The folks at Singer have come up with a complete line of heavy duty mechanical sewing machines.
Although nearly all of the Singer Heavy Duty sewing machines look pretty much alike, there are some very real differences that discerning sewers should be aware of.
First of all, the folks at SVP – Singer/Viking/Pfaff – sell their machines in three major categories and seem to be making an attempt to separate their machines accordingly.
In most cases, the machines sold in one category are not necessarily available in another, especially those sold by the big box retailers. These three categories are:
Independent authorized dealers
This group has the best that Singer has to offer. When you purchase a sewing machine or serger from an independent authorized dealer, you have the added benefit of personalized service, customer care and a place to take your machine for servicing when it is necessary. Many independent dealers also offer classes for anyone who purchases a machine in their stores.
Big box stores
This group includes giant retailers like Walmart, Kmart, Sears, JC Penney, JoAnn Fabrics, and club stores like Costco, BJs and Sam’s. Generally machines purchased in big box stores are low end machines and are not expected to last for more than a year.
In fact, people who really know sewing machines refer to the sewing machines and sergers sold by big box stores ‘throw away machines’. These machines are low cost and usually poor quality. Some may work fine in the beginning, but do not expect them to last long.
When you purchase a machine from a big box store, you have no opportunity to try it before taking it home, you cannot take it back for servicing and you have no one available to answer questions you may have before or after purchasing it.
QVC and the Home Shopping Network fall into this category as well. Very reliable online sellers offer sewing machines. The challenge is there is no way to get answers to any of your specific questions except through the website’s FAQs, if they exist.
I have never called any of the shopping channels, but I doubt if the person on the telephone can tell you anything that’s not on their script.
There is no customer service and if the machine is damaged when it arrives, you have the nightmare of either attempting to return it or to trying to find a local repair facility that will in all likelihood will not honor whatever warranty you may have.
I will attempt point out all of the similarities and differences between all of the Singer Heavy Duty sewing machines on one easy to read chart.