenter, and he got to work and topped the table with pine boards, and I sold that table in my booth to a couple that had a historic home in Prairie Grove.
Favorite stretch to shop? I like starting at Van Buren but Ozark and east are the best finds.
Tips or tricks? Go early in the morning on the first day. Take a cooler with plenty of water and a towel to wet your neck.
Helena Handbasket Years Favoritetable and shopped?at eight purchase?Daisies chairs. Five and An Olives ornate dining
Favorite stretch? Between Ozark and Russellville.
Tips or tricks? Don’t be afraid to get off the beaten path. Some of the best finds are with people who don’t have the resources to put up a tent on the main
“This is what pickin’ is all about,” says professional dealer Brenda Hoyt. “Searching, observing, getting good deals, traveling miles to find the best stuff … finding awesome items that can be repurposed, upcycled and sometimes, need nothing at all in order to put them in my flea market space at Daisies and Olives.”
“I love Bargains Galore on 64 because all of the sales are on the highway,” says professional dealer Shara Stacks. “No turning off the road or looking for addresses. It’s all very organized.”
“It’s a very eclectic group of vendors — true flea market stuff to antiques, to repurposed, handmade, salvaged barn wood and salvaged barn wood made into furniture,” says Amity Trade Days owner Kimberly Jones.