SoundDesign was a low end company, so your table isn't, as you say, the best of the best. But originally it probably at least played records. Dried up lubricants are often the culprit in misbehaving older tables, but it is possible that it is simply worn out, the bearings being worn and sticking.
Post a picture - with luck, it's a BSR variant, which can usually be restored to operating condition. If it is not anything that can be repaired, at least you'll know and not waste time and money trying to fix something that is dead on arrival.