Monday, February 02, 2009

Today in Charlotte....

I have to tell you about my annoying day.

For a long time now I've been researching domestic sewing machines because I really want to find one with some features that I'd love to have. My main machine is a Bernina 1080 and I love her. She's been good to me. I have several vintage babies and they are fun, each have their own quirks and personalities.

For a few trips now, I've stayed with people who have either the Janome 6500p or the 6600p and I've tried them out.

But try to find one here in Winston? No way. The guy here kept saying that it was the same as this Elna he had...but it was missing what I really REALLY want in this machine...a push button thread cutter. Do I need to spend this much money on just a thread cutter? Well, yes I do.

If you love paper piecing as much as I do, you will understand that it is a pain in the Patootie to be paper piecing on something that you can't do "chain piecing" on...you grab the long thread tails to get them out of the way, and then sew..oh..maybe an INCH or two at most...and then have to whip that paper out from under the presser foot, leaving long tails again, and have to trim four threads, two beginning top and bottom and two ending top and bottom, before you can press and add the next piece. It's a PAIN! All those wasted 3" long tails of thread...everywhere..ugh.

So...I've been researching these.

Today I made a call to a shop in Charlotte who said yes, they had a 6600p and quoted me the price, and it was reasonable, so off I went in my trusty vehicle and drove 90 miles to go look at this thing.

From the MOMENT I walked into that shop....it was a bait and switch! (GRRRRRR)

I told him I was the one who called from Winston and I'd like to see the 6600p.

He said "oh you don't want that, we have something better...have you seen the pfaff? have you seen this, that, the other?" Well yes, but they were all about $1000 more than I wanted to spend.

He talked DOWN that 6600p up one side and down the other, telling ME what I wanted, what I needed and what I could get on any other machine. (Are you feeling my frustration?)

He left me stranded several times while he went to go tackle something else. While he was helping a lady with a load of school machines, I just nearly picked up my purse and left the store.

He told me the machine was $1300 which was a good price. I asked how much the freestanding table it was in was...and he said $500. (ouch!)

I asked about the difference between the 6500 and the 6600, which was the dual feed thingy. I know people who have that love it. I've never needed it because I've never had trouble controling my patchwork on my Bernina, and I didn't like the big humongous foot that goes with that dual feed thing.

Besides that, I was just NOT going to give this man my business no matter if his machine rolled over and begged for me to take it home. So I left.

On the way home I called a few friends who had either machine and talked to them more about it. One loves her dual feed. Another said she barely uses it unless she is putting on a binding. Another who doesn't HAVE the dual feed says she just uses an add on walking foot when she needs it and it is fine for her (Which is what I"ve done with my Bernie all along)

I was still so fumed I needed to calm myself so I pulled over at the nearest Antique Mall off the interstate. :cD It worked! I wandered, I pondered....I bought a red ceramic apple cookie jar just like my Grannie had, a 1955 framed printing of the Serenity Prayer (how apropos, huh?? *LOL*) a hooked rug for the guest room that will go at the end of the bed, a red scotch plaid thermos lunch box that reminds me of the lunch box I had in 2nd grade (Hey, it was only $2.00...cheap therapy!) and a hooked chair pad for the kitchen desk chair.

I came home...looked up sites online...and found myself a 6500p with a table included! No Sales Tax...Free Shipping...no Bait and Switch, just a nice email that said "Thank You for Your Order" and I am done. The table only added $260 to the price of the machine instead of an additional $500.

I feel vindicated.

I feel like calling this Bozo in Charlotte and telling him what he missed out on because of his crappy salesmanship techniques. But mostly I feel it isn't worth the effort, and if he hasn't figured it out by now, he never will, so why should I bother?

So now I am eagerly awaiting my 6500p so that I can paper piece these pineapple babies and cut the threads as I go and lift the presser foot with the knee lift (which I have never had) All while it is flush in it's own little table.....and justify that it really didn't add THAT much to the expense of this quilt because it was all scraps to begin with,right?

PS..so many have asked me where I ordered the machine and table together. I got it from SewingMachinesPlus.com Tell them Bonnie from Quiltville sent you!


  1. Congratulations on your new machine! And it will be that much sweeter because of all the headache you went through. Don't you just hate trolls, I mean salesmen? lol Guys like that give decent salesmen a bad name!

  2. Bonnie - I own a 6500 for about 3 years now. The only thing I don't like about it is the wide surface. Normally I love that part, but when I need to patch knees on jeans, or a sleeve and am used to the narrow neck, oh well. Otherwise, I LOVE my Janome.

    That owner must not be having a recession with his store.

    Enjoy the new girl.

    Sharon in Colorado

  3. I really wanted to buy local whenI bought my machine last year, but between the sales people and the price difference, I too ended up buying online. I actually had a sales person tell me that a manufacturer didn't make a machine I had a model number & specs for in my hand and "would I like to look at a nice embroidery machine instead?"

  4. How frustrating for you....I know, when I want something, that is what I want and no talking me out of it but...you did good, aren't you proud now. I am sure you will show a picture when it comes in???

