The $10,000,000+ Yard Sale

Yes, you read that right, the $10,000,000 yard sale. Last week at the Lincoln Highway Association annual conference in Dixon, one guest speaker was Mike Hocker, the Executive Director of the of the Ohio Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, and one of the key organizers of the annual Buy-Way in Ohio. Mike, who says he does not like yard sales, estimates the annual Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Yard Sale brings in an extra $10,000,000 to the economy in Ohio, mostly for gas and lodging, without counting the yard sale profits themselves. Mike convinced the Ohio Department of Transportation to conduct three traffic counts during the yard sale last year. Compared to a ‘normal’ weekend, the traffic is up on yard sale weekend.

The first year, there were 250 sales in Ohio along the Lincoln Highway and it grew to around 1,000 yard sales last year. He and his wife traveled the length of the state, saying hello to as many of those hosting sales as possible. The Buy-Way in Ohio is a well-organized event that takes months of planning by volunteers, advertisers, businesses, and yard sale enthusiasts. An April edition of American Profile magazine which appeared in many of the Sunday papers all across the United States, featured an interview with Mike about the Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Yard Sale.

So many people come to Ohio from other states that Hocker and his group decided to move the annual event to so people can go to both the Highway 127 Corridor Sale and the Lincoln Highway sale.

In DeKalb, for those who do not have garage or yard space to hold a sale, the DeKalb Area Women’s Center will host space in their parking lot. For $5 a parking space, people can rent a parking space on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Call 815-758-1351 or e-mail dawc@niu.edu for more information. The rain location will be inside the Women’s Center on Friday and Saturday. Hours will be:

Thursday, August 5, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Friday, August 6, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 7, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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By the way, the Lincoln Highway Association Conference brought in approximately $60,000 to the local Dixon economy, just for hotel rooms, food, tour bus rental, and event costs. That does not include what conference participants spent on food and shopping themselves. The local hotel tax brought in around $2,000 to Dixon.

–Kay Shelton