Where can I find a used loom?

Spunky January Fiber -- warping!!© May 9, 2009, Amelia

Now that I'm taking a splash in the weaving pool, folks ask me if I know of a second-hand table loom they could start with, or if I know someone interested in a floor loom. That's how I know my feet are wet (grin).

This is gonna sound a lot like my recent post Where can I find a used spinning wheel? Because, honestly, weavers tend to hang out around spinners and vice-versa. Especially on-line.

First things first ... I am not endorsing any particular seller or venue by listing these, just providing the information. Buyer beware, that is the best policy. Also, buying solely based on a photograph is taking a risk. Get out there and see it yourself, or if it's not by you, find a relative, friend, or associate who can see it in person before it's shipped to you.

If you don't weave yet, take an experienced weaver with you to check out the loom, too. Even if the seller can weave, this gives you a less biased opinion.

I know second-hand can be quite a bit less expensive than new, but consider also any manufacturer's or store's warranties may be a safety net you'd like to have. That's why it's cool that AVL USA provides warranties on their refurbished looms, too. Given those looms have electronics in them, that's very important to consider.

When purchasing a used loom, find out its brand/maker, age, harness, type (jack, countermarche, counterbalance, rigid heddle), how many heddles it has, how many and what dent reeds it has, what other accessories come with it, and if it has any manuals. Some old looms have manuals available from The Weaver's Friend. If the brand/maker isn't known, perhaps you can poll some friends on-line or in your local guild to look at pictures of it to see if they know.

On the loomI have not used all of these placed myself to sell or buy used equipment; I've visited them all, sold on some, bought on some. Most of my used sales have actually been in person, at shows, in my vendor booth. So that's another place to check for used equipment -- wool show vendors often have an item on the edge of a table that is second hand equipment for sale; and some conferences, like NwRSA's, have used equipment tables. Check with your local guild, someone may be considering selling a loom; and perhaps your local yarn shop has a bulletin board for used equipment sales.

Here is a list of handy links for used weaving equipment:

FiberArts.org's Classified ad page
Fiber Equipment and Barter's Looms for sale/wanted
Association of Northwest Weaver's Guilds Classified Ads
Vermont Weaver's Guild Looms and Equipment For Sale
Weaver's Guild of Boston Classifieds
Homestead Weaving Studio's For Sale/Wanted lists
Spinner's & Weaver's Housecleaning Pages - Loom
Apple Hollow Farm's Used Equipment Page
The Online Spinning & Weaving Guild Discussion pages
Ravelry's Weaver's Marketplace
Ravelry's Used Tools & Equipment Marketplace
AVL Looms' Factory Reconditioned Looms
Woodland Woolwork's Used Equipment Page
Portland Fiber Gallery's Used Equipment Page
Hawthorne Works' Refurbished Looms
Black Cat Weavery Weavers' Marketplace (central US)
Warped Weavers' Studio Estate and Equipment Sales

Check out your local Craig's List or use http://www.craigshelper.com/ to search all of the ones within 250 miles of you (handy, that!)

There's ebay too, though then you have bidding to deal with and commercial suppliers selling new equipment as well. Large looms listed on eBay usually require pick-up, so use the advanced search box there to find looms near you.

And, drum roll please, my big tip ... some of these pages have RSS feeds, but not all of them. Set yourself up with an account on ChangeDetection.com so you can monitor the non-RSS pages for updates.

Of course, this works the other way around too -- are you selling a used loom? these are options for listing it. Pick one local to you, or with the kind of exposure you want.

One thing to consider on selling the larger looms: when you list an item of considerable value, you may get emails from scammers. Be aware that if they ask you for your website, or a description of "the item", or your email, it's likely they are not for real. Talk to your buyer on the phone, if you can. Google them on-line, see if they are a weaver too. And, do not send money to "the freight company they choose" ... it's likely their own check will bounce, and you'll be out the freight money as well, because believe me, that check of yours will be cashed. Just be aware, and careful. I know it sounds scary, but it just takes a little watchfulness.

Mountain Loom - FrontThese websites can also be handy for researching the value of a loom, for buyers and sellers alike. Consider age, condition, and accessories. I've been told that when selling, offering a price point 30% less than new for a like-new-condition loom will usually be successful. If your loom is old, consider discounting from the price you paid for it or its price when it was new. Some looms gain in value due to their no longer being made, having a high-quality well-respected maker, and availability; others maintain value, and others, well, you know.

You might also check with the vendors that offer second-hand equipment; it's very likely they got them as trade-ins, so that's another avenue to pursue for selling your used equipment.

I am too new at weaving to have good suggestions for prices of looms. You can find bargains on Craig's List, and even "hen's teeth" -- I know I did, and paid the lady's local UPS store to pack and ship it to me, from Maine: a Baby Dobby for my Baby Wolf (woot!) ... but you know, I still haven't installed that sucker. It's on the floor in front of the loom, beckoning me ...

Anyway. For second-hand pricing, research the price of new; if you aren't in a hurry, research the price of a second-hand loom in places not near you, and then keep an eye open for something similar near you. You never know when you might find a treasure in your own neighborhood -- my first loom was purchased for $20 from a coffeeshop friend as I was chatting about wanting to learn to weave. It needed restoration, so it cost me a fair bit more than that to get to a working loom -- but wow, that was serendipitous, and still less expensive than new.

Related posts:
Where can I find a used spinning wheel?
Where can I find a sock machine?
The internet for the uninitiated fiber artist
... and more posts on weaving listed here.

Oh, and the looms in the photos? past looms of mine, all now enjoying new homes. Some were part of my loom lust fund, which has now been applied in payment toward my to-be-here-this-summer 24" 24H AVL WDL loom (yowza!) too new to be found second-hand, it's coming brand-spanking new to me.

Do you have a site you recommend for used weaving items? Let us know in the comments ~ thanks.
© 9 May 2009 Amelia at AskTheBellwether.com


Patti said...

Where can I find a tape loom???

Amelia of Ask The Bellwether said...

Tape looms may show up on those pages, but tend not to come into the used market as frequently as table and floor looms. Here is. A Pinterest page listing several makers. I purchased a nice tape loom from jkseidel.com, who is listed on that page: http://pinterest.com/etritthart/simple-looms/.