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Thread: Machine Snobbery?

  1. #1
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    Machine Snobbery?

    I bought a Brother SE400 from Amazon. It's a combination embroidery/sewing machine and it was on sale. I called a local sewing shop about classes and told them my machine. The woman commented about my machine being mass produced (isn't everything mass produced) so they don't sell the machine and I would have to pay $50 for the class. No problem and I attended the class today. My machine was the simplest one there and the only one a combination machine. During the class again it was mentioned about mass produced vs dealer. What's the difference and is there an "attitude" about buying machines online or at stores other than sewing stores?

  2. #2
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    She just wants to sell you one of her expensive machines. If it was me I would
    go someplace else. I learned to quilt on my own and using the internet, buying
    a few books and reading this board. If I'm looking for a technique I usually
    google and if I can't find the answer I just ask here. There are all kinds of tutorials
    here and on the web. I save my money for fabric.

  3. #3
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    Our local quilt store is a Viking dealer, and their classes favor those with high $$ machines. I can understand that classes are needed to learn to use all the options on high end machines. But machine snobbery?? Shame on them!!
    Sue

  4. #4
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    Don't let anyone make you feel bad because you bought a machine that isn't the most expensive one out there. It is a bad shop owner or teacher that would make a student feel bad because their machine isn't the most expensive one out there. There are snobs everywhere, but there are also lots more people who are nice. If there are any other quilt shops near you try taking a class at one of them. You might find a total different attitude by the shop owner, teachers, other students. Enjoy your Brother and if you can do what you want to do with it then I hope you have it a long, long time!!!!! And by the way I have one of those very expensive machines and it is used for both quilting and embroidery-lots of quilters have machines that do both. I only ended up with it because another man talked my dh into getting it for me-other wise I would have been thrilled to have a Brother machine-Lots of quilters on these boards have them and LOVE them!!!

    Kat

  5. #5
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    Our Brother dealer cannot give free classes to those who buy the mass-market, rather than the dealer line. They can't afford it.

    It isn't that they look down upon the mass market machines (there are a few of the project runway machines that overlap between the mass market/dealer lines and they recommended I just buy that on amazon) it is that the dealer support is built into the price of the machine.

    Our brother dealer offers a $200 package where they offer lifetime classes for a mass market machine, as well as the basic cleaning that would come with a dealer purchased machine.

    It isn't snobbery, it is business. $50 sounds reasonable for most classes, IMO.

  6. #6
    Super Member athomenow's Avatar
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    I don't think it was the price of a class but the low class of someone who would talk down to the owner of a machine she didn't consider worth buying. Some people can get very biased about what they're selling and don't realize that at some point that very person might just consider buying what they're selling. We all have to start somewhere and my somewhere 20 yrs ago is what I'm using today. Good luck on your purchase. I'm sure you will be very happy with it. Get what you can out of the class and then go somewhere else if you need more help.
    Debra

  7. #7
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    some people are just like that---a different shop may (behave) differently-
    a number of years ago i found a dealer who had my long-arm- and offered a class- i had my machine for over a year but had not had any classes and thought i might find it benificial- so signed up- it meant traveling 170 miles- and the class was $75-
    the woman who (taught-and i use that loosely) actually had a totally different long-arm- different brand/manufacturer- and spent the entire class working on the display machine---and telling us all the difference between that one and hers---i learned more about her machine than i did about the one being demonstrated (my machine) so really felt that i had wasted alot of money, time and distance....i guess you just never know- i do know there are plenty of people out there that use brother machines---even from wally world- and do very well with them- even offer classes- maybe you could talk to someone in a local guild and find other people who do not have the (snobby attitude) to learn with.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  8. #8
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I would guess that the dealer is feeling that the internet sales/'mass produced' machines are taking some of what he/she feels is their rightful business.

    Also most likely the 'mass produced' machines referred to are actually produced in greater numbers than the more expensive 'dealer' machines. Doesn't make one intrinsically better or worse because of the volume of production of a particular machine in my opinion. I've come across or heard about 'lemons' in either category - but not very many.

    If a machine fits your budget, does what you need it to do and works well for you, that's the main concern, not where you purchased it or how much you paid.
    legendarycandles.com
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  9. #9
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    My opinion? Use what you have and can afford. Beautiful quilts don't know what kind of machines they were made with and they don't care. Neither should we.
    "I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane!"
    Valarie

  10. #10
    Super Member Sandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyPeezy View Post
    She just wants to sell you one of her expensive machines. If it was me I would
    go someplace else. I learned to quilt on my own and using the internet, buying
    a few books and reading this board. If I'm looking for a technique I usually
    google and if I can't find the answer I just ask here. There are all kinds of tutorials
    here and on the web. I save my money for fabric.
    I agree with you 100%!

  11. #11
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    I have experienced this in regard to sewing machines. I can afford to buy a more expensive machine, but they are intimidating to me and frankly-I hardly use most of the functions on my more expensive machines (the most expensive cost less than $800). I was considering buying the machine you have and think it is a great value for the money. I am sorry you had to experience this persons attitude. I hope the class was worth the price and that the instructor was nice.

    Pat

  12. #12
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I go to Bernina workshops quiet often and I don't own a Bernina. As long as I buy fabric and supplies from the shop, the owner doesn't care what I sew on. I usually take my FW. Any shop owner or dealer that talked down to any customer about what machine they have would never get a penny of my money.
    Got fabric?

