Arts, Central New York, Consumer, Feature, Technology

Mackenzie-Childs Pulls off Another Barn Sale Despite Technology Issues

Many groups come dressed in coordinated t-shirts, or black and white checkered clothing. © 2018 Debra Kelley.


Listen here to find out why one shopper has been coming to the barn sale for a decade. 

Audio transcript: Ten Years of Mackenzie Childs_Natalie Maier

By Natalie Maier SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Technology issues made for a difficult check-out process at this weekend’s Mackenzie-Childs Barn Sale. Tens of thousands of shoppers descended upon Aurora for the annual sale. But the electronic system froze on Saturday, causing major wait time for customers.

One of those customers is Debra Kelley, of Manlius. Kelley has been going to the sale for 10 years, but she said she’s never seen anything like the lines at this year’s sale, because of the system failure.

“All the screens froze for two hours so you couldn’t do anything. You couldn’t get shopping carts because no one was checking out. The line was so long, it was crazy,” Kelley said. Nevertheless, Kelley said she and her friends had a great time networking with other shoppers while waiting in line. In years past, she said she has met other customers from as far as California and Texas.

The brand, which began in 1983, has become world-renowned for its hand-painted furniture and ceramics with signature black and white checks. For many shoppers like Kelley, the barn sale has become more about tradition and less about the deals.

“We usually leave here around six. Someone packs a cooler with wine or champagne,” Kelley said. “The line is super long, but people are all chatting and passing food around, it’s fun.”

Kelley and eight of her girlfriends, sporting matching t-shirts, managed to fill two SUV’s with their finds from this year’s sale. She says even those who aren’t there to shop end up taking home merchandise as a keepsake from the event.

“I don’t know anybody who goes there and actually comes out with nothing,” Kelley said.

Even with this year’s technology glitches, Kelley said she is already looking forward to next year’s sale.