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Thread: Sewing Machine Purchasing VENT

  1. #1
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I've been looking around for a Singer 15 in decent shape that is within my price range. Isn't it amazing how many NON sewers have sewing machines for sale? They must either find them in grandma's estate or pick them up at garage sales or something, because most of the people selling have no idea what they are talking about! Getting vital information out of them is like talking to an alien.

    I found a listing on Craigslist, but the lister couldn't say what the model was. So I asked him to email me some pictures. Well, he didn't know how to upload pictures... but would send some in the mail. I told him before he went to that trouble, try and find the serial # for me. So he emails me back the number on the motor! Okay, send the photos of the machine, I say... Yesterday I got the envelope in the mail and in it was ONE (1) photo of a machine cabinet with the machine tucked inside, out of sight! How dense is that??? I am frustrated and giving up on this guy.

    The other thing that drives me crazy is sellers offering a video of the machine running, and when you watch it they either just step on the pedal, full speed, with no thread or fabric in the machine, or they have a piece of fabric set up and just let it run through with no hands guiding it! Obviously, not a sewing person. I shudder to buy from these people because in their ignorance they probably have hurt the machine.

    Thanks for letting me vent!

  2. #2
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Just because a person has a garage doesn't mean they know how to drive. Most of these people have probably inherited the machines or they were left behind in a divorce. You can't really blame them for their lack of knowledge but yes, it always frustrating to try to deal with someone that has no idea what they're talking about or what they're doing.

  3. #3
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Yes, but look at the bright side... These people don't know anything about the machine so you can get a really good deal.

    I would avoid any seller where I couldn't physically go and test drive the machine myself.

    You should also try your local goodwill or thrift shop. They often get machines as well. Go with fabric and thread so you can test it there.

  4. #4
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I keep a piece of fabric and spool of thread in the glove compartment of my car just in case I find a machine I want to try out---especially when I'm out garage saling.

  5. #5
    Super Member quiltlonger's Avatar
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    I try my machine at the shop AFTER its tuneup Take exactly what am sewing at home. Sometimes he just smiles at goes gets his tools Not the same as him sewing on a piece of felt!! But your right sometimes is a great deal if they don't know what they got!!

  6. #6
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    raptureready, I love your idea of taking fabric an thread with you in the car. Guess i will have to do that even though I have nver bought a machine from a garage sale there is always a first time.

  7. #7
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I had to laugh when I read your post because our exeprience has been just the same. And you are right it is possible to ruin a machine like that and many are because people advertise them as heavy duty and ignorant people try to make sheep skin booties and other multiple layers of who knows what items on them and when they break the machine they try to pass it off to you.

  8. #8
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mic-pa
    raptureready, I love your idea of taking fabric an thread with you in the car. Guess i will have to do that even though I have nver bought a machine from a garage sale there is always a first time.
    If you try them out you can see if it runs and also if it doesn't run well (and you know it's just a matter of adjusting the tension or cleaning) you can offer a much lower price and usually buy one for a little of nothing.

  9. #9
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    Raptureready, that's so clever of you! As a nurse, I have things in my purse and car that others wouldn't, but I never thought of that. What I hate is when they swear a machine is in excellent working order despite not knowing how to run it. I recently asked someone selling a not so old, high end machine, where it was made ( which is on the label with the serial number) and she first answered that it was made where they are all made! She did later answer that, but I feel your pain. Vintage and used machine shopping is just as tricky as new machine shopping, just different.

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I found the non sewers think any old machine is antique and worth a fortune.

  11. #11
    Super Member QBeth's Avatar
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    This type of thing happens in other situations as well, as we all know! Years back, in work, I asked someone what type of computer they were using (I had to supply data) and he responded "Oh, just the standard computer." Huh? If there's a standard computer that handles everything, I want one! Too funny.

  12. #12
    Super Member Leota's Avatar
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    the sad part is that they let these kind breed... ha ha...

  13. #13
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    I keep a piece of fabric and spool of thread in the glove compartment of my car just in case I find a machine I want to try out---especially when I'm out garage saling.
    smart lady!

  14. #14
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leota
    the sad part is that they let these kind breed... ha ha...
    :lol: :lol: :lol:

  15. #15
    Senior Member kapatt's Avatar
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    I find it frustrating to look on Craigslist and find that they not only don't know the model of the sewing machine but they also don't include pictures to see what they are selling. (How crazy is that...to post an ad but to not tell you anything about the machine or post a picture with it. It would be like someone selling a car in the paper and stating..."car for sale" without giving any other information.

    I love the vintage machines and enjoy my model 15 treadle. I do have to laugh at the people who are selling their machines on craigslist. They don't know anything about the machines but they have such inflated prices that they make me laugh. Sometimes you'll read on Craigslist about a Singer model 66 (very common model) that they want to sell for ...$5000; or $4000;...on down to $1000. They are usually worth about $30 - $150 depending on their cabinet if they are a red-eye or not.

    One guy, who was selling a sewing machine on craigslist (he didn't know the model number) made the comment..."don't offer me any low prices because I know that these machines are going for high prices.

    For years, vintage Singers were not a collector's item because they were such a common machine. (You usually found them in someone's barn or garage and could pick them up for $15 - $30. I think sewers / quilters are the ones who can really appreciate the stability and the staying power of the machine.

    Yes, I collect vintage Singers...but that is because I love sewing on them. (MY first memories of my Grandmother are of her sewing on her black straight stitch Singer.) :-)

    Good luck in finding the model 15 that you are looking for.

  16. #16
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    I had trouble finding that machine too. Took me a while, but I got it. I feel your pain having gone through the same thing, in dealing with sellers on CL & ebay who just really don't know a thing about what they are selling. I got mine for $20. DH couldn't get the money out of his wallet fast enough. He was very happy for me to complete my collection of Singers.

  17. #17
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatFish
    I got mine for $20. DH couldn't get the money out of his wallet fast enough.
    Ha, ha! This made me laugh...

    Thanks for the sympathy, everyone. Dealing with these folks can be frustrating.

  18. #18
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    lol

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