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Thread: Buying a sewing machine from LQS vs. Joannes, Hancocks, etc.

  1. #1

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    I'm trying to figure this out. I've been told (by a LQS) that you should only by a sewing machine from a dealer because even though the machine may be the same model number, they are different machines. They said that at the factory, the dealer machines are built to different specifications than the ones that go to "big box stores". In other words, there are two assembly lines at the factory. But I also see a lot of people have bought their machines from these "big box stores" and are perfectly happy with them.

    Is there really a difference or is this just something that the LQS says to get you to buy their machine for a little more money? I know they also throw in classes and warranties and repair service.

    Just a curiosity question. Looking forward to hear what you all think.

  2. #2
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    I can't really say for sure, but I also have read that the machines (and electronics - TVs, computers, etc.) at Wal-Mart in particular are different than at other stores. It's how they are able to sell them at a lower price. Read it on Yahoo news a while ago

  3. #3
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    I like to buy my machines at a dealer, that way you get classes on whichever machine you buy. The people at the big box stores don't know anything about the machines, generally speaking.

  4. #4
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    The difference with most chain stores is that they purchase less expensive models of the brands they carry. These may look the same on the outside, but may have less features or lower specifications. Using a sewing machine for instance, the chain store machine may have fewer additional stitches or fewer standard feet. They also buy in larger quantities, which allows them to sell things cheaper. If the manufacturers model number is the same in both places, it is the same exact item inside and out. But it must be the manufacturers model number you are comparing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mytwopals
    The difference with most chain stores is that they purchase less expensive models of the brands they carry. These may look the same on the outside, but may have less features or lower specifications. Using a sewing machine for instance, the chain store machine may have fewer additional stitches or fewer standard feet. They also buy in larger quantities, which allows them to sell things cheaper. If the manufacturers model number is the same in both places, it is the same exact item inside and out. But it must be the manufacturers model number you are comparing.
    mytwopals is correct - it might look the same on the outside - have to check to make sure the model numbers are EXACTLY the same - to make sure they are the same on the inside

    I learned this when we were looking at new stoves and refrigerators

  6. #6
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    I would only purchase from a LQS so if I needed help with the machine they would know what and how to help me. Classes would most likely be available also.Also if something happens to the machine they could repair it. However there are some people who have bought from Walmart and other stores and have been very happy with their purchase. So choose carefully. Marge

  7. #7
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I know nothing about sewing machines, but I do know brakes. Rotors, pads, wheel cylinders, master cylinders, etc. My husband is an engineer that designs machines and components. He has worked in the same factory doing this for 18 years. All the brands from the cheapest to the "performance" brakes come off the same machines and assembly line. "High end" brakes generally get a nicer paint job and a prettier box. There is no other difference.

  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    It is possible to manufacture different grades of items on the same production line. They're called grade changes.

    I would not buy a sewing machine from a big box store. Having the dealer support is worth what little extra you may pay. Especially if you're contemplating a higher end machine. A dealer generally will offer classes so you learn how to use all the features of your machine.

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    This is just my opinion...If you are going with a lower end machine, I would check the model numbers and buy the one at the lowest price. You should be able to learn the functions of the machine yourself using the manual.
    If you are buying a higher end machine, you may need the classes and support that a dealer will be able to provide, and also take care of the warranty servicing.

    I worked at a plant where we put together tv/vcr combo units. They were all the same except for the nameplates..even Curtis Mathis...only difference with the Curtis Mathis? The techs tweaked them a little more for clarity of picture/sound. We put panasonic, JCPenny, Sears, Wards, and other names on them...same model number except for the ones that got an additional turn of a screw driver.

  10. #10
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I bought my Viking at Joann,s but that dept. is not really connected to Joann's.
    I have had my machine serviced at the local repair shop and they have not said anything about it being different than other Vikings.
    Joann's also carries Singer in the same dept. I dont know about those machines.

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