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Thread: No dealer around??

  1. #1
    Junior Member Tippysmom's Avatar
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    No dealer around??

    I'm wondering what you all do when there is no dealer close by? No chance to try out a machine or discuss prices? I definitely would love to try out a Brother, but the nearest dealer is over 100 miles away from me.

  2. #2
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    It sounds like you need to attend a quilt show. There would be vendors there who would have a variety of machines you could try. They also offer great prices on their machines at the end of their show.

  3. #3
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    Road Trip! Quiltngolfer has the right idea. Go to a Big Show. Or go to the Brother dealer one afternoon with a friend for a day trip. Choosing a machine is tough, you want to try out as many as possible.

  4. #4
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Yes, it's worth the trip. Especially if you are looking at a higher end machine. Think of all the time you are going to spend sewing. You want to be happy with your purchase. I would call ahead and make an appointment with the dealer, most will be happy to accommodate you.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  5. #5
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I agree. Hopefully there is a quilt show that will draw a lot of dealers to the quilt show near you. Then you can try a wide assortments of sewing machine. Be sure to tell them what your budget is at first otherwise they will want to steer you to their most profitable machine. Remember, sewing dealers are just like car dealers. Do your homework first such as checking reviews and prices you can see what is selling on eBay. The dealers at the end of the quilt show do NOT want to take the DSM home with them because they will have to sell them used. They are just right for the plucking. Good Luck !!
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  6. #6
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    I would want to drive to test some out, but I can imagine that would be a real pain if they were too far away. Then what do you do when you have problems? wow, I drive 40 miles to my dealer and that about kills me

  7. #7
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    I agree with a road trip. However I will confess I bought my Juki TL2010q sight unseen without ever having sewn on one! I based my decision on lots of research and reviews. I did buy it from a local dealer who ordered it direct for me I case I had problems with it I could get some local support though. It is perfect and a great choice for me.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Another place to try out machines is the state fair. That is also a good time to buy, as dealers always are able to give discounts at that time.

  9. #9
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    I'd never buy a machine model until I'd test drove one. Road trip. If you don't drive bribe a friend with lunch out. 100 miles isn't far...
    Or...there have been many recommendations on the board for the Brother machine Walmart sells, you could buy one of those?

  10. #10
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    I guess it depends on how high end of a machine you're looking for. Normally, the dealers in my area only have the high end machines in the stores, anything on the lower end they will order but you have to haggle to get a lower than MSRP from them. But being this time of year they will have a few of whatever lower end machines the parent brand is pushing for Christmas gifts. I'm a die hard Brother fan, they make great machines but I had such a bad experience with my local dealer I won't go back. I agree with taking a road trip to check them out, it's the only way you'll know what kind of dealer you have. You can also check and see if they have a web site, if so they might show what machines they carry in stock.

    Cari

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    If I absolutely couldn't get out to "test drive" different machines, I would be doing a lot of online research to narrow down my choices. Would probably start with Amazon, using the price range that interests me and displaying results by "average customer review". I would read all of the Amazon reviews, since they often contain bits and pieces of useful information about a machine. Once I got the brand and model narrowed down a bit, I would check out reviews at patternreview.com for the specific model. I would also run Google searches on the specific brand and model to check out other reviews.

    I would consider purchasing from Amazon *provided* it is a sewing machine that is "sold by Amazon" in addition to being "fulfilled by Amazon". When "sold by Amazon", return is extremely easy -- you have a window of time to try out the machine. If anything is wrong with it, return shipping is free. If I simply decide I don't like the machine, I would have to pay the shipping.

    AllBrands is another online possibility, but I would check out their current return policies and also current reviews on their helpfulness. They used to be pretty good.

    Most dealers will not take a return on a sewing machine (a few exceptions, especially if you decide to "trade up" with the dealer), and a good dealer may no longer be in business when you need help, so buying on the internet is not necessarily riskier than buying from a local dealer.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Tippysmom's Avatar
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    Great ideas, all! So I will rope in a friend and go on the hunt. One thing, though, one of my longtime friends in NV has a Brother so I can bend her ear about the machine's features. I know for sure she loves it. And it's one I have looked at.

    Great input, you all are great!

  13. #13
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Where do you all read that she wants a "high end"'machine?

    Tippy...if your budget is for a higher end price point machine, make the drive. If under $1,000.... Order online,mesp if you are leaning to Brother . Did you play with your friends' Brother Machine?

    sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome 3160 QVC/ Janome 1100D serger, Juki 2020 Mini
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  14. #14
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    I'm with Sandygirl. I have ordered my last four machines from dealers outside of my state. NO SALES TAX AND THEY GIVE FREE SHIPPING. Their service is excellent! I call with a question and they call me right back with an answer or a fix to my problem....Not many problems...user error....all of my machines have been Janomes. Lots of videos on all of the feet uses. My out of state dealer saw a problem I was having posted on a yahoo group,She contacted me off group and told me what adjustment to make for a better decorative stitch. I was surprised she took the time. The machine wasn't one of theirs....she also sent me "repairman's" instruction on that same machine to fix another issue....perfect, everything worked great. I buy from her all the time...machines and accessories. I found I know more than my local dealers about using my machines. I have never had an issue with my Janomes. Great quilting machines.

  15. #15
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    If you are not looking for a high end machine try overstock.com. My sister has that problem and buys her brother machines there and says the extre she pays for a 2 year warantee is worth it and they do excelant service or just replace it. If you want a higher end then drive the 100 miles, just remember you will have to do that each time you need service. Good luck

  16. #16
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    I also live 100 miles from a city of any size to go to for shopping, so my friends and I get together one day a month, (since I have to go there once a month to pick up medication) and make a day of it. We share the gas, have a nice lunch somewhere, and make everyone's stops, and then take the back roads home in case we find yard sales. I say go for it. Going shopping with friends, for a machine gives you that many more people to think of all the questions you should ask, just agree ahead of time to disagree on what machine is most wonderful, cause you will, lol!
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  17. #17
    Super Member oldtnquiltinglady's Avatar
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    How far are you from Chattanooga? Elna is by far my favorite, comes in several price ranges, and I bought mine at Paducah last April and the dealer can't be beat for service, etc. I don't know if they sell other brands; I am too starstruck by Elna.
    Make every day count for something!

    JoAnn

  18. #18
    Junior Member Tippysmom's Avatar
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    I'm around Charleston SC, so it would be either Columbia or Savannah (GA). My hubby and I have talked about going to Savannah, so that is an option. There is a Brother dealer there.

  19. #19
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    Living a fair distance away can also make it very difficult to take classes that may come with your machine. I'm also far away from any good size town and am having this issue with my embroidery software.
    Robin in TX

  20. #20
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    also check on line for customer reviews and check out rip off.com to check out the dealer you want to use
    Patski
    always learning

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