Sewing machines, Ebay and couriers

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Once upon a time, we bought a 66K with lotus decals on Ebay.  I’d previously sent the seller a message asking him if I won it, was he up for packing the machine carefully so there was no risk of the finish getting damaged in transit.

He was, so I sent him a couple of pictures to show how we pack a machine …

Picture of Singer sewing machine packed for courier delivery

Picture of vintage Singer sewing machine packed for courier delivery

I explained that the base would inevitably be wrecked when the case is dropped on its back in transit if the machine isn’t padded out behind as well as securely fastened to the base.  No problem, says he.  He understood my concern.  I needn’t worry.

We still do not know how that machine managed to get here with the case and base written off but no damage to the finish.  What the obliging seller had done by way of careful packing was wrap the column, arm and head in one thickness of Christmas wrapping paper, tied with really thin plastic string.  He’d then tied the machine head to the base with the same string, and that was it.  Case shut, tied once round with more pound shop string, drop it into a carboard carton and that’s it – job done.  (Actually he didn’t put it in a carton.  This was the one which came wrapped in a bin bag – E.)

We assumed he was religious and just put his trust in the Lord.

Whatever, I was reminded of that the other day when I was idly trawling the sewing machine listings on Ebay, as you do, when I spotted a rarity.  I checked out the listing and had a good look at the dreadful snaps of it before deciding the seller was having a larf, and I was about to move on when I noticed that somebody had asked the seller a question and he’d chosen to make that public.

By the way, this is a listing for about 40lb /18kg of full-size cast-iron vintage machine in a wooden base in a suitcase-type case just like the one in those pictures above.  The seller’s somewhat off the beaten track, and he’s specified local pickup only, so sure enough …

Q.  If I paid for a courier to collect the machine from you, could you pad out the inside of the case with lots of crumpled newspapers or something then put it in a really strong carton with some more crumpled newspapers packed round it to protect it?

A.  Courier is fine if you arrange it and pay for it.  The machine comes in a heavy duty box that’s made for moving it in so it won’t need any extra packing.  I’ll just have to put a bit of string round it and a label on the handle.  It’ll be quite safe.

I’d love to see a picture of it when it got to the buyer …

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One response

  1. Hmmmm, it will not go well, I sense. Thanks for explaining how best to package a sewing-machine for serious travel.