  5. I'm guessing he doesn't realize that you're a national quilting teacher/professional and know your way around a sewing machine or two?

    Its a shame that he's more interested in tryng to get you to buy a more expensive machine than worrying about what your needs are.

  6. Neighbor Bonnie, Glad to hear that you got the machine you wanted for a price you could handle. I personally prefer to buy local but there are times (your example) when "local" forces you to go online. You will love the knee lift for paper piecing too! I am not sure how I could live without it now. If I sew on another machine, I keep moving my knee to lift the foot but .... nothing happens!!! Funny how we get used to things. BTW, my small quilt group might use your Strip Twist pattern for a charity quilt. Love it!

  7. what a stupid salesman! I can't believe he treated you like that - well actully I can... b/c I use to sale furniture and I know all about high pressure to close the deal.. but sadly he wasn't closing anything showing you that many more options.

    He should have never done that. Narrow it down to 2 options and keep it simple...after all you were a guaranteed buyer nearly.. afterall, he knew you drove all that way to come look at it!!! He should have never pressured you like that nor LEFT you!! what a dumb a$$!

    What you should do is simply print this post out with all the comments and drop it in the mail to him.

    Yep, that's what I'd do!

    and enjoy your new machine. :) You deserve it. Love from Texas! ~bonnie

  8. You'll love your 6500 ... I love mine and the other 4 Janomes I own too. I put my 6500 into a computer table ... cut a hole, made a shelf and poof it's perfect. Photo if interested at


  9. How frustrating for you! You'll love your 6500 for paper piecing as well as any other sewing you do. I've had mine for 3 years and love it as much now as I did when I bought it. If you go to my blog, you can see it set into an antique sewing cabinet.

  10. Bonnie, I have the twins of your machines. My 6500 is in the shop getting an overhaul right now so I am getting to know my Bernie again and she's not so bad at all.

    And I have two treadles that I found at the side of the road (well, on the sidewalk in front of the antique shop) and an old Brother which I call Don ('cause I have an old brother named Don) which my daughter got me at a garage sale for the cabinet.

    But I'm missing my 6500 and hope I get that call that they are finished.

  11. wow! good for you! and no, don't bother telling him what a lousy salesman he is, he wouldn't believe it anyway. like my grandma said, "never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig".
    leave that pig alone with his sloppy attitude! ;-)

  12. I love love love my Janome 6500,,, I have had no problems, owned it for 4 years now and no regrets... I'm sure you will not regret it either,,, and the sales person wasn't giving you the whole truth..humm not good customer service... and like I said you will be happy with the choice you made....happy stitching

  13. Today must have been the day for poor salesmen! I took my Bernina into the only shop around for 40 miles and overheard him talking to a customer on the phone that he doesn't sell "dimestore fabric like Joann's does". I really wanted to walk out right then, but my Bernina needed fixing (2nd time in 2 years). My next machine will NOT be a Bernina, but I don't know when the next machine will be bought. Enjoy your new machine. You deserve it!

  14. I have the 6500 also - use that thread cutter all the time. :)

    The only complaint I hear about them is that the quarter inch foot tends to sew a little big - but I'm sure you know about calibrating that, follow the directions on your website... lol

    If you ever have any questions about it, you know my e-mail!

  15. I had that treatment on a car once and have given that place the raspberries ever since. I would write to him, just so he can see in writing what being a jerk cost him. with all the on line places and the economy being what it is, we don't need to deal with people who don't deserve our business. GOOD for you! Enjoy your new machine.

  16. Bonnie I just purchased the Elna 7200 Quilter's Dream and it has the push button thread cutter. It looks exactly like the Janome 6500 It's so much fun getting a new machine. Enjoy!

  17. Love and Logic would say that you call that salesman, thank him for his time yesterday, and after sweetly telling him how you love to buy local and support your local businessman, clue him in to the great deal you found online. How could he react to such a sweet sounding lady taking the time to call? I agree; he had a deal and he let you go out the door. He must have been having a real BAD day and forgotten that the customer is always right! He needs to rethink how he addresses his customers. You never know who might walk through that door. Obviously he hasn't heard about the Bonnie following. He just missed a huge opportunity for free advertisement. Bummer for him!

  18. I'm with you Bonnie! The only guy here in town that sells Janome is just like that. The minute he has your money he is hustling you out the door! Way to go for standing your ground!

  19. Good for you! Hope you enjoy the new machine. Have to remember that saying about the pig singing...

  20. Silly man ... he had no idea he was dealing with a woman who knows exactly what she wants and needs. And also no idea how many of us would be shaking our heads in disbelief ...

  21. congrats on a new machine, can't wait to hear how you like it once you really start sewing on it.
    In this economy you would have thought he would have been happy to sell you any machine.
    I would love a new Bernina with a BSR but I will wait awhile.
    do you paper piece your hst too?

  22. Bonnie... how sad it is that many salesman still haven't worked out that a woman is probably more knowledgeable than him in the field of shopping. Universally! There is nothing more satisfying than voting with your feet, and then getting a better deal elsewhere. Hope you are happy with your new baby when she arrives :-)

  23. A workperson must have the proper tools for the job - that's the rule. Perfectly reasonable - we need to trust our instincts and get what we know we want and not be talked out of it. You go girl!!

