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Score Big Savings on Quality Used Sewing Machines on EBay Full Guide of 2024

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buying used sewing machine on ebayYou’re an experienced seamstress on a mission. That serger’s got your name on it, you just have to find your perfect match on eBay first. Know the brands that’ll hold up – Bernina and Husqvarna have stood the test of time for good reason.

Focus on the features that speak to you – like quilting capabilities or embroidery functions. You’ve got an eye for spotting quality machines so you can tell if a deal’s too good to be true. Check the age, run it through its paces, and make sure everything’s in working order before you bid.

Snagging that treasured first sewing machine or upgrading your setup can be done on a dime if you shop smart. Stay savvy and that feeling of freedom when your new machine arrives will be priceless.

A single machine can open up a world of DIY possibilities. You’ve got those Pinterest projects bookmarked and grand ideas, but first, you need the right tool for the job. eBay’s full of deals, but buying used takes finesse. Target best-in-class brands first, then evaluate age and capabilities.

Give any machine a test drive before bidding – listen for whistle-quiet operation and watch for skip-free stitches. With the right know-how, you can score performance that rivals new models at a fraction of retail.

Shop strategically and find the perfect match. Let imagination take hold as your new sidekick helps those homemade dreams come true.

Key Takeaways

  • Quality brands retain value; inspect age and condition.
  • Compare prices to new models; factor in repairs or missing accessories.
  • Focus on reliability and useful capabilities over bargain price alone.
  • Used allows trial without a big investment. Reputable starter brands.

Best Brands for Used Sewing Machines

Best Brands for Used Sewing Machines
When researching used sewing machines, prioritize quality brands like Bernina and Husqvarna. These manufacturers build to last, so even an older model can be a wise investment if it’s still in good working order.


You’d be wise to seek out a quality used Bernina, but don’t let your thriftiness sew the seeds of regret.

  • Invest in presser feet for specialty techniques like zipper insertion or hemstitching.
  • Prioritize models with stitch editing capabilities to get the most versatility.
  • Vet included accessories – dust cover, extra bobbins, embroidery hoops, walking foot.

Renowned for precision engineering, Berninas retain value but deliver on quality. Assess model year, but not age, in determining fair price. With proper care, a pre-owned Bernina serves creatively for decades.

Value mysterious attachments; generic feet limit specialty techniques. Though the initial outlay stings, a robust Bernina saves frustration and fosters growth.


You’ll find quality Husqvarna machines have long-lasting craftsmanship. When evaluating a used Husqvarna, inspect key functions like needle thread tension, feed dog adjustment, presser foot pressure, and stitch length setting.

Test bobbin winding technique. Quality construction means decades of service, so imperfect cosmetics can still be a good value. Prioritize mechanical soundness over accessories or embroidery functions. With good care, a Husqvarna can become a lifelong partner in your sewing journey.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sewing Machine

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sewing Machine
When shopping for a used sewing and embroidery machine combo on eBay, prioritize models from top brands like Brother, Janome, and Singer that offer both utility stitches and built-in embroidery. Carefully inspect seller photos for missing accessories, exposed wiring, or other signs of heavy wear that could indicate the need for servicing and repairs down the road.

Quilting and Sewing

If stitching and piecing, get set up with a walking foot and embroidery kit. When quilting, prioritize a model with easy bobbin access for lint removal and maintenance. Select a computerized machine like the Janome Memory Craft 400E for built-in safety features.

Read buying guides to learn the best brands like Baby Lock for quilting. Consider your experience level when choosing stitch options and accessories. An entry-level quilter may start with a basic used model from a reputable brand like Brother or Singer.

More experienced quilters will want specialty stitches and embroidery capabilities found in mid-range and higher machines.

Combination Sewing/Embroidery Machines

Originality sparkles when selecting a pre-loved combination machine with the multitude of possibilities it offers. Seek out models with built-in tutorials and LCD displays to master machine functions with ease.

Opt for handy stitch selection and software compatibility to unlock boundless creativity in embroidery. Consider brands like Bernina or Universal Instruments for quality and capability upgrades. Let your inner passion flourish through this wondrous world of sewing and embroidery artistry.

Evaluating the Age and Condition of the Sewing Machine

Evaluating the Age and Condition of the Sewing Machine
Don’t be fooled by that sweet old granny selling Gran’s 50-year-old sewing contraption on Etsy, honey. That relic’s likely to sew your fingers together quicker than you can say backward stitch if you don’t inspect every rusty moving part before laying down cold hard cash.