  13. #13
    Super Member Midwestmary's Avatar
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    Interesting thread - as I've just purchased a new machine also - traded Bernina for Janome. Both are great machines and both do well at what they were intended for. It seems to me that attitudes toward different brands of sewing machines are similar to what people think of car brands - ie., some people are convinced that Chevy is the only brand or maybe Ford. My Dad would never drive anything but a Chevy nor buy any appliance other than Kenmore!

  14. #14
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    I'd say -- run, don't walk to another shop. The cost of the class may be understandable, the attitude is not.

  15. #15
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    I have had the same problem with some "snobbish" dealers. I just don't go back. I hope your machine serves you for a long time. As someone else suggested, ask around and you'll get ideas where to go for classes and where not to go. Good luck.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  16. #16
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    Excellent answer! I have one of the "better" machines and also several old vintage machines. Guess which ones I would prefer to sew on...it certainly isn't the high priced one!
    Quote Originally Posted by Val in IN View Post
    My opinion? Use what you have and can afford. Beautiful quilts don't know what kind of machines they were made with and they don't care. Neither should we.

  17. #17
    Senior Member kheliwud's Avatar
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    I have experienced similar "snobbery". It just cracks me up to be treated in such a way by someone making minimum wage and a fabric discount!
    Living a 1/4" from the edge

  18. #18
    Super Member hobbykat1955's Avatar
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    Yep...I find most QS's have some type of snob working behind the desk...They do want you to purchase thru them because most are paid on small salary and mostly comissions on machines sold...And yes, all dealers will tell you why their machines are the best. Most dealers if you buy from them give free classes and discounted quilt classes. Also 10 percent off on supplies if you buy for class.
    I've even run into shop owners who are fabric snobs...I do allot of scene applique and have asked shops why they don't carry more fabric such as people, villages, towns, trees, water, sky etc...And the answer is "Well your looking for Country and we only carry Contemporary fabrics...And they way they say it...it's like Country design has a disease...Well, excuse me..You fabric snob...Let me move on to somewhere that appreciates my money.

  19. #19
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    Just ignore attitudes like that about your machine. I think it is the talent of the person behind the machine that determines the quality of the work. There are a lot of good brands out there and if your machine works for you, that's all that matters.

  20. #20
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    actually dealer shops have a contract with the machine companies they sell for...they really do not have to offer you classes at all if you buy a NON-dealership machine!
    Do not blame the shop person, she is not being a snob it is just that the machine company has rules.

    Our Bernina shop sells Bernina and Janome and that is ALL she is allowed to do repair/cleaning on! If she get caught working on another brand, she loses her licensing with the machine company!

    Same at the Pfaff shop..he is only allowed to work on Pfaff machines!

    and neither of them will do classes on machine NOT bought at those stores!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbykat1955 View Post
    Yep...I find most QS's have some type of snob working behind the desk...They do want you to purchase thru them because most are paid on small salary and mostly comissions on machines sold...And yes, all dealers will tell you why their machines are the best. Most dealers if you buy from them give free classes and discounted quilt classes. Also 10 percent off on supplies if you buy for class.
    I've even run into shop owners who are fabric snobs...I do allot of scene applique and have asked shops why they don't carry more fabric such as people, villages, towns, trees, water, sky etc...And the answer is "Well your looking for Country and we only carry Contemporary fabrics...And they way they say it...it's like Country design has a disease...Well, excuse me..You fabric snob...Let me move on to somewhere that appreciates my money.
    well, it is THEIR shop and they can choose what they want to sell! Some only sell batiks, some only sell THimbleberries...just depends on their customer base! Does not make them snobs...just secure business owners!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kheliwud View Post
    I have experienced similar "snobbery". It just cracks me up to be treated in such a way by someone making minimum wage and a fabric discount!

    and making minimum wage and a discount makes them a lesser person HOW???

  23. #23
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    In this world there will always be mean girls and bad boys. Even in kindergarten it's "my toy's better than yours." Just enjoy your machine, make beautiful quilts, and spend your money on fabrics to make more quilts !! Let those who want to spend their money on machines go right ahead. Take the high road! And smile all the way to the bank!
    I used to be "hot", now it's just "hot flashes!"

  24. #24
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    I think there is definitely a degree of snobbery among some quilters over machines, fabric, types of quilts, etc. just like in any other area of life. There are just some people who have to make you feel small to make themselves feel big. But we just have to smile and let it roll off our backs like water off a duck. As my momma always said, never argue with an idiot, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    actually dealer shops have a contract with the machine companies they sell for...they really do not have to offer you classes at all if you buy a NON-dealership machine!
    Do not blame the shop person, she is not being a snob it is just that the machine company has rules.

    Our Bernina shop sells Bernina and Janome and that is ALL she is allowed to do repair/cleaning on! If she get caught working on another brand, she loses her licensing with the machine company!

    Same at the Pfaff shop..he is only allowed to work on Pfaff machines!

    and neither of them will do classes on machine NOT bought at those stores!
    Business practices/licenses, etc. does not justify poor manners. Regardless of what brand or price of a machine, no one deserves to be made to feel inferior! If there were only one brand/model machine available on the market, you can be certain that someone would still think their machine is the best - not a good testimonial of human nature.

    I agree with the others, there are other avenues of learning. Also, if you elect to go to a shop for hands-on classes, visit the shop before registering, if they make you feel comfortable; you will learn more and not be stressed over the "attitude climate" during the session. Afterall, you are paying for the class so get as much out of the experience as possible.

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