any advice on convincing an operator to sell an on location pin?

(Topic ID: 197455)

any advice on convincing an operator to sell an on location pin?


By Fusionwerks

1 year ago



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  • 77 posts
  • 42 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by hocuslocus
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 1 year ago

just as the topic title says. any advice? I've contacted the amusement leasing company and left a message, but haven't heard back yet, if at all. i just want to have some ammo going in.

#2 1 year ago

Most probably get offers all the time, so they are probably sick of people asking. If you manage to meet with them in person bring cash. It's much easier to say no to a verbal offer versus a stack of cash.

#3 1 year ago

Yeah rarely do they get back to you. Look, don't do crap to their machines, they spend literally no monies mantian(t)ing them, and they empty some tax free monies in their pockets each week. So you have the strange dichotomy of that versus all the OPs telling us here they make no monies at all.
So I don't know what the hell to think

Gotta get to them whenst they're there, 5 Gs in your pocket and make an offer.

#4 1 year ago

I always bring my friend Ben with me, as he can be very persuasive.

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#5 1 year ago

They probably get a handful of calls like yours every week.

#6 1 year ago

I agree they probably get a lot of calls, but I'm in a relatively small town and the location isn't really on most adults radar (Skating Rink). Down side of that is they probably do make a lot on this machine from kids dumping quarters in it. They obviously have zero maintenance on it since the fist review in 2012 on the Pinmaps indicated the same problems it still has now. Its tough because it is THE machine i want and its local.

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Yeah rarely do they get back to you. Look, don't do crap to their machines, they spend literally no monies mantian(t)ing them, and they empty some tax free monies in their pockets each week. So you have the strange dichotomy of that versus all the OPs telling us here they make no monies at all.
So I don't know what the hell to think
Gotta get to them whenst they're there, 5 Gs in your pocket and make an offer.

It's not that hobby ops like me say they make no money, we say they make little money. I personally profit $0 because I'm putting everything my machines earn back into parts and more project machines. Will I pocket some money some day once we are done growing? Hopefully. Still, it's only "some" money. There are so many other ways to make way more extra money. But, it's a fun hobby.

#8 1 year ago

Send out a "Wanted to buy" ad here. It's not the only copy of the game. There is no advice to give on making someone sell something they don't have for sale except offer them a stack of cash. It would need to be more than it's worth to make them think about it.

#9 1 year ago

Present a wheel barrel full of cash as the op is fixing a game or cleaning it.

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from desertT1:

It's not that hobby ops like me say they make no money, we say they make little money. I personally profit $0 because I'm putting everything my machines earn back into parts and more project machines. Will I pocket some money some day once we are done growing? Hopefully. Still, it's only "some" money. There are so many other ways to make way more extra money. But, it's a fun hobby.

same here every penny I get from pins and then some goes right back into buying more machines or buying spare parts. Eventually I'd like to be able to save but I'm happy either way. The machines do fairly well, but not good enough to make a living off of. That's why I diversify.

I've had a lot of people ask me if I'd sell them my machines. Usually I take that as they want the game for dirt cheap because it's a routed machine. I usually don't bother getting back to them because it will more then likely be a low-ball offer.

On the other hand, if I was like most ops who did zero maintenance and just went in to the cash box during collection day, I might be inclined to sell. It's pretty easy to tell who those ops are, you might have better luck with them. Also if the machine is still getting some play from multiple people, I doubt they would sell.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from DaveH:

Send out a "Wanted to buy" ad here. It's not the only copy of the game. There is no advice to give on making someone sell something they don't have for sale except offer them a stack of cash. It would need to be more than it's worth to make them think about it.

Yeah i already have. All I've got so far is the Ebay listings, which I'm not going for. I'm patient, and I will find it, and buy it when the price is right. I'm new to this site, so i thought I'd ask and see how people feel about it. I understand if they dont want to sell it... I wouldn't... But if you dont ask, the answers always no...

-13
#12 1 year ago

Jam something in the quarter slot so it stops earning money.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from hocuslocus:

same here every penny I get from pins and then some goes right back into buying more machines or buying spare parts. Eventually I'd like to be able to save but I'm happy either way. The machines do fairly well, but not good enough to make a living off of. That's why I diversify.
I've had a lot of people ask me if I'd sell them my machines. Usually I take that as they want the game for dirt cheap because it's a routed machine. I usually don't bother getting back to them because it will more then likely be a low-ball offer.
On the other hand, if I was like most ops who did zero maintenance and just went in to the cash box during collection day, I might be inclined to sell. It's pretty easy to tell who those ops are, you might have better luck with them. Also if the machine is still getting some play from multiple people, I doubt they would sell.

I would be willing to pay a fair price for it because it is the machine i want. But I'm sure being the only game besides Ms PAC MAN in a skating rink, its getting played. And its not well maintained, but understandably so given the location. It just sucks because as a pinballer in a small town, with limited pins to play, I dont want to play it in a skating rink full of kids.

-6
#14 1 year ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Jam something in the quarter slot so it stops earning money.

Good call, and then i need to figure out when collection day is...

#15 1 year ago

Offer him stupid $$

#16 1 year ago

There may be one for sale here in Lincoln very soon.

