What is my sewing machine worth?
Please do not seek appraisals, valuations, estimates, worth etc here.
Long time collectors know it's simply not possible to estimate a
machine's worth without a number of criteria being met.
- Condition of the machine which is possible only from a hands-on appraisal. eBay will give you some idea of the vast difference in the condition of so-called "perfect", "mint", "as-new" etc machines. Only with a hands-on viewing would an expert be able to know of any missing parts, replaced parts and the added value of any accessories, box, paperwork etc. These factors can affect the "value" by many hundreds of percent.
- Circumstances When I do an official appraisal I need to know whether the person needs an estimate of what the machine will bring in a local auction, or at eBay in a specialist auction, or at an ISMACS auction, or in a local newspaper advertisement, or to another collector, or to a museum, or to a dealer. or a price for insurance purposes (these are usually pretty unrealistic)
- Location Where you are will play a huge part in the perceived value of your machine.
- Market trends Sales of super rare models are usually between collectors and the information is often available to a limited few. Results of auctions are public domain but outside of the ISMACS events are usually so erratic as to be of little value in assessing results of future sales.
- Human frailty Sadly many folk don't really want to know the "value", they want confirmation that their machine is exceedingly rare and is worth a king's ransom. Tell someone that their recent yard-sale find was made in its hundreds of thousands and is worth less than $100 and you invite a stream of abusive e-mail. Believe me, this has happened many times.
- Why you want to know If you have just bought the machine its value is obviously what you paid for it. If you want to sell it, only you know what price you would be happy to take. If you intend to keep it, the "value" is academic anyway.