Authorized Dealer vs. Big Box / Online Store

Dealer-BoxStore-Title orange-buttonSo you’ve caught the sewing bug, taken a few classes, and built up a number of new skills you ‘d like to continue practicing at home. Super!  After a bit of searching, you’ve found a nice little entry-level machine you think will be up to the task.  While on the internet, you find the unit offered at the Big Box Online Store at a price even lower than what you’d budgeted at the local dealer’s store. Your finger hovers over the “Buy” button, then you decide to do a little more fact-checking…


Good call.  So many shoppers “click” first, then ask questions later. Knowing that you will be spending hundreds to perhaps many thousands of dollars on these products and that you probably intend to keep them for years, choosing the right retailer is critical.


If this is your first purchase, or it’s been a while since you’ve shopped for sewing machines – PLEASE – treat yourself to the full experience.  You and your new machine are going to begin a partnership, so do your due diligence.


Visit local machine dealers. Bring your bucket list of requirements and ask for advice.  They are Jazz_HandsFreePresserFoot_HRexperts, with years of training, and extensive experience fitting the right machine to the right sewist – young, old, beginner or advanced.
Take a moment, sit at the machine. Is it comfortable?  Bring scraps of fabric you might likely use and run the machine. Is it easy to thread and change the bobbin? Simple things make a difference.  Most importantly, does the retailer service what it sells?


green-buttonAlthough big bulk retailers and online stores are advantageous in their ability to sell items at a discount, be cautious.  My own rule of thumb is to buy only things from these places that I’m able to easily handle should things go awry. A sewing machine is not one of those things. The big box retailers generally do not have their own service technicians to work on your machine.


Even so, the brand-name company might not honor a warranty if a machine had been worked on by anyone other than an authorized service center.  Many machines are computerized now, and need coding that only authorized brand dealers are trained to perform.  Something to think about if your repair plan involves “Uncle Charlie”, the family “go-to” repairman.


OK, but what about that money-saving deal you were counting on?  It is true, the big box retailers and online stores often have lower pricing with certain brands or models during certain sale periods, which can limit your selection. However, that price difference is often very slight when you compare the balances, and don’t include the extras that the dealer can offer.


pink-buttonLet’s Sew is a full service sewing center and fabric gallery, authorized in the sales and service of Baby Lock brand sewing machines, sergers and embroidery machines. Perhaps we’re a bit bias, but going to a local dealer for your purchase does have its perks, including unlimited one-on-one owner’s classes to better understand how to run your machine, notification of brand software updates and service information, and a free machine cleaning and tune-up during it’s first year, not to mention – peace of mind.


Quality sergers, sewing and embroidery machines are an investment and you should be confident in your choice of machine now, and in the future!

-Pat Cates