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How to Buy a Used Sewing Machine

Buying a used sewing machine seems simple enough. You find a second-hand model you like for a good price, hand over your cash, take your “new” sewing machine home, and get to sewing.

Unfortunately, buying used merchandise can be risky. And, while you’re paying less, you still want to get your money’s worth.

Here are some things to consider when buying a used sewing machine.


Buying at Thrift Stores and Yard Sales

Products sold at thrift stores and yard sales are often sold “As-Is.” So if buy the machine and thendiscover there’s something wrong with it, you can’t return it and get your money back.

Only buy a second-hand sewing machine at a thrift store or yard sale if you know sewing machines inside and out. Then you can give the machine a thorough inspection to make sure it’s in good, working order before handing over your hard-earned, non-refundable cash.


Buy From Someone You Know

A friend or acquaintance has a sewing machine they want to sell, and you’re thinking of buying it.

But there’s an old saying: Don’t do business with friends or family, because it can end up putting a strain on your relationship.

If you buy a used sewing machine from someone you know, and the machine doesn’t work, will they give your money back? If they don’t, how will you feel about that (and them)? If they do return the money, do you think there might be some hard feelings on their end?

Basically, if you think buying a used sewing machine from someone you know could end up hurting your relationship, don’t do it.


Buying a Refurbished Sewing Machine

Customers return products they’ve bought for many different reasons. Sometimes it’s because the item didn’t work properly. But it’s just as likely they accidentally bought the wrong model, or they just decided they couldn’t afford to keep what they bought. They might never even use the item before taking it back. In these cases, there’s nothing actually wrong with the item. But the manufacturer can’t sell it as “brand new.” Instead, they sell it as “refurbished,” and usually for quite a bit less.

Even if there’s something wrong with a product, the manufacture can repair it to “like new” condition. Using the item, you’d never know it didn’t always work perfectly.

Buying a refurbished sewing machine is a great option. But, to be on the safe side, keep these things in mind:

  • Only buy from reputable sources. Either buy directly from the manufacturer, or from a reputable authorized dealer, like Amazon.
  • Never buy a refurbished sewing machine “As-Is.”
  • Check the return policy. You should be able to return the item for at least two weeks (if not a month or more) after you bought it.
  • Check the warranty. Your refurbished sewing machine should have a warranty of at least 6 months. A full, one-year warranty would be even better.
  • Refurbished sewing machines that are “factory certified” are the best way to go. This way you’ll know the machine has been thoroughly inspected, tested and (if necessary) repaired.


Buying a used sewing machine can be a great way to save money. But only if you take as many precautions as you can to make sure a “great deal” really is a great deal.

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