Marco vs. Pinballlife

Started 2 years ago by mystic in forum MarketBuying advice.


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Marco vs. Pinballlife


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  • Started 2 years ago by mystic
  • 59 Pinsiders participating in this thread.
  • Latest reply from lonnkor

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    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Just placed an order with Pinballlife.

    4 rainbow 555 wedge LEDs
    1 backbox lock
    1 coin door lock
    1 switch adjustor tool

    Total w/ shipping from Marco: $40.75
    Total w/ shipping from Pinballlife: $25.20

    Glad I did a side-by-side comparison. I'm sure some things are cheaper at Marco and I've spent a lot of money with those guys and I know they have great customer service... but...


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    you get killed on shipping from marco, nevermind the prices. but yea, I only shop at marco when they're the only ones that carry it.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Surprisingly, shipping was only $1 more at Marco..


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    pinball life by miles and miles...not even close.

    always the first stop


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Marco is terrible, but they have the best inventory.

    The international shipping (Canada), is beastly. I placed an order on Thursday, and it STILL hasn't been processed. They recently partnered up with a terrible company to handle shipping.

    ....as you can tell I'm pissed with the service atm.

    The 10% discount Pinside used to get was nice, but now failing that....order from pinball life first (if you can help it).


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    mystic said:

    Just placed an order with Pinballlife.
    4 rainbow 555 wedge LEDs
    1 backbox lock
    1 coin door lock
    1 switch adjustor tool
    Total w/ shipping from Marco: $40.75
    Total w/ shipping from Pinballlife: $25.20
    Glad I did a side-by-side comparison. I'm sure some things are cheaper at Marco and I've spent a lot of money with those guys and I know they have great customer service... but...

    Yep, that's how that goes. PBL is always a lot cheaper for me. I generally only use Marco for specific parts that either PBL and BAA don't carry. Actually, I like BAA too because I can order one part with relatively low shipping costs, which I can't do even with PBL.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Marco pros:
    -Ships very quickly
    -Lots of obscure parts
    -Good customer service
    -Easy to save a shopping cart/list for later

    Marco cons:
    -More expensive
    -Higher shipping costs
    -Web site is harder to navigate and I find it aggravating
    -I've had a few messed up orders, which they always fixed

    PBL pros:
    -Best prices
    -Very reasonable shipping costs
    -Quick shipping, not as fast as Marco in my experience
    -Easy to navigate web site
    -Good customer service

    PBL cons:
    -Less selection
    -Harder to save a shopping cart (have to use wish list)

    Those are the only negatives I can come up with for PBL. I've probably placed 2x as many orders with them as with Marco and they've never messed up.

    I like and use both. I placed orders with both places this afternoon. But PBL is my first choice.

    Post edited by stangbat : Revised


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Wow that is a big difference, was it across all items or one in particular?


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    All items were higher except the coin door lock. Those were exactly the same.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I always use PBL unles they don't have it or I need it fast Marco is only an hour and a half or so from me so I can order in the morning and have it the next day.


    dung

    Pinball addict
    1,382,100 2
    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Marco tends to be more expensive for both pricing and shipping. They will price match other vendors, but you have to call it in and it can be a pita. The upside is marco is faster to ship then pbl. They also have a larger selection, but rarely are they the only one who carries an item. If you need the part fast, marco is your best bet in my neck of the woods.

    With that being said pinball life is almost always the cheapest to buy for price and shipping. They have a smaller selection of parts which is the only reason I have ordered elsewhere. From experience they are a little slower to get things out, but unless you are in a hurry to get a part it doesn't matter.

    The one thing I like about Pinball Life is that Terry is active on RGP. He is a collector as well as a businessman. He is passionate about the hobby and easy to talk to. He also has great deals during pinball shows which often times make it worth going just to buy parts from him.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Same here, PBL is always the first place I go, Marco is dead last. I am glad we do have so many vendors to choose from and we can get parts we need. But....

    I ordered two gears from two different vendors and it was 40% cheaper with double shipping costs then ordering them both from Marco. That motivates me to shop around instead of going to one place because it is convenient.

