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    Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

    I'm opening a sewing machine shop, and I'd love to hear your experiences, stories, and ideas. What do you love or hate about your shop or dealer? What services do you wish they would provide?
    Sheila

    #2
    Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

    When I have taken my machine in ( a dealer/fabric store) they have the clerk write down every thing you are having problems with. Non of them know machines, they just sell the fabric. Soooo I would like a sit down, like a doctors office to know what I mean. Then at pick up I want them to show me so I don't go twenty miles back home and the same problem is still there.

    And scissor sharpening
    🌺 Lorie

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      #3
      Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

      My local store only sells high-end (=big $) machines, but they also sell notions and since I love my vintage machine and have no interest in replacing it, I use to still go into their store for notions.

      But sadly every time I went in, they tried to upsell me. The first time was very shortly after my Mother had passed away, and I had inherited her vintage Singer (that previously had belong to my Grandmother). Even though I told the salesperson how I came to own this old relic (as she called it), she still had the gall to ask "Well don't you think it's time to upgrade?" WTH?? that was like asking me to replace the two most influential women in my life.

      This didn't happen just once, but three different trips to that store. Needless to say, I now drive 30 miles (one way) out of my way to shop elsewhere.

      Someday, maybe, I'll want a newer machine that will do a bunch of fancy stitches and have some cool features, and someday definitely, I want to purchase a long-arm. But I will NEVER buy one from this store, even if they were the last store in the state. And I wouldn't send anyone to them either.

      So moral of the story...Pay attention to what your customers are saying, don't push to hard, and never make a customer feel like they are less worthy just because they have an older model and are happy with it. Always remember: a happy customer is a returning customer.

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        #4
        Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

        Thank you both. This is excellent feedback! I really love the idea of sitting down with a customer like you would a doctor. And I would never, ever suggest that a vintage machine is inferior. I'm a featherweight owner and lover, and that's going to be one of our specialties!
        Sheila

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          #5
          Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

          Originally posted by ssummers View Post
          Thank you both. This is excellent feedback! I really love the idea of sitting down with a customer like you would a doctor. And I would never, ever suggest that a vintage machine is inferior. I'm a featherweight owner and lover, and that's going to be one of our specialties!
          I'm so glad to hear that you will be providing service for the older machines. Locally, I have very few options as to where to take my vintage Singer. It's strange really, since these machines are easier to service, even if the parts are sometimes hard to find.

          I know my mother had a guy (in Florida) that would actually make house calls for the machines that just needed a cleaning/oiling or simple repair, and even offered a pickup/drop-off service. There was a fee for this service, but it was worth it for many of the customers, especially the ones who's machines were installed in a cabinet (like mine).

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            #6
            Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

            Agree with what was said above. do not like the "oh you should upgrade" or "the repair will cost xxx, for a little more(usually several hundreds more) you can upgrade". I'm not stupid, I am aware I can upgrade if I choose. I am having this machine repaired/ tuned up because I like what this machine does. Do not talk down to me.
            while your employees won't know everything about every machine they should be able to give out correct basic info.
            I had one tell me that "only Husqvarna-Viking made emb. machines, another, while demo-ing a mechanical machine insist the needle should go up and down rapidly while filling bobbin( when I questioned her about disengaging the clutch).
            “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world, is and remains immortal.”

            ― Albert Pine

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              #7
              Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

              I don't use a local dealer for cleaning or repair. The price is just too high for a basic cleaning & oil, I would hate to see if something was wrong.

              Found a local man that does it, very reasonable on price. He contacts me when he figures out the problem with a cost break down before doing anything. I really like that.

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                #8
                Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

                Instead of bad mouthing all the other brands you don't sell, sell me on the features of the machines you do sell. Offer classes to new owners to learn about their machine. Don't try to up sale me to more machine than I want or need. Offer a trade up policy so if I discover I do need more features I can easily trade in my machine. I've purchased a couple new machines because of their trade up policies. Smile.

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                  #9
                  Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

                  More great feedback. Thanks!

