I have a couple of questions:
(1) what is a good price for a working, in good shape black featherweight with it's box also in good shape?
(2) what is a good price for a working, in good shape SInger 301A (with the long extended base). Complete with original carring case and pedal.
Thank you all for your help in this area. I am in Texas .
I just paid $225 for my FW on ebay this week - haven't received it yet....:( My other vintage singers were cheap, cheap. 15-90 was $20 with good condition cabinet, 201-3 was $20 with crappy cabinet, and Model 27 treadle with and awesome refurbished quarter cut oak cabinet was $50. I'm in Canada -19C today...wish I was in Texas :)
thanks for the info. I'd be more than happy to reade places with you...we've had a 'cold front' to move in and it got up to 57 today! lol
I LOVE COLD WEATHER, only becuase I get to stay home and crank the fire place up...
I paid 250 for my featherweight from Craigslist75 for my 99 with carry suitcase and custom made table
45 for my 128 which the machine itself is in great shape, but it was missing cables and the box needs repairs
It's all about location here. I rarely see a machine for less then 50 here.
Do a search on ebay under closed auctions to give you an idea. What I'd pay in my area is different than in yours.
Prices can be all over the map. Are you willing to work on it yourself? Some times the best looking machines have something wrong. Check anything you buy real good - pay attention to the details. Take plenty of time to look it over. Many vintage machines will sew rings around the new stuff. The more different things the machine can do the more you need to look over. Does it turn? Does it make a good stitch? Is the tension set right? Rubber parts melted or hard? Does the clutch disengage? Is the machine turning easy or is it stiff? What does the motor sound like? How fast does it turn? If you are buying a project you should not have to spend much. If you are getting one that is in good working order at least you won't have to take it somewhere to get it worked on or work on it yourself.
I had an embarrassing moment last night. I was showing a young man two different Singer 401s. One was cold and the other was room temp. The cold machine just did not want to turn. I think the oil must have gotten too cold and wanted to set up. The motor ran free when I disengaged the clutch. That tells me the motor is fine but the machine needs to be cleaned some more and re-oiled... maybe just kept a bit warmer.
It all depends on the machine's condition, your location and the seller. Vintage machines are only worth what the market in your area can support. Featherweights in my part of Southern Ontario seem to be a little more reasonable lately. You can find them listed on Kijiji (Canadian version of Craig's List) usually between $200-$300. 301's are much less and you could pick up one in the $100 range. I bought a 301A last month for $35 but it was dirty, had no attachments and the case was battered and stinky. Sellers who do not value old machines may be willing to take less. There are also sellers out there who are sure that grandma's old Singer should be worth a fortune and ask ridiculous prices. If the machine is clean, complete and has all the attachments it may be worth it to pay a little more and not have to spend money chasing parts, replacing cords or cases.
Also check out shopgoodwill.com for prices and machines. I got two FW from them and one I was able to pick up locally saving the shipping charge the other was very well packed.
Don't forget estate sales - sometimes those are listed there too. You can get good deals. It appears you are in a big city and those machines tend to be more expensive. Are you willing to drive a bit? Just figure out what you can spend and stick to it.
My two black FW's cost $295 (4 yrs. ago) and $220 (one yr. ago) - both in very good cosmetic shape and just needed cleaning, oiling, and a new belt. A friend just purchased one for $289, same condition. If you are shopping for one locally, check CL for local prices. On Ebay, expect to pay in the $200 - $300 or so range. Just ask lots of questions of the seller re: how it will be packed for shipment!
Can't help with the 301 price - I am looking for one myself. Around here, it seems they go for around $150, but they are really hard to find in my area. Good luck!