    I agree Marco's selection is awesome, but if I can buy it anywhere else, I do. Sorry, but money saved is money that can go into my machines. If Marco would bring their prices and shipping in line with the competition, I would probably shop there most of the time. I probably order 10-20 times from other vendors for every 1 time I buy from Marco. I am not going call them to get a price match when I can just order from the vendor with the best price in the first place.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    i'm just glad we have them both. imagine if we didn't? we wouldn't even be here right now probably.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    i am going against the grain, i usually order from marco due to i like their website and find it easiest to find parts for certain machines, if you have a big order just give andrew a call or email and maybe he can help you out.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I talked to one rep from Marco at Expo and he soured me on their site. I was considering Pinscore displays, asked a few questions and got all but blown off. I don't see anything that they carry that PBL doesn't, and anything else I'll go to Action Pinball, they were really great for those hard to find items.


    RobT

    Pinside legend
    12,298,223 3
    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    stangbat said:

    Marco pros:
    -Ships very quickly
    -Lots of obscure parts
    -Good customer service
    -Easy to save a shopping cart/list for later
    Marco cons:
    -More expensive
    -Higher shipping costs
    -Web site is harder to navigate and I find it aggravating
    -I've had a few messed up orders, which they always fixed
    PBL pros:
    -Best prices
    -Very reasonable shipping costs
    -Quick shipping, not as fast as Marco in my experience
    -Easy to navigate web site
    -Good customer service
    PBL cons:
    -Less selection.
    That's the only negative I can come up with for PBL. I've probably placed 2x as many orders with them as with Marco and they've never messed up.
    I like and use both. I placed orders with both places this afternoon. But PBL is my first choice.

    Perfect summary that I completely agree with.

    I'm very glad that Marco is around. I've bought plenty of replacement parts from them as they were the only ones who had them available.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Marco has a much broader inventory but prefer ordering from PBL. Tho I wish PBL web site had a cart save option; not a big deal for small orders but when you are building a list over time for a larger order it would be helpful.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Terry form pinballlife has been very helpful on questions and has great prices. Great help on crossmatching parts and recomendations.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    +1 for Pinball life! Terry and the crew are the best.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    kmoore88 said:

    Marco has a much broader inventory but prefer ordering from PBL. Tho I wish PBL web site had a cart save option; not a big deal for small orders but when you are building a list over time for a larger order it would be helpful.

    They do, so to speak....use the wishlist feature...From their FAQ

    Q: I like to add one item to my shopping cart each day over the course of months. Can I save my cart and keep coming back to it to add more items?

    A: Yes, but do not add items to your cart, add items to your "Wishlist". Wishlists can be created and managed by following these instructions:

    Log on to the Pinball Life web site using your log in name and password. Do not add items to your cart, add them to your "wish list". You will find the "My Wishlist" button in the "My Profile" section at the bottom of the left hand column on the front page of the Pinball Life web site. Click on "My Wishlist" and you will then be asked enter a name for your wishlist (you can have more than one wishlist at a time that way). After naming your wishlist click on "Add Wishlist". Now you can add items to your wish list instead of adding them to your cart. The "add to wishlist" link is right under the "add to cart" button on any product page. To see what you have added to your wishlist click on the "My Wishlist" link located on the right hand side of the gray bar towards the top of any page of the Pinball Life web site..... Click on "My Wishlist" and then select the wishlist's name and you will see what's on the wishlist. Individual Items can be added to your cart from your wishlist by clicking on "add to cart" from your wishlist, or the entire wish list can be added to your cart all at once by clicking "add to cart" from the wishlist title page. Once you have added something to your wishlist(s) it is there until you delete it, even if you log out.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Overall I like Pinball Life better for their prices, but I think they are slow to ship. If I place an order over the weekend, sometimes it's not shipped until Wednesday or Thursday.

    Marco is certainly more expensive, but if it's Tuesday or Wednesday and there is a project I want to work on over the weekend, I usually purchase from Marco.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    You really have to hand it to Marco for having BY FAR the most user friendly website. I love how you can break a game down by category and just shop for things like "playfield plastics" or "metal ramps".


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I must not be using Marcos site correctly. I find it very cumbersome and frustrating. When I do game specific lists I get dozens of pages filled with non game specific parts from coils to springs that are common to multiple games.

    I can only display so many items per page. I find I have to sift and sift to find a part unless I use the search feature. Is their a way to make Marcos site only list the items specific to a single title?


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    gweempose said:

    You really have to hand it to Marco for having BY FAR the most user friendly website. I love how you can break a game down by category and just shop for things like "playfield plastics" or "metal ramps".

