By Esme Clemo
Buying a used sewing machine from a secondhand seller on eBay can be a daunting process to navigate, especially if you’ve not owned a sewing machine before.
While it can be tempting to snap up the first bargain you see online, it’s important to shop smart when it comes to finding a bargain sewing machine on eBay.
With our helpful buying tips and key considerations, one of the best sewing machines on the market could soon be yours at a delightfully low cost.
- Best sewing machines for beginners: 5 machines to get you started with the hobby
- Best sewing machines: For everyone from those just starting out to experienced stitchers
- Best sewing machines for quilting: 5 picks for making the most thoughtful gift for loved ones
How to find a good deal on a second-hand sewing machine
Do your research
It sounds obvious, but buying a sewing machine is all about knowing what you want. Once you’ve worked out what you intend to use the machine for, it’ll be much easier to narrow down your options.
If you want to make small garment adjustments or sew home furnishings, a simple mechanical machine with a couple of different stitch options will suit your needs. For more advanced dress-making, you’ll need some stretch stitches, too, for working with stretch fabrics.
But if quilting or embroidery is your hobby, you’ll want to upgrade to an electronic or computerised model with the option for free-motion sewing and a larger working space.
Remember, too, that the amount you want to use your machine will affect your choice. Planning to start stitching on a daily basis? An industrial-style sewing machine might be the best option for you.
The range of sewing machines on the market is extensive, even if you have a preference on brand. To help whittle the list of models down, the following checklist of questions should help:
Read the small print
Often, items on eBay are described as being in “working condition”. Unfortunately, while “working condition” might seem like a positive, it does not mean the machine can actually sew. Ask the seller for proof of the machine’s sewing ability with an image or video of the sewing machine in action, stitching a piece of fabric.
Even if the machine seems to be in good sewing condition, all sewing machines need to be maintained and serviced regularly, so be prepared to pay for the machine to be serviced once you’ve bought it. Consider this cost on top of the bidding price on eBay to give you an idea of the total spend, especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget.
Ask what’s included
Before bidding on eBay, have a look at the sewing machine model on the brand’s website. Make a note of the list of accessories usually included with the machine and double check that the eBay listing matches it. If it doesn’t, this is usually the reason the machine is being sold.
Missing accessories can be cheaply replaced, but it will increase the overall cost of the machine, so it’s best to buy a machine that comes complete with the necessary accessories.
Look for hidden costs
Most people get tripped up by postage prices, which can rack up your overall spend by a significant amount. It’s a good idea to set your search filter to the local area to avoid high costs when it comes to postage.
Better yet, look for a machine that’s available for collection. Sewing machines can be very heavy, so if you can avoid the cost of shipping you’ll save a lot of money. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the way the machine will be packaged up.
Head to a reputable store
A lot of sewing machine companies sell their models through outlet stores on eBay. You can easily pick up an ex-display model, usually in perfect sewing condition with only a couple of minor scratches from wear and tear.
Admittedly, these trustworthy outlets price their machines a little higher than second-hand machines from private sellers but, if you’re looking for a quick fix, this is the safest and best option.
If in doubt, always pay via PayPal. It will give you some protection as the consumer when it comes to buying your bargain sewing machine on eBay.
7 celeb-inspired straightener hairstyles we're loving for 2021
Look no further: These straightener hairstyles have got you covered for smooth, shiny, star-powered locks.
By Courtney Leiva •
How to get rid of fruit flies for good in five easy steps
Follow this simple plan of action to ensure the tiny buzzing pests don’t ruin your summer
By Helen Booth •
10 of the best eBooks to treat yourself to on your eReader this year
From chart-busting psychological thrillers to relationship dramas, here are ten of the best eBooks to add to your digital library
By Isabelle Broom •
How to reset your Kindle - 3 simple solutions and what to do if it doesn't work
Even Kindles - much like other tech - sometimes fall victim to the dreaded curse of freezing. Here's how to reset a Kindle.
By Isabelle Broom •
Hobbies to do at home that will help you discover a new passion
Try one of these exciting hobbies to do at home and reap the benefits for both body and mind
By Lauren Hughes •
The best eReaders for literary lovers to buy now - from Kindles to Kobo devices
With our expert guide to the best eReaders on the market, step boldly into a digital reading future.
By Isabelle Broom •
Why the HP ENVY 6000 series printer is the perfect new addition to your home
Sponsored Simple looks and simple operation make the HP ENVY 6000 series a powerful tool to help simplify your life.
By WomanAndHome Staff •
Simplify your home and homework with the HP ENVY 6000 series
Sponsored The HP ENVY 6000 Series can make your life a little easier by taking cables out of the picture and letting you get all your printing and scanning done simply.
By WomanAndHome Staff •
20 easy sewing projects you can make on a sewing machine in less than 30 minutes
These quick and easy sewing projects can all be completed within 30 minutes, so you can get your craft fix without it taking all day
By Esme Clemo •
Print books vs eReaders: what’s really the best way to consume the latest and greatest page-turners?
On paper or on screen - what’s really the best way to consume the latest and greatest page-turners?
By Woman and Home •