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Friday, July 13, 2012

Sewmark Sewing Machines

This is not a negative review... just a true one. Bear with me; BOTH the store and potential customers will get what they need to know out of this post!

(Ignore the settings, if you can see them. I experimented by adjusting the dials. Didn't help.)

My sweet little flawless monster of a Babylock serger has been acting up. It will still make a beautiful chain of stitches, but will not advance the fabric as it stitches, leaving only a tightly tangled glob of fabric in the feed dog area. I can't tell at all what is wrong. It was suggested that I oil it, which I just about NEVER think about doing. Did that, and no improvement. I knew it was time to seek a professional.

So, the store where I bought it some 20 years ago still exists in the garment district, and I figured I would inquire about service when I was in the neighborhood the next time. I stopped in to this quiet little store with no other walk-in customers, strode in with an energetic hello, and had just begun to explain that I had bought a Baby Lock machine from them about 20 years ago, when I was abruptly interrupted at the name "Baby Lock".

"We only sell Juki and Singer here," The salesman, annoyed that I even began what threatened to become a conversation abruptly shut me out of conversation entirely, turned away, and bid me a good day. Yikes.

Okay, so no offer to sell me a new one, although I could see the walls were lined with quality Singer and Juki machines. No attempt at a sale, a conversation, no suggestion for anywhere else to go (although it was quite clear where he might have suggested I go...). I got it.

As I'm leaving, another employee enters, and I considered the possibility that this might be the employee with more charm than the first. I look around just a bit at the machines on the walls, and the new guy says "May I help you?"

"Just looking", I responded, because it was true.

"Can I help you?" The first angry man shouts from the back of the store, practically simultaneously.

"Nope just looking. I'm still the same person." I responded.

There was an audible huff, and he went back to whatever he was doing.

So here's the deal. If you're in the market for a Juki, Singer, Brother, or another brand they represent, or pressing or cutting room equipment, whether for home or industrial use, you can buy one in this store. They are known for great, fair prices, and have been in business for over 60 years. If you already know what you need, and don't need any help, you will be able to complete a transaction there, and they do have quality machines. No small talk, just an exchange of money for machinery. And sometimes, that's all you need. I have to admit, that despite my less-than-friendly experience, this is still where I'd likely go if I wanted to buy any of the machines or equipment they sell.

Sewmark Sewing Machine Inc.
315 West 38th Street
New York,NY 10018

18 comments:

  1. I think you were treated very badly. You did nothing to justify such rudeness. If that is the way they do business, I would never go there again. I still believe a customer should be treated as someone special. I don't want to be pandered to, but I'd to feel my patronage is appreciated. And it's not a one-way street. I try to treat the salespeople respectfully and not waste their time if I'm not buying anything. Your review is very generous.

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    1. Thank you! I make a point of letting people know what they can and cannot expect from a business. So, if you just want to transact and get out, this place will do that, assuming they have what you need!

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  2. But did you find a place to service your serger? My tech can service any home or indsutrial brand, but he's in New Hampshire :/

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    1. Nope, not yet. Not an immediate concern, and shouldn't be too hard to find here in NYC. I have a dealer near me who should be able to do it, or knows who can! (not in the garment district)

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    2. did you try asking heshy at manhattan sewing? i don't know if they do sergers, but for machines they are a (quirky but) viable option.

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    3. Haven't tried anywhere else yet.

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  3. I am sorry that happened to you. From your description, it seems to me that you probably only need a new blade. That happened to me a long time ago with a machine that I have, but it is not in this country with me. Blades are not expensive and they should not be too much of a trouble to change, I think. Hope this helps. (I am just another sewer with an engineer background... I do not fix machines: I am just very curious :)

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    1. Thank you! I'll share what the problem was here, when I find out!

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  4. Wow. I don't think that I will be going to Sewmark--not so much because I think that the customer should be treated as royalty, but rather, because I don't think human beings should treat each other that way.
    Jen, NYC

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  5. It is a negative review, and it sounds deserved. I'm not saying I'd never go to Sewmark, but at least I'm forewarned.

    Don't get me started on Steinlauf and Stoller or Sil Thread. Rudeness incarnate. But they have so many things I have to keep buying there.

    And this may sound mean, but I'm glad Sew Fast Sew Easy went out of business. I had some of the worst experiences in my life as a sewing consumer there.

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    1. What I guess I meant to say, is that while my experience was negative, they are still capable of selling you what you may already know you want, at a fair price. A better characterization?

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  6. My local serger/sewing machine store used to sell and service Babylock machines. However, in the last couple of years, Babylock came out with a policy (according to him) that if a retailer wishes to sell Babylock then they must be the exclusive brand sold in store. And, if Babylock is not the exclusive brand sold, then they are not allowed to service them.
    If this is the case, imagine all the angry Babylock owners who may have gone in with their machines before you...

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    1. Well, the lovely place near me informed me that they give careful ballPark estimates for free if you bring in your machine. Going right now!

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    2. Now I've been there, got absolutely great, warm reassurance that my baby will be fixed at quite a reasonable price! Shout out to Sew Right in Bayside, Queens!

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    3. Mimi, I had only great experience with Sew Right! And even though it is pretty far from where I live, this is my place to go.

      And thanks for the review - I will definitely avoid Sewmark. Sergers or sewing machines are a long-term investment, you just want to make sure your machine will be serviced appropriately and at a fair prize when you need it, even 20 years later.

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  7. Many years ago, living in a small town, I bought a pair of kid gloves, the washable kind, from the nicest women's store in town. When I washed them they fell apart. I took them back w/ the sales slip; (!) and the proprietor told me that I had not bought them from his store and that I was trying to cheat him. By the time he had finished, I was reduced to tears. Although I was well-able to afford his merchandise, and he knew it, I NEVER bought another thing from him. People like that don't deserve my hard-earned dollars.

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  8. If you already know what you need, and don't need any help, you will be able to complete a transaction there, and they do have quality machines. remalladora

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