    For games, it isn't too bad. But once you drill down to a category it would be nice to have the ability to refine it further or at least search through what is displayed. For example, once I get down to "Bally Attack from Mars Playfield Parts, Hardware / Fasteners", there are still six pages of stuff to go through. And I can only sort by popularity, price, brand, item #.

    And they don't name their parts consistently, so when searching, you have to do several searches to cover all your bases.

    Try to find a specific piece of hardware that isn't categorized for your game. Drill down to Playfield Parts >> Hardware/Fasteners and you've got 33 pages with the only sub category being Machine Screws. And selecting Machine Screws still gets you 9 pages with no easy way to find what you want.

    Try to find a metal standoff or hex post that isn't listed for your game. It is a mess. 12 pages of inconsistent naming and descriptions.

    I could go on, but I'll stop there. Although Pinball Life doesn't have as much inventory, I find their navigation much easier and it is way easier to drill down to what I want and find it.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Yea that is exactly what happens to me Stangbat, anyone know if their is a different way to sort to only the parts specific to the game you are viewing??

    Love the Jake and Elwood!!!


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    PBL first and if they don’t have it, then I start looking elsewhere. Terry is one of the good guys for sure.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I will say if I had placed my $40 order with Marco last night it would have shipped today, as it stands my order has not. However, it's not like I'm dying to install that replacement backbox lock by the weekend!

    The search function on Marco could be better, just the general search engine I mean. If you type in "lock" the first couple things that show up are whole machines for sale.. huh? However, if you know to type in "lock and cam" (or is it "lock & cam") then the correct items show up. I usually try and find something similar to what I'm looking for and see what they call it, even if it's not the right part, then go back and do a search on that exact term.

    Btw: Your search on "coin door lock" returns nothing. They must have their boolean values set to "AND" instead of "OR"


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    bigdaddy07 said:

    PBL first and if they don’t have it, then I start looking elsewhere. Terry is one of the good guys for sure.

    I agree.

    I'm looking for that devilish gear for the snagger in my Sega Jurassic Park:Lost World. He's the only vendor that said he didn't have one, but he'd try to get a hold of one. Above and beyond what the other guys did...


    2 years ago
    #

    +1 for Pinballlife and Terry.

    -1 for Marco, I have not been satisfied with my dealings with Marco so far. They are more expensive, they are slow to ship if you do not upgrade to 2nd day or better, and their website (the new one) is broken. Their customer service reps are also quick to get you off the phone even if the question was not answered forcing multiple calls (on your nickel).


    2 years ago
    #

    I placed an order with Marco Sunday night and had shipment notification with tracking number at 7:48am on Monday. Standard 3-5 day shipping. I expect it will arrive today.

    Their prices may be higher but I've never had a problem with shipping or customer service.


    2 years ago
    #

    Never ordered from Marco before due to high shipping costs to Canada. I've ordered from Terry at PBL many, many times over the years and never had a problem with shipping or order accuracy.


    dung

    Pinball addict
    1,382,100 2
    2 years ago
    #
    mystic said:

    I placed an order with Marco Sunday night and had shipment notification with tracking number at 7:48am on Monday. Standard 3-5 day shipping. I expect it will arrive today.

    Their prices may be higher but I've never had a problem with shipping or customer service.

    I placed an order with pbl monday around 1 or 2 pm. It shipped yesterday. Looking at the tracking number it should be here tomorrow.

    From what I have heard marco is shooting themselves in the foot with their new system. They no longer allow you to add to an order once it is in the system, even if it hasn't been shipped. Their system has resulted in it taking longer for product to get shipped. Lastly, I know someone local who is still dealing with trying to get a new pair of stern legs. They have shipped the new legs twice with no packing material between the legs other then a sheet of brown paper. Both times they were beat up from transit. Now he has had to send it back (on their dime) and has had to wait for them to receive them before they will ship yet another set.This has been going on for a couple of weeks all because they cannot pack their products right.


    2 years ago
    #

    yep pinball life all the way,
    marco sell sometimes (lots of times) items close to twice the price
    and they kill on shipping... yah! they do a lot of handling!

    my basket was full 1 day before they upgrade the site, of course lost everything, a lot of the items that was in my basket went up in price ($10.00 and more for one piece)... now my basket is empty

    i never order anymore, unless i have no choice.


