Learn how to buy a used sewing machine! Whether you’re looking for your first sewing machine or want to upgrade to a better model, buying a new sewing machine is quite an investment. It can set you back quite a bit, and while buying a new one may sound like the best idea, buying a used sewing machine can often work out more economically.
How to Buy a Used Sewing Machine Tutorial
Most sewing machines are made to last a lifetime, so buying a good used sewing machine allows you to spend a lot less while getting a solid machine that stays by your side for many years to come. In addition, many big brands make sewing machines that are just as good decades later, and buying those is something you should definitely be looking at when in the market for a new sewing machine.
The thought of buying a used sewing machine may scare you, but if you know what to avoid and what to look for, you can come away with a wonderful sewing machine that will help you create masterpieces for years and years. Some of the best sewing machines out there have been in use for decades, and they work great, so why not try a used sewing machine?
Tips for Buying a Used Sewing Machine
Knowing what you should be looking for when buying a used sewing machine can help you narrow down your research and help you find a model that will work best for what you intend to use it for. There are also a few other things that you should be keeping in mind as you can then ensure you are making an investment that will be with you for many years.
1. Consider the Types of Sewing
The features that you look for when buying a used sewing machine need to come from what type of sewing you intend on doing. There are different needs for different types of sewing and buying a compatible sewing machine will help you, in the long run, a lot.
- Straight Sewing - If you’re into more simple sewing, you should be looking for simpler mechanical models as those allow for a lot more versatile stitching.
- Decorative Sewing - If, however, you love to quilt or do embroidery with your sewing machine, you need a machine that has a lot of stitch options or you could even look for a computerized model.
Further Reading: Sewing Machine vs Serger vs Coverstitch
2. Accessories Included
The throat length and the extension table also matter greatly, depending on what you are using your sewing machine for. For example, extension tables are usually used for quilting where a larger surface area is needed. Therefore, when buying a used sewing machine, you need to narrow down your research and look for only those models that cater to your needs.
Don't worry too much about the presser feet that come with the used sewing machine, as these can be purchased cheaply in kits on Amazon and eBay.
3. Set a Budget
One of the most important things you need to set before buying a used sewing machine is the budget. Then, after you have figured out the features you need in your sewing machine, you should do some research and see what the current prices are for the models and features you are looking for.
Set your budget according to what you want to spend and what the prices in the market are. Most used sewing machines will cost you about 30% to 40% less than the original price, but if you can get your bargaining hat on, you may even be able to buy a used sewing machine at half the price.
4. Assess the Condition
When learning how to buy a used sewing machine, try the machine out, look for the features you want, and see the exterior condition before deciding on what you think the price of the machine should be.
If repairs are needed, you should get a lower price, as parts and repairs will usually cost a lot. Negotiate as much as you can and enjoy your new, used sewing machine.
4. Brands of Used Sewing Machines
The best thing you can do when you are learning how to buy a used sewing machine is to look for a well-known, trusted brand that is currently in the market. Buying a used sewing machine made by a brand that is highly reviewed by customers is something that will help you find the best ones out there. In addition, this ensures that you are getting a sewing machine that has a good warranty and is made from reliable materials that will last a long time.
Further Reading: Sewing Machine Brands
When buying used sewing machines, remember to look for models that are still in production. While the ones that are out of production will probably be cheaper, you won’t easily find any parts for them in the market. Buying a still-in-production model lets you go to the market and get any parts if you need to replace any parts further down the line.
For reference, buy used sewing machines from brands such as Brother, Baby Lock, Bernina, Janome, Pfaff, Juki, or Singer.
5. Try Before Buying
When buying anything, whether new or used, a good rule of thumb is to try it out before committing to the purchase. This same rule applies to buying a used sewing machine as well. You should be trying out the machine and making sure everything works properly before you purchase it. Then, you can make sure the machine works how you want it to and will enable you to sew as you want to.
Trying the sewing machine will also allow you to check it for any damage that may be on it. You should check that the machine is running as it should and that there aren’t any buzzing or clicking sounds coming from it. Check the exterior for any cracks and make sure the bobbin area and the motor are running smoothly. You should also make sure there is no rust on the machine, as that is something you definitely don’t want.
If the seller you’re buying from won’t let you try the machine before you buy it, you’re better off walking away, as that probably means that there is something wrong with the sewing machine. If you’re buying online, ask for a video and pay attention to all the sounds.
6. Get a Complete Package
Something that you need to make sure of when buying a used sewing machine is that it comes with all the parts that it originally came with. There are a lot of sewing machine models out there that come with a few extra bobbins, presser feet, and some instructional manuals.
When you buy a used sewing machine, all of the parts should be included with it; otherwise, it can cost you more in the long run. Having extra parts that come as part of the package from the manufacturer makes sure you don't have to spend more money replacing or buying new parts while saving money on the used sewing machine. Parts for many sewing machines are costly, and it is not something you should be forced to buy.
The parts that you should be included with the used sewing machine are bobbins, bobbin cases, presser feet, foot pedal, accessory tray, seam ripper, needles, manual, DVD, and receipt.
The manual will allow you to change the settings as and when you need to, and the receipt allows you to see when the machine was bought and what model it exactly is.
How to Buy an Industrial Used Sewing Machine
If you’re someone who uses their sewing machine all day, every day, whether you are making things for yourself or your business, you will need an industrial sewing machine. Industrial sewing machines are usually set up to be used for specific patterns, and figuring out what setting you want is key to looking for a used sewing machine.
Used industrial sewing machines are available in the market just as domestic models are, but these tend to be more difficult to find as you need to look for machines that serve your purpose.
For example, if you want to do heavy-duty projects, you should be looking for previously used machines for such projects. Make sure you see that the settings match what you want out of it, and set your budget beforehand, as industrial machines are much costlier than domestic ones.
Where to Buy a Used Sewing Machine
So now you know a few things about how to buy a used sewing machine. The next step is to figure out where you can buy your new, used sewing machine. The place you buy your used sewing machine from can pretty much be the difference between you getting a solid piece and something that breaks down after a few years.
- Refurbished - Many brands in the market refurbish their returned sewing machines and sell them at a much lower price. Machines that have external damage that has been repaired are a great buy, and buying them from brands that customers trust will make sure you’ve spent your money in the right place.
- Friends - You can look for used sewing machines around your circle as well. Ask around your friends and family and see if they have any old sewing machines lying about not in use. You may also have someone in your circle who may love to sew and upgrade to a newer machine; ask them if you buy their old one. This will not only help you find a bargain but will also mean you buy a used sewing machine that was cared for by someone who understood its worth.
- Online - If you’re looking to buy a used sewing machine online, there are plenty of websites where you can either bid on the machines or buy them after some bargaining with the sellers. While buying online, remember to be thorough in your checking of the machine, either through videos or photos, and don't forget to bargain a little bit as well. On official websites for different brands, you can talk to their sales representatives and have them help you find the best used sewing machine for you.
How to Buy a Used Sewing Machine - In Conclusion
Buying a used sewing machine is one of those things that most people don't think of. But, whether it's due to the distrust they may have for different sellers around the market or just because they don't really believe that used sewing machines will work great, they couldn't be more wrong.
Used sewing machines are great investments that can help you upgrade your old machine and have a piece that can last for years to come.
There are great brands in the market whose machines have been running for decades, and finding the right one is as simple as following a few easy steps. Once you know what to look for and where you can buy your used sewing machine, there is nothing that can stop the creativity from flowing through your brain into your sewing machine and creating masterpieces that you can enjoy.