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Thread: Buying a new machine almost as bad as purchasing a car

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sheri.a's Avatar
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    Buying a new machine almost as bad as purchasing a car

    I just retired (yeah!) and plan to spend more time volunteering at church and the guild making quilts. My little class machine has done well for the last 10 years, but I’m ready for more features. So for my birthday, I decided to ask for a new machine - one with a lot of bells and whistles.

    My husband and I ventured out to the sewing store I have purchased several machines from (and I felt very loyal to). I was about to pull the trigger on a machine that had been used in a seminar for $2700. New for the same machine would be $3700 (MSRP $4995). I asked to test drive the open box machine and was very disappointed because the motor had a whiny noise that wasn’t right. I went home and did more research on what others have paid for the same machine and many purchased new in the box for $3000.

    The sales lady -someone I think of as a friend- called me a few times with different options - the last one being an abandoned lay away where someone had put down $500 and they would sell to me for $3500. I offered $3000 and she told me “no way”.

    The next day I drove to a dealer further from my home, but less than an hour away. Nice store, friendly people - a good first impression. I spent some time with the sales lady and then asked “how much?” It was $3000. When I asked if they could sweeten the deal, they threw in a $300 trolley I had been looking at. Sold!!!

    Later the sales lady at store #1 called and told me she could offer me the machine at $3000. It made me sad since I did want to give her my business but on the other hand a fool and his money are soon parted...

    Why do we have to play these games?
    ( ¯`v´¯ )
    `·.¸.·´ ♥
    ¸.·´¸.·´¨) ¸.·*¨) Sheri in Texas
    (¸.·´ (¸.·´ .·´
    a stitch in time saves nine.....

  2. #2
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    Too bad the "friend" sales lady at the first place lost your business, but I'm glad you were a wise shopper. You saved $800, considering that you didn't pay $3500 for the machine and you also got the $300 trolley for free, and that's alot of money. Good for you! Enjoy your new baby!

  3. #3
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    Good for you doing your research. And fortunate that you have multiple dealers within a reasonable distance. But you are absolutely correct in that buying a sewing machine is much like buying a car. I'm not up for the games either.

  4. #4
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    Much like buying a car. My machine cost more than my car.

  5. #5
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    Yes, it is too bad that car sales 'tactics' have invaded the sewing machine world. A friend recently purchases a high end machine with embroidery module. The price was quoted with a $5,000 trade-in deal. She had a machine (also fairly high end, but one she used for piecing and free motion work) that she didn't want to trade in. The sales person knew she had this good machine. So, she offered a very old decrepit machine that she had 'inherited'. The sales lady said that the 'trade-in' discount was just 'a come on gimmick' and gave her the discount on the machine anyway-just for the asking! I think this is sad. So, I guess the lesson is to ask for what you want or state firmly what you are willing to do.

  6. #6
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    And don't be too hard on your friend. She isn't setting the price, the franchise owner is.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KwiltyKahy View Post
    Much like buying a car. My machine cost more than my car.
    now that's a scary thought! Having to haggle to purchase a sewing machine seems so strange, but I will remember that if I go machine shopping. But it makes one wonder what is the real cost of that machine vs.profit? I know no one is in business not to make money, but how much is too much?

  8. #8
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    I feel your pain! Once I said that I wanted to look at a particular machine and the salesperson directed me to a completely different one for no apparent reason (maybe that manufacturer had a kickback incentive that month or something). I didn't want to have a battle just to get to look at the machine I wanted, so I left and went somewhere else. That's harder to do these days as there are fewer and fewer places that sell machines.

    I hate buying cars so much that I hang on to my old ones until they start falling apart. I hope it doesn't get that bad with sewingmachines.

  9. #9
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Sometimes paying a slightly higher price works out. When I bought my Bernina I visited the dealer closer to me. I did not feel welcomed when I walked in the store and also felt like the store owner thought I was wasting their time. So I called a shop that was over an hour away. Yes the price was slightly higher, but I was treated like a queen when I walked in the door. Not only that but the slightly higher price included 5 years of service, an extended warrantee, interest free financing and free delivery! So in the end it worked out to be a much better deal for me. But I do think it is sad that all these games have to be played.

  10. #10
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I always wonder about the mindset of shops that treat customers like they're an intrusion. I have an older Brother embroidery machine and thought that I might like to upgrade or perhaps buy some newer software modules for it. The Brother franchise is just a couple of miles from my house, so I went there all excited to look at the newer embroidery software. There was a "introduction to embroidery" class going on in the back room and there was someone at the front desk. When I explained that I currently have an older model machine and was looking to buy some additional modules for it, the clerk immediately denigrated my current model and tried to upsell me to a $9000 model, saying the one that I have is "useless". If so, then they should have let me sit in on the embroidery class to see what I was missing so that I'd be inspired to upgrade. I won't be back.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    A sewing machine dealer I trust told me this: If a sewing machine dealer does not have the prices posted on the machines then walk away. It's too schemey.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  12. #12
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    I love my Janome dealer, I have purchased (well lets just say ) many machines from him and he always gives me a nice deal. Just bought another one in Nov. before Christmas and my DD also purchased one He is quite a distance from me but well worth the trip

  13. #13
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I have a problem with people who try to "sell" me on something. Usually when I get to the dealership or machine store, I know what I want and what I'm willing to pay. I don't want to be sold and I don't want to hear some story about other places that have bad service or whatever.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  14. #14
    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    Here are some thoughts... If Franchise A has 3 stores and orders hundreds of machines; and Franchise B is a smaller store and orders 10's of machines; Franchise A gets a better wholesale price on their machines. That's just how it works. So if Franchise B sells their machines at the lowest price they can, it will still be a higher price than Franchise A.

