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Thread: Buying a sewing machine from LQS vs. Joannes, Hancocks, etc.

  1. #26
    Senior Member patsyo56721's Avatar
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    I have been told that machines are not serviced at Joanns and Hancocks but it you buy from a dealer you get service & also classes on how to use them. I have only bought mine through dealers.

  2. #27
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I only own 1 machine, and it was purchased at Wall-Mart about 11 years ago. It works great , and has been a work horse for me. I am in the market now for a bigger machine, and I am also lost as to where to go or what brand to buy.

  3. #28
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    My problem is that my Husqvarna-Viking machine was purchased from a dealer who has since gone out of the business!! Now where do I get it serviced, and get more "promised" lessons?
    :-( perky2

  4. #29
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    I can't tell you how many folks end up in our shop with one of those clunkers from Wal-Mart that needs serviced. They are NOT the same machines. And our shop does NOT charge MSRP! Customers can get a chance to try the machines, compair features and have someone show them how it works. Not just pick up a box and head to the checkout. If we disregard the expertise of dealers who know and service their products, someday they'll all be gone and we will only have Wal Mart.

  5. #30
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    i don't think anyone was suggesting the everyone disregard a local LQS as a source for their next machine purchase.

    i believe many of us have made several comments in support of LQS and high-end dealers.

    however, we are also mindful that most people simply cannot afford to buy their machines at an LQS or other high-end dealer. we must also be considerate of those who choose to not spend all their money on a high-end machine. they wisely choose to review their own priorities; recognize the difference between "want" and "need"; and they want to get the best machine they can for the amount they feel most comfortable spending.

    we are simply offering them our best advice about how to shop as wisely as possible - no matter where they buy their next machine.

    there are a mind-boggling number of brands and models out there priced with the majority in mind. it isn't easy to choose. we are trying to help others - based on our own experiences - select machines that will fit their budgets and particular needs as individual quilters.

    as an aside, i'm pleased to hear that your LQS does not max out the price your your machines.

  6. #31
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    Hmmmm I buy on line an cheap stores cause I like cheap stuff and must be dumb...thank you...I would be insulted if this was not childish...I really don't care...this is nothing compared to the worries and illnesses many of our members now have....we are all quilters who are all the nicest people on earth...we love each other and wish the best to our fellow quilters... Happy holidays all

  7. #32
    Junior Member jan22's Avatar
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    I would only buy from a dealer. They will take trade in's toward the next model. Especially nice when your first purchase ends up not doing exactly what you had anticipated or you've improved your skills and want to move up to something fancier. Try using a trade in at the big box stores, doesn't happen. When I purchased my first Pfaff, the dealer let me take a machine home for the weekend to try out. I did purchase the same machine the following week, but I didn't have to. I could have just taken it back and tried another if I so desired.

  8. #33
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Years ago, I worked in a Pacific Trails coat factory. We also made off brand coats. Sometimes a similar looking run followed the PT brand. The fabric was a lesser quality, the down was a lesser quality, the zippers were a lesser quality. We could feel the differences as we made the coats. Quality control also let more issues slide by them in the non-PT coats - if the pockets on a PT coat weren't exact, we had to reset them, a slight non-alignment on a non-PT coat would go on through the inspection. FWIW

  9. #34
    sewfunquilts's Avatar
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    totally agree with you quiltmom......the quilt shop/sewing machine dealer that I worked for repaired & serviced ANY and ALL brands of machines. Some of the folks that came in with one of the "clunkers" that was totally out of timing ('cause the machines don't have the proper feeding system, and owners would try to "help by pulling" fabric from the back...could not believe that it would cost them $70 to clean/service/time their 3 month old machine that cost them $150.

    It's kinda sad, really.....'cause they don't know.

    Still true what I said before...'you get what you pay for'...whether it's the dollar menu at McDonald's or buying a sewing machine. This has been a lively discussion on this subject.

  10. #35
    Super Member sewmom's Avatar
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    When i was in the market for a 2nd machine for our house on the lake, i looked at the ones at Walmart, Joanns and Meijers. I was uneasy about getting them because i didn't know what the quality was on those machines. I thenwent to the LQS and looked at the Vikings, but they didnt know what stitches were on the machines that hadn't come in yet. I ended up going to the LQS in a neighboring town. They also sold Viking, but not hte cheaper ones because they are made in China. He also told me that the ones from the box stores he couldn't get parts for them. the company didn't have those numbers. I ended up with a Janome 6600. My husband insisted on getting it for me. I was looking at used or floor model machines.

  11. #36
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    You know, I've been hearing this here and I have to say I think this is incorrect information. In my other life, I used to provide technical/customer support for HP. Every holiday season, and when new products were introduced, less expensive HP products always showed up in the big box stores. They aren't any different than the more expensive HP products. Same place of manufacturing, same guts, same ink, same etc. But, they do have fewer options, like econo ink (smaller amount but the same quality ink), or different software packages, or different memory. It doesn't make good economic sense for any manufacturer to have some models made in one country and others in another. Would I buy a sewing machine from Walmart? If it was what I wanted and could afford, you bet! Just as I would Joann's or Costco. I purchased my brother from a LQS for the same price that the dealer was selling it for and for what I was seeing it online. I decided to buy from the LQS because I like to support local businesses. Spend your money where you feel most comfortable and make sure you like their return policy.

