On Pattern Review there is a thread about "delusional" CL listings. Outrageous asking prices for godawful machines. I have posted some entries there and the following are a few of my favorites. But pictures are only part of the story. After a couple of years of reading these ads I sometimes want to post an open letter to folks who are selling "boat anchors" - previously known as sewing machines - on CL.
It would go something like this:
Dear Sewing Machine Seller,
Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I realize you don't know diddly squat about this scrap iron you are trying to pass off as a "priceless antique" but let me clue you in. THIS isn't worth anything! I ought know. The last machine head I took to the scrap metal recyling plant netted me $1.62 for 25 pounds of iron. Your fantasy price tag of $175 is just a tad optimistic.
And while I admire your awesome skills in photography, I do have to wonder why you selected this particular shot to show us your boat anchor....uh, sewing machine. Did you think this irresistible photo of your POS would get me to open my purse and make you an offer? Huh, did ya?
But Seller, you evidently know that "added value" in your listing will bring in the buyers. Like a Two For One Deal. One for my bass fishing boat and one for my cabin cruiser. Please hold these, I'll be right over!
At least you've done your homework on this listing. Yes, it is a Centennial badged Singer 201. And I can tell that you really need the money from selling this machine because you can't even afford a scrap of cloth to dust it off before you photographed it. Or maybe you figured it would get adopted out to a better home if it looked more pathetic. (PS, you should be ashamed of the condition of this fine machine!)
Since I don't have x-ray goggles, I suppose I'll have to take your word for it that you have an awesome sewing machine for sale in here. And since you said it "works" then I have no worries. I'll be paying cash, sight unseen. NOT.
I've always wanted one of these...whaddycallem...peddle machines. Or is it paddle? petal? pettle? No, wait, its called a "treddle", isn't it? ;)
(Apparently the word "pedal" is one of the most confusing in the English language if you can believe all the variations I come across in these ads!)
Mr. or Ms. Seller, I would like to give you a few more hints about listing your priceless antique sewing machine.
1. It means nothing to me that this was your grandma's sewing machine and she made all your clothes on it. That is your sentiment, not mine. Just wanna let you know, I'm not paying $200 over what it's worth because YOU have fond memories of it. Set it up in the parlor and gaze at it if it means that much to you.
2. I'm not impressed when you tell me your 1950 Singer has "only been used twice to sew on patches" (note: I am not making this up!) If this machine has been sitting unused in an attic for half a century, it is most likely frozen or seized up. Would you buy a car that had been up on blocks for 50 years and expect to drive it home? Unless this is a model that is worth more as a "mint condition" collectible (which yours is NOT, in spite of your claim) then you're just blowing smoke by telling me it has never been used.
3. Let me just say this as clearly as I know how: I WILL NEVER buy your rusty, dusty, broken down, commonplace old sewing machine for an "awesome display piece". Are you kidding me? I barely have room for the working sewing machines in my home, why would I want to display a worthless piece of junk?
4. Somehow I have a hard time reconciling your statements that "this machine is in excellent working order, but it just needs a power cord/belt/foot peddle/bobbin/needle/whatever". But I guess you plugged it in and the light came on or the "thingie" went up and down so it works, right?
5. ...and thanks for letting me know that the "sowing" machine comes with a "button holder", I always needed something to hold my buttons while I am sowing the oats!