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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Should I buy this machine? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Should I buy this machine?
Confused about buying a singer 201k
davidxy887
davidxy887
Member since 9/28/12
Posts: 23
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Date: 9/28/12 11:54 AM

Hello everyone,

My name is David and I'm new here.

I'm planning on staring to sew soon, so I do not know that much about sewing or sewing machines. I found this add on craigslist for a Singer 201k, but I think they are asking too much. What do you think?
What would be the right price for a 201 and a 301?
What things should I look for while buying a used vintage singer machine?
Thank You so much for your help,
David

lisalu
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lisalu
Advanced Beginner
GA USA
Member since 10/5/08
Posts: 2060
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Date: 9/28/12 12:06 PM

You're talking about the electric model 201, right? (just making sure)

I have bought and sold a few of those and while I'm no expert I can tell you what I think based on my experience.

Rule of thumb: IF the machine is in good, working condition, and IF the wiring is safe and sound, and IF it comes with all the accessories/attachments/manual, and IF it comes in a vintage Singer cabinet with the stool then about $150-$200 would be a fair price for a Singer 201.

You can work backwards if any or all of those factors are not present. I have "lucked out" and bought a 201-2 with everything stated above for $80. That was a steal and it is *possible* you may come across a deal like that if you haunt CL day and night for a few weeks.

However, if you are mainly interested in the performance of the machine and don't need any frills (you don't need the vintage cabinet, you can download a missing manual, you already have basic low shank attachments, you don't care if the finish is a little beat up, etc.) then you might find a good working 201 for $50-$75. I sold one that fit that description for $75 not too long ago. A nicer one with all the accessories (but sans cabinet) I sold for $120. I had worked on both of these to make sure the wiring was in good condition and everything was cleaned, oiled and lubed before I sold them.

You can see an example HERE of a "no frills" 201 that was in excellent working condition after a little TLC. These machines can be used "as-is" on a table top if you really want to get down to basics although it is much nicer mounted in a cabinet or at least a portable base.

I'll let someone else address the 301, I have never bought one. But I think they may run you in that same general price range.

Oh, and I'll add that searching CL will most likely get you the best possible deal rather than going through eBay. Not only will you save at least $50 in shipping charges, but the price will probably be lower and/or you can negotiate it down. Also you can try it before you buy it AND make sure it arrives home safely.

-- Edited on 9/28/12 12:27 PM --

------
Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

davidxy887
davidxy887
Member since 9/28/12
Posts: 23
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In reply to lisalu <<


Date: 9/28/12 12:12 PM

Thank You so much for your reply.

I just noticed that I did not post the adds for the machines. lol so sorry about that.

I just found a 301 with desk and everything included. For 155 and the guy is willing to reduce the price a bit.
Do you think this is a better deal?

Here are the adds:

THIS IS FOR THE 201K
http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/tor/art/3233993347.html

THIS IS FOR THE 301
http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-hobbies-crafts-The-short-bed-Two-Tone-or-LBOW-Light-Beige-and-Oyster-White-30-W0QQAdIdZ412269883

lisalu
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lisalu
Advanced Beginner
GA USA
Member since 10/5/08
Posts: 2060
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In reply to davidxy887 <<


Date: 9/28/12 12:28 PM

The 201 is a beauty. Nice case, original manual. Looks to be fairly well maintained but needs a good cleaning (see all the lint bunnies underneath?) Good pedal and power cord.

You still want to try before you buy, if possible.

I think the price is high (especially since the attachment set is not included) but not outrageous. I'd offer $150 and see if they'd take it.

------
Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

annenet
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annenet  Friend of PR
Advanced
VA USA
Member since 8/2/03
Posts: 1507
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In reply to davidxy887 <<


Date: 9/28/12 12:28 PM

I have an earlier 201-2 and it sews great. The 301 like a big featherweight but a nice machine as well. Since that comes with a really nice cabinet I would go with that one. As long as it's in great working conditon.

------
So many projects, not enough time
At my house in VA:
Bernina 1010, Activa 220, Artista 630E, B580
Singer 201-2, 221, Bernina Serger 1300MDC, Babylock Enlighten, Babylock Sashiko, Consew 75T

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

http://sewingtechie.blogspot.com/

Jennifer Hill
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Jennifer Hill
Advanced
AB CANADA
Member since 4/11/02
Posts: 1507
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 9/28/12 7:03 PM

That 201K is a beauty, but it is NOT semi-industrial. It is a home machine only, although it was Singer's TOL for almost 20 years. Collectors call that body styling "post 1954" as it was an attempt by Singer to market a sleek 1950s image, without having to redesign any of the working parts within.

I was about to say that the price seemed rather high, except I jogged my memory and realized that is exactly what I paid for my 201K, except mine is older (1935), black, and has an original hand crank.

I have also paid as much as $150 for a 301 in a decent cabinet. The advantage of the 301 over the 201 is that you can remove it from its cabinet and use it as a portable table-top machine. That is why it has a handle built in. It is also a lot lighter to carry than a 201. I have heard that the post-1954s are made of aluminum, but I still think you need two hands to carry one, while a 301 is a one-hander for many of us.

Jennifer in Calgary

pknord
pknord
Intermediate
TX USA
Member since 9/1/11
Posts: 513
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Date: 9/29/12 10:50 PM

I hope you went and got that 301, it's very nice.

------
Pat in Rockport, TX
"As ye sew, so shall ye rip."
http://community.webshots.com/user/pknord
http://www.quiltingthoughts.blogspot.com/

SouthernStitch
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SouthernStitch  Friend of PR
Intermediate
LA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 9669
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Date: 9/29/12 11:04 PM

I love that 301! It's so complete, we'll worth the price. I paid $250 for my 201 in a cabinet. Both were in great condition.

------
Bernina 780, and 530
Juki TL2010
Babylock Evolution
Singer 403a

When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

davidxy887
davidxy887
Member since 9/28/12
Posts: 23
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Date: 9/29/12 11:16 PM

Thank You so much for all your replies.

The same guy who is selling the 301 is also selling the 15 91 with all the parts and the cabinet for a fair price.
He is close to my house and is very nice, plus he knows a lot about sewing machines and sewing.
My mom has the 301. I think once she does not need it any more she will give it to me. Then I think the best option for me is the 15 91 since it comes with a lot compared to the 201.
What do you guys think?
Thanks again for all your help.

SouthernStitch
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SouthernStitch  Friend of PR
Intermediate
LA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 9669
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In reply to davidxy887 <<


Date: 9/29/12 11:37 PM

A 15-91 is a good machine too, we'll known for its fabulous free-motion capabilities. Go test both it and the 201. I know the 201 is so smooth to sew on, and has a drop in bobbin, which many find convenient. But the bobbin case can be a pain to remove and clean. I don't find it too bad. The 15-91 has a vertical bobbin. Some people don't like those but I do.
You need to sew on both, and then decide. But both are fine machines.

------
Bernina 780, and 530
Juki TL2010
Babylock Evolution
Singer 403a

When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

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