Friday, March 6, 2009

Almost done and . . .

I was searching for embroidery machines online (tee hee) and happened upon AllBrands.com. Anyone ever ordered from them? They have several affordable options for embroidery-only machines. I decided that I definitely want that over a combo machine. They are much cheaper, especially on this site, and I already have a decent sewing machine. Plus, I don't want to have to wait for the thing to finish if I need to sew. You know what I mean. Sometimes you just get the urge. It looks like they sell refurbished, factory serviced, and new machines. I would want a new one because you just never know. Here are the ones I am looking at:
  • Brother PE700 5x7" Emb Card Mach, Threader Trimmer, TouchScreen, Edit, 136 Designs, 6 Fonts, 120 BorderFrame, 3700 CD. 6 Threads -- $699 +s/h (seems cheap doesn't it?)
  • Brother PE700II 5x7" Embroidery Machine, USB & Card Ports, Auto Thread/Trimmers, TouchScreen, Edit,136 Designs, Edit, PED Basic Box, 3700CD, 6 Threads -- $897 +s/h
  • Janome MC300E Embroidery Machine 300E, 5.5x7.9" & 4.3" Hoop, PC Link Card Port, 100Design, 3Font, Resize Rotate Trace Zoom Count, 650SPM 25/5YrExtWnty -- $1198 +s/h

What do you guys think about these three? Do the prices seem too good to be true? They seem really low to me but maybe I'm not used to looking at the stand-alone machines. The Janome seems to have more options like rotating your design, changing the size, etc. It also says Upgradable Software. Do you think the Brother machines are unable to change the software? Or is the software something that goes on your computer and then you just download the designs to your machine? Sorry to keep asking so many questions. :) I called around Anchorage and there are no stand-alone machines in this town so I can't try anything out.

Mostly I just needed a break from sewing buttonholes. The dress is almost done.

8 comments:

Joyce said...

I've ordered several times from AllBrands. I ordered a gravity iron, presser feet and other items. They were very fast in shipping my order to me. I also used the coupon code to get a discount on my total order price. I haven't order a sewing machine but I am pleased with my other items. I think Erica (Erica B's DIY)and Mimi Goodwin have ordered from AllBrands.
Joyce in NC

LauraM said...

I have ordered several times from AllBrands, have not had any problems. As far as the rest of your questions. I have a Brother stand-alone. After the machine I bought a converter box plus Embird software for my computer. This allows me to download designs, make some changes if I want (Embird), then save it to a sort of computer style disk that in my converter box, later to be used on the embroidery machine. Embird also lets you change colors, print reports, designs (for placement) etc. I would also suggest a beginners book on embroidery. Good Luck!

meredithp said...

I can't speak to the machines, but I ordered a card reader from Allbrands. Their shipping and customer service were excellent.

Noile said...

I ordered my hard plastic serger case from AllBrands years ago. I was pretty nervous about it, even though it wasn't a particularly expensive item (around $40), since there was really no way to know about the company's reputation at the time. It arrived fast, and was just what I ordered, so all was well.

For a purchase this size, you might try a couple of things. First, do Google searches for "allbrands reviews" "allbrands problems" and so on. That may tell you if people have had problems recently.

Secondly, in most states you have NO consumer protection if you order online, BUT if you place your order over the phone, there are plenty of protections in place. That won't prevent a bad experience, but it might give you some recourse if things go wrong.

Third, one rule I always use is this: if the company doesn't have a physical address (along with that phone number) posted on the website, I won't order from them. The address usually means that they plan to be around for a while (as AllBrands has been), and it generally means that there's a little more willingness to be accountable. Not to mention that the DA can find them, if it comes to that. (If the address is fraudulent, that's a whole 'nother bag of worms, but in that case, there will probably be other signs on the website that things aren't as they should be.)

Phoning in the order also lets you ask several pertinent questions, like "is my item in stock"? "when will it ship?" "what is the exact charge for the whole order?" It can be difficult to get this information when you place an online order. Phoning will also tell you if their customer service people are helpful and informed, or rude and disinterested -- a good clue to the company's attitude toward customers. If they can't be helpful and polite while taking an order, you can bet they won't be of any use at all if you end up having to correct a problem.

Good luck! I can't wait to see what you do with your embroidery machine.

Sewfast said...

Hi Dawn,
I have not purchased anything from AllBrands so I can't comment on that, but I do have some thoughts on the embroidery machines. I think a stand alone machine would be great for you since you already have a good sewing machine. It is nice to be able to work on something else while you are babysitting the embroidery machine. I would recommend getting a machine that has a USB port. It looks like the cheaper Brother gets designs just by cards. The cards are expensive (even the blank ones) and then you need a box to transfer them from your computer to the card. With a USB you can use a memory stick or a cable directly from your computer. That makes is alot easier. I don't know how far you have to go to visit a dealer, but if you can, go look at the machines, try them out and compare. In this economy you might be able to make as good a deal if they are hungry enough and you show them what you can get it for at AllBrands. They may also have a great used one too. My friend just got a great Viking Designer SE with a low stitch count for a fraction of the cost because the prior owner decided to upgrade to a Diamond. I'm so excited for you...Good luck...Mary

Little Hunting Creek said...

Did you know that with am embroidery machine you can hoop your dress or shirt and embroider all the button holes (or quite a few of them) all at one time?In Threads a couple months ago they had an article about doing just that. If that's not an excuse for getting an embrodery machine I just don't know what is :)

kathysews said...

I have a Brother 8500 which I bought used for $1000 about 3 years ago. It does both sewing and emb but I hardly ever use it for anything but embroidery. Brother has been very user friendly. You will need thread, stabilizer, a card reader (ped basic i got on walmart.com)and I have embird basic for converting, editing, splitting designs. Nice free designs are available but not all the free ones are good, neither are the purchased ones. My machine has the 5x7 hoop and sometimes I wish I had a 6x10, but there is PLENTY I can do with the one I have. I am in Palmer, Ak and we have an ambroidery guild here, maybe I could get you on our email list...?

Kat said...

I'm a little late on this, but the Janome price is way too high IMO. I purchased mine at my local sewing dealer for $899. That was 3 years ago before the 350 came out.