Monday, October 6, 2014

Treat me nice!

Remember in my last post I mentioned a Bernina I made my shorts with?  Now that the fiasco is over, I will tell you about it.

My pair of shorts was made with a Bernina 1011.  I had this machine only a few days.  It was purchased on ebay.  When it arrived the spool pins were broken off, the power knob was sheared off, the stretch-stitch/feed dog knob was smashed and bent. It was rusty inside and some corrosion on the bottom.  All the knobs would not turn due to corrosion.
Shorts made with Bernina 1011

Bernina 1011 on ebay
 I was able to get it going.   I turned the cog for the power and lights to "on" with pliers, so it would be "on" when plugged in like old machines. I oiled and cleaned it up.  The reverse didn't work and the feed dogs rubbed the needle plate.  I adjusted the feed dogs and was able to get the reverse working. The stretch-stitches still needed some adjustment, but it purred and sewed  nice like a Bernina should. I was going to keep it because I felt I had found an excellent deal for $125, even with the shipping-damage.
Sheared power button

Broken spool-pin

Smashed knob

Bent knob shaft
Bernina as received

Packing material

Then as they say, "All Hell broke Loose".
Joe had me email the seller to tell them in the future to package things better. I also sent pictures of the packaging and the damage.  I didn't ask for money back or anything.

I was pummeled with numerous emails calling me a scammer and a liar.  I was threatened with I should "hide".  And other threats.  The seller said to turn it over to UPS and they would win because the packaging was strong.

So I turned it over to ebay and UPS because of their attitude. Then I received emails from the seller saying the money was taken out of their Paypal and they were out of business because of me.

I had never opened a case on ebay.  I did not know the funds would be seized immediately, but I guess it makes sense.   Then more threatening emails.  Plus, they said they closed their bank and Paypal account so I would get nothing. I am glad these people are in Mississippi and I am in California.

Guess what?  Ebay refunded all my money.  UPS took the machine and returned it to them in the same box and packing it was sent to me.  I  would hate to see what it looks like after another trip across the U.S. in that poor packaging.

Moral of the story.  Treat me nice and I will treat you nice.  If this seller would have simply said I am sorry, I would have probably let it go.  If they had offered $20 to replace one spool-pin, I would have let it go. Their attack on me is what caused them to get their smashed Bernina back and my money back to me.

I miss my Bernina 1011 even though I only had it a few days.  It definitely had a better home with me.  I feel sorry for it.

Did I do right?

Now I am making a 70s shirt which should be "Groovy"!

Thanks for stopping.


  1. Oh, man. Yes, you did right and Joe's advice was great. I've had this happen twice: once not as severe (and didn't even receive an e-mail from them -- no acknowledgement whatsoever) and the other seller simply refunded me in full.

    I avoid eBay sewing machines unless it's something I must have (which is never). And to anyone reading this: ALWAYS pay with PayPal. Never buy a machine from an eBay seller who offers to take the transaction off eBay. And if you have trouble, take it up with eBay and follow all deadlines carefully.

    I'm really glad this worked out well, Wil. Well, better than it could have. And be careful!

  2. Yes, you did do the right thing! Unfortunately, it's the kind of thing that leaves you unsettled for a few days. This isn't the first time Ebay has had to settle things like this and certainly not the last either.

  3. I have bought many (10+) sewing machines on eBay and have had only a few bad experiences, though nothing as dramatic as your situation. Once I decided I wanted to return a (damaged) machine, they gave me the wrong address, the machine came back to me, and they finally let me keep it because it was too much trouble and money (which they were paying) for me to send it back again. Caveat emptor with these things. That's why I prefer Craigslist or flea markets or places where I can see/test the machine for myself before buying.