I just got a call from a woman asking about the value of a used longarm machine frame / sewing machine (often called a “head”) system. It was 15 years old, and unfortunately she didn’t have the brand name of the system. The problem with longarm sewing frames is that the price variations are huge. A new sewing machine frame can cost anywhere from $5,000 – $32,000+ (for the best computer-driven systems). Thus, it’s almost impossible to make an estimate on the value of a used system without knowing all the details.
If you are looking to purchase a used quilt frame, you need to consider the brand name (APQS and Gammill are probably the best out there right now), the age, the maintenance and wear of the system, and whether there is current support. If at all possible, you would like to purchase a machine that has local dealer support, especially if you have never tried longarm quilting before. Try and find out why the system is being sold — is it a “lemon” of a machine, or something else?
Longarm systems are a big investment, so know what you are getting into before you spend thousands of dollars of money.