    2 years ago
    #
    mystic said:

    I placed an order with Marco Sunday night and had shipment notification with tracking number at 7:48am on Monday. Standard 3-5 day shipping. I expect it will arrive today.
    Their prices may be higher but I've never had a problem with shipping or customer service.

    Placed an order also on Sunday night, order (for in stock items) was not ready to ship until Weds (today). I talked to Steve yesterday said that the order would go out on Tuesday. Talked to Holly today and the order never went out, now I have to pay for 2nd day upgrade, to get my order on time. Your results will vary but simply put they placed the onus on me to follow up with them on a simple order. That is not good customer service in my book. I had to place 4 calls to them to get them to confirm my order would be shipping on time, in addition to paying for 2nd day.


    BVM

    Retired Pinsider
    2 years ago
    #
    toyotaboy said:

    you get killed on shipping from marco, nevermind the prices. but yea, I only shop at marco when they're the only ones that carry it.

    Same here.


    2 years ago
    #
    beatmaster said:

    yep pinball life all the way,
    marco sell sometimes (lots of times) items close to twice the price
    and they kill on shipping... yah! they do a lot of handling! [:roll:]

    I understand that when you own a company your ultimate goal is to make money...its the ideas and process on how you make your goal that is key. I have never had any problems with Marco and I have even received phone calls to question my order (as I made a mistake I was unaware of) which is a super nice gesture. That being said they LOVE to charge S/H. For me Marco is a last resort as they usually have what I am looking for but are very proud of their stock. PBResource, Pinballlife and/or CT, BAAmusements, Mad Amusements, Action Pinball, Lakeside, and then Marco in that order.

    dung said:

    Lastly, I know someone local who is still dealing with trying to get a new pair of stern legs. They have shipped the new legs twice with no packing material between the legs other then a sheet of brown paper. Both times they were beat up from transit.

    Just for reference I have ordered many legs (always four at a time) from PBResource and never had a problem.


    2 years ago
    #
    Melbourne said:

    Placed an order also on Sunday night...

    Ugh. Looks like I might have to contact Marco as well. I placed an order on Monday, and I don't have a tracking number yet.


    2 years ago
    #

    I've always had great customer service on the phone from Marco...because they keep messing up orders and I have to call. I can think of three instances off the top of my head, two of which were within the last couple of months. They are nice on the phone, and they make it right, but twice I've had to ship back parts at my own expense because someone is in a hurry and picks the wrong item off the shelf. They always say they will pay my return shipping, but getting them to do so is another hassle and requires more follow up emails and phone calls.

    I've ordered probably 10x as often from PBL and probably spent 10x as much and I've had one mess up that I can think of. It was five 3-1/2" rings and they sent 3" instead. Since I'll use them, I didn't even bother to contact PBL. I just ordered the 3-1/2" rings on my next order.

    Plus I hate Marco's web site, now more than ever. It is exceedingly difficult to find specific items. The search is poor. I mentioned some of this in a prior response, but their categories are overly broad and you have to wade through hundreds of items. You have to constantly re-select how many items you want to display so you don't only see 12 and then have to step through 15+ pages. You now only have the option to sort by name and price, no highest or lowest price first, no item number. If you want something that you know will be expensive, you used to be able to make the highest priced stuff come to the top. Now you have to sort it by price and go to the last page.

    That ended up being quite a rant. Sorry. I guess this just hit me at a time when I'm kind of frustrated. To not be entirely negative, I do appreciate the fact that they stock many hard to find items. I also appreciate that they have lower priced shipping options available since they redesigned their site.


    2 years ago
    #

    Marco is also helpful to identify replacement parts. i.e this part number can replace this part number.

    Even if I don't buy from there I still at least check it for reference, sometimes it's cheaper (most times not).


    2 years ago
    #

    If you're looking for generic pinball parts, Terry at Pinball Life is about as good as you're going to get. His prices are the best and he's about the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet. Just be aware, with the number of orders he gets in a day, your order normally won't get processed and shipped until the following day.

    However, if you're looking for game specific stuff, they don't get much better than Marco. Marc carries stuff you just can't get anywhere else. And since I do lots of restorations, I love their search engine when searching for a specific game. Even though it will bring up twenty some pages of stuff, I will always find some part I forgot about. They also normally ship same day.

    If you need quick shipping, no one is faster than Rick at BAA. I can place an order late Monday afternoon and it will normally ship same day. It comes from CA to MN and will get here by
    Wednesday.

