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Best Deal on Sewing Machines

Updated: Jun 29, 2023


Singer computerized sewing machine

What's the best deal on sewing machines?


Discontinued

​When a machine model becomes discontinued, it is an older version updated with newer models that may have slight differences. Take, for instance, the Brother BQ2450, an older model with 500 decorative stitches as opposed to the 750 stitches on the just-released model. Additionally, the height of the walking foot on the more recent models also offers more space for thicker fabrics and quilts. The question is, can you live with 500 stitches instead of 750? Is the walking foot height on the older version going to be a problem? About 98% of the time, I can live without the extra stitches and upgrades, so I usually choose the discontinued model to save money.


Floor models

Floor models are machines displayed in stores and sold at discounted prices of up to 50% off. I currently own two of these machines, and while they may be missing a few accessories, you can always purchase those separately with the money you save. These machines are typically in better condition than a machine you might buy from a friend and are usually used less. For example, I purchased my PFAFF Performance 5.2 as a discontinued-floor model. The shop owner had previously used it as a teaching machine for classes. However, the manual was worn out and had handwritten notes which did not bother me, and the single stitch plate and knee lever were not included. But I can still purchase these parts for about $50 if required, although I have not needed them since owning the machine. Buying a floor model can be a great way to save money without sacrificing quality.

Best deal on a brand-new, in-the-box sewing machine!

It does not exist! Sorry. You get what you pay for. I Understand that a top-notch sewing machine may come at a considerable cost to your pocketbook and scares many new sewers. When looking for a sewing machine, the question is, is it worth spending $200 more to have an automatic cutter button? Should I buy a computerized or a non-computerized sewing machine? If you buy a sewing machine that is $200 less but still comes with an automatic cutter button, the quality will be lower.


Another top question: Is a cheap computerized machine worth the money? Quick answer NO! A new, more inexpensive machine that boasts fancy features and seems like a bargain may cause more headaches and not justify the bargain price tag.


Deciding on a machine with more features at a lower price usually is not a good investment for its value and longevity. A $250 machine with all the bells and whistles at Walmart differs from a $500-$700 machine with all the same features. Think of the difference between a cheap brand-new car. A Pinto car is still a Pinto. No matter how fancy, it's still not a Mazda and will never be a Tesla. However, even name brands have created their pinto versions of sewing machines to hit the entire market. Remember, getting fewer features now, but a better-quality machine can always be upgraded later. The first machine becomes your backup when your other sewing machine gets fixed or serviced. Your first machine is also great for traveling when taking sewing workshops.


Generally, sewing machines priced below $350 are often considered disposable since repairing them can be more expensive or equal to purchasing a new one. However, great-quality options are still available for $350, like the Singer Elite CE677. If that price is still too steep, another option is to contact a friend or the local Quilter's Guild to inquire about a used machine they may no longer use.


Should I buy a used sewing machine?

​Short answer YES! However, when purchasing used machines, taking certain precautions is vital to ensure you get a reliable product. Some reputable dealerships, like Village Sewing Center, sell used machines and have already performed tune-ups and repairs before selling them. Additionally, some dealerships may even offer warranties ranging from 90 days to a year, giving you added peace of mind.


Another option is to purchase from a trustworthy friend who can provide an honest account of the machine's usage. However, before making a final friendly decision, it's wise to sit down and turn on the machine to see if it works. You can also take the device to a repair shop offering free diagnostic estimates to ensure it's in good working condition. This step can help avoid unexpected repairs or costs not factored in when buying outside a shop.


My used sewing machine bargain experience:

I recently inherited two sewing machines. One was from a grandmother who passed away, and the granddaughter had no use for the machine. The machine was free but broken. For only $200, I got the machine fixed, and now it runs beautifully. Another sewing machine was from a daughter whose's mom got too old and was selling it for $50. However, when I sat down, the backstitch button was broken even though everything else worked fine. Because the backstitch button would need to be repaired, she gave me the machine for free, allowing me to put the $50 in on fixing the sewing machine, which would cost around $129. These oldie-but-goodie machines will last a long time, even after being repaired. As they say, they do not make them like they used to.


That's $329 for two older-style sewing machines that only needed extra love. Another used machine I have is an older Singer computerized machine I got for $60 from a neighbor who didn't know the value of the machine. The machine was hardly used and worth $150. Even at $150, this would have been a great deal since the machine was in top working condition and did not need to be fixed. At some point, I will sell this machine to a student in need when I find the right person. I use these older but excellent machines when teaching students who come to my beyond-basics workshop and have yet to buy a sewing machine but are looking.

Mama's and Grandma's old machines can be an excellent investment if you are on a tight budget. Spending $200 on an old mechanical sewing machine from Grandma is a much better investment than a cheap $200 sewing machine anywhere you go. Suppose you have inherited an old sewing machine that does not work and cannot find a sewer who wishes to repair it, donate the machine to a sewing shop. They will either use it for parts or restore the machine and sell it used in their shop, giving the sewing machine new life.

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