Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27

Thread: "How Much Is My Machine Worth?" Question Answered

  1. #1
    Senior Member grant15clone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookfield, IL
    Posts
    862

    "How Much Is My Machine Worth?" Question Answered

    An Old Gear Head's analogy - Me -
    I see sewing machines a lot like a car. No dealership will tell you the value of a car just by a description. If you send them a picture it may help slightly, but until they see it in person, test drive it, and see how much wear and tear it has, if anything is missing or broken, there is no way you can put a value on one. Different dealerships will value it differently too. AND some cars are worth more in different parts of the country. A convertible in Alaska is worth less than it would be in Florida. It is easier to sell ice to people in Florida than it is to sell ice to people in Alaska. Ice is plentiful in Alaska and has little value. It is not plentiful in Florida and has a higher value. Simple supply and demand. And you can't expect anyone to pay for sentimental value except the person that holds those sentiments.

    As a gearhead, this is my example that I think most people can relate to-

    I have a 78 Cadillac. It was my grandmother's car. It's in pretty good shape. What is it worth?
    The description may sound like it looks like this,

    Name:  78cad new.jpg
Views: 957
Size:  88.6 KB

    But it really looks like this.

    Name:  78cad old.jpg
Views: 1009
Size:  110.3 KB

    When you tell them what it is worth they say, "But it's a Cadillac!". And "It was my grandmother's car. She used it all of the time."

    Now, replace the word Car with the words Sewing Machine, and Cadillac with the word Singer.

    No matter what, a machine is worth what you think is fair. Not what your friend told you, what you read on line, or what you saw in an ad. If you really want to know, do your homework. Look at past sales on places like Ebay. Throw out the highest and lowest amount and take an average. But know this!!! If you do, Ebay is HIGH RETAIL price for any item. I would subtract 20% to 30% from that amount and you may be somewhere in the ballpark.
    ~Grant~

  2. #2
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    22,121
    Great analogy!

  3. #3
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Centralia, WA, USA
    Posts
    4,888
    Thanks for the thread Grant. I sometimes don't mind trying to answer honest questions about value when it's an established member on the forum but sometimes it gets old when a person is on here for the first time and just wants to know what to unload their Grandma's/Aunt's etc. machine for and we know we'll never see them again.

    Grant I would say your rule of thumb on price is right on.

    Also, with certain rare exceptions, no one is going to get rich off an old sewing machine. It's a sad fact of life that supply is way in excess of demand.
    I have over 20 machines (small time around here ) and I haven't paid more than $30 for any of them.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  4. #4
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Somewhere
    Posts
    15,511
    Blog Entries
    2
    Grant you have totally nailed it. I'm sure my Honda Fit is worth much less than the 'going' rate because it has been driven quite a bit and bumped in the parking lot by a cart and little kids ride in it with dirty feet and I haul sewing machines in it all the time.... On the other hand my sister's Honda Fit goes to the grocery store and an occasional road trip. We bought them days apart though. BUT unlike cars an old well used sewing machine will sew rings around the occasionally used machine. I don't know why.
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  5. #5
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Millville, NJ
    Posts
    1,776

  6. #6
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Somewhere
    Posts
    15,511
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by jlhmnj View Post
    rotflmbo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    196
    Thanks, what you write makes a lot of sense. This needs to be pinned! I have seldom gotten people to understand an asked for price on ebay is usually way higher than worth of an object.

  8. #8
    Super Member juneayerza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clovis California
    Posts
    2,256
    I have found in the long run that any object is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
    June

  9. #9
    Senior Member greywuuf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    middle of nowhere Alaska
    Posts
    715
    I just have to add that reportedly Alaskans buy more ice cream per capita than any other state.. and convertibles are at a premium precisely Because there is such a short supply of them.....other than that.....spot on.
    " one should endeavor to keep ones straight pins from the floor whilst treadling barefoot" .... me 2015

  10. #10
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,563
    Grant, right on!

    What you say makes sense!

    Jeanette

  11. #11
    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Southern Minnesota
    Posts
    3,873
    Blog Entries
    2
    Well said.
    Mavis

  12. #12
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Round Rock,Texas
    Posts
    6,131
    I'm really getting fed up with folks asking in various Facebook groups how much a machine is worth.

  13. #13
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Somewhere
    Posts
    15,511
    Blog Entries
    2
    The other thing I'm fed up with is people saying how little a machine is worth. Or how little they paid. They never seem to say how MUCH they overpaid.... I try to keep the $$$ part of it out of the picture.
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  14. #14
    Super Member Sunflowerzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Far Northern California
    Posts
    1,023
    I think 'worth' and 'want' are two totally different things. I can pass up good buys on machines that are worth a lot but the asking price is very reasonable for several reasons: Here are the two most common ones for me personally.

    1. I already have at least one of them.
    2. I had or have one and they are not all that and a bag of chips, I wasn't impressed.

    Now on the other hand 'worth' to me is something I value because I know about it, have owned one, loved it, nostalgic reasons, sentimental reasons like I thought highly enough of a 319W to drive 12 hours round trip to pick one up for $80.00 I would do the same for a few models of Bernina.

    We can also throw 'Need' into the mix to create worth. Hope this makes sense.

    Sometimes 'want' is something I can't fulfill because of the 'worth' of an item i.e. A Two Spool unless the seller doesn't know the worth.

    Basically I found sewing machine collecting to be very serendipitous!!
    Creativity needs focus and application...
    http://sewvintageuniqueboutique.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Centralia, WA, USA
    Posts
    4,888
    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    The other thing I'm fed up with is people saying how little a machine is worth. Or how little they paid. They never seem to say how MUCH they overpaid.... I try to keep the $$$ part of it out of the picture.
    Good point Miriam. I'm guilty of saying how little I've paid for mine. I think it's human nature to brag on getting a good deal. It's also human nature to not brag if you think you didn't. But then even if you think you overpaid on a vintage machine , in reality when you consider the quality and beauty of the older machines you probably didn't. Usually the prices are still comparatively low when you think about what a new machine of similar quality would cost.