    I normally don't like to argue who is best. Every supplier has their good and bad points. I'm just happy they're all still here ready to serve my every need.

    Bryan (CARGPB 14)
    http://usergallery.myhomegameroom.com/gallery/bspins


    2 years ago
    #
    Bryan_Kelly said:

    I normally don't like to argue who is best. Every supplier has their good and bad points. I'm just happy they're all still here ready to serve my every need.

    DITO, well said.


    2 years ago
    #

    Honestly I prefer to give my business to the company that tries to keep things as affordable as possible for the community. PBL parts across the board are much cheaper than Marcos. Terry has also worked with me in the past to create a custom orders to get me the part I needed at a reasonable price. That is why I go to PBL first and if they don't have what I am looking for I go to Marco. I have nothing against Marco and heard they will do price matching but their list prices are very expensive IMO. We should not have to ask them to price match an entire order just because theirs prices on almost all items are higher than at places like PBL.


    2 years ago
    #

    We are lucky to have so many suppliers in our hobby that are good.

    I always do a side by side price comparison on suppliers that have parts, if multiple suppliers have them. Helps me keep all my games going, helps me spread the love around to the sellers who have helped me keep my beloved pins going.

    Nothing is worse than having to place an order from 2 suppliers when 1 of the 2 suppliers has everything you need but 1 piece!

    I keep a running list of things I need from any given supplier, to keep my inventory current. Some things, I have before I need them. Cleaners, coil sleeves, rubber, flipper bats, leg bolts and levelers, connector housings, pins, fuses, rebuild kits etc. Stuff I'd consider generic 'supplies', or stuff that I might need to fix a board or game that someone brought by for a repair.

    Some places, like PBR, have discounts at the $100 level that make buying from PBR a plus.

    I don't reorder the supplies until they get to a restocking level, and then I shop around for the best price.

    Or, if I need something from PBR, for example, that only comes from PBR, I try to make sure I include enough parts off my wanted list to pad it out to get the discount at $100. I know people who have told Steve in the past that if the order was close to $100, add #44 bulbs til they hit $100, just for example.

    If I need just 1 part from Marco immediately, I add the stuff that's on my 'to be ordered from Marco' list, so I can divide the shipping across all the parts - although, Marco's shipping seems to be a lot more competitive than it used to be. It used to be, Marco's shipping seemed like it was obscene when compared to other suppliers.

    And, some suppliers, like MAD, have stuff I want, but have heard enough horror stories lately that I'll pay more to get the parts elsewhere, and in some cases, do without, if MAD is the only choice. Hope MAD cleans up his act, as I like doing business with him!


    2 years ago
    #

    FWIW, I placed an order with MAD on Saturday, had the parts on Monday.


    2 years ago
    #

    I have always had great luck with MAD. They have the best prices on DMD's and boards. PBL is great too. Marco is a last resort.


    2 years ago
    #

    My gripe with Marco is that I bought a shooter rod that had a what is probably a casting sprue.

    Of course it's on the edge, so you can feel it all the time.

    I emailed them and said that it was a defect and I wanted another one.

    Their email back said that they were all like that, so they didn't call it a defect.

    If I wanted to get my money back,, I'd have to ship it, at my expense, back to them.

    That's what I call bad customer service...

    Robert


    2 years ago
    #

    You can never order LEDs from marco...they are just horrible prices with those.

    I just do side by side comaprison before ordering.

    EDIT: $9.25 difference is in the leds.


    2 years ago
    #

    Be careful with that leaf switch adjuster, I got one of those last week and the very FIRST time I used it one of the sides on the adjuster broke off...


    2 years ago
    #

    Can you imagine one distributor, one pricing, one 'experience?' Wide selection, wide price variables, mean options which is good for consumer. Order of use...

    - None, do without or make it work as-is
    - Find parts out of donors
    - Find parts with local collectors or friends
    - Order from PBL or Marco depending on price and quality
    - Order from the other guy/s as last resort.


    2 years ago
    #

    I order from both Marco and Pinball Life. If it's in stock I will always go with Terry at PBL he takes the time to answer questions and has some of the best prices. That said, I also will order from anyone that has that hard to find part. Case in point: I just ordered 1 BSD entry ramp NOS for $199.

    I know it's over priced but I looked everywhere....and I figured I made the investment for the game and I want it to work perfectly. If it's one of the games I figure I am going to keep...I really dont care about the cost.



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