Big box and online resources are major competitors for independent shop retailers. As a consumer, I understand completely the need to save money whenever and wherever possible. However, the old adage—You get what you pay for—is the motto in this case. When you are considering making the investment in a sewing, embroidery, or cutting machine, you should research all the models and sources available. Often, price beats out all other factors, which often leads to disappointing results. Facebook is filled with lamentations of consumers who purchased a machine online, only to be met with disappointing, and often disastrous, results. As a retailer, I am constantly approached by consumers who recently purchased a machine at a big box store where they do not honor warranties, do not have the resources to repair machines, and do not have the personnel to help them learn their machines.
The cost may be less, but so, unfortunately, is the quality of the service and the machine itself. There is a reason why dealer machines cost more. It is because they come with more. Manufacturers produce both dealer-quality machines and big box-quality machines. They look the same, they have the same name, but they are not the same. Dealer machines come with more features and the highest quality materials. The others have fewer features and are sometimes built with repurposed or inferior parts.
Additionally, when you purchase machines from a retailer, you will have a place to go to for repairs. At Owl’s Nest Quilters, repairs are often completed in a day or two, depending on the type of service required. With big box and online purchases, you will often wait much longer in just shipping time alone, not to mention the turnaround time of the repair.
Finally, when you purchase a machine from a dealer, you are also purchasing access to what the dealer’s owner and employees can offer in terms of their expertise in using the machines. Dealers will often give one-on-one instruction to customers who purchase from them. Moreover, dealers offer classes in which you will gain experience and confidence in using your new machine. Do big box stores and online stores offer you avenues for learning your machine or ways to repair your machine?
When considering where to buy your next machine, are quality, extra features, customer service, repair, and education important to you? If so, consider purchasing through a dealer. You won’t regret it.