  • Test mechanical soundness – listen for grinding, feel for smooth motion.
  • Inspect power supply – frayed cord, functioning foot pedal.
  • Assess motor condition – power, overheating, noise.
  • Check for corrosion on any metal parts.
  • Ensure movement is smooth, no stuck levers or knobs.
  • Consider location and asking price along with condition.

The key is thoroughly vetting an older machine, not impulse buying based on price alone. Investing a bit more in one that’s well cared for will sew happiness in the long run.

Finding a Good Deal on a Second-hand Sewing Machine

Finding a Good Deal on a Second-hand Sewing Machine
Put those discount dreams into action and score a sweet machine deal from trusted sellers. When evaluating used sewing machines, focus first on the seller’s reputation. Dig into their feedback ratings, account age, and location.

Meet at a public place and inspect before buying. Reputable sellers have no issue with test drives. Calculate total costs upfront, including shipping and accessories. Compare prices to get the best bang for your buck, but don’t sacrifice too much on brand quality or condition.

Opt for sellers offering a home trial period. And remember, used machines still require maintenance. Budget for potential servicing down the road. With the right precautions, secondhand can still mean first-rate at a fraction of retail.

Benefits of Choosing a Used Sewing Machine

Benefits of Choosing a Used Sewing Machine
Considering a used sewing machine for your first purchase allows you to begin sewing without a huge financial investment, letting you test your interest in the hobby before fully committing. A lower-priced used machine also takes up less space for apartment dwellers needing to maximize available square footage, while sourcing a quality device locally often presents more options than what’s in stock at a rural craft store.


You’d save 40% off retail by getting a quality used model from a trusted seller. Compare prices to ensure the savings are real after factoring in shipping costs and any missing accessories you’d need to buy.

Focus more on the machine’s reliability and useful capabilities than the bargain price tag. Financing may help spread payments if needed. With a bit of searching, you can find a gently used machine with life left for much less than new.


You’re in luck if sewing’s just a trial and used fits the bill. Opting for a pre-owned machine lets you dip your toe into sewing without a big upfront cost. Reputable brands like Singer or Brother can offer quality and reliability at an entry price.

Test settings and functions at pickup to ensure it adjusts stitches and operates smoothly before buying. Just vet the seller carefully to avoid scams, meet in public places, and consider a home trial first.


Since space comes at a premium, a pre-loved sewing machine lets you delve into stitching without consuming too much of your cramped homestead.

Consider fold-down or roll-away table options to maximize space when not in use.

Look for compact, lightweight models if needing to move machine frequently.

Vertical storage solutions like wall mounts free up precious tabletop area.

Optimize storage with rolling carts, shelves to corral supplies neatly.

Let your project plans dictate machine size and features, not available space.

A pre-loved machine allows you to enjoy the creativity of sewing without overwhelming your limited square footage.

With some clever solutions, you can stitch to your heart’s content in even the tiniest of spaces.


You can meet in a public place when testing out a used sewing machine bought locally. This allows you to thoroughly evaluate its condition before paying. Check that all basic stitches like straight, zigzag, and buttonholes are functioning properly.

Review any available tutorials, manuals, or included patterns to verify full capabilities. Testing locally avoids expensive shipping costs and the risk of damage associated with online purchases. With proper inspection and safety precautions, used machines from individuals can still be smart buys.

Important Considerations When Buying a Used Sewing Machine

Important Considerations When Buying a Used Sewing Machine
When shopping for a used sewing machine on eBay, carefully examine the asking price, working condition, functions and features, and age of the machine. Scrutinize seller reputation and what accessories are included, evaluating compatibility with your existing accessories.

The goal is to find a quality used machine that meets your needs at a fair price from a trustworthy seller.

Asking Price

Don’t be fooled by sellers listing bargain-basement prices. The asking price should reflect the model’s original price, the current used market price, and the price of comparable new models. Also, factor in any repairs or missing accessories to determine a fair price. Vet the seller’s reputation.

An unrealistically low price screams scam. Trust your gut on whether a deal is too good to be true.

Working Condition

Before trying out that bargain machine, better ask the seller for video proof that it actually sews stitches.

