Brother International, Inc. produces home and industrial sewing machines as well as affordable sewing and embroidery machine combinations for home use. Purchasing a used brother sewing machine can be an excellent method of buying a quality machine at an affordable price. This may be the only method of purchasing an older retired Brother model, especially if you are trying to find the one that you learnt on.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- White fabric swatch
- Seam ripper
- Digital camera
Determine the model or age range of the used Brother sewing machine that you desire to purchase. Older or antique Brother model sewing machines have metal cases, and newer models usually have plastic sewing machine cases and components (bobbin cases).
Determine whether you are looking for an older industrial Brother sewing machine or a used Brother sewing machine for home use. If you are planning on doing a lot of sewing for your family or a home-based business, an industrial model might be the preferred option. Or if you plan on sewing very heavy materials such as heavyweight curtain tapestries, upholstery or denim, then consider a used Brother industrial sewing machine.
Search in newspapers, on notice boards and online auctions for available used Brother sewing machines. Call estate sales and moving sales to inquire if a Brother sewing machine will be sold. Check local sewing machine dealers, thrift shops, yard sales and antique stores for used Brother sewing machines.
Post your own ad in newspapers, free papers such as the Pennysaver and on online sites such as Craigslist and Freecycle to find a used Brother sewing machine. The benefit to buying a used Brother machine within driving distance will be the ability to see, handle and test the Brother sewing machine out prior to use, and it will save you on shipping costs.
Print a checklist of important questions to ask the current used Brother sewing machine owner like the one available on Heatherinks.com (see Resources), or create your own list of questions. Print a copy for each used Brother sewing machine that you plan on evaluating.
Call the Brother sewing machine owners and ask the questions from the checklist over the phone. Write down the answers. If the owners don't have the manual, research online for a manual if you will need one. Some manuals are available at Brother-usa.com (see Resources). Set an appointment with the owners to view the used Brother sewing machine.
Bring the white material, thread, seam ripper and your preferred fabrics with you when evaluating the used Brother sewing machine in person. Run the sewing machine on the white fabric to check the stitches and tension. Adjust if needed. Then run the sewing machine on your preferred materials. Your preferred materials will be important, because some models lend themselves better to different materials, such as lace versus denim. Test a few additional stitches or functions, like zigzag. Take pictures of the used Brother sewing machine and any extras that it comes with, such as a sewing table, feet or other materials.
Compare your notes taken on your checklist, pictures and the stitch samples sewn from the different used Brother sewing machines you evaluated. Determine the right used Brother sewing machine and model to purchase.
Tips and warnings
- Consider comparing prices available through online auctions or non-local newspaper classifieds against local prices to ensure that you are paying a reasonable price.
- If purchasing a used sewing machine online through an auction, use good common-sense rules. If it seems too good to be true or a one-day auction by a seller with little selling feedback, then it could be a scam.
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