Speedbinder portable carpet binding machine, $40.

Carpet and rug binding machines like National Carpet (N-C Carpet,) Millenium, Bond, and of course the Speedbinder, are great pieces of equipment to know about. Most people have no idea what they're looking at when they see these machines, so be smart and familiarize yourself a bit so that you'll know them when you see them!

What we have here is your run-of-the-mill sewing machine, right? Well, no. Actually, it's a Speedbinder carpet binding machine that cost a bundle to buy new, is still heavily used in its industry, and sells for heaps of cash used on eBay. As is so often the case in this business, the deals - and the profits - usually go to the observant. As you check this machine out a little more carefully than most folks are willing to, you'll notice some really unusual features that set it apart from other machines.

First of all, there's that huge bobbin full of hundreds of yards of monofilament line where a spool of thread usually goes. And then there's a place for another bobbin of a thick tape, which is bent into a vee shape as it's fed into the the machine, as if it's supposed to be sewn along the edge of something.

Then there's that heavy-duty foot designed to push along whatever this machine is designed to sew. Most normal sewing machines use a little foot and a little piece of metal under it to walk the material being sewn along under the needle. This machine, though, uses a big, thick, toothed metal roller, driven by that big drive shaft, to feed the material through. You could literally lose a finger in that contraption! What thick, heavy material could this machine possibly be meant to sew?

Now, notice the handle bolted onto the side of the Speedbinder. It's not for carrying it - there's a handle on top of the machine for that. The side handle is for pulling the machine along the floor as it rolls on the wheels that can be seen on the bottom of the machine.

The Speedbinder portable carpet binding machine is for fastening binding tape along the edges of carpets. The tape feeds in along the side of that huge foot, and as the machine sews, the operator pulls it along the floor. So, whereas a normal machine pulls in the material to be sewn, the Speedbinder pulls itself along the material as it sews.

Of course, there still exists the same question you'll always face whenever you find yourself with a piece of specialty machinery that you really have no way to test out - does this machine actually work, and work correctly? Aside from turning it on to make sure the motor works and the needle goes up and down, that's really all I can do to test it. What you must know about buyers of specialty machinery like this Speedbinder is that they understand perfectly that the average person like you and me simply do not have the knowledge or resources to test the machine thoroughly. As long as you explain in your item description that you have tried to test the machine as best you can, and have listed any deficiencies you noticed (like a motor not working, or one making lots of noise, or a needle not cycling correctly, etc.,) the buyer can bid accordingly. Just make sure that you don't misrepresent the item and you'll be fine. 

Never forget that the money goes to the trained and analytical eye. What appears to the untrained eye to be nothing more than an old sewing machine is actually a very heavy duty machine, designed for a specific task, that costs a small fortune to buy new.

This Speedbinder carpet sewing machine sold for $450 on eBay.

Photo of Speedbinder carpte edge binding machine