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Thread: Checklist for Buying Vintage Sewing Machines

  1. #1
    Super Member M.I.Late's Avatar
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    I saw this on another site recently and thought it might be helpful to post here.

    Vintage sewing machines are becoming popular for both home sewing enthusiasts and antique collectors. The reason for this is because they serve as both a decorative piece and also a functional machine. Known to be workhorses, vintage sewing machines are well made and some models are in high demand.

    Here are a few tips for buying your own vintage sewing machine.

    1. Don't spend too much.
    Many sellers believe that Grandma's sewing machine must be worth over $100 since it is an antique. Maybe it is worth that much, but the majority of machines found in yard sales and thrift stores are not worth more than $20. Learn the names and model numbers of the few that are worth big bucks by checking prices on ebay, then assume that all others are not worth a high price. Currently, the Singer Featherweight 221 fetches the most money on ebay with an average selling price of about $300. Most other machines are worth less than $50 with the majority valued at around $20.

    2. Check the condition of the machine.
    Carefully inspect the underside, the wiring, bed, and bobbin case of the machine. If you see rust, frayed or exposed wiring, or notice there are pieces missing, then think twice before making the purchase. Often the cost of repairs or replacement parts can be as much as the machine itself. It may be better to wait until the next one comes along and hope that one is in great shape.

    3. Take inventory.
    What is included in the sale? Decide if the machine comes with the right amount of attachments, bobbins, and instruction manuals. If these things are important to you then it's good to take that into consideration when deciding whether or not to buy the sewing machine.

    4. Keep looking.
    If the don't find the vintage sewing machine of your dreams today, keep an eye on Craigslist, your local newspaper classifieds and the local thrift store. With a little patience you will find the vintage machine of your dreams.

  2. #2
    Super Member dixiebelle162002's Avatar
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    Great information

  3. #3
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    that is great

  4. #4
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    Just in time!! 8-)

  5. #5
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Great info, thanks! :D

  6. #6
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    That is a good list but it is kinda off a bit because sometimes the decals can make a common machine not so common and therefore the price will be more. Also the condition of said decals play a big part in the price.

    But it is a good guide to go by if your shopping for a vintage machine, especially in the 50's and 60's.

    Billy

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mary M's Avatar
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    Would any one know if a Pfaff 130 or 130-6 would be of any value? Does any one know where I could get info on the date of it....519568? Thanks for the help.

  8. #8
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    Pfaff is a great machine and is the Ferrari of the sewing machine world! You can never go wrong with a vintage Pfaff!!

    Billy

  9. #9
    Junior Member JaKnits's Avatar
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    Is there a rule of thumb for treadle machine prices? I have seen sellers here asking anywhere from
    $80 to $350 for them, regardless of what shape the cabinets are in or if they even work.

  10. #10
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    Depends on them most of them I wouldnt go over $100 on if I had to. But there are some rare ones out there that I would gladly drop $500+ on.

    Billy

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