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should I buy a sewing machine on ebay

user-102058 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I’m thinking about buying a sewing machine on EBay.  I’d either buy a new or nearly new machine.  I’m worried about the manf. warrenty, will it still apply?  Do sewing machines need to be serviced often?  I’m thinking about a Viking lower end model.


  1. user-108513 | | #1


    Have you done much sewing?  You'd have to check out the warranty status with the manufacturer, but I doubt that it would be any good.  I've sewn for more years than I care to count (40+) and have only had to take a machine in for repairs once or twice.  I've owned a number of different types and have at least 5 in the house at the present time.  I've purchased both used and new and I guess the trick to buying one online would be the condition of it and how long it's been used, why it is being sold and the guarantee of condition offered by the seller.  My husband purchased an sewing/embroidery machine for me that way a year ago for Christmas and saved big bucks.   I realize that my machine has no warranty, but I am willing to pay for anything that it needs in the way of repairs.  There are some dealers out there that are real grumps about repairing something that they didn't sell, but there are others that couldn't care less.  I think you'd need to check out the dealers and/or sewing machine repair shop owners in your area and see if they would be willing to work on your machine if you had a problem. 

    I have a degree in Clothing and Textiles and have been sewing since I was 5, so have an understanding of machines and how to care for them.  But, if you know what you are doing, you should be fine.  A reason to buy from a dealer if you are a beginner is their support if you have problems.  Most also give some lessons, so if you feel you will need those, then you should go with a dealer.  You'll find that some charge and give only very basic lessons, and others offer lessons for free and have different types of classes for different skill levels.

    Hope this helps!

    Texas T

    1. raven2run | | #2

      I bought a sewing machine on eBay I got a good deal on that is in great condition. But first I checked the going prices and particulars on the machine I was interested in, by first doing some online research on dealer sites and a few store sites. Also some have more options on them they you may need, that make it more expensive. If you want a simpler one look for it. Some are older machines that I like better than the newer ones. I then asked the seller as many questions as I could think of that hadn't already been stated. Its important if you get a used one you need to know how much it was used and how well it was taken care of and any problems. If there were problems I would tend to pass on it. I have rarely had to take my machines for repairs and I've had many both new and used. Regular cleaning and normal oiling is usually enough to keep a machine running well. The price of repairs is normally not so much I would worry about a warranty unless you bought a lemon. 

      My mistake was not testing the kind of machine I wanted at a store first to see if it would do what I wanted, and went by other's word since they were not avaiable in my area to try. You really need to take the time to do this. I needed one that would sew demin easily. The one I got is good for regular sewing but is a wimp with denim..although I was told it could handle it.

      I am now looking for another machine and have no idea what to get. Texas T..would love a suggestion

      1. KarenW | | #3

        There are good and bad reasons to buy on ebay.  I'm kind of opinionated so I hope I don't step on any toes here, if I do, I apologize in advance! 

        If you know what you want, it can be a great resource. I have bought and sold a lot of machines on ebay.  I like to try different makes/models and zero in on what I like and want to keep.  If you are a new sewer and are just learning, I don't think ebay or a chain store is a good option if you have good dealers in your area who offer classes.  Even if you have to buy a machine with fewer features (many allow you to upgrade within a certain period), when you're new (couldn't tell from your post!) it's invaluable to have someone who can teach you how to use the machine (so your actual sewing time is more pleasurable) and troubleshoot when you have a problem.  There's a lot of help on the net, but I often see people bring in machines purchased elsewhere (yes I do work for a dealer, and though I've known them and bought a lot from them for many years, it was actually through an ebay sm purchase that I ended up with the job offer!) and they have no idea why their machine isn't working right.  More often than not it's operator error.  Sometimes we can give a quick tip that fixes it, other times they've messed around or forced it or jammed it so badly it has to be serviced and it costs them to do that.  They're not always happy about that.  That's one of the risks one takes when buying from ebay or a chain store.   Someone with more sewing experience could buy the exact same machine and have a completely different experience because if something jams or doesn't function correctly they're better with the manual and/or knowing what things to consider may have gone wrong.

        As for going to a dealer to try a machine first before buying it on ebay, I personally hate when people advise that.  No offense, I see why you'd want to try something before buying, and realize that everyone has different budgets, but I hope that if you're going to do that you'll give the dealer every opportunity to work with you on your machine purchase.   I realize they're usually more costly because they have to incorporate things like rent, labor, inventory, classes, samples/displays, taxes, etc., but in order to have them there when  you do need help, you've got to support the business.  The one I work for has multiple locations, a few weeks ago we closed the location I'd been working in for over a year.  I still have a job and it was no problem for me, but the other store was just steps away from a Costco, a few more steps from a Wal Mart, and we routinely took in machines for service or had people bring things in that they had problems with  but didn't want to spend anything to fix because they were so cheap.  Unfortunately that accounted for a lot of the traffic and for a variety of reasons it became unlucrative to keep that store open when the lease was up.  Now a much better machine purchased on ebay because it's not available elsewhere (i.e. a classic or collectible model) or is an outstanding deal may well be justified and even if you need to pay for some service or repairs down the road you'll still have made a good investment - unfortunately those machines aren't always available to try at stores anyway!

        Again, sorry if I've offended anyone, I make money selling on ebay personally and selling at the dealer level, but either way you buy I think it's good to buy with your eyes wide open to not just how much you pay upon purchase, but costs - both monetary and non-monetary -- in the long run.   Perhaps before deciding you can tell us what you like to sew, would like to sew, how much experience you have and what your budget is and some suggestions will spring forth!Karen



        but even before working for a dealer, I knew I paid more buying there but part of the cost was to assure that their doors would be open for business when I needed help.

      2. mem | | #4

        Just a thought . Try using a denim needle . It makes a HUGE difference as to what your machine will handle.

        1. raven2run | | #5

          Thanks mem..it doesn't. This is a Burnina 1008. I got it to sew up stretch silk crepe for my daughters wedding dress that my sweet old Singer couldn't do right. I was in too big of a hurry when I bought it. I never cared for my last Burnina's because I found it to be so finniky. People seem to talk up their Berninas so much I thought this one might be different..it isn't. I'm still breaking needles, still can't get thick layers under it. Not to mention I lift it off the table when I'm struggling. All in all I need a tougher machine. Sigh~* It used to be so simple to find a good machine I could relate to. Its like I've gotten a little sports car when I guess I need a truck.

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