One question to ask is 'what do I want my new machine to do for me?' Also, up to fifty percent of the cost of the machine can be spent on supplies and accessories, so make sure to reserve sufficient funds for those. Another consideration is if a combination machine or stand-alone would best fit your needs and budget.
Thanks for your suggstions
First of all take your time to do your research, online and from different dealers. Look at different brands and independent reviews on the web. If purchasing a used machine, check with the dealer to be sure the warranty will transfer to new owner. Once you find the machine you want to purchase, call different dealers for prices since costs can vary from each dealer. Do what pennyhal2 said "test drive the machines" you are interested in. If you do not live close to a dealer to take classes, keep in mind your own tech skills, the high end machines can do a lot more fancy stuff but are more complicated to use. There are user friendly machines that have hoops 5x7 and up to 6x10 inch hoops that a person can learn to use on your own.
Thanks for your reply and suggestions. Sadly I live almost 3 hours from a dealer so it is important to check out what is available before setting off
It would help you decide if you could "test drive" the machine instead of just watching the sales person demo it for you. If you are not computer savy, don't be seduced by all the bells and whistles. Ask if they have free lessons on using the machine. Don't spend more than what you have budgeted for this expense. Save some money to buy embroidery thread, stabilizers, and software. A lot of new machines brag that they can thread itself. Be sure to try out that function as some are more work than they are worth. Trust how you feel about the machine and the shop!
Thanks for your suggestions. My machine is a 'self threader' but I find its quicker and less hassle to do it myself
ALSO, I WOULD SUGGEST THAT YOU BUY ONE THAT CAN STITCH OUT DESIGNS LARGER THAN 4"X4" (100mm X 100mm) MY DEALER TOLD ME THAT THIS IS THE BIGGEST REASON FOR A RETURN OR UPGRADE. IT SAVES MONEY IN THE LONG RUN AND YOU CAN DO SO MUCH MORE WITH A MACHINE THAT USES LARGER HOOPS. I LEARNED FROM EXPERIENCE.
A excellent point and something I have heard here many a time - the wish for larger hoops
I so agree. Dealers service the machines they sell. My dealer has been worth his weight in gold, and he's uh, an extra large hoop. He offers lots of free classes, a 10% discount on fabrics, notions, software for those who bought from him, also 10 spools of thread with the machine and some stabilzer with the machine. Also, first two servicings are free. Basically, he wants customers to be thrilled with the decision to buy machine from him and wants them to learn to use it well so they will enjoy and use and perhaps, some year, upgrade! However, when they bring him a cheap torn up $99 machine they bought at store XYZ after 3 months, he tells them to take it to XYZ's repair department which doesn't exist. Also, he digitizes, so he has much good advice in that department.
For the best price from a dealer, watch for seasonal sales, usually pre-Christmas and once in the summer, or attend one of their embroidery events, where machines are often discounted by the dealer and the embroidery machine company together.
For the most machine for your money on an entry-level machine, watch for when the new models come out. The dealer will be taking in used machines in trade and servicing them and then re-selling. You can get larger hoops or nice extra features by buying used.
Sounds like you have a dealer like mine totally excellent, trustworthy and reliable., Thanks for your great info
Anybody near Alabama, private message me and I'll share the shop name and location.
My personal comment is to buy the machine from a reputable dealer because they will give good after sales support, service and advice