Friday, July 9, 2010

Great Tips from a Seasoned WLYS Shopper

WOW!  So far we have heard from some great folks that have been to the WLYS and gotten some interesting feedback.
Linda was kind enough to answer a few questions for us and she has got some great tips. Linda will be attending the WLYS for the 3rd year in a row this time so that makes her a veteran.

 Be sure to pop over to her blog, A la Carte and say hi!

Photo courtesy of Vintage Lilac

1) Are you taking the same route this year and what are your beginning and ending points?

We are not taking the same route this year. The past two years we have driven from Atlanta to Alabama and up to above Chattanooga, which meant we back tracked some. This year we are driving up to Jamestown, KY and then will drive south stopping around Chattanooga and then drive home the next day.

2) How many days will you be at the sale?

Drive up on Thursday, shop days will be Friday and Saturday, we will skip Sunday this year.

3) Do you book your hotel rooms ahead of time or do you just "wing it"?
We book our rooms ahead of time.

4) Are you looking for anything specific, adding to any collections are just buying what ever strikes your fancy?

I have a list of items I would like to look for, collections to add too, but I am open for whatever great deals I find.
This year I will also shop for one of my Blog followers in a contest I will have before Aug 5th when I leave for WLYS.

5) Who is going with you?
My favorite Junk partner and my Honey, Carter

6) In previous years did you spend all your money or did you have some left over?

I have a budget and don't go over it, or not by much. This year I have an ETSY shop so my buying might be a little different.

7) How hard is the parking and how crazy is the driving on the route?

We didn't have too much trouble parking as we tend to stop at large fields full of sellers. Just makes sense for us as we like so many different things and tend to stop shop and then contact each other via cell phone if we loose track of each other. Driving can be bad and my advice be very careful in congested areas where people are going back and forth across the roads.

8) Would you say the selections and the prices are ok, good or great?
All of the above! Some prices are way too high like they were in the antique malls, some are good and then there are those people who are really looking to sell. I ask for their best price, bargain with them if it's still too high and walk away if it's still too much. First day folks are less willing to come down but by later Sat they are usually ready to bargain. Lots of dealers leave after Sat which is why we are skipping Sunday and honestly two days is enough for me.

9) Are the sellers mostly antique dealers that set up along the route or is it mostly folks cleaning out their stuff?

Since we stop in a lot of large fields we see a mixture of antique dealers and some folks who save up and do this yearly. Smaller areas or in people's yards are where you find the folks cleaning out their stuff. Of course you have the flea market folks and the craft booths so its a real mix! You need to take a quick look, see if they have your kind of 'junk' and either shop or move on. I also check prices and if they are all really higher then I'm ready to spend I move on to another booth.

10) Is it hard to get food along the route? Bathrooms?

We try to eat breakfast either at the hotel or a Waffle House or somewhere fast. We take a cooler with water & drinks & snacks for during the day. We try not to stop during the day for food. There are places with food at the large sites and lots of folks have water for sale. We then get a good dinner and crash!

BATHROOMS... WELL BE PREPARED FOR PORTA POTTIES! Another plus in large areas of sellers is porta potties. (take some tissue with you also, they run out).


Photo courtesy of jbcurio

That is some really helpful info, but Linda didn't stop there.  She had more to add and this is the best advice yet:

Here are a few things I would love to share with you that I have learned. Wear a hat, it is so hot and you will get sunburned. Comfy shoes for sure and light clothing. I take a tote bag to put my purchases in ( I buy a lot of smalls). I keep my money in a fanny pack or small bag that goes across my body, along with my sunglasses, phone and camera. Leaves my hands free except for the tote or backpack style tote. I keep paper in the car as so many dealers just don't have that much to wrap stuff in and I want my treasures to get home in one piece. I also keep some boxes in the car to separate the breakables from my Honey's stuff which tends to be larger and heavier. I take wipes(it is dirty out there), a disposable poncho, money in small bills and a smile. Last year I bought a little book and recorded all my purchases as soon as I had time. Helps me keep track of what I buy and what I spend!

And lastly these great words of wisdom for those of us who will be virgins to the WLYS this year :->

 It is fun but exhausting and you need to have patience and a good attitude! Have Fun!

I am really lovin' all Linda's great tips and advice.  I especially love the idea of taking a small notebook along to record the purchases.   That way when we get home we can tally it all up and figure out how we managed to spend so much money!

Only 26 more days until Beth and I leave for TN and the WLYS!!


  1. Excellent tips! Many of the things she mentions are the same things I pack in my car for a road trip. Makes me want to just get my car ready and head out for the fun.

  2. Hi Suzy! Thanks for the shout out, I will link this on my blog later today. I was at Scott's today and junked with Mary Kay Andrews aka Kathy! She says she knows you and we talked about the WLYS! I also got to meet Sue from Vintage Rescue she is great! I will do a little blog about my adventure probably tomorrow!

  3. Won't be long now,til the WLYS, the count is on! This is probably our 5th year or so!! Hot and tiring but oh so fun!! Wouldn't miss it for the world.
    Carol in GA

  4. Coming over from Linda's...she sure does have some awesome tips! I'm thinking about going...that's if I can talk my SWEET honey into going with me:) Check out my NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS PARTY...I think you will like it!


  5. When I hit an event like this I take Tons of Singles (at least one hundred)the vendors love them! It has even got me deals!

    Have Fun and be sure to blog it all!


  6. I tend to buy smaller items, so I keep a laundry basket in the car to put them in so they don't go rolling around or get crushed accidentally.
    Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!!

  7. this will be my first year going and I am SUPER excited! thanks so much for all the tips. will anyone be tweeting during the sale? i plan to, but i'm not sure what hashtag to use...this will probably be great so i can keep up with whats going on along the parts of the route im not on, or am on...

  8. Glad to have found this blog!
    Going to the the WLYS for the first time and I am REALLY excited... Not sure where to start??? Are there any places that we MUST hit?


Thanks for checking up on "the project"! I love to hear from my readers and if you've been to the WLYS be sure to let me know. If you've provided an email link in your blogger account, you will be hearing back from me! xo, Suzy

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