Advice for posting "Pinball Machine Wanted" Ads

By PinPilot

December 14, 2021

43 days ago

Many of us from time to time are unable to locate a specific title we seek, so we post wanted ads in the forums. This is a great way to locate games.

Recently I responded to a few ads because I had the game the poster was seeking (My collection is above 50, I haven't kept up adding them to my Pinside profile).

In all cases, my first question to the OP was "What would you be willing to pay for a fuly working machine in good condition?" - I ask this to determine if we are even in the same ballpark price-wise before I dedicate my time to taking photos and uploading videos. Obviously I wouldn't hold the OP to his offer if he was not satisfied with the pics and vids. 

In two of the three cases, the OP was unwilling to even give me a ballpark offer "until he sees the pics". I explained that I was unwilling to waste my time sending pics unless I knew roughly what he would be willing to pay. In both cases I declined to send pics as I never recieved any idea of what the potential buyer would be willing to pay.

In the third case, when asked, the OP replied "I'd gladly pay $XXX for a machine in the condition you decribe, subject to seeing pics." I thought his offer sounded fair, so I sent him pics and a deal was made. It was a smooth transaction for both parties.

So the next time you post a Wanted ad, either say in your ad what you'd be willing to pay, or tell any responders who ask what you'd like to pay. Don't force the seller to send you pics first, because I'm sure I'm not the only large pinball collectoer who won't lift a finger for you if you can't say what you'd pay. You can always say the machine doesn't look like its in the condition you said (once you get the pics/vids), and at that time you can adjust or retract your offer.

There are at least two Pinsiders looking for hard to find games that never even got a chance to see pics of one that was available because of their approach to the deal. THere is an old saying in negotiations that the first person to name a price loses. Coming from a sales background, when someone acts this way with me its a good indicator the the buyer is a low-baller.

Don't be these guys! Get that machine you're looing for, and don't be afraid to say what you'd be willing to pay!

Peace and Merry Christmas to all!

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36 days ago

Just wondering, what if buyer is well below your selling price, do you even tell them why they are nowhere close to what it would take to buy your particular pin? People are trying to unload a lot of machines right now well above fair market price.

29 days ago

I wouldn't tell someone the price I'd be willing to pay sight unseen on ANYTHING....pinball, car, what have you. It's one of the oldest ploys a car salesman is trained to use..."well how high are you willing to go?" etc. Buyers don't offer what they're willing to pay before even seeing an item...seller's set a selling price. It seems if someone is serious about selling something, posting a few photos for buyers to see what they're getting beforehand is a no-brainer starting point and a seller should not be offended for being asked for them or feel "forced" to do so.

25 days ago

I will be happy to show a buyer pics. Often if it doesn't work out for a particular buyer, I can use the pics in the ad or send them to another buyer.

This will also give me an idea of where the buyer is on the PITA scale. Most buyers are sincerely interested in acquiring a game. I also understand that in many cases I don't know these people and they may be in a different time zone. So trust has to be established. Especially when you're dealing with someone that you've never met or dealt with before. The buyer is putting up a lot of money for the game as well as shipping costs. If they're local, have them come on over if you're comfortable with it and have them check out the game themselves. If anything, I will show the bar more than they want to know about it in efforts to be as transparent in his for this transaction as possible. I appreciate it when people do that with me, so that's how I work with other people.

Make sure to take pictures of the game as you're wrapping it so that the buyer understands that by seeing the pictures of the game being put on the pallet, being wrapped up, and being placed in the back of the shippers truck, that you have done your due diligence to make sure that the game is in the condition it was advertised by the time it left your place of business. If the game gets them and it's a wreck, they now have evidence to contact the insurance company and make a claim.

Sometimes games that I've sold became a bit of back and forth. After the third round of bantering and questions either a more direct buyer contacts me or I'll just tell the buyer "hey, I already have another buyer I wish you the best of luck in finding another game." If I feel that this isn't worth my time anymore. It's a feel thing. Trust your instincts and don't be eager to sell a game that you own. It's a seller's market. And even if it was a buyers market, it's your game. Not theirs. If a buyer feels like you "owe them"... You don't.

That's just a crummy person that you don't want to deal with.

20 days ago

Great information and thoughts... I personally agree with the OP - PinPilot.... with respect to folks wanting to buy a game. Even if they post a range. Also, I think Caucasian2Step has also made some great points. I for one do document me wrapping the pin from the folding of the head.... to on the truck. It does show proof of the care you've handled the pin but it also sets a tone for the carrier.

5 days ago

If a seller is too lazy to send me pictures, it's a waste of time for me. There's no sense in telling a seller what you'd pay for a mint machine like you're saying as it just handicaps negotiations and is pointless as there are no "mint" machines. And how much one takes off of a price for a given defect is subjective.

It's your machine. Tell me what you want for it. If we're in the ballpark, then I'll ask for pics.

A seller saying that he'd only send me pics if I send him my price sounds like a scam and a time waster.

4 days ago

This title of this OP is misleading. It's not "advice", it's an opinion, and apparently an unpopular one.

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