Friday, July 29, 2011

Craigslist Adventures in Vintage Sewing Machine Buying, Part 1

I'll interrupt the "Identifying Singers" guide here to briefly mention why buying sewing machines on Craigslist can be a real pain. Here's an actual photo someone sent me when I asked to see the sewing machine they were selling:


The worst part is, that's happened to me (and some of you) more than once. It just blows me away. It makes me want to e-mail them back saying "Do you want to buy my car? Here's a photo:"


Or maybe I should invite some friends over for dinner. I can e-mail them saying "Are you hungry? I was thinking about making this:"


Lastly, I'm thinking I should carry this photo around in my wallet. During small talk with strangers I could say "Check out my girlfriend, ain't she a looker?"


Craigslist can be pretty amazing.

15 comments:

  1. Well, it's a nice cabinet, anyway....lol! Any idea what model was in there?

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  2. OK, that made me laugh!

    Nice fridge, btw. ;)

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  3. Thanks for the comic relief.

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  4. What are you paying for various models? I think that $20-$40 is fair, given the amount of work and parts that you'd generally have to put into them for them to fetch a reasonable return.

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  5. Definitely amazing! Unfortunately,also true.
    I also love the ones the are reposted for weeks or months with the poster insisting the $200-$400 asking price is "firm." I wonder if they have any idea why their unwanted sewing machines don't sell?

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  6. You crack me up! Thanks for the entertaining post.

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  7. Dora: I don't think $200 - $400 is too much to ask for one of the best single stitchers in history for people who just want to sew. But for people who like to buy old sewing machines and take the time and money in parts to fix them up, it wouldn't be worth it. Not everyone wants to fix old sewing machines. But boy they sure do work well . . . .

    -Anonymous Comment-Leaving Person

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  8. I agree with Dora. It can take $200 or more to fix a sewing machine that is in a "stored in the attic or shed or garage" condition. Even if the parts only cost $80-100, you'll put in a lot of work getting it humming again. If the machine had already been restored (like my Singer 301) I don't mind paying that much (I paid $250.)

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  9. Aw dear! This looks like the Singer my mum had when I was very young, my and my sis would drape it with a sheet and make a 'den' out of it (think that's an English saying but you know what I mean) the treadle was our swing LOL! Mum would go crazy! She now has my grandmothers Singer in a cabinet, I wrote a blog post about it, tracing its history - 1950 made in Scotland, it still runs like a dream. Love vintage machines.

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  10. I also love when sellers take a photo of the BACK of the machine....they either open the top of the cabinet and photograph the back of it or raise the machine and photograph the back of it. As if anyone can decide if they want a sewing machine by looking at the back of it. People are so clueless.

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  11. or say its in perfect condtion and its missing the shuttle..that just recently happen to me...thankfully I knew what I was looking for and passed. This was a great post!

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  12. OMG!! I love this!! every time I see a photo of the cabinet or the back of the sewing machine, I say to myself, "really? are you that clueless?" It is amazing. it's great, too, when they are selling the cabinet without the machine....for a gazillion dollars.

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  13. Hi, I have just discovered your blog and I'm enjoying reading back through it :) I just wanted to share my fun TradeMe (NZ version of eBay) sewing machine story...I saw a cute vintage machine for sale, very cheap but both photos were of the back of the machine, the description was very brief and it piqued my interest. I was about to ask for a front photo but I noticed someone had already asked in the comments, "Can you please upload a photo of the front" to which the seller had replied, "Sure, what is the front?"...the commenter said, "Well, you just pick it up and TURN IT AROUND!" Haha, at that point you realise the seller has no idea about sewing machines AT ALL...they never uploaded the photo so I let it go...something told me not to trust their description stating, "I think it goes?"

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  14. amen to that! i don't know what people are thinking. so many CL pics of sewing machines are actually of closed sewing tables or are taken about a mile away from the machine. i'm really enjoying your blog. thank you!

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