I'm a diehard thrifter and garage sale addict! I love the thrill of the hunt! And I love making CASH from trash so I also resell on eBay and Etsy. I share my successes to inspire you ... and my failures so you learn from my mistakes. Please join me on this wild and crazy ride of making cash from trash!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cash for Trash: Vintage Singer 201 Sewing Machine

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Singer 201 Vintage Sewing Machine For Parts or Repair AF 695687

I have always been a collector of “things”, from dolls and knickknacks to books and magazines to music boxes and cookie jars … and the list goes on.  Then, five years ago when I retired, I realized I didn’t need so much “stuff”. 

It wasn’t just a matter of finances; it went beyond that.  Whatever need I had that compelled me to collect and hoard hang onto things had changed.  I felt overwhelmed with so many “things” that I didn’t REALLY need. So I started selling my collections.


One of the things I collected were sewing machines.  Do I really need TEN?!  I’ve had this vintage 201 Singer beauty for years; and having used it only once or twice, I moved it into the garage a couple years ago with the intention of donating it.  Well, there it stayed, eventually buried under a ton of other things.  (How many folks really use their garage to store their cars?) 

Then last spring, we participated in a community garage sale event.  I dragged it out and priced it at $20, hoping for a quick sale.  Nothing, nada, not one bite!  So back in the garage it went.

So December rolls around, and we get the bug to clean out the garage.  A ton of stuff got thrown out; a bunch of things went to the “metal guy” for recycling; and more stuff went to the thrift store.  But I held back on this machine, thinking I would list it on Craigslist for $40.

Now it’s January and I’m on a roll selling on CL.  Time to put this baby on the selling block.  As I’m researching prices, I realize the sewing machine can sell for some good money on eBay – without the cabinet.  It may fetch about $200-$300!

So I quickly run to the garage (which is now clean and no longer a hazard to walk run in) and try to remove the machine from the cabinet.  Ugh!  It’s HEAVY so I enlist the help of DS#1.  Well, it turns out the cord to the pedal runs through a metal frame in the cabinet.  We have no recourse but to disconnect the cord from the pedal in order to remove the machine.  Unfortunately, in the process, we break the pedal.  Not surprising as it is very old, and the cord is weathered and cracking.

Even so, I listed it for $39.99, clearly stating that the pedal is in disrepair and the motor is untested.  It was listed “for repairs or parts”.   I did a happy dance when it sold for $132.50 plus $45 shipping to a buyer in Puerto Rico! 

I have the cabinet listed on CL for $40.  It’s in decent shape but does need some cosmetic TLC.  If it doesn’t sell by end of January, I’ll just donate it.

And that – as Dude @ Money In The Garage would say – IS money in the garage!


  1. Well, good for you! It was well worth that amount, and I'm glad it went to someone who will use it. I've been doing the same thing--going thru the house and decluttering. I think I made at least $300 on junk I cleared out of some drawers. What fun!

    1. Not only did it not work, but I was just going to donate it. I'm going to go through the house and declutter some more. $300 sounds like a winner to me!

  2. We went to an estate sale last summer and there was an old sewing machine like that in the garage. It was attached to a wooden cabinet and priced at only $10. To our surprise, it was still there the second day of the sale and hubby bought it for $5. He loaded it up, took it home, broke down the cabinet, (which was broken anyway), and stripped down the machine for parts to use for making other stuff. Glad you got a good price for yours. How did you ship it? It must have weighed a ton!

    1. I thought about replacing the pedal or taking it apart to sell the parts, but it all just seemed too much. I just know the machine works great and if the buyer can fix it, they'll have a very nice machine. We had some saved boxes & Styrofoam pieces from electronics we've purchased over the years, so hubby helped by cutting the Styrofoam to fit around the machine. The buyer emailed me several times and was very concerned. He wanted to be sure I packed it securely. The machine is cast iron and the package weighed 36 lbs. I'm surprised it only cost $45 for shipping to Puerto Rico. I'll be anxiously waiting until I know it arrived safely.

  3. Wow! Congrats! I've been de-cluttering and listing stuff from our house, too. With no garage sales around here again until late March-early April, I'm finding a bounty in my own house :)

  4. Glad your 201 got a good home. If I had 10 machines I think this is the one I would still keep. Love mine, it sews anything!