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14. Buying a Sewing Machine at a Dealer

Hey There!  In this episode I’m going over all things sewing machine dealer.  I chat about how to choose the right dealer to purchase from, what questions to ask, and why the internet is not your friend.  For a super deep dive, take a listen to the podcast episode above or wherever you listen to podcasts.

If you’re more of a read and highlight kind of a gal, head on over to the transcript of the show here.

What to look for in a dealer:

Type of dealership

Fabric/quilt shop vs Sew and Vac.  I prefer a fabric or quilt shop to a Sew& Vac.

What Brands do they Carry

Sewing machine dealers are like car dealers.  They are licensed to carry a certain line.  Some bigger shops carry more than one line.  But be wary of those that carry every line!

They carry the full product range

Did you know that most (if not all) sewing machine brands require a dealer to be certified on a sewing machine model before they are allowed to sell it?  So even though a dealer is a Bernina licensed retailer, they may only be allowed to sell (and order) a few models.  This is a huge red flag.

On Site Service Technician

Ok. This one might be difficult for those of you who live in a more remote area, but hear me out.  A dealer that has their own on site technician (or more than one!) that is certified in the brands that are sold is a huge plus.  You’ll be able to take it in and get your machine back same day or within a few days.  Dealers that have to send your machine out to be worked on are the worst!  For me, that means not having my machine for several weeks sometimes, and that is NOT COOL.

Knowledgable long term employees

In a great dealer, the employees will have worked on all the machines offered and will give great insight into how all the machines work and how they compare to one another.  I love a dealer where the owner and employees are super enthusiastic about the machines.  If the dealer just shows you the most expensive model and the entry level model with very little info… that’s a bye Felicia from me!

What to Ask While Shopping

Classes

First you want to make sure that classes on your machine are included.  Period.  No Classes=No Sale.  But also see if they do individual classes or group classes.  Some love the individual 1:1 attention and others prefer group.  Personally, I prefer group with the option for a 1:1.  Also make sure you ask how many classes you get and for how long.  A years worth of lessons is the preferred minimum, fyi.

Bundles

First I want you to look up what comes with the machine on the manufacturer’s website.  Then I want you look up online what comes with the machine on some sewing machine forums.  Then ask the dealer.  Not all dealers are created equal and you would be amazed by what comes (or doesn’t come) with your machine.  And ASK.

Used Models

Most good dealers will also sell used machines, especially if they have a technician on site.  This can be a hug win for you as someone else has already eaten the depreciation, yet the machine is (or should be) in top form.

Stick to Your Feature List

Before you step foot into a dealer, make sure you have a thorough understanding in what you need in a machine now, what you might want in the future, and what you can live without.  

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Quilt Love

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and...

Noelani T.

The Modern Quilters Circle
5
2020-06-26T11:01:26-04:00

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and Nicole’s expertise was invaluable for this large project. Nicole is very patient and explained the different steps and their purposes clearly. She improved my original idea to better accomplish my overall goal. I highly recommend Nicole as an instructor and would personally have another session in a heartbeat!

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked...

Michelle L.

The Modern Quilters Circle
5
2020-06-26T11:05:18-04:00

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked me through everything step by step. And it was amazing. She taught me the ins and outs of my machine and how to add each basic concept together. It was invaluable, because now I can figure things out and get creative without fearing the dreaded unravel!
2
The Modern Quilters Circle