In the world of small appliances, the sewing machine stands apart in that it is still manufactured to last. Unlike many modern electronics that cost under $500, it is still economically feasible to repair a sewing machine that is no longer in working order. For this reason, it is very important that you read and understand the warranty that comes with your sewing machine.
I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. Most of what I have written here is just common sense, but in this world of throw-away electronics, it is worth taking a look at what you can expect from the manufacturer of your sewing machine.
25 Year Limited Warranty
We see this term a lot, but what does it mean? Basically, that the longest term for which there is a guarantee for that particular machine is 25 years, however, not everything is covered under that guarantee. For example, with its electronic machines, Singer offers a 25 year limited warranty on machine parts, 5 years on electronic parts and 1 year on labor. This may sound generous until you realize that you don’t live near a certified repair center and you will have to drive or ship your sewing machine a couple of states away for repairs. Once you are out of the one year warranty covering labor, you may find some repairs cost as much as your sewing machine once both labor and shipping are taken into consideration.
Read your warranty. Each company is different and offers different terms as part of their warranty. Even within a company there are different terms for mechanical machines, electronic machines and computerized machines. If you aren’t sure what you are buying, ask a dealer. However, nothing replaces actually reading the warranty yourself.
Buying from Certified Dealers
Some manufacturers do not honor warranties unless you purchase a sewing machine from one of their licensed dealers. The good news is, many basic warranties for these companies can be found online, so you can check prior to making your purchase. If this applies to the machine you want to purchase, but the price at a big box store or on a site like Amazon is too good to give up, make sure the seller you are purchasing from has a solid return policy. Many do on Amazon.
We should draw a distinction between economically priced models and those that cost thousands of dollars. The more you spend on your machine, the more likely you will want to know the terms of your warranty and what it requires of you as the buyer. You may also feel more comfortable purchasing a very expensive sewing machine from a certified dealer, especially if doing otherwise negates the machine’s warranty. Again, find an online copy of the warranty and read it.
What information do you need to make a claim under your warranty? Different companies will have different requirements, but it is a good idea to keep your original receipt, warranty papers and some companies require the UPC code from the original box your sewing machine came in.
If your warranty requires that your machine be purchased at a certified dealer, make sure to record the full name of the business and ask for their dealer number and record that as well. If the dealer goes out of business, you might not be able to get that information when you need it.
What are your responsibilities?
After purchasing your machine, you will want to register it if the warranty requires it. Most companies now have online registration, which makes this very easy. As mentioned above keep all paperwork included with your sewing machine and any portions of the box you may need. Some companies require the original UPC from the box.
You will also want to document when your sewing machine is cleaned or serviced. Check the warranty to see if regular service is required to keep the machine under warranty.
Also, are you using the machine for its intended purpose? If you are using a machine intended for home use as a commercial machine, you may not be covered under the warranty offered for that machine.
Available Warranties Online
Singer Sewing Machines – here you will find a list of different machine types that link to the basic warranty that applies to that machine. Some more sophisticated specialty machines do have additional warranties.
Kenmore warranty request form – Kenmore doesn’t post their actual warranty online, but you may request warranty information about a specific product(s) by submitting this request form. This is a good way to see just how responsive the company is.
Brother standard warranty – This is the standard warranty that was linked with the Brother CP-6500 sewing machine. Find another model by going to this form and selecting the machine you are interested in buying.
Janome standard warranty – Janome does not list their warranties on their own website. I found this hosted at another site. Please use this only as a guide and refer specific questions to Janome or to a certified Janome dealer.
Juki standard warranty – Again, this is a copy of a standard warranty hosted on another site. Use this only as a guide and ask your dealer for a copy of the warranty prior to buying.