If you want a table machine, I'd hold out for one instead of a portable unless it was a very tempting deal.
Worth the risk?
I did send a question off to the seller.
A word of caution....be extremely careful who you buy a sewing machine from on Ebay. If they do not show a long list of successfully shipped sewing machines in their feedback, walk away. Even with good feedback on sewing machines, at this point, I will only have one shipped if I truly trust the packing knowledge of the seller, it is a machine I want VERY badly and I am willing to write it off as a total loss.
Due to their weight and delicate pieces sticking out, sewing machines are difficult to pack in a manner the they will not be broken in shipping. All shippers can and do use sewing machine packages as overweight bowling balls. I have received two broken machines that where shipped.
One was by an ebay seller with good feedback on shipping sewing machines. The machine was put in a box with no packing and from the holes/dents on the inside of the box, it was obvious it was dropped onto each of the six sides.
The second was not through ebay and was shipped by a well respected expert on Necchi machines. Even with packaging that I would have thought would be overkill (no such thing with sm's), it had been dropped on one end from a sufficient height to damage it.
Packaging services don't have a clue either.
I strongly suggest picking them up in person.
gm, I was specifically looking at machines close enough I could go pick up. I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment.
Another source is Goodwill. Check the Goodwill auction website to see if there is store that participates in your area. I have bid on many machines listed at an area store and have bought two. They usually go for a low to reasonable price.
Once again, I would not have faith in one shipped from an out of area store...pickup only for me.