Listen, until you got woke, we all were that sucker born every minute, and the fool whose money they soon had parted from us.
Go no further, those who hate to read.....
Point in case- the year 1990, the day, Sep 3rd. The occasion: My friends anual Labor Day Karaoke blow out party for friends, family, and customers (so he could write the whole thing off his taxes, smart man.)
We get there and he has a nice A- cabinet/ C- playfield Eight Ball Champ sitting in his front yard. We were mezmerized, we played it all night. We asked him where he got it and how much he paid for it. The local vending company he called said we have one machine for sale, Eight Ball Champ, cost $2000. He went down, played it, had it delivered. I looked at my brother and he looked at me and we said WTF? This thing was more than $500 bucks? Now we credit our friend for making us realize that home ownership was an achievable thing, damnation if we were going to pay that much unless it was way a newer than a 5 year old Bally vendor cast off. We did our homework, and I bought a Pinbot at auction for $750 about 6 months later, My brother picked up a Black Knight for $175, only because the backglass was scratched from corner to corner. Both machines working all the way, only needed rubber and lamps and power resistors. Now, we went down and watched the auctions for about 6 months straight learning the trade because up to this point we were players not owners, and certainly not royalty of being an actual operator (who we saw as the luckiest sons a bitches in the world cause they played pinball for fucking FREE) And we watched what the conditions were, what they went for, kept lists, took notes, bought coffee for all the workers, shook the hands of a lot of nice people. Did I get taken?, only by maybe $50 to $75 bucks because they knew where it was headed. Op to op at the time they were going for $650 to $750 just because it was an earner.
I do not begrudge the vendor who sold an EBC to my friend for a nice profit, but my friend had access to everything I did, he just didn't take advantage of taking a little time. To this day he claims his time was more valuable than the shelacking he took on that machine. Yet my brother and I both ended up with machines we love to play to this day. That EBC is long gone.
Every hobby has its noobs, and every hobby has those who don’t care. Let him sell to those who are willing to pay. That is the capitalistic thing to do here. If he rides the bubble and it pops, so will he. If they ride the gravy train and make some bank, are you against it only because you are competing with those willing to spend more on pinball than you want to for new or older machines?
Here is a quick 10 second economics course for those who may not have had it...
Price equals what the market will bear at the present supply as demand commands. Right now thats about $7000 for a NIB machine average.
You want the price to go down? Stop demanding new machines (by not buying them) and they will.
I look at the price increases as the cost of doing business to keep new pinball machine and NIB remakes of old machines coming.