    Average prices for sewing machines tend to be higher than what I've paid for my machines. But still I do think there are more machines available than there is demand. That's why so many of them end up as lamps, tractors or end tables that are generally far uglier than the original cabinet or stand.
    The low prices in many ways don't reflect the true value of the machines.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  16. #16
    Super Member CindyA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,253
    This would be a good thread to refer folks to when they are asking about price of machines!!

  17. #17
    Senior Member grant15clone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookfield, IL
    Posts
    862
    I never say what I paid for a machine, for a good reason. It confuses people. Just because I got something for a great deal, doesn't mean everyone can get the same deal and that is what it is worth. For instance, I find a Featherweight and pay $1 for it. Someone else buys one for $100 and finds out what I paid. Even though they got a good deal, they think they got ripped off because it was 100X as much as what I paid. Rarely does a really cheap machine not need any work at all. The $1 featherweight may have needed $200 worth of work or parts to get it to look and sew nice. People never mention that they had to put the $200 into it, just that they paid $1 for it, now do they? I think not. Back to being apples and oranges and confusing people again.

    The flip side of that is I have paid more than the asking price for machines too. I have a conscience and I like to have good mojo.
    ~G~

    Thank you everyone for all of the nice comments.
    Last edited by grant15clone; 05-31-2015 at 04:48 AM.

  18. #18
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Centralia, WA, USA
    Posts
    4,888
    I've been given a couple machines by members here that were able to sew right away but all of my cheaply bought machines have needed at least a couple hours of cleaning and oiling and usually need expendables like bobbin tires or belts replaced too. Some need far more than that to run again. It's pretty rare for a cheap machine to be ready to go in "as bought" condition. It's pretty easy to pay more for parts than the machine itself costs.

    Machines that have been serviced and tested to work before you buy them are worth more-especially when if you had to pay a shop to fix them you would be looking at $75 plus to have them serviced. Things like having the original case, instruction manual and accessories affect the price too. Kind of like the difference between buying a fully loaded Cadillac or a stripped down Yugo with a mismatched door.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  19. #19
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Somewhere
    Posts
    15,511
    Blog Entries
    2
    You two are spot on about the money. If I buy it for $XX and am selling it for $XXX it isn't anybody's business. Very likely if it was cheap it was because it was needing a lot of TLC - even the ones that don't look used some times have something wrong. It cracks me up what people are willing to pay on shopgoodwill for a machine they haven't looked at.
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  20. #20
    Senior Member sews's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Issaquah, WA
    Posts
    357
    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    It cracks me up what people are willing to pay on shopgoodwill for a machine they haven't looked at.
    Yes, makes me wonder too....

    Yesterday I passed on a 201 that I saw at a local flea market. It was a portable - with cobwebs and dust on it and it didn't seem safe to plug it in (not that there was electricity provided....). Wires were exposed at the plug. The sellers had (wisely?) not tried it out - it was grandma's. It used to run, for sure, many years ago. "May need a little oil." There was a dome top, but it didn't latch onto the bottom.

    I offered 1/3 less than the asking price. Who can resist a 201 that is right there for the taking? Well, no, she had been at antique malls to research.... and apparently had high hopes for this machine that nobody who's not in the know will ever want because it is just plain black. I just let it go, and left my name and phone # along with info on what I'd pay.

    We already have a 201 that works great, so sticking to my conviction was easy. Someone may want/need it more than I do, so it's all good.
    Sabine

  21. #21
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Centralia, WA, USA
    Posts
    4,888
    Actually 201s are known by more than just the vintage machine crowd. I've seen them mentioned on my other favorite site (OWWM) as well. They have a great reputation for being a sturdy reliable sewing machine.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  22. #22
    Senior Member sews's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Issaquah, WA
    Posts
    357
    What I meant is that those "in the know", like the folks you are referring to, will possibly go for it, but all those who simply want a decorative pretty machine to display won't. And that reduces the number of potential buyers.... But, like I said, it's all good.
    Sabine

  23. #23
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Somewhere
    Posts
    15,511
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by sews View Post
    Yes, makes me wonder too....

    Yesterday I passed on a 201 that I saw at a local flea market. It was a portable - with cobwebs and dust on it and it didn't seem safe to plug it in (not that there was electricity provided....). Wires were exposed at the plug. The sellers had (wisely?) not tried it out - it was grandma's. It used to run, for sure, many years ago. "May need a little oil." There was a dome top, but it didn't latch onto the bottom.

    I offered 1/3 less than the asking price. Who can resist a 201 that is right there for the taking? Well, no, she had been at antique malls to research.... and apparently had high hopes for this machine that nobody who's not in the know will ever want because it is just plain black. I just let it go, and left my name and phone # along with info on what I'd pay.

    We already have a 201 that works great, so sticking to my conviction was easy. Someone may want/need it more than I do, so it's all good.
    I would have passed, too unless they would come down to a reasonable price for a machine that is in dire need of work - meanwhile Granny's machine gets hauled around a flea market and a bit more wear and tear. Maybe they are using the machine to stop people so they will by what ever other trash they are trying to sell....
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  24. #24
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    10,724
    I agree...It is worth what you are willing to pay for it...

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    559
    You put it nicely....an acquaintance asked me to evaluate some glassware over the phone, she had no idea what the maker was or the pattern. When I said I didn't do appraisals on the phone, she said she would call someone who knew something. I'll never forget that nor have I found the grace to forgive her.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.