Saturday, December 20, 2008

Selling Knitting Equipment

We are becoming empty nesters, but we have a terribly messy, cluttered, crowded nest! Just before Christmas seemed like a very good time to sell a couple of knitting machines, among other things.

Knitting machines are hard to sell. Locally, there aren’t a lot of MKers, so the Internet is one’s best option. You’ve got to pack and ship them, and pray they arrive undamaged. I’ve read plenty of horror stories about sellers and buyers dealing with dropped machines. They’re long, heavy and awkward, and prone to being dropped on one end.

I decided to sell a Knitking Compuknit 5 Star (same as Brother 965i). I had bought a local lady’s machine when she downsized thinking it would give me a terrific spare to maybe use with the garter carriage, but shortly afterwards, I got a chance at a Brother 970 and bought that. The 970 hasn’t even been set up due to space issues. Obviously, something had to go, and I put the 965i on eBay.
I also sold an antique Auto Knitter that isn’t the whole complete antique set with the box and accessories but knits well. I actually had three antique CSMs purchased because I couldn’t resist, and I can only knit on one at a time. Selling it involved taking lots of photos of it working because it seemed to me that its main value was not antique but in knitting socks.

The economy is tough. I didn’t expect to get great prices, but I think I did okay. The buyers did okay, too, and I made some space. My dad used to tell me that the only good transaction is one in which both parties are satisfied. The money helped us with Christmas expenses.

I haven’t heard a peep from the KnitKing buyer other than notifying us it arrived. I suppose everything is fine. We spent an entire evening building the main package before we shipped it.

The AutoKnitter buyer, though, is communicating. She’s a nice lady, out of state, and has never used a sock machine before but has used flatbeds. Boy, am I nervous about this tricky antique finding its way to a beginner! Sock machines have a huge learning curve, and I don’t know how to teach something so very visual over a long distance. I sent her some tips and hints and am hoping it goes well for her and she can find some local helper. I also sent her information about the Yahoo group.

The AK was packed tightly in bubble wrap and double-boxed. I had needles in it and a sock hanging from it. It arrived with a few needles sheared off, which means it had to have been dropped in shipping. We mailed her more spare needles. I worried that such a drop might knock some adjustments out, after I had it adjusted perfectly, but John says it wouldn’t.

I sent her instructions the other day on how to find videos on For some reason, I was browsing there and was amazed at the increasing stock of circular sock machine videos. I suggested to her that she search for “circular sock machine” and watch those, then for “NZAK” and watch the New Zealand Auto Knitter lessons.

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