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Choosing a dealer as well as a machine?

alicorn2 | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi all, I’m brand new here and have read through a lot of the threads.  I’m poised to buy my first sewing machine.  I haven’t actually “test driven” any yet, so that may end up answering my question for me, but here’s the thing.

I have gone to two stores in town: one carries Janome, the other carries Huskystar.  My mom found an amazing deal on a Janome 423s ($300 cdn with case) in the city she lives in, and I’ll see if the Janome dealer here will price match.

Now, here’s where the thing gets tricky.  I felt the lady at the Janome store was a bit pressure-y.  (I say, “Hi, I’m thinking of buying a machine, and I have done no research yet”… 10 minutes later, she’s like “okay, so is this the one you want, then?  I’ll just go ring it up for you.”)  She was a bit more subtle, but that’s the feeling I got.

Then I went to the Viking store, and the lady there was great.  I’ve actually gone back in a second time and I really feel she’s more of the “what’s best for you?” type, rather than “give me money”.

Like I said, I haven’t actually tried sewing on either machine yet, but I was wondering how much weight you guys think I should put on “salesperson feel”? 🙂

Thanks!

  Beverley


Edited 11/19/2004 1:54 am ET by Beverley

Replies

  1. Kiley | | #1

    Beverley, I would go by what machine feels right for you. The first dealer maybe knowing you are new to sewing was leading you to a good basic machine. The Huskystar is also a Janome made for Viking. There is a difference in the Huskystar models. The model 224 is a more smooth machine with electonic speed control and full needle piercing power the models under this are not the same. The 224 also has a few other extras including more stitches etc. I know it also has a needle threader and don't know about the other models. I test drove this model and it is very quiet. I suggest you test drive the machines and see which is the best for you and your pocketbook. This will also give you another meeting with the dealers and maybe you can learn more about them. Like if they stand behind their products and warranty and if they give lessons. What is their return policy and can you trade up your machine if you decide to and what their terms are regarding this and do they do repairs or ship them out. I own 3 Janome products and consider them great machines. I hope you find a machine you love. I would like to know what you decide.

    1. alicorn2 | | #3

      Well, I did it!  I went "driving" yesterday.

      I spent quite a long time trying the Huskystar 215, and the Janome 415.  I came away from that with the impression that they were the same machine -- they both felt the same to me.  Being a brand-new sewer, the difference in the controls didn't really matter to me; either one is foreign and new!  The only real difference is the Janome doesn't have presser foot pressure adjustment (and also I learned I can NOT say that phrase) and the Huskystar doesn't have the needle threader.  (Not a big deal for me; my eyes are fine.)  Oh, and the Huskystar has the recommended stitch width printed on the front of the machine, but I'll figured I'd eventually not need that built-in cheat sheet, although it would be handy at first.

      I didn't spend any time on the higher-level Huskystars, and I only tried the 1-step button hole on the Janome 423s, as it is pretty much identical to the 415, except with more stitches.

      So I went home & phoned my mom, and a friend who sews, and came up with an evil plan.  :)  The H215's price was $350, the J415 price was $300, and the J423s was $370 (although my mom had seen it in her town for $300, so I got the Janome store owner to bring it down to $340 -- he couldn't match $300 as he said that was a "crazy price" for a new machine including a cover).  [All prices Canadian]

      So if I was going to buy the J415, I'd spend the extra $40 and get the J423s.  So instead, I went to Huskystar and told them I'd rather give them my business, and would they deal at all?  They said no, because the price was already a great deal and there was no room to come down.

      It was worth a shot.  I bought the Janome 423s at my very own special price, and signed up for my hour-long "free" (included) lesson for next Saturday. 

      So now I have a shiny new sewing machine sitting in my livingroom, and nothing to sew on or with.  (Need pins!  Scissors!  Fabric!  Patterns!)  And it's my birthday in a two weeks, so now I can ask for things like scissors and a sewing basket and all those goodies that go along with sewing.

      Okay this is getting too long so I'll stop now :) 

      Beverley

      1. Kiley | | #4

        It sounds like you are pleased with your purchase and that's what counts. I hope you love your new machine. Happy Birthday too.

      2. SewTruTerry | | #5

        Congrats on the purchase of the new machine and your birthday.  It goes without saying that there are a lot of things that you will find out by trial and error but without a doubt you are going to have lots of fun trying out things for yourself.  Do not let anyone ever tell you that you can't do anything and try try try everything.  In other words after you get the basics for sewing always test everything you want to try and keep a log or a book for jotting notes down on how you did things even if you don't like what you did at first. You never know when it will come in handy.  Congrats again and keep on sewing.

      3. Elisabeth | | #6

        Congrats on your new fun toy! For the most happy sewing I suggest you ask for good quality sewing tools for your birthday. My suggestions are Gingher for scissors, Clover for pins, and Kwik Sew for patterns. Gingher is usually easy to find to buy and their scissors cut consistently well and sharpen nicely when you need it. Clover pins are sharp and strong with glass heads unlike the cheap pins that are about as sharp as carpenter nails and have plastic heads that melt under your iron if you hit them and bend easily to top it off. I suggest Kwik Sew patterns for your very first patterns (they have a beginner series) because their instructions and fit are consistenly good. Their selection is nice but quite small compared to the big companies McCalls, Vogue, etc. but the big companies are hit and miss with instructions and fit, sometimes a big miss and that is very frustrating for a beginner. Start checking out http://www.patternreview.com a great site for seeing how patterns work out. They also have some really nice online info and lessons for beginners. Oh, and ask for a basic sewing book for your birthday too. That way you can always look up a technique that is puzzling you. The Readers Digest one is liked by many people and there are a few others similar books by other companies that are quite good too.Have fun in your first sewing lesson and have a very happy birthday!

  2. MegVT | | #2

    Beverley,

    I abhor high-pressure deals.  It sounds as though she is paid on commission, which is why she was so hasty in trying to rush you toward the cash register!  Were I in your position, I'd choose to not purchase anything from someone like that.  It is important to feel comfortable with the salesperson, becuase if you have trouble with the machine and require service you do not want a slap-dash approach to That. 

    Be sure to test-drive all possible machines in your price range.  Speak with people who have sewing machines in your area and find out where they acquired the machine.  Also, don't rule out a used machine; you might end up with a higher end machine for the same amount of money.

    Meg

  3. PLittel | | #7

    Beverly,

    Remember that when your machine needs servicing, you will be back to the vendor from whom you purchased your machine. I would also go on-line and see if either company has a website with purchaser feed-back. This could help you make a decision (not just based upon price).

    I have had a Viking for over twenty years. I bought it from a friend when it was three years old, and it still sews beautifully, although I don't use it much (buttonholes and buttons, mostly).

    Good luck with your search.

    Patrick

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