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Need a new machine in Mexico

gypsygma | Posted in Machine Embroidery on

Hi All–

I have retired and live in Mexico.  I had intended to buy that wonderful new sewing machine I had always promised myself before moving.  That didn’t work out, so I am looking at buying thru E Bay and having it delivered to my daughter who can then deliver it when she visits next month. (The duty on a new machine is very high.) And a new machine in Mexico, if available, would have software in Spanish.

I shopped the Viking machines and seem to prefer what I saw there.  But I wonder how frustrating it would be do learn the new technology unassisted.  I am unable to find repair people here so far.  I am concerned to hear so many stories about required repair with the new machines.  The only service I ever needed in 50 someodd years was to have my old Singer tuned and greased before making my daughter-in-law’s wedding dress.

Any advise?


  1. User avater
    fashionlizard | | #1

    First, do you really want a computerized machine where you might not be able to get service for it?
    Where in México are you located? I would think that any of the large cities nearby would have stores with service available for most modern machines. A sewing machine store in México would probably be happy to service a machine you purchased from them...and give you instruction. If they don't have the service personnel, they could probably send it to México City if you had a real problem with the machine.
    Sometimes the machine software gives you a language choice in the setup menu. This is becoming more common, so if you find a machine you like, email the manufacturer or stop in and visit a sewing machine store in the city and see if there is a language choice in the software. If you need the manual in English, that is often available on-line. Do you have enough survival Spanish to ask for what you want in the store?
    I would be reluctant to ask my daughter to drag a machine through customs.... If she pushes the button and gets the red... she's gonna have a lot of 'splainin to do! Likely she would have to pay the duty anyway or they may even confiscate the machine because she didn't declare it.

  2. sanfelipegirl | | #2

    Where are you located in Mexico, I have a home in Mexico also.  I have a Brother 2003ultd I haul back and forth and have never had any problems with it.

    Good luck in finding a machine.  sanfelipegirl


    1. gypsygma | | #3

      Hi!  I am in Chapala which is just outside Guadalajara.  I have yet to conquer driving by myself in Guadalajara and therefore do not know where to go for a machine.  I just returned from a trip to Denver CO and I'm thinking that I could possibly bring a machine from the states as a carry on.  That is if it is lightweight enough. Is that what you do with your Brother? Have you ever been stopped in customs because of it and/or have they charged duty on the machine, or tried to??  I am almost ready to move back to the states as so many things are difficult in Mexico.  How much time to you spend here and where is your home?  Do you plan to retire in Mexico?

      1. Teaf5 | | #4

        When I lived in Mexico (Nayarit) every single home had a sewing machine, but only the maids would sew.  Members of the community were amazed that, as a professional educator,  I wanted to sew and found it a wonderful novelty to invite me for comida to converse in English while I ate and then while I sewed on their machines. 

        Instead of investing in a machine (a North American concept) that you might not understand or want to keep, you might check your social contacts for someone who would let you use theirs (a Latin American concept).  You might make some new friends and find ways to make the rest of your daily life far easier, too!

        1. Weimboyz | | #6


          Where in Nayarit were you?  I was born in Tepic and have been living in the US for 30 yrs.  but went to the University there during the 80's.  Still have family there but haven't been in a while. 

          Because labor in Mexico is less expensive than in the US many people just have items made.  When I had special events; I would always buy the material and would take it to a seamstress who would make the dress to my specs.  About 10 yrs ago; I started to sew while we lived in California and really enjoyed it.  3 yrs ago I bought my first embroidery machine and this year I purchased the sewing/embroidery machine of my dreams:  Designer I

          Take care... happy sewing!

          1. Teaf5 | | #7

            I lived in Tepic for a short time in the mid 1970s, teaching technical translation at the Universidad de Nayarit and English at a tiny academia de ingles about two blocks away from the catedral.  My first sewing project there was an elaborate insect tent for my bed; the locals thought that I was crazy, but they eventually started asking me how to make one when they discovered that it was also strong enough to keep out the geckos that would fall from the ceiling in the middle of the night!

            There was a fabric store on the other side of town that had a limited array of fabrics for such a project, so I made it out of lovely curtain lace netting, custom fitting it to poles I affixed to the bedposts.  It created a lovely little screened room for this gringa with the pale skin that was so adored by the mosquitoes and was one of my favorite possessions at the time.




          2. Weimboyz | | #8

            I know exacly where all of those places are.  I actually went to the University at the Univerdad Autonoma de Nayarit.  And also taught beginner and conversational English at the same Academy. 

            Small world!  Take care - Olivia

          3. Teaf5 | | #9

            Incredible-- the academia on Clle. Guerrero? There was another small academy a few blocks away, but even so, it was such a small town that I'm amazed that anyone knows where it is, much less is a native. A small world stitched together with an interest in sewing...incredible!

          4. Weimboyz | | #10

            I can't remember the name of the street but it was on the corner... I remember that.  I went to school at the Preparatoria Colegio Colon do you know where that is?  It was the new High School at the time.  It has grown since I attended.  Where did you live when you were there?  I have relatives on Col. Versalles and Cd. del Valle.

            I actually never got the bug to sew when I lived there but now I love it.  Have a PC8500 D Brother and a Viking Designer I. 

            Take care!

          5. Teaf5 | | #11

            The school on the corner was owned by another woman; I was working for the owner of the one on Guerrero, no. 75, I think. It was next door to a small church and shared a back wall with a stereo/tv shop, which produced a very strange combination on Sundays!The newer areas you mention were quite a distance away, but I remember that they were very lovely and modern at the time, and the fashionable salons were there. Thanks for the lovely memories...I've often thought of Sanganguey, the mountain to the east of town, and the scent of sugarcane and ocean air, even after thirty years!

      2. sanfelipegirl | | #5

        Hi, we always drive as we are in Baja and live in California.  When we cross the border sometimes we are stopped and have to pay duty on things in the car, but not much, you are allowed $50 per person on items in your car, they consider things such as a computer luggage.  The most we ever paid was three hundred dollars and that was for windows and furniture that we hauled down in a horse trailer.

        If you have an FM2 which you need if you are living in Mexico permanently, you are allowed a one time move of all your personal goods into Mexico with no duty.

        Good luck.




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