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Forum > Sewing Machines > Online or Brick & Mortar? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Online or Brick & Mortar?
Is it cheating to look for the best price?
Kini07
Kini07
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South Carolina USA
Member since 7/31/10
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Date: 6/13/14 0:48 AM

I recently shopped for, and bought a new machine. I visited my local dealer, who gave me a price on the machine I was interested in - $999, which I could live with. Still looking around, I located a dealer in another state who would do a phone order, for about $250 less. I did not return to the local dealer, assuming she would not be able to match the price, being a small operation (she only had 3 machines in her store - all high end). I also want to say that the out-of-state dealer is an official dealer/servicer of this make.

Now, I know I've given up the free lessons on the machine, and I am guilty of not supporting small businesses. I guess I'm wondering what is the consensus among sewers - do you buy from the local dealer above all else, or do you shop price?

Thanks.

Elona
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Elona  Friend of PR
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In reply to Kini07 <<


Date: 6/13/14 2:08 AM

I think it is tremendously important to test-drive machines before deciding and before you have a wealth of experience. I mean, what you get has to be what feels right to you.

However, once you have been sewing for a hundred years or so, you know what agrees with you, and speaking as one of the aforementioned dinosaurian seamstresses, I have successfully bought online--from a seller who answered questions promptly, knew her stuff, priced her merchandise well, and had a sterling reputation.

jzygail
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jzygail  Friend of PR
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In reply to Kini07 <<
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Date: 6/13/14 3:15 AM

For a machine, at that price point or above, I would go brick and mortar. Both because I WANT to support local business and also, I want the lessons and the service.

I do buy fabric and notions online. But I also buy fabric at my LQS--it works out to about 60-40 with the LQS getting the 60. Notions are nearly 100% online--or big box on sale, tho.

Skratchie
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Skratchie  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/13/14 8:44 AM

Welllllllllllll ... I'll say it depends. I bought my last two machines from a dealer who is indeed "local" ... but not really local to me as they are an hour from me, whereas a dealer just 15 minutes away sold at least one of the two machines as well. And I did, in part, buy from the further dealer because of price. But I am still supporting a small business, even if it isn't the one right down the street and local to me.

I chose to buy from the further dealer mostly because I don't trust the dealer(s) that are closer to me. One lies every time he opens his mouth, and the one that's 15 minutes away ... well, their tech tore down an old machine of mine under the guise of servicing it and did NOT put it back together right. I do support that dealer still, though, by buying accessories for my machine (feet and such) and when I need embroidery thread in a hurry (I admit to ordering thread from the internet; the price difference is H U G E!).

While I prefer to support local businesses, and I probably would have bought from the local for such a small-ish difference in price, it really is a personal choice. Besides, what's done is done. So enjoy your new machine and maybe throw business to the other shop for other things ...
-- Edited on 6/13/14 8:45 AM --

------
Brother PC-8500
Janome 8900
Brother DreamCreator VM5100
Singer 500A
White Serger (I can never remember the model, but it's older)
Dreaming of a Babylock Enlighten!

My blog - http://texansun.wordpress.com/

runnerchicki
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runnerchicki  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/13/14 8:59 AM

I think a good local dealer is worth the extra money. I really do. I am on a budget and I pinch pennies... but a relationship with a good dealer over the life of your machine is priceless.

------
There's no such thing as too much fabric.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to Kini07 <<
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Date: 6/13/14 9:59 AM

Only three machines. Does that really qualify as a "dealer"? Who does the service for the machines?

Sometimes "free lessons" is really one free get acquainted lesson.

I don't shop for price, but for reliabilty of the dealer.

Where will you take your machine if and when it does need service?

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

annenet
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annenet  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/13/14 10:08 AM

I ran into this with my closest Babylock dealer - they didn't have anyone to service machines and now they do a few times a week. They recommended getting service from a dealer 25 miles away. The dealer I got my Enlighten from closed (also about 25 miles away) so I need to take it the other dealer 25 miles away as I have a gold warranty on it. They've agreed to service it.

I've got a dealer near my other house and without a doubt that's who I'll be buying from in the future. I'm up there pretty much every other weekend from March until October and then up there frequently until Christmas.

I'm pretty much done with buying machines for a while (DH laughs when I say that) but nice to know where I'll go for accessories!

I did buy my blindsticher on line but there was absolutely no place that carried it locally. That's a pretty basic machine though.

------
So many projects, not enough time
At my house in VA:
Bernina 1010, Activa 220, B580, B780
Singer 201-2, 221, Bernina Serger 1300MDC, BL Enlighten, BL Sashiko, BL Cover Stitch, Consew 75T

At my Lake House in PA:
Bernina Artista 165E, Singer 503A. Bernina Serger 1100d

http://sewingtechie.blogspot.com/

lgrande
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Date: 6/13/14 10:49 AM

I support my local dealer when I can. However, there is a dealer that 5 hours away who is really fantastic. If I want an accessory for my Bernina, I pick up the phone and call there and what I order is here the next day and she frequently discounts 20%! Whereas, with my dealer in town here, I go into the store, look through their feet (for example) and they never have the one I want. And there's no offer to order for me. She tells me they have an order of feet coming, but, of course, there's no promise of when that is.
I only wish the other dealer were closer, I'd be in that store on a weekly basis!

------
Linda

Bernina 830LE - Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000 - Bernina B530 - Janome 6600P - Pfaff 1209 - Babylock Evolution - Janome 644 - Babylock Sashiko2 - Babylock BLCS-2

Skratchie
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In reply to lgrande <<
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Date: 6/13/14 10:56 AM

Ya know, there's a Janome dealer here who is the same way - you go in to look at feet, and they never have anything you want/need. And then when you ask about it, they say, Oh we will have to order that for you. I once asked to order the 1/4" Accufeed foot for my machine, and the woman said, let me go get an order form. She never came back; instead, I saw her cutting fabric for someone while three other employees stood around chatting with one another.

I don't exactly frequent that store because of things like that. LOL

------
Brother PC-8500
Janome 8900
Brother DreamCreator VM5100
Singer 500A
White Serger (I can never remember the model, but it's older)
Dreaming of a Babylock Enlighten!

My blog - http://texansun.wordpress.com/

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
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In reply to Kini07 <<
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Date: 6/13/14 11:17 AM

I have purchased several machines online. No problems. It is important to do as you are doing - buy from a real dealer online, someone who is an official dealer of the make you purchase and someone who will give online support and repair if needed although sending it back would be a bummer. I have never had to return a machine. Bought online first in 2005 and the latest machine purchase online was 2012.

There is no guarantee that local dealer will still be there when you need repair. I did buy a Viking from a dealer here in 2007 and then the business went down the drain when the owner retired. No amount of local purchasing will ensure that won't happen.

EDITED to say that the machines I bought HAVE supported local businesses! In Texas and Florida. I don't see a problem.I might add that I support my local sewing tech by taking all my machines to him. One of these days I may buy another machine from him - I have purchased two machines from him in the past.
-- Edited on 6/13/14 11:20 AM --

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

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