                  How much do you all feel is reasonable for routine cleaning, oil, and checkup for your vintage or simple, non-electronic machines?
                  Sheila

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                    #10
                    Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

                    I think it's neat that you are asking questions like this. Shows you care about the customer!

                    If its a long wait, could you offer a loaner machine? Some can't be without their machines if they are in the middle of a project and it breaks down.

                    Will you be selling new machines? Offering classes if you do? Customer support means more to me than a lot of gadgets or high end machines.

                    I think you need to look at your local area and see what price range works best for average income levels. A shop I like to go to offers interest free loans if paid off within a certain time frame.

                    But what really brings me back to the same store time after time are their big smiles and eagerness to help me find what I need.
                    Vonnie

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                      #11
                      Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

                      I only have one non computerized machine, a cheapy Brother, I got it for shirring because a computerized machine won't do it. Go figure. I think it was $200 from Walmart. I have no clue. There is a vintage machine group here. You might want to join that.


                      http://forum.missouriquiltco.com/group.php?groupid=261
                      Last edited by Hulamoon; January 11, 2017, 03:14 PM.
                      🌺 Lorie

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

                        In my area, we have a large, well respected sewing store with four branches. Everyone around here knows who they are, but I shan't name them. They make a stab at trying to be friendly, but you can tell that they have quotas to meet. Every face is just a possible sale, nothing more. No one makes any effort to learn your name. I've bought two mid-level machines there in the last two years, and STILL nobody knows my name. The newest crop of employees at least smile at you, and that's a welcome change.

                        So adding all this up, my best advice is to look at your customers as people first. If you don't know their names, at least smile in recognition that you've seen them before. Have coffee available and when someone grabs a cup, pour yourself a decaf and chat with them. Sales will follow because people will know you care about them.

                        I hope everything goes well for you. Best of luck!
                        Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

                          From my experience working for a not so reputable person (the main reason I left her employ that and she cheats help from commissions) Sit down with someone when they bring a machine in, go over the issues. Many times it is just a bobbin in wrong or threaded wrong giving issues. Good customer service to show them how to do both and then test it. You may lose a customer that day that really needed service but they will think better of you in the long run. Also don't "jimmy rig" a problem so it lasts a short time and then they come back for the same repair. Show them the broken part you replaced if it needed that so they know you did something. These wee all things my former boss did to make money on repairs, that and steal commissions. One of the big reasons I would never own a viking. They hopefully are not as crooked as she is but it left a bad taste in my mouth for the machines. That and the fact that I had to re sew many things I made at work there doing models when I came home on my own machines. Just my 2 cents.
                          I also agree with what Toni said about every face is just a $$. This was definitely the case with my former boss. Oh she had her pets and favorites that would upgrade every time a new machine or software or gadget came out but the rest she seen as a nice commission to herself.
                          Last edited by Iris Girl; January 11, 2017, 03:41 PM.
                          sigpic:icon_hug: Iris Girl = April = fabric, Fabric FABRIC!!
                          Time spent with cats is never wasted.
                          Sigmund Freud

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                            #14
                            Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

                            Our local repair shop is Andy at the dealers store - Andy is great. He takes the time to talk over the issue and look for the cause. Also he explains exactly how the machine works when talking about what could be going wrong. I learned information from him that should have been in my owners manual but is not. You can also tell he enjoys what he does and is good at it.

                            It's hard to really explain in detail without getting into a long post but simply put he clearly is extremely knowledgeable on sewing machines and from talking with him you can just tell he wants your machine to run flawlessly as much as you do.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Sewing machine repair shop/dealer - love 'em or hate 'em?

                              One more pet peeve of mine (and this goes for any service industry) Keep a service schedule calendar.

                              If you tell your customer that their machine will be ready on a specific day or within a specific time period, and you find two days before the "due date" you just can't meet that deadline (for any reason) Call them and let them know. Not only will it keep your customer from wondering and getting frustrated, but it will also allow you to delegate your own time for this phone call, as apposed to you being interrupted in the middle of a job to take their call.

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