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Neely-Dorsey: Down South Diva on a Dime


I LOVE yard sales! They are just fun, fun, fun and super exciting. You NEVER know what you might run across at a yard sale.

pageant gown

I have been yard saling (buying and selling) for many years. At first I usually bought household furnishings, decorations and accessories. I never really even thought about buying clothes until I started asking a friend of mine at church where she was getting all of these fabulous dresses she was wearing – she almost never wore the same thing twice. Every time I asked she said she had gotten it at the yard sale. When she told me the prices – $3 or $5 but never more than $10 – I almost fell out! At that time I was one of those crazy, maniac shopping like many of you are, haha! I thought nothing of paying $80, $90 or $100 for a blouse or a skirt that I wanted. When I look back to that I just shake my head.

a a diva8

Now I let someone ELSE pay $100 for a blouse or a skirt and then I get it a yard sale for $1, $2 or no more than $5. It is rare for me to pay more than $5 for any dress, blouse or skirt. I did pay $10 several years ago for a fabulous beaded evening gown that I still wear and love. Even the gown that I wore when I participated in the Mrs. Mississippi pageant only cost $5 from a yard sale in Saltillo. Now I would say that at least 50 to 60 percent of my wardrobe comes from yard sales and yard saling. The rest , of course, comes from my favorite thrift shops.

There is definitely an art to yard saling. Many people are experts and have gotten it down to a science. Let me tell you, some people take their yard saling seriously! I want to tell everyone out there that it would be well worth the time and effort to give yard saling a try. Here are a few tips to get started.


1.) Yard sales usually start around 6:00am (sometimes earlier). So be prepared to be UP, DRESSED and OUT OF THE HOUSE no later than 6 a.m. The early bird really does get the worm, in this case. You will get the pick of the litter when you are one of the first ones to arrive.

2.) Scout out the locations where you plan to go. Many yard sales are listed in the newspaper on Friday and Saturday . But, these are not all of the sales that are out there, by any means. There are too many to count. You cannot possibly make it to all of the sales, so, decide on some of the locations that you want to try from the descriptions in the paper or decide on a certain part of town. Over time, you will start to discover where you find your favorite things and where the best sales are for the things that you like. My husband goes all over Tupelo because he loves to drive. My favorite area, and where I purchase most of my Diva Finds, is in North Tupelo (Barnes Crossing Mall area, Northridge Subdivision) and Saltillo.

3.) Take lots of small bills ($1 and $5) and lots of change. It is much easier to make your purchases when you have the exact amount. You can get in and out with no hassle. Also you really don’t want to take all of the sellers change because they need it for the day. They will appreciate your small bills and change.

4) As soon as you approach a yard sale, give the whole yards sale a once over glance to see if there is anything that catches your eye. If you start in one area and just focus on it, thinking that you have time to leisurely browse, you might miss something that you really wanted. You will be amazed at how many shoppers are at the sales . Everyone is out to get that great find. Try not to let them get to it before you do!

5) Have fun! You will meet some great people while yard saling and even learn a lot of things! It’s amazing the things you can learn at a yard sale. You might get to know some of your neighbors that you didn’t know before. You can find out where some of the best sales are that day. You can even find out about future sales and other activities going on it the city. Any way that you slice it yard saling ROCKS !!!!

I think these few tips will get you started on your new adventure in the Yard saling Game. I will be back, of course with more tips and advise on thrifty shopping. Until then, go forth and be fabulous! Be You! Do You! SHINE!

patricia dorsey

Patricia Neely-Dorsey is the author of two books of poetry, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems and My Magnolia Memories and Musings-In Poems. Through her poems , the author hopes to protect, preserve and promote the rich cultural history and heritage of her state and region along with providing more positive images than all of the negative images usually portrayed. Patricia lives in Tupelo with her husband James, son Henry and Miniature Schnauzer, Happy. The author has been named a Goodwill Ambassador for the state by Governor Phil Bryant. Her slogan is “Always, Always Celebrating the South and Promoting a Positive Mississippi ” Her website is www.patricianeelydorsey.com and her email is magnoliagirl21@yahoo.com.

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