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So, you want to buy one of those

EBAY BARGAINS ?

Update October 2008:
Ebay has now forced buyers to pay with paypal. If you have a problem with your purchase, paypal will decide if you lose your money or not. If you are a buyer or seller, you should read the buyer and seller comments on the paypal forum.
Paypal discussion board

I have purchased over 100 sewing machines from ebay sellers.
5 % were received in better condition than described.
25 % were received in the condition as described.
70 % were misrepresented, omitted describing obvious flaws or the pictures were too poor to reveal defects. If the picture is dark or blurry, do not assume the seller forgot to pay the electric bill. HINT: If the only picture is a back view of the machine, always assume there is major damage on the front. If other items such as , (books, foot control, rulers etc.) are placed on or in front of the machine, obscuring the view...................... Well, enough said.

Over 50 % arrived with shipping damage caused by poor packaging, even after the seller was advised how to safely package a sewing machine. Sellers usually avoid responsibility for machines damaged by poor packing by saying something like: "I am not responsible for shipping damage if you don't buy insurance." I ask the seller this question. Who is responsible for the damage caused by your poor packaging? Remember, the insurance the buyer paid for WILL NOT pay for damage caused by the sellers poor packaging. The seller will blame the shipper, the shipper will blame the seller and you, the buyer, will take the loss.

NOTE: If the carrier insurance fails to pay due to the sellers poor packaging, and the seller refuses to
accept responsibility, file fraud charges with ebay. Yes, it is fraud! The buyer paid for packing to the shippers minimum published requirements, and the seller has failed to honor the contract. Buyers should refuse to accept any loss for the sellers negligence, including shipping both ways. Filing fraud charges with ebay usually gets the sellers attention and results in fair compensation for the buyers loss.

About 90 % of sewing machine auctions include excessive or hidden "handling" charges. NEVER assume "Buyer pays shipping" or "buyer pays ACTUAL shipping" means you pay only the postage cost. "Actual shipping" usually means the buyer ACTUALLY pays for the sellers packing labor, box, old newspaper packing, gas, electricity or anything else the seller considers their actual cost to ship added on to the actual postage cost. It may also mean the seller plans to avoid all responsibility by listing "PROFESSIONAL PACKAGING" and the buyer may pay a rediculous additional charge for the third party shipper to drop your sewing machine in a box with a few loose peanuts.
"Shipping charges will be sent to the buyer after the auction ends." Be prepared for the BIG surprise! ALWAYS request a FIRM shipping and HANDLING quote BEFORE you bid.
NOTE: If you got lucky, and the seller packaged your machine well, they earned a REASONABLE packing/handling charge to assure your machine arrived safely. If the seller simply added a handling/packing charge for extra profit, without providing the proper packaging you assumed you paid for, don't forget to leave appropriate feedback to warn others.


Yes, even us old pro's get fooled sometimes. This is the actual wording copied from the auction listing description, accompanied by the original auction photo and pictures of the machine I received. The bold is my emphasis.

"This Elna Elnita is a clean, Certified-Elna-Dealer Reconditioned sewing machine. This machine shows little evidence of use, and it was in storage for many years.

Like all Elna products, this Elnita is a quality machine-it sews just great, and the light is perfectly located over the needle so you can easily see the beautiful stitches it produces!
Included with this machine will be a copy of the instruction manual, along with bobbins and a package of needles. So you should be all set to sew as soon as it arrives!"


Click for a larger picture
This is the beautiful Elnita as pictured on a recent ebay auction. Notice, the power cord, which was cut and taped, the instruction book and accessories are hidden from view. The ruler at the base of the machine served to cover many scratches. The dark blurred picture even makes this machine look good. Notice the wide strip of masking tape to the right of the fabric sample.


This is the actual machine, as received. Click here for picture


Lint, pins and dirt when the bottom cover was removed. DEALER RECONDITIONED?
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Scratches and rust on the end cover. MAYBE A ROOF ON THE SELLERS STORAGE BUILDING WOULD HELP.
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Deep scratches and dirt. THIS MACHINE SHOWS LITTLE EVIDENCE OF USE ? The camera even makes this view look much better than the actual damage.
Click for a larger picture

Copy of the manual. YES, 35 sheets of dark photocopies from the original manual. Obviously, the the seller plans to sell the original manual on ebay.
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Remember that strip of tape to the right of the fabric sample in the auction picture? This is a 1" X 1/2" scrape in the paint through to the base metal. It was well hidden in the auction picture by the freshly applied masking tape.
Click for a larger picture

Bottom side of the stiff fabric test sample. IT SEWS JUST GREAT?
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This machine will require about $150.00 parts and labor just to make it mechanically sound. The cosmetic appearance is beyond hope.

This seller is still selling "DEALER RECONDITIONED"? sewing machines on ebay under a different name.



MY PROMISE TO YOU

I will NEVER sell you a misrepresented sewing machine like this.

Nice fresh oats sell for a fair price that makes everyone happy. Oats that have already been through the horse often sell a little cheaper.

There will always be someone who will sell a little worse product at a little cheaper price and offer no service after the sale.


Ray White
White Sewing Center
3972 Highway O
Middle Brook, Mo. 63656


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updated 01/03/14