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Thread: Help!! Singer 27-2 treadle purchase - how much to pay?

  1. #1
    Senior Member frudemoo's Avatar
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    Question Help!! Singer 27-2 treadle purchase - how much to pay?

    Hi to all Singer treadle enthusiasts out there

    I've been doing hours and hours of intensive research to learn as much as I can about Singer treadle machines so I can make my all-important first ever purchase. I'm really excited about it as it looks as though I'm bidding to win on my first machine. It's an 1895 27-2 Sphynx decal treadle - in the original cabinet (which I absolutely love).

    It looks like the decals are all there.... BUT - the seller's pic is blurry and quite small, so it's not a lot to go by. It's enough to ID the decals and the model, but not the definitive quality of the decals or finish and amount of rust etc. Having said that, the cabinet looks great and is probably worth squabbling over all on its own I get the overall sense that the machine has probably not been used much judging by the condition of the cabinet and the shine reflected back of the machine head - which is partially what is making the image unclear.

    I've tried contacting the seller to ask about whether I could come and inspect the machine and she said no. I actually think it's fair enough as she listed the machine with no reserve and probably doesn't want the hassle - so apart from answering simple questions, she obviously sits firmly in the 'take it or leave it' camp.

    So................ that leaves me to decide how to proceed. I'm currently the highest bidder but I'm worried about a last minute flurry of activity and want to be sure I can secure it. Is there anyone out there with experience in this? Have you bought a machine without inspecting it? Is that okay or am I completely mad??

    If anyone out there knows the upper value of a machine like this, which looks like it's in excellent condition given its age ...what would be your highest bid?

    As an aside, I also have the opportunity to purchase a later Model 15K that also has the Sphynx decals in absolutely pristine condition, but the seller wants $250 Ideally, I would take the 15K head and the 1895 cabinet to create my 'dream machine' but I think that dream is fading fast.....

    Cheers,
    Amelia
    (in Australia)

  2. #2
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    If you are going to pick the machine up and find it NOT as the seller has listed it, you may be able to refuse it (check the listing carefully for full description and for "return" policy, also check the auction house (E-bay?) to make sure that what I suggested is not possible).

    If you are having it shipped to you and the pictures are not clear enough to make you feel comfortable, I would ask for additional pictures with more clarity. If not enough time before the end of the auction for additional pictures, I might take a chance depending on how much money it is. The value of "chance" is individual.

    If it's shipping ... again check the listing for a return policy.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  3. #3
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Oh ... want to add ... with regard to the late model 15 with Sphynx decals. Get the serial number of that one as Singer licensed factories in Taiwan and China (and India too I think) to make 15's in the later days (60's??).
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  4. #4
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    Hi Amelia,
    Have you checked ebay Australia prices for these machines? I trawl through them regularly, and they go for about $150-250 depending on the appearance of the cabinet (often) and sometimes the machine. I bought a very nice hand crank Sphinx for $25 two years ago but that was in a case. (And often the nice ones are in another state!) I know it's agony trying to decide, but there still seems to be a lot out there and they do turn up on ebay regularly.
    good luck!

  5. #5
    Senior Member frudemoo's Avatar
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    Thanks Sue

    I will look into it. I think it's just a case of hoping that it's as good as it seems to be - the seller certainly has not promised anything and has said the machine needs work, so I think there would not be much recourse. It's not the same as for the other machine where the seller is talking it up and stating their ideal price.

    It's good to get another perspective... I think I'm hoping for some level of reassurance that I probably just can't get! I'm looking forward to finally owning and using a beautiful treadle and I'm hoping that purchasing it will be a good experience. .....That way I can join in with you all here as I get to know my machine and hopefully finally get a chance to make the quilt I've started to cut for my daughter.

    I really appreciate all the help I've been offered here without having the chance to give much back yet. Looking forward to getting that opportunity one day soon!

  6. #6
    Senior Member frudemoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    Oh ... want to add ... with regard to the late model 15 with Sphynx decals. Get the serial number of that one as Singer licensed factories in Taiwan and China (and India too I think) to make 15's in the later days (60's??).
    I didn't get the serial but they're saying it's 1939. Will try and get the actual number to check it myself though. I want to find out if it has reverse first!

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    A quick check to tell if the Mdl 15 you are looking at is a later Chinese or oriental clone is the finish. These later clones are really shiny with garish, gaudy, really fancy decals. Way more over the top than any of the originals or Japanese clones.
    Here's a link to Singer India: { http://www.singerindia.net/Straight_Stich.aspx?id=1 } with some pictures.

    Joe

  8. #8
    Senior Member frudemoo's Avatar
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    Thanks Joe. I've never checked out that site before.
    It's definitely exactly what it should be. The colouration is correct (rich gold, no red). Do you think $250 is too much? It seems like a lot, but the treadle prices are all like this at the moment. Searching completed listings, none of them look like they're getting sold though...

    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    A quick check to tell if the Mdl 15 you are looking at is a later Chinese or oriental clone is the finish. These later clones are really shiny with garish, gaudy, really fancy decals. Way more over the top than any of the originals or Japanese clones.
    Here's a link to Singer India: { http://www.singerindia.net/Straight_Stich.aspx?id=1 } with some pictures.
    Joe

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Amelia,

    Here in the US of A people are obsessed with the "modern" throw away computerized plastic wonders. ( That is my attempt at sarcasm ) and treadles are honestly cheap.
    I have 5 functional treadles right now and the most expensive one was a 1911 vintage Franklin in a parlor cabinet. I paid around $180.00 USD for it and that was really too much. But I wanted it and had the money at the time. My other treadles I've not paid over $100.00 for any of them even adding on repairs and parts.

    Honestly I wouldn't spend the $250.00 for them. BUT .... I'm not in AU so that changes things a lot. If the newer Singer is in good shape that might be the going price. But I've read the quality of the new ones varies a lot. Some are good, some are junk.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Senior Member frudemoo's Avatar
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    Thanks Joe, it is the same here... I think people sell old treadles as furniture, not as functional pieces of equipment.
    But you have answered my question perfectly! I just didn't ask it very well!!

    It's great to know what you would pay/have paid for your machines. I know I can only pay what I feel comfortable with for this machine (and it is a little different in Aus, the economy is strong here compared to the US)... but I suppose what I'm saying is $250 is a lot (too much!) for ME. I am a stay at home mum at the moment. I need a good piece of restorable equipment and am hoping to find something that also has history and beauty. But I want to USE the machine above all else. I'm bidding at around $100 on the VS2 and starting to sweat..... I really hope I don't have to go any higher, but at least it will be a fair fight. When the auction STARTS at $250, it just feels a bit daunting, even though the 15 would probably be a more practical machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Amelia,

    Here in the US of A people are obsessed with the "modern" throw away computerized plastic wonders. ( That is my attempt at sarcasm ) and treadles are honestly cheap.
    I have 5 functional treadles right now and the most expensive one was a 1911 vintage Franklin in a parlor cabinet. I paid around $180.00 USD for it and that was really too much. But I wanted it and had the money at the time. My other treadles I've not paid over $100.00 for any of them even adding on repairs and parts.

    Honestly I wouldn't spend the $250.00 for them. BUT .... I'm not in AU so that changes things a lot. If the newer Singer is in good shape that might be the going price. But I've read the quality of the new ones varies a lot. Some are good, some are junk.

    Joe

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