Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How to Make Sure I DON"T Buy Your Sewing Machine on ebay

I am on the hunt for a Singer 301. I've looked in town with no luck, checked Craig's List, Freecycle, thrift stores, etc... I've been looking online at etsy, ebay, and  After several days of pouring over hundreds of ads, I've decided I have some pet peeves about online ads. I have sold a sewing machine on ebay before, as well as lots of other things, so I know the stresses of being an online seller. The only sewing machine I've ever bought online before was brand new and shipped from a reputable sewing machine dealer, so online shopping for vintage machines is newer to me. I have shopped for vintage before, but with no real plans to buy, this time I want a 301 really soon. I am on the hunt!

I will continue to look in town, but I want a 301 by June to travel with, so I may buy it online after all. Here are some of the complaints I have about ebay ads, sellers take note.

1) If you are only going to post one photo of the machine (big mistake right there), make it the front of the machine, not the back or the case. Your photos should clearly show the machine. This is not the time for artsy silhouettes in front of a window. If I can't see the machine, I'm not buying it.

2) If you tell me the machine has just been serviced, I am not going to believe you if the machine is filthy. If it hasn't been serviced, say so, and if it has, it better be clean.

3) Do not say a machine is rare just because it is old. Singer made thousands upon thousands of sewing machines, most are NOT rare.

4) Do not say a machine is industrial if it is a domestic model. You really just look ignorant of what you are selling. Not sure if a model is industrial or domestic? Check here if it's a Singer. 

5) Do not say a machine is for sewing leather if it isn't designed to do so. Just because a machine is capable of sewing leather doesn't make it a good idea. Also, not many people are sewing leather all day, so it's a silly selling point.

6) I'm going to group all my gripes about sewing samples here under number six. I think showing sewing samples is a great idea, but there should be rules so you at least appear honest. If the machine is not threaded, but has a sewing sample under the presser foot, I'm not buying it. If the machine is threaded with white thread but has a red thread sample, I'm not buying it. If it's a straight stitch only machine but you show a zigzag sample, I'm definitely not buying anything from you.

7)If the machine is a handcrank, you are not missing a foot pedal, it doesn't have one. Do some quick research people!

I have seen all of these examples and more, but this covers a lot of them. If you aren't looking for a vintage machine, but need a good laugh, check out ebay ads.

You know what doesn't bother me in the least? A seller who says they have this sewing machine they know nothing about, so they aren't sure if it works or if all the parts are there. THAT is honest! I'd rather buy a machine from an honest seller than from one who seems shady any day. 


On a quilty note, this was my project from Sunday, a potholder for Miss E's other grandmother. I had a few firsts with this one. It was the first time I used 505 spray instead of pin-basting. It was also the first time I broke out the BSR for my Bernina Aurora 440 since I took the machine classes. It was a fun quick project, and is now in Texas thanks to the post office.


merrily row said...

Melodie, I have found some great buys on shopgoodwill. There is a singer 301 listed right now for twelve bucks. Good luck on the hunt and you are spot on about eBay.

Wonky Girl said...

Well, I sure agree 100% with you about vintage machines sold on ebay. Also be really sure they know how to pack a machine to be shipped. I've seen some pics of machines that arrived split, broken in half or plain old smashed.
There is a daily digest you can join on ISMACS. You could post what you are looking for there and maybe get lucky.

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