Finding a good commercial used embroidery machine for sale at a price you can afford can be a great way to take a step up. To make the transition from part time hobby-style business to a real quit-your-day-job business.
But finding a good quality used embroidery machine for a business is a little more complicated than finding one for home use.
That is because you need different things for a business than you do to run your hobby from home.
So, to get these requirements out of the way first, let’s look at a few places to buy a “pre-owned” commercial embroidery machine.
There are a few concerns with buying an embroidery machine on the secondhand market that you MUST get answered – unless you are already a commercial embroidery pro. These are in addition to the commonsense ones like How old, is it? How much was it used? Etc.
Running a used 15 needle commercial embroidery machine is NOT the same as your Janome home one. Unless you’re already a pro you will need training. Do NOT rely on YouTube videos for this!
You need training because every hour you spend – or day, or week – trying to figure out how to do something is an hour you’re not making money. Many professional embroiderers target about $50/hour in profits, so multiply that by the amount of time you’ll spend figuring things our yourself.
Training for used embroidery machines is also important because every job you do is going to be done on a customer’s garment or item, or on one you pay for. Every mistake you make will cost you money.
Almost always, if you buy a used machine from an authorized dealer, training will be included. That’s the way it is for ColDesi when they sell a used Avancé 1501C single head machine.
Many commercial embroidery machine makers only provide free training for people that buy machines directly from them.
That’s because they know that:
If you ARE buying a reputable commercial machine second hand, find out if you can purchase a support contract from the manufacturer and build that into your investment.
When the machine is VERY old – like a Toyota embroidery machine or maybe an ancient Tajima model – you may not be able to get training and support from a dealer at all. So, you should find out who the current owner uses for that and make sure you have access as well.
Just a note there that customized caps and hats is a huge market, and it may be why you’re looking at a “new” machine for your own business.
All of the commercial or industrial systems we’re talking about here can also be called a “hat embroidery machine”. The same ones that embroidery logos on a polo shirt will also do caps and hats well.
In addition, 3D embroidery on cap machines is a big money maker – and also possible on any of the multi-needle machines you might find on the used market.
First, if you have a brand or model in mind, start with the dealers.
ColDesi often has one or two used or demonstrator model Avancé units for sale, and that’s the obvious place to get the safest deals. Because you get all the hoops, accessories, software, training and support as you do with a brand-NEW system.
The same goes for any of the popular industrial brands like Barudan, ZSK, Tajima, etc. Start with a dealer first and you will not have to worry about what you don’t know to ask!
The second-best place to look would be an industry dedicated site:
Quipdealio.com is a used equipment website that specializes in customization equipment. So, you’ll find embroidery machines of all kinds, but also direct to garment printers, white toner printers, cutters, and laser engravers, and more.
One great thing about QuipDealio is that it’s all US based – unlike an eBay or Alibaba – so everything you look at is somewhere in the country right now. And there’s a neat feature that shows you equipment for sale near you!
Digitsmith.com is another industry-specific site. It’s got a lot of listings from all over the world and is presented like an older style internet Forum website.
There are also some dedicated Facebook Groups for used equipment. You can take advantage of those if you’re a Facebook user, but keep in mind that anyone can post anything for sale there!
The big companies that sell everything ALSO sell used embroidery machines. With all the pros and cons to that that you are probably aware of. It seems that you are either comfortable buying expensive equipment from these sites or you are not:
But if you’re a dedicated pro that doesn’t mind the 100% DIY approach you may find a great deal here.
Buying a used ANYTHING is a risk. But it’s one you may happily take because of the savings upfront.
Unfortunately, you can rarely take the same steps you would to buy an embroidery machine as you can if you were buying a used car.
There aren’t 4 or 5 good mechanics in every area – where you would normally take a used car to have checked out before you buy it. And there’s no Carfax style report on issues and accidents.
With a used car, you can take it almost anywhere to get it serviced and there are plenty of places to get help with issues. Not so with a commercial embroidery machine.
Unless you buy it from a Dealer that is!
We'd LOVE to talk to you about joining the ColDesi Family!