In regard to prices - with a few exceptions - I don't believe the prices were any more unreasonable than those listed in the market here on Pinside. I saw a lot of solid games selling for reasonable prices.
I turned down a $2300 offer for my JM on Thursday during setup -- not because it wasn't a fair offer -- but because the guy wanted to take it before the show even started. Where were the sponsors of the show when this guy was buying machines on Thursday while people were setting them up? He was NOT a vendor OR setting up freeplay games - he was only there to buy pins.
For the record -- I didn't have room in my SUV to bring my wife and kids to the show and fit a pinball machine in my vehicle too, and so I PAID to have someone transport a machine to the show. Transporting this pin cost me a damn sight more than the $14 entry fee the show waived. I also told the transporter (and meant it) that I didn't care if I sold the pin at the show or not and scheduled for him to transport it back if it didn't sell. (Again MUCH more than the cost of the $25 withdraw fee). I did this to SUPPORT the show and SHARE a fun pin with the public. I did NOT bring my pin to Allentown to become rich by not paying a $14 entry fee or by stiffing the show out of the $25 early withdraw fee.
I completely understand the free play pins are a huge part of the draw for the public attending shows - if the pins are not there -- there is no show - WHICH IS WHY I PAID TO HAVE A PIN TRANSPORTED THERE. i also understand why shows have an early withdraw fee if a buyer wants to take a pin out of the free play area early. I don't have any problem with this policy or with paying the early withdraw fees. This was clearly communicated in advance.
That said - I DO have a HUGE issue with being harassed. Based on my experience - I will NEVER bring another Pin to Allentown again (and its debatable whether I will bother to attend this show again either - there are many other better organized and well-run venues such as Pintastic, White Rose, TPF, & Expo to name a few)
I sold my pin on Saturday morning right as the show opened. The buyer was from Buffalo, NY and as part of the negotiation I agreed to pay the $25 early withdraw fee if he needed to get on the road before 6 pm. I got a call from the buyer around 3 pm that his wife was ready to go. I met him at the pin and started to take it down. It was at this point the harassment started.
A representative from the show appeared and started giving me the third degree about "have you withdrawn the machine from free play" etc. I explained to the guy that I had every intention of paying the $25 fee and would do so at the door on the way out. He advised that i needed to stop taking the machine down and go pay the fee immediately. I have no issue paying the early fee - but I do have an issue with the way I was approached and treated -- the insinuation I was trying to "sneak out" and stiff the show out of $25 REALLY pissed me off. As I stated - I had already PAID someone to transport the pin to support of the show and I had also already agreed with my buyer to pay the $25 withdraw fee. (The buyer can confirm this.) In short, the person from the show acted like a complete and total dick.
At this point, I complied with his demands, left my buyers, and walked over to the other side of the venue. There I told the guy at the door what had happened and he collected the $25 withdraw fee, wrote my name on the list along with the name of the pin and loaned me the show's hand truck to help move the pin. I then walked back over to my buyer.
The buyer and I were talking at the pin for ten or fifteen minutes - and at this point that same little butt weasel appeared again with the sponsor of the show!! I saw him pointing at me and heard him say "...that's him right there." and then the big guy with the beard came over and began asking (AGAIN) if I had withdrawn the pin from the show, etc.! I told him that I had and his response was to ask to to see my receipt!! WTF! No one gave me a receipt -- and when I pointed out that I was using the show's hand truck to move the pin he tells me "I don't know that's the show's hand truck I need to see a receipt."
Allentown needs to get it's shit together. If a machine needs to be "withdrawn" prior to taking it to the door person to pay the fee - then communicate that in advance. If the person paying an early withdraw fee needs a receipt - fucking give them one when they pay. Don't treat your supporters like deadbeats trying to skip out without paying -- nothing could be further from the truth.
The way that I was treated was EXTREMELY offensive and deplorable - never again.