October 23, 2021

50 miles of deals

Annual garage sale spans Route 90

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Caitlin Dockery, of Marcellus, watches her 5-year-old daughter Lexi try out a toy pinball machine Saturday at the Summerhill section of the Route 90 Garage Sales.

Growing up, Caitlin Dockery would go to yard sales with her mom. Now she brings her own children.

Dockery, along with her husband, two kids and aunt were all shopping Saturday through tents and tables set up over the weekend for the 50-mile Route 90 garage sale.

The Dockerys were on a mission to find items for their new house as they prepare to return to Central New York from Texas. They needed only two kid bedframes and a dresser, but they found themselves buying other items.

“I wish I was sticking to a budget,” Caitlin Dockery said.

The Route 90 Garage Sales extends 50 miles between the village of Homer and Montezuma in Cayuga County. It has been held on the last full weekend of July for three decades.

Dockery said the hardest thing about going to yard sales is “trying not to spend the money before we find those things,” noting she was a sucker for kids clothes.

However, she also said most people are willing to negotiate.

But for other shoppers like Amie Sweeney of Cortland, negotiating isn’t her style and she believes in remaining firm on the price she’d actually pay.

“If they don’t give it to me for what I want, then I walk away because there’s nothing here I need that badly,” Sweeney said holding a bag with a green glass pitcher she just bought.

Sweeney has been collecting antiques for a while and said she isn’t easily fooled by people trying to overprice something.

She started going to garage sales when she was on her own at the age of 18 and said yard sales are the best for find in kitchen items like dishes or pots and pans.

“When you don’t have anything, it’s great to get cheap,” Sweeney said.

Destany Beebe and Danielle Lynch were checking out a tent with rows of tables full of dishware. Lynch was trying to find a dining room table for $30 or less. However, even though Beebe gave herself a $20 limit, she was willing to spend more.

“I’m not really looking for anything specific, but if I see something I like, I’m just going to get it,” Beebe said.

Her friend Tina Richmond was really excited to find the deal of a lifetime paying only $2 for 23 Troll dolls. Richmond, who owns a fuchsia 1968 Mustang, will be putting the dolls — which were popular in the 1960s — in the back of the car.

Sellers were also looking to get the best price for their items and that meant bargaining, Jim Jones said. He sat under a large tent where he was selling everything from Simpsons dolls to saddles.

“Ten thousand people come here during the weekend, so your chance of selling stuff is good,” said Jones, who has been doing yard sales for 25 years.

Saturday was the last day he was selling stuff and had about a third left from when he set up shop Friday. For Jones, finding collectibles is a hobby; selling them is, too.