Buyers Beware

Common industry sales talk and the real truth...

Running a multiple single head operation - This is always pushed by companies that sell what? Guess....only single head machines. Not to say that this never is a good setup, it's actually quite good for monogramming/personalization large orders. Multiple single heads are more efficient but not practical. Business efficiency is way down since the labor factor is so high keeping up with multiple machines. A multi-tasking person that is responsible for answering phones, digitizing, order placing, etc... will run ragged with all 1 head machines. Even in a larger operation where the operator is designated to production, less heads can be run by one person because of the running required to keep up. Think about it, most companies do not operate with that configuration for that reason, not to mention cost of machinery - on 6 heads you could be paying enough to have twice the number of heads or an extra $30,000 in the bank!

Slave machines - Although a PC driven machine sometimes has some whistles and bells that can glaze over the real issue, be mindful of slave machines. Any slave machine is susceptible to viruses or if there is a PC problem, you are down until you get it resolved. Moreover, if you have designs in it and you sell your unit, you will likely lose the designs also unless you go through a laborious backup. Don't forget to add a cost of the PC (whether you own one that you can put with the machine or not) to the system.

Steel parts - Most machines are mechanically built pretty well in this industry. Not one manufacturer uses all solid steel parts regardless of what the sales person says, there has to be a breakaway component in case of excessive heavy birds nesting, crashing a hoop, or any other major catastrophe. If a machine didn't have this, you could end up with a machine that could be knocked so far out of whack that the time and expertise it would take a tech to fix it would be outrageous.

Warranty - Read the warranty and find out what is covered and what is not. Also, who covers it, is it factory or dealer? If you buy from someone else than the factory, then be sure they are going to be around to honor it and find out who will if they aren't. This industry has had quite a few that didn't make it long term and some customers have been hung out to dry (Ultramatic, Zeus, or Aemco). Realize that the most expensive parts are usually covered the least amount of time (electronics). Also, try to look at parts prices on common items you might need - belts, pressure feet, needle bars, reciprocates, hooks, or needle plates. As a side note, Midwest actually supports some of the brands that have gone out of business as a testament to good customer service.

Cheapest Price in the World - Usually there is a reason for this. Check how long they have been around, how many people are in the company - be sure to find out if their techs are full time. Be sure this is their principle business and they have enough people to support a reasonable customer base (one tech typically cannot do the trick) - a 100% subcontracting service department is not reliable, when you are not buying direct from the entity that is servicing you, a issue that drives the merchant and service company apart (unrelated to you) can negatively effect your ability to be supported. Remember the transaction occurs between your merchant and the service company. You are the transaction. If someone defaults, it will be a finger pointing match (it's happened before).

We teach you things others cannot - IMPORTANT: be sure it's not a potential competitor (someone who does embroidery also who could take a juicy account from you if the opportunity arises - it's happened before).