Friday, March 6, 2015

What Is It Worth?

Just as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" value and worth is in the eye of the seeker. As a sewing machine owner, you might think Great Aunt Minnie's treadle sewing machine is invaluable because you remember learning to sew right on that very sewing machine. Then it's probably not for sale but in very good condition. If that very treasure has peeling veneer, rings on the top from paint cans, and the irons are rusted up, I don't think that's much of a treasure because it's been stored in a garage and used as a work surface. Please don't ask $250 for this treasure because you have not treasured it, according to its present state of disrepair.

I have some very nice sewing machines in good condition and some in no-so-good cosmetic shape but they run all the same. Here's a photo of my Singer 201, a great machine but mine is not pristine:

Karen's Singer 201
The bed has somewhat of a crackled finish and she doesn't get real shiny anymore but, boy, can she sew! I had someone over to take a look at a few of the heavier duty sewing machines and even though it ran like a dream, it's condition made it look like it was worth less. Not worthless but not worth as much. Not so because to me it's valuable to have at least one Singer 201 in my collection.

Then there are sewing machines that are almost beat up but let's think of them as well-used. One is my own Brother Select-O-Matic:

Brother Select-O-Matic: full of nicks!

Then there is the newest member to my household, a White that is so full of chips and came so dirty that it was considered scrap. But a friend of mine picked it out of the trash, tested it to make sure the motor ran, and turned it over to me. It's a great sewing machine! The stitches are wonderful and it really runs well but looks like it has acne:
White Dressmaster 346R
A machine that came as part of a trade, this Montgomery Wards gem also has a nice stitch plus a variety of decorative stitches. It's so heavy that it needed a table/cabinet so now it might be protected a bit better but it's not a candidate for repainting. It will make a nice beginner's sewing machine but in a table is not where most beginners want to start.
MW Signature: Check out the hand wheel

Of course, there is a whole line-up of sewing machines that are in poor cosmetic shape but run like nobody's business but let's get back to the question. What is it worth? Even a great running car decreases in value when it needs a paint job so these great running sewing machines decrease in value when they need a paint job, too. But wouldn't you rather have a great running car or sewing machine with a few dings and scrapes than one that looks great but is finicky in use or breaks down frequently? Great Aunt Minnie's sewing machine has value but only to you when it is in poor cosmetic shape. Don't expect anyone else to see it's worth through your eyes and please don't price it at $250 because it will stay at your house, where it belongs.


Thin Man Sewing said...

All my machines are priceless to me. When I think about giving one away or selling one, I can't think of any I want to part with.

Karen said...

Yes, I do love those I keep but I just don't bond with every one. Maybe it's like the difference between friends and acquaintances?