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Serger Shopping in the USA

Serger/ overlock machine.  Image from wikipedia.
In terms of what most of the world has to live on per day, I actually have a lot of money to spend on a new serger.  It's just sitting there in the bank waiting to be spent. But I might just wind up buying something cheap I know I will throw away later.

I don't want to be the way I am, really, I don't.  What I'd generally like to do is to go and buy machines that are made here in the USA, use my stuff practically forever, save the environment and so on.  Sure, I'm willing to spend twice or even three times as much for a machine if I know it's going to support real working families etc etc.  But more than that, I like buying well-made stuff.

But here's the problem.  If I buy the American-made stuff, I can expect to spend about ten times as much as the cheap China stuff. At those prices?  I think I'm pretty reasonable when I say I'd sure like to be able to repair my machine when it breaks somewhere locally, not be charged an arm and leg for repairs.  I also shouldn't have to wait weeks for my machine to be returned.  It just doesn't work that way in real life, though.

Here's an example: in the past I've bought Riccar vacuums.  I bought locally so my "authorised repair center" was just up the street from me for a while.  Which you'd think would be a great thing, but the quality of the workmanship was not so hot.

Since I'm looking at sergers, the nearest authorised repair center for the model I realllly want is in UTAH.  That's an 18-hour drive one way if I (somehow) were committed to going to a brand-specific repair center and didn't need to stop on the drive.  I could not imagine how severely upset I would be if I encountered shoddy workmanship after a trek like that!!

Past a certain point, I don't care how well-made your machine is, I'm not going to bother with it.  I'll buy some cheap made in China thing and in a couple of years when it busts, I'll know the repair bill and the hassle is higher than the cost of a new machine and into the trash it goes.

I hate being like this.  I hate it.  I've been watching youtube videos on how to use the most nifty sergers and I love all the super-expensive/ handy features.   But I just can't buy something that amazing, knowing that the slightest problem with the machine will mean an unending hassle.


  1. What is a serger, I've never heard of it, what does it do.

    1. A serger is basically a sewing machine that lays your seams FLAT. You find them at the bottom of your T-shirts. You might call them "overlocks" in Australia?

    2. OK now I know, yes we call them overlockers.

  2. You need to "shop around" the reviews of expensive items and find a good, reliable repair shop in your area or close enough to get to, before committing to any purchase. ask around for friends or people who have such things and find out where they go for repairs and is the workmanship up to standard.
    Me? I'm glad I don't sew anymore, and I've never owned or used an overlocker anyway.

    1. Yeah, I had had some horrible experiences with the old vacuum. I think I have found a good shop, but I will spend a fair bit buying the overlocker there. I think it will be worth it in terms of knowing that the service is good and somewhat nearby (across town, 30 mins.)

  3. I went to a sewing shop to take a serger class. I didn't want to spend that much if I didn't know how to use it (still use a sewing machine as old as me... It will probably last forever). They would not let me join the class without purchasing a machine. Strange catch-22.

    1. I'm looking into buying from one of those places near me but $$$. At the same time, I did buy my sewing machine from them ages ago and I am still happy with it.

  4. few months back we wandered lot in a market to buy a fine sewing machine as a wedding gift to the niece of my husband ,we could not find good one and we had to import it from Karachi! it was costly but reliable
    i agree with your terms of shopping

    1. It's crazy that no one likes doing repairs any more for decent prices.


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