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Thread: How to decide and sell vintage Singer machines?

  1. #1
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    How to decide and sell vintage Singer machines?

    To all the collectors of vintage machines:

    Did you ever sell off your treasures?

    How did you decide which machine(s) to sell?

    Where did you sell it at?

    Craigslist? Ebay? Garage Sale? Newspaper? Is one better than the other?

    Were you successful selling?

    Did you 'miss them'?

    I have too many unused machines I need to get moved out of here and don't know where to start!

    Nan - IN
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    My GOAL is always to ENJOY EVERY STEP of the quilting process....

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Nan,

    I like to try everything so I tend to get a lot of different machines. I keep the ones I really like to use, ( if I can't use them I don't want them ) then sell the rest of 'em once I've learned about them. I've so far used Craig's List, and word of mouth. I don't have a functioning eBay account at this time.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    As my collection grew, I found I kept machines that do a certain thing and do it very well. I have sold many machines over the years. Where I list them depended on the demand for the machine and the condition of it. If it was a high demand machine in great condition with all of the accessories I listed it on Ebay. If it was a good, basic machine for someone starting out collecting or needing a working machine I used Craigslist. If it was a 'Barker' with bad cosmetics and no accessories but in good working condition I'd either donate, Freecycle, or list on a local classified board at $20.00 to get rid of it.

    The machines I have kept may not be 100% perfect but for whatever reason they have survived many purges of machines. I have kept a 1934 Singer Featherweight, A 1942 (If I remember correctly) Singer 15/91. A Black Singer 301in horrible condition (it is a work in progress), a Pfaff 1222E with all its accessories, case and manuals, and a Pfaff 6120 mechanical from the early 90's. The German built Pfaff 6120 is the machine that was the turning point for me regarding letting machines go. It has everything I need in a machine for everyday use - needle threader, built in walking foot, excellent straight stitch, zigzag and straight stitch needle plate, 10 different feet, and being mechanical it should be around for quite a while.

    Do I miss the machines after they go to their new homes? No. Well - only one, a Singer 404 straight stitch machine. She just purred and if it had not been for the horizontal bobbin and no truly drop-able feed dogs she would still be here, I even have a card table I would put her in. If I ever get the Black 301 up and running It will be able to use the card table.

    I have made money on all the machines I sold - not a lot but I didn't lose money. I even shipped a Pfaff 130 to California via Greyhound bus. I used a big plastic tote, 2 new bed pillows and some bubble wrap to pack it. It arrived just fine. The great thing about using Greyhound for shipping machines is they don't switch buses, they switch drivers, so the cargo on the bus never leaves the hold until it arrives at its destination. It is also cost effective for heavier items which the Pfaff 130 definitely is!

    Hope this answered some of your questions.

  4. #4
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I haven't sold any yet, but there are a few I purchased with the express purpose of cleaning/repairing and selling. To that end, I keep a sharp eye on E-Bay and Craigs list to check prices on the models I have that I intend to sell. All of them were purchased dirt cheap so I don't foresee a problem at least recovering my monetary investment (I don't and won't care about making money on "labor" as I'm doing this for fun). I'm also not concerned about making my initial investment back - again I'm doing it for fun.

    As for where I'll sell them ... I'll probably list them both on E-Bay and Craigs. I think Etsy does vintage machines too and I might check that out.

    At the moment though I notice that all around sewing machines on E-bay are not selling for the prices they were selling for a few months ago. It may have something do with folks thinking about outdoor activities now as opposed to indoor activities. I've only been watching prices for about 9 months so I don't know yet if there are any seasonal trends.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  5. #5
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    WOW am I glad I asked these questions! Excellent answers I didn't even think about.

    Thank you so very much! Now to find the time to get them readied, listed and outta here! Hahaha!

    Nan - IN
    http://napquilting.com/
    http://alturl.com/euusk

    My GOAL is always to ENJOY EVERY STEP of the quilting process....

  6. #6
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    I just sold my 1948 FW, I bought a new Jenome while on a cruise and promised I would sell at least 2 machines...I did LOL, poor little FW had been sitting for awhile and needed someone who would use it...no regrets
    Retired and living in NE Michigan

  7. #7
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    I am in the same situation. Too many machines, too little space. I will be selling some. How to decide? Well, does the machine do anything the others don't, and do I need that feature? Do I have the features on this machine and other machines I want to keep, so that I could let go of this one? Is the machine special to me for some reason, like the Singer 301 my friend left me in her will? Is it a favorite, go-to machine? What is the quality of the machine? A plastic wonder will go out the door a lot sooner than an all-metal machine. How much space does it take up, and what does it give back in return?

    Joe, I have one of those Kenmore 158s that I have to finish meching. It is in a very good table. I do like the decorative stitches, but will check other "keeper" machines and see if I can duplicate them. One issue with that machine is that 12 stitches to the inch is as small a stitch as it will make, and while that is fine for clothes, I do mostly quilts and need a smaller stitch. I can always do clothes on a Singer 401, 500, or one of my more modern machines. I think this one, taking space in the living room, is going to go.

    There's another machine with just a straight stitch and zig zag. It's good for volunteers helping with homeless quilts. But do I want to continue to keep that project, and that machine? I've learned the hard way not to let them touch a machine I cherish. That machine takes up a lot of space. It is in perfect working order, though. And it needs a couple feet, high shank. What would you do?

    I'm thinking that I would like to sell some machines at a tag sale I plan to have in the next month, but would people expect tag sale prices?

    And how did I get so many machines (about 30) anyhow?

  8. #8
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I don't have a big inventory (only 5 at the moment), but I try to move them out after I have loved on them for awhile. I do not want to pack and ship a machine, so I either give them to family or charity or else sell reasonably to friends.

    I have used Ebay to part out machines with problems that were above my level of expertise or where the parts were worth more than the whole.

    Dayle

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Mine go on CL - I live in a neighborhood that is not great for yard sales - maybe advertise the machine and the yard sale? I have sold a couple of my better machines that I wanted to keep to people I felt deserved them... They were after something else and ended up with one of my herd. It makes me very happy to see people get something they would love and use.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  10. #10
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    I've sold a few. A dirty, neglected FW I bought cheap ($60) and fixed up real nice, so made a profit. I considered that shippable, so used the "sewitsforsale" yahoo group. My Bernina 1260 that I sold to buy the 440 via the same route. A few months ago I sold a Kenmore 117-959 in a cabinet, to heavy to ship so it went the craigslist route and sold locally. I have 2 mocha 301s that I need to clean and sell, probably also via the yahoo group.

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