Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sewing Machines come and go

When I started acquiring (collecting?) sewing machines, it was purely for the enjoyment of getting a neglected machine back into an operating state and watching/listening to it purr along after being oiled and adjusted. As with most things in my life, my sewing machine hobby has evolved to something different than what it was. I still enjoy a finely tuned machine but now I also look at all those neglected machines at the thrift stores and think, I can make a few bucks on this if I were to resell it.

So now with that mentality, I started selling a few machines on Craigslist. Needless to say, the endeavor was hardly a money-maker. Enter that popular online auction place. Two weeks ago I decided to try my hand at auctioning off some machines. Let's just say that online auctioning is now my new friend. The bothersome part of selling to a non-local person is the hassle of packaging and shipping, keeping in mind that the machine had better make it to its destination no worse for wear. The good (great?) part of selling on an auction site is the fact that I don't get left "high and dry" by those flaky Craigslist buyers who don't bother to show up and don't bother to let anyone know they aren't going to show up. I am totally in control (usually) of when my sewing machines leave the house.

 I have a newfound knowledge of double-wall shipping boxes, the realization that I now have to buy packing peanuts/bubble wrap that in the past I used to throw out in the garbage, and the fact that strapping tape isn't cheap. The good thing is, the buyer pays a fee for shipping (to cover a $10 box, a couple bucks worth of bubble wrap and strapping tape, and the $35-$40 USPS fee). I also throw in a package of needles, a couple bobbins and a spool of thread in the box.

I've been sick lately so I'll hopefully get back to taking photos and posting them of the machines I'm working on. I also picked up another machine. A Brother. Looks to be 70's vintage - white with kind of a burnt orange theme for the knobs.


  1. It's great that you found a good business out of your hobby. I always believe that we will excel doing the things we love. And I agree with you regarding shipping, it's the most stressful part. You have to make sure that goods are delivered in good shape. Investing on bubble wraps, strapping tapes, and boxes is a good start. How's your business, by the way?

    Thelma Bowman @

    1. At this point in time it's still a hobby, but may turn in to a business at some point. Until then I'm happy just puttering along with my little cast iron buddies.