    At my store, we're small. But we keep our prices as low as we can every day. If someone buys their machine at the bigger store, but wants classes at our store, they will have to pay for it. Classes are part of the deal, and so is the warranty. Wherever you buy your machine, is where your support is. And it costs money to provide the teacher and pay the tech to preform the free Warranty service.

    But if someone really wants to purchase from us, but wants the big store price, sometimes we loose money, but gain a customer/friend by giving them the price. We hope that our customers want to support us and not cut our profit margin to the point that we go out of business trying to keep up with the big store.

    Every time we sell a machine, we gain a new friend. We want our new friends to be happy. They will be taken care of by our staff for as long as they own the machine and beyond. We want them to have a good buying experience, and be happy with their machine, because we expect to see them often.
    Annette in Utah

  15. #15
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    We have a brother and juki dealer who has no prices anywhere and anytime you walk in the door they are asking you if you want a machine. i hate going in there to get fabric for bindings or backings or even just to look because i couldn't get out without getting bothered about buying a machine, even if I'd been in there earlier that week! They are one of the main reasons I buy most of my fabric online, all the other nice local stores are way out from my home.

    Our Janome dealer is the complete opposite: everything has giant price labels on it and they ask if you need anything when you walk in and if you say "no" then they go back to what they are doing and if you need something you tell them. love it! I've bought two machines there and sent several people there as well. The times I've bought machines they answered my questions, brought me a basket of sample fabrics to play with and left me alone to try the machine out. When I told them I wanted my last machine she sat down with me and went over all the basic features and let me know that it comes with free lifetime lessons on how to use it. I know the brands are just coincidences, could easily have a pushy Janome dealer and a Brother place that is nice and casual, but since I tend to like Janomes it works out well for me lol.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I bought two machines online and were very pleased with them. Bought my Babylock Jane from a local dealer got a lousy trade in amount and have not been back. If I decided to buy another machine it will be a straight stitch only and I will buy it online.

    Seems to me now days there are a lot of greedy people in this world. If I can avoid them I will.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  17. #17
    Junior Member hybearn8er's Avatar
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    I just went through the same thing and ended up buying on line and I got it in three days and saved$1000,00 dollars over what my dealers wanted!Then I called the dealers looking for a quilting foot and a straight stitch plate and she told me it would cost my $17 to ship them so I went back to the on line store and they discounted my purchase and shipped it for free! Anna

  18. #18
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    I have 2 great dealers - my Viking dealer lets me know when there is a big sale and what my trade-in would be. It is also about one mile from my home. I am also willing to buy floor models because he knocks them down even more. My Janome dealer does a lot of local business - so is able to keep the prices down. I like to be able to see a price without having to ask. It always makes m a bit suspicious when I have to be told the amount - kind of like a hotel room - it all depends on where you book it.

  19. #19
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    Glad you got your machine, It's crazy what they want for a sewing machine today.

  20. #20
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hybearn8er View Post
    I just went through the same thing and ended up buying on line and I got it in three days and saved$1000,00 dollars over what my dealers wanted!Then I called the dealers looking for a quilting foot and a straight stitch plate and she told me it would cost my $17 to ship them so I went back to the on line store and they discounted my purchase and shipped it for free! Anna
    And the stores wonder why people have gone to online shopping.... SMH!
    Kirsten
    I try and be as good of a human as my dogs think I am.

  21. #21
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    Good for you, don't feel bad bout store#1 they have the ability to give out sale prices to get sales. My local viking dealer went out of her way to try to get me to purchase the new Epic she even got my credit limit increased knock off $5,000 the works, but I was just not ready to get into debt again and plus I want to up grade to new 10/16 needle embroidery machine for my business. Have fun with the new machine and happy sewing/quilting/embroidery.
    Vontina Collick

    "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward" -Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.

  22. #22
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    May I ask a question? Are those very expensive machines really worth that much money? I can afford a Bernina but don't see it as something I would put out that much money for. I have been using basic Brother machines and some vintage and they seem to do everything I ask them to, even FMQ, maybe not every machine with every function. I think all my machines put together in cost wouldn't exceed $1500 and I have about 12 working machines and a serger. My most recent purchase was a used Brother PQ 1500 Nouvelle which is a straight stitch mechanical machine that has plenty of room for FMQ. It has needle down and a thread cutter. It has a knee lift I don't use. I could live without the thread cutter. It works fine, but, just not necessary. I guess for am embroidery machine or someone who needs all those stitches it would be good to have a computerized machine. I did have a minute of wanting a Dreamweaver when it first came out and went to a demo on it. Then thought about it and figured for my needs, it would be overkill. The group of women I quilt with bring fancy big machines to piece on, and send all their quilts out for quilting. They have never used their special stitches. One of them uses the appliqué stitch. Anyway, sorry if this is offensive, I don't mean it to be. Just wondering.
    Alyce

  23. #23
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    I usually check out prices online before going to the store. That way I have a general idea of the price range and it gives me some bargaining power at the store.
    Margaret

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    Life is a coin. You can spend it any way you wish but you can only spend it once.

  24. #24
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    Sorry you had a bad experience with your store but glad you got your machine and the trolley. And, yes, machines are getting way too expensive. I too retired and knowing I would be living on very little income I bought my machine the year prior to retiring. It is a good machine so hope it lasts me as long as I need it.

  25. #25
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaK View Post
    And the stores wonder why people have gone to online shopping.... SMH!
    Kirsten
    I think online shopping is fine if you aren't buying a complicated machine, but I know I would never have figured out the in's and out's of either of my Bernina's without the extensive guide classes offered by my dealership. They helped me SO much.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

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