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What’s it worth?

Valuations and questions about how much these machines are worth.

Short answer!

It depends on location. So currently here now in 2023 Australia, post pandemic. …. and I don’t mean to offend anyone as this is only my personal opinion, but O.K ill put it out there, on average $50 Aussie dollars. (read on for my reasons for saying this.)

Long answer!

“An item of any kind is only worth (in monetary value) what the market dictates or the buyer is prepared to pay.”

It seems to be the main question that people ask when they find mums, dads, grandpas or grandmas old sewing machine in the back of the closet or even in the back of the garage.

You need to ask yourself firstly what the item is worth to you, if it has sentimental value, then no monetary amount will be high enough. If it has no sentimental value then only the market can dictate what a sewing machine is worth.

Just remember, if it is in a cabinet and is too large, damaged or “ugly” for your own house, more than likely it will be the same to someone else, unless they are a collector. If it has been left in the back of the shed and is covered in dust and worse still rust and there is little chance it will sew or even look good again, it may only be good for parts, if that. Are you hundreds if not thousands of miles from your nearest city and the machine needs to be collected? You may find buyers will not travel unless it is a super rare machine.

Sentimental value

If a sewing machine you have, has sentimental value, well then think about keeping it. Don’t even worry about what the monetary value is, because you may be shocked to find out it is very little. Keep the machine, cherish it, clean and oil it, use it, hand it down to the kids or gift to a loved one.

If you really need to get rid of it, put it up for sale, but don’t be surprised if you get only a little bit of cash for it. Or advertise it within a sewing machine collectors group, there are collectors out there that will take it and cherish it.

Monetary value

I have found that $50 is about what a vintage sewing machine will sell for these days. More or less. Sometimes a bit more, sometimes you can’t give it away. Vintage machines were made to last. They will be around long after we are gone, if cared for properly. The plastic machines made after the 70s I know very little about, so I can’t comment on them. There are hundreds of thousands of these old pre 1960s machines hanging around out there. They were made from all metal parts, cherished in their day, as they were expensive to buy, so they were kept. Every second house had one. They last…and last…

Condition, rarity and demand will dictate the value. Does it work, has it been serviced, is it electrically safe to use, is it damaged, scratched, rusty and is it complete? Does it have all the accessories and parts, including the instruction manual that it came with. If it is pristine and has everything, then it has a greater value.

Singers can dictate higher prices as there is a well established collectors group for these, but again, not all Singers. Condition, condition, condition.

Japanese machines are not collected by many, there are some avid collectors. European models have their own group of collectors and some of these can be awesome machines. Condition, condition, condition.

Do your research, look at ended auctions, look at gumtree listings to see what is there and how long it has remained unsold. You will see hundreds of machines listed and even going free. If you think you have a rare machine and it is in pristine condition , then it may well be worth a few hundred dollars, but probably not much more than that. If you think you have a good one, put it up on one of the online auction sites and see how it goes.

If you don’t have time to research, ask at a collectors group. Most people will be honest with you and you may even get a reasonable offer right away.

Historical value

There are some sewing machine collectors who run small museum type operations who would gladly take your machine to preserve the history. Seek these out in your local area.


I am a collector and restorer, I would be crazy not to say this, so if you have an old Pinnock feel free to contact me. (I won’t be collecting anymore of the CFM Pinnocks) but if I can’t put it in my collection, I may know someone who will be interested. Again you won’t be offered lots of $ but your machine will be looked after by a collector and not end up in land fill.