Pfaff 1222 sewing machine, $25.

An unusual name like Pfaff shouldn't be a hard one to remember, and you really should take a little time to research Pfaff sewing machines because this company makes some of the priciest and most sought-after sewing machines you're likely to run across! Pfaff machines are made in Germany and their high quality and excellent dependability means that they're in great demand the world over.

As with so many of the things I buy, I didn't know exactly what this machine was worth at the time I bought it, but I did know the Pfaff name. Although it turns out that the 1222 model sells for between $350 and $400 on eBay, I was just lucky because the next model down, the 1221, can sell for a hundred dollars less.

When I bought this machine, I didn't know anything about the different models at all, but I did the 'Pfaff profile' that I use regularly, which has always served me well, and which I'm posting here for you today. Since the Pfaff company started making sewing machines over 140 years ago, they've made all different shapes, sizes and colors of machines, which means that it would be possible for you to run across some really old Pfaff machines during your yard sale travels. But which ones are worth buying and which ones aren't? Some of the old black Pfaff machines are worth money, but some of them aren't. Too confusin! My blanket rule is: stick with the white Pfaff machines. This way you're pretty safe, because from what I've seen, any machine that's white will sell for over $100, and usually much more.

If possible, always try to test any machine before you buy it, even if it's only hitting the foot pedal and letting the machine run for a few seconds. Some folks think it's a good idea to have any machines they plan to sell on eBay serviced at an 'authorized' Pfaff dealer, so that they can state they did so in their auction. That is... until they find out that they'll get dinked for around a hundred bucks for this service! I say, test the darned machine as best you can, look for any signs of wear / damage / problems, disclose anything and everything that needs disclosing, and sell the machine as-is.  

Another important thing to mention here is to always be sure that the foot pedal is present, because those things are easy for a seller to misplace - and for you to miss. And you can bet that whoever buys the machine from you will certainly want this piece! Incidentally, because the top of the foot pedal is one of the fastest wearing parts of a sewing machine, it can be a great indicator of how much use a particular machine has seen.

This sewing machine sold on eBay for $475.

Photo of Pfaff model 1222 sewing machine