  24. jerk. glad you didn't buy from him. but a Janome? no more Bernina? sigh. I have one of those knee thingies for my Bernina and never use it. The one feature I long for is the Needle Down option....

  25. congrats on the machine, I feel ya on the switcharoo.. I would have told the man to take his other machines and stick them somewhere...I had that when I was looking for quilt frames/machines. I finally got what I wanted for 1,500 dollars LESS.. and loving every minute I use it.have fun with the new machine.have a great day,Amy

  26. Bonnie,

    I would let the salesman know exactly why he lost your sale. You can save the next quilter a lot of grief (and the same experience you had). That woman (guy) might not be as strong as you and give in to the pressure and get a machine that they don't want, or can't afford.

  27. Hi Bonnie, I have the 6500P and love it. I bought mine second hand and it works beautifully. My favorite feature is the thread cutter. You probably already know this but your 6500P will fit in your SewEZ table that you take to retreats. You just have to have the acrylic plate made for it. I know you will want to bring it to retreats after you have it, except that it is kind of hefty, but you won't want to do without your thread cutter. Good luck! Terry

  28. It pays to shop around, even if the shop owner is a complete prat! He obviously doesn't move in sewing circles. I bet if a quilter had walked in and recognised you he would have changed his tune pretty sharpish.

  29. Don't you LOVE that place?? I just bought a Juki 98TQ from them on New years Eve and they had it on the truck that day!! It arrived less than a week later and quilts like a dream! These people were fantastic!!

  30. Anonymous12:15 PM EST

    Bonnie, I am in sales myself, and the thing to do would be to let the salesman's BOSS know that he lost the sale....either the store manager or the store owner. They are interested in the bottom line, and he is simply interested in his paycheck. Sales people with integrity, like my husband and me, know that making sure the customer has what he/she wants, (not what we want to sell them) is the only important thing!! Congrats on the new machine!
    Jacque in SC

  31. Bonnie,
    You are going to love your 6500P. I bought mine when they first came out. I bought it to put on my B-Line quilting frame but fell in love with it while getting to know it off the frame. When the 6600P came out I bought it too at a quilt show here in town...super good price. So now I own both.
    The thread cutting and the knee lift are to die for. I like the Accufeed foot because it is right there on the machine. But you will be fine without it on the 6500P.
    I really raced through the Virginia Bound using that thread cutter and knee lift.
    40 some years ago I had a machine with the knee controller...would you believe that my muscles still expect the machine to move when I use the knee lift? of course that is after I have been sewing for mega hours and the ol' mind is dull.
    My dealer charged me $300 for the table a couple months ago. Kinda pricey but I wanted it.
    I have my 6600P in a Quilters' Dream cabinet. Love having it flush with the table. I am sooooo spoiled!
    XOXOXOXO Subee

  32. I bought a 6600 with the table right before Christmas and am completely infatuated with that machine. You will not regret your purchase.

    Happy Sewing!

  33. Bonnie~ I had just about the same thing happen to me when I was shopping for my HQ16. I had a saleslady tell me I could not use the HQ on my B-line frame (WRONG) and there was a big sign on the demo model saying 'DO NOT TOUCH'. Do they think I"m going to plunk down good money for something I cannot even try? Oh, but I could buy the shop model for the same price and try it out! I think NOT! I bought one used online....and I won't shop for machines at that store again...their loss...

  34. Bonnie, you should send a copy of this blog entry to the doofus who lost your business, & address it to the business owner.

    If you should need service or parts on your Janome, there is a shop in West Jefferson, NC that has been good to me.

    Hope you love your Janome. I love mine, and while it's not nearly the machine you have, it's good for me and I love sewing on it.

  35. String piecing with the thread cutter is the best! Just hit that button between every piece and you don't have to snip all the bits apart. Yippee!! Good luck with the new machine. If it speeds you up that could be scary.

  36. Welcome to the Janome family!!! I love mine. I can't wait to see you this weekend!!

  37. Hi there Bonnie. This is the first time I have been to your blog, and I am so delighted! I have to tell you I did own a Janome 6500 and I sold it when I bought my Bernina 430 (husband pressure, ugh) and I regret it every day. I love the Bernina but I really want Miss Janome back! I just finished quilting a small quilt and I love the BSR on the Bernina, but I miss the space and cutter of the Janome. On the 1/4 inch problem, I think truly that if you just use a fabric leader you can avoid most of the issues with the machine eating the beginning of the piece. I also bought the extra plate that makes it easier (the single stitch or something like that) good luck and one more question, do you sell a pattern for the Take Me to Quiltville scrappy heart pattern? I love it! Pam in Chico

  38. Bonnie,

    Wow! I never imagined wanting an automatic thread cutter, but now that I've just spent the morning making string pieced diamonds for eight-pointed stars, I can see where it would be right handy for foundation piecing.

    What a jerk of a salesman! Well, spending elsewhere is the best revenge.


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