  1. Test buttonhole, zigzag, and straight stitch functions.
  2. Listen for concerning grinding or squeaking noises.
  3. Check tension settings are properly calibrated.
  4. Inspect thread path and bobbin components for obstructions.

When evaluating a used sewing machine, demand proof of its current working condition before completing any transaction. Have the seller run sew tests showing basic stitch functions are operational. Inspect mechanisms for signs of damage or excessive wear.

Request details on the machine’s servicing history and ask about any repairs made. Buying untested risks disappointment and added expenses getting it in sewing shape.

Functions and Features

When inspecting a used sewing machine, test all its functions thoroughly to ensure the features you need are fully operational, like Evaline did when the decorative stitches on that discounted Pfaff were skipping irritatingly.

Brand Common Issues Recommended Models
Pfaff Skipping stitches Creative, Performance, Expression
Singer Tension problems Heavy Duty, Computerized
Brother Noisy operation CS6000i, SE400

Pay close attention to the machine’s stitching capabilities, noise levels, and compatibility with accessories you may already own. Running the machine through various fabrics, stitches, and settings will reveal any underlying problems not immediately visible.

While used machines can provide cost savings, ensure you’re getting the features and reliability needed for your projects.

Age of the Machine

You’d be wise to check how long ago it was built. The age of a used sewing machine can greatly impact its value and usefulness. Older models may require more frequent servicing and have limited part availability.

However, quality brands that are well-maintained can sew wonderfully for decades. Do your research to determine if the machine’s age justifies the purchase price and your sewing plans. With the right expectations, an older machine can still be a cost-effective way to start sewing.

Included Accessories

You’ll want to double-check that it comes with all the foot attachments you need for your fabric thickness usage and sewing quilting needs. Verify the item condition through images, and request details on tension adjustment and repair costs if you have concerns.

Take into account compatibility issues with existing accessories, as replacements can be expensive. Let your planned projects determine the must-have functionality, rather than making impulse accessory purchases.

Carefully assess the total value of the machine itself and the needed parts for your purposes.

Compatibility With Existing Accessories

You already have sewing machine feet and accessories, so ensure that any used machine you get will work with what you’ve got. Check that your existing presser feet, bobbins, needles, and other notions are compatible before buying.

Study the manual online to verify if the accessories are cross-compatible. Test with your materials during any trial period. Bargain brands may use unique fittings. Prioritizing known quality brands better ensures the ongoing use of your accessory investments.

Reputation of the Seller

Research the seller’s reputation before meeting in person.

  • Vet online reviews and feedback for any red flags.
  • Ask for references or social media to verify identity.
  • Search the name online for information on company history.

Thoroughly vet an individual seller before agreeing to meet in person or provide any personal information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I verify the sewing machine model number to get details on features and capabilities?

Cross-reference the model number against the brand’s website for details on features and capabilities. Request the serial number to call the manufacturer and confirm the production year. Review online comparison charts detailing stitch options and other specifications per model.

Carefully inspect photos for identifying badges and markings. Familiarize yourself with the key features to look for based on your project plans.

What are signs of wear and damage I should inspect on a used sewing machine?

Look closely for broken or missing parts, worn gears and timing, scratches or dents, seized mechanisms. Test all functions – stitching, buttonholes, and threading. Run the machine with fabric, threads, and foot down to listen for odd noises.

Examine the inside, under the plate, and bobbin area. A thorough inspection ensures no unpleasant surprises after purchase.

What accessories and feet should I expect to be included with a used sewing machine?

When inspecting a used sewing machine, expect basic presser feet for general sewing like zigzag, zipper, buttonhole, and blind hem, along with screwdrivers, bobbins, needle pack, seam ripper, lint brush, and spool caps.

How can I test the sewing functions like stitch settings before purchasing?

As a savvy shopper, examine the machine like a mechanic inspecting an engine. Request the seller to demonstrate key stitches – straight, zigzag, buttonhole – on different fabrics to verify full functionality before you buy.

What steps should I take if the sewing machine arrives damaged or does not function as described?

Act quickly if the sewing machine arrives damaged or faulty. Contact the seller, provide photos of the issues, and request a refund or replacement. If they refuse, open a dispute with the payment provider for an item not as described.


A penny saved is a penny earned when you find a quality used sewing machine. With research and caution, you can land a reliable workhorse and save big over buying new. Focus on coveted brands, must-have features, seller reputation, and a fair price.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.