  12. #37
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    I would really beware of something we've seen around here. An ad appears in our local paper that extra machines that were ordered for home ec. departments are being sold at below cost. I went years ago at my husband's encouragement to a hotel where a salesperson demonstrated the machines very quickly and then started selling them. There is only a limited time to return them and no support at all once you've bought one past the few days to return. This is really not illegal, probably, but still feels unethical to me. Just my opinion, of course.

  13. #38
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    Perky, I understand your dilemma. The store where Ipurchased my Pfaff two years ago is closing at the end of December. (The owner decided she wanted to move on after 20 years of being a business owner.) I'm not sure where I'll have to go now for servicing of my machine. The other LQS in town sells Berninas, and their motto is "We sell the best and service the rest." I will say that I have had my other machines serviced there and have been quite satisfied. I's still like to know there would be a Pfaff dealership close by, though.

  14. #39
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    Let's support our local dealers. Walmart has caused many mom and pop business's to go under. Does Walmart really care, I don't think so. If they cared why are they doing away with fabric and notions in their box stores? If the model # ends with WM that says (to me) made for Walmart

  15. #40
    DollyRose's Avatar
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    this might help you to make puchasing decisions...
    http://www.consumersearch.com/sewing-machines/review

  16. #41
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
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    I haven't read anything about Kenmore machines. I have been using them for years (and years) of sewing and I have no complaints whatsoever..I purchased one of the upper line just about a year ago....and I really do love it.

    I did purchase a maintenance contract with Sears for a two or three year term.
    It covers almost everything and annual full service jobs.

    I take the machine to their local shop and it is transferred to their maintenance or repair shops and returned in usually a week......

    I am pleased as can be with my machine.......and have no complaints.......

    Can't find a company that has been in business much longer than Sears.....no can we?

  17. #42
    Suz
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    Service is very important. I purchased a Janome 9000 from eBay at a very good price and was very satisfied with the machine. However, I was on my own to read the manual and figure out how to operate and do a lot of things the machine was capable of doing. This may also be true if you purchase from a "big box" store. No classes.

    I was able to take the Janome to a LQS for service as they sell the machine also. However, the service was terrible, terrible. I finally traded for a used Bernina 450 and am thrilled with it.

    Think about getting a very good higher-end, used machine where service is paramount and classes are available.

    Suzanne

  18. #43
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knot Sew
    Hmmmm I buy on line an cheap stores cause I like cheap stuff and must be dumb...thank you...I would be insulted if this was not childish...I really don't care...this is nothing compared to the worries and illnesses many of our members now have....we are all quilters who are all the nicest people on earth...we love each other and wish the best to our fellow quilters... Happy holidays all
    you do not "like cheap stuff." you know a good value when you see one. ;-)

    you are definitely NOT dumb. spending more than you can afford or more than you want to spend on something you know you don't need would be dumb. letting somebody else "shame" or bully you into spending more than you want or can afford would be dumb. not listening to your own inner voice would be dumb.

    we have this argument at least once a month. about machines, fabric, thread, batting ... the list goes on and on. it's both amusing and frustrating to me.

    amusing because it happens so often. frustrating because so many consistently forget that what's best for them as individuals may not be what's best for every other person reading the conversation or trying to make a choice. we present our opinions and fight for them as though our lives depended upon convincing everyone to see and do things as we do.

    it confuses me, too, because quilters ARE some of the nicest people on the planet. why do we so often forget that when these debates get started?

  19. #44
    Senior Member patsyo56721's Avatar
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    I also had a Kenmore for years. Now my daughter has it and her 12 yr & 9 year old use it. Still in good working order. I also have a Babyloc Elure plus. I have resently bought a used Kenmore to tote to sewing classes

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewmom
    When i was in the market for a 2nd machine for our house on the lake, i looked at the ones at Walmart, Joanns and Meijers. I was uneasy about getting them because i didn't know what the quality was on those machines. I thenwent to the LQS and looked at the Vikings, but they didnt know what stitches were on the machines that hadn't come in yet. I ended up going to the LQS in a neighboring town. They also sold Viking, but not hte cheaper ones because they are made in China. He also told me that the ones from the box stores he couldn't get parts for them. the company didn't have those numbers. I ended up with a Janome 6600. My husband insisted on getting it for me. I was looking at used or floor model machines.
    You can't really go wrong with a Janome. Two of my machines are New Home (before they were known as Janome) and I love them. Also, Janome make the Kenmore machines sold by Sears. My late MIL had one and now one of her granddaughters is using it.

  21. #46
    punkinsmom's Avatar
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    I work at a LQS and I also use to work for a sewing machine dealer. If the machine has the same model number it is the same machine at either store. But most dealers do not sell the cheaper models that the chain stores sell. The machines are just not that good a quality and a dealer stands on her (his) reputation. Most dealers wont honor a chain stores warrenty even if it is the same make and model as they sell. You would have to have it shipped back to the manufacturer at your expense, because they did not make the profit on the machine to start with. Hope this is a help. :|

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