In the market for a sewing machine? Think that it’s a competitive consumer market? WRONG!
Low end sewing machines can be purchased at your local discount store (Walmart/Target/Sears/etc.), but if you are looking for anything better, you’ll have to go to a local sewing machine store where you will meet your local franchise owner of brands like Brother/Bernina/Elna/Singer. If you call around sewing stores to price shop, you’ll discover that the dealers will make statements such as:
1) “We’re not allowed to provide prices over the phone” and they will tell you they can lose their license if they provide the price over the phone. The only thing they will provide over the phone is the list price which is absurd.
2) “We don’t service machines that weren’t purchased here”.
3) “We don’t service machines that weren’t purchased through an authorized dealer”.
When you come to the store, you’ll hear about the “great sale” they are having and they will make sure they point out the list price. Well, their sales never end, and the list prices are unrealistic. In reality, the machine manufacturers have established sales territories where dealers have exclusivity and the franchising agreements are set up to protect those territories. When we purchased our first sewing machine we got bitten.
Recently, we purchases a serger. Once again no one would provide prices over the phone. Everyone wanted us to come in since “hands on the wheel are sure to close a deal”. Since we realized that sewing machines are sold like cars, we decided to purchase it like if we were purchasing a car.
Outcome? We walked out with a brand new ELNA-745 serger for $575 out the door, list price $1,799 – LOL to that!
So, if you are in the market for a sewing machine, find the machine you like, and then haggle haggle haggle! The dealers are scum balls and use the same tactics as used car salesmen. They will force you into their store for a price, they try to convince you that if you don’t buy from them you won’t be able to service your machine, they will dazzle you with a “sale” price and make sure they show you the sticker list price to try to convince you that you are getting a good deal. So don’t forget that you can easily bring the price down another 15% if you haggle a bit.