#17 1 year ago

Offer cash. And promise he won't ever hear from you again. Unless you want to buy another pin.

LTG : )

#18 1 year ago

What game is it?

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from Fusionwerks:

I would be willing to pay a fair price for it because it is the machine i want. But I'm sure being the only game besides Ms PAC MAN in a skating rink, its getting played. And its not well maintained, but understandably so given the location. It just sucks because as a pinballer in a small town, with limited pins to play, I dont want to play it in a skating rink full of kids.

more then likely they won't know what fair market value is. I'm sure you've seen evidence of this from people trying to sell on craigslist. Your idea of fair market value and his/hers will more then likely be way different. I hope you get ahold of them, but your best bet is to wait and watch for something to come up.

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Jam something in the quarter slot so it stops earning money.

Make sure to write your name, phone number and your offer on the piece of paper you jam in there!

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from hocuslocus:

more then likely they won't know what fair market value is. I'm sure you've seen evidence of this from people trying to sell on craigslist. Your idea of fair market value and his/hers will more then likely be way different.

And that's why it's basically a no win situation. You're hoping to get it cheap with a bunch of hundos in your hand, he's looking it up online and sees it's "worth" 4 times what you're asking, no meeting of the minds. If it does happen you get an overpriced game probably in poor shape...which you could have done without the leg work.

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

There may be one for sale here in Lincoln very soon.

Keep me in mind please

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

And that's why it's basically a no win situation. You're hoping to get it cheap with a bunch of hundos in your hand, he's looking it up online and sees it's "worth" 4 times what you're asking, no meeting of the minds. If it does happen you get an overpriced game probably in poor shape...which you could have done without the leg work.

I'm not looking to rip him off, but I agree. Right now there are about 5 on Ebay going for around $3500-$4500 and Pinsides "median asking price" is $2470. I wonder which listing he'd look at?

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from Fusionwerks:

I'm not looking to rip him off, but I agree. Right now there are about 5 on Ebay going for around $3500-$4500 and Pinsides "median asking price" is $2470. I wonder which listing he'd look at?

He's probably looking at the cash box, and the price of a new Stern game. And realizes that unless you are willing to buy him a new Stern game to replace it, he is money ahead to keep what he has and just keep collecting what it earns. Knowing when the time comes, someone WILL offer him enough money for him to part with it.

#26 1 year ago

Maybe he'd take a fully working, clean game of comparable value in trade. He gets a new title, no extra work and you get the game you want.

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from Willathrilla:

Maybe he'd take a fully working, clean game of comparable value in trade. He gets a new title, no extra work and you get the game you want.

If i only had pins to trade... Just finally getting started with collecting. Long time player... First time owner

#28 1 year ago

Unless you are in a hipster city micro brew pub, pinball is useless to an operator. I can't believe an operator would use space for pinball outside those parameters.....

#29 1 year ago
Quoted from Willathrilla:

Maybe he'd take a fully working, clean game of comparable value in trade. He gets a new title, no extra work and you get the game you want.

You beat me to it, I've had luck doing this very thing.

#30 1 year ago

I heard JP was $4000 game bro

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from jmountjoy111:

I heard JP was $4000 game bro

It may be, like i said, I'm new in the "game", just going off pinsides market price as a guide.

-1
#32 1 year ago

Just move on. I've never convinced an op to sell and you just come off as annoying so move on and you'll find your game. I find Mr Pinball is more helpful than craigslist (never!) or ebay (crazy money). Most on Mr Pinball are hobbyists that want to sell to buy something else. Unfortunately JP used to be a $1600 game every day of the week until the past 2 years when most DMDs increased in value. Its best to make friends in this hobby and they can help alot when you want to find a game.

Good luck and welcome to the madness.

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from Fusionwerks:

just as the topic title says. any advice? I've contacted the amusement leasing company and left a message, but haven't heard back yet, if at all. i just want to have some ammo going in.

Some Idiot Pinsiders suggested you jam up the coin mech. Very poor taste and If you owned the game how would you feel if you made no money or had to go on a service call and take time out of your life to fix a jammed up coin mech that some ass hole did on purpose . Think about the Golden Rule.
I own a Coin - Op Amusement game company . Do not fuck with the operators machine in any way that will prevent it from earning revenue you imbecile . Just keep trying to call them.

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from Fusionwerks:

It may be, like i said, I'm new in the "game", just going off pinsides market price as a guide.

I'd assume he was joking.

-3
#35 1 year ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Jam something in the quarter slot so it stops earning money.

Imbecile.

#36 1 year ago

The only machines I've purchased from vendors have been projects. I assure them I understand I'm buying them as-is. Since you've already called, I'd just leave a card under the lockdown bar saying you are interested in buying the game as-is if they ever decide to sell. Since it seems they don't do routine maintenance they will only see it if something goes wrong. perhaps that is also when they will decide to sell.

#37 1 year ago
Quoted from RobKnapp:

Do not fuck with the operators machine in any way that will prevent it from earning revenue

I like the suggestion to write your contact info on the paper and jam it in the coin slot.

Nice to let them know who did it. Not so nice for you, if you mess with the wrong op.

LTG : )

#38 1 year ago

This is probably a long shot. Most career operators are hoarders and never sell.

#39 1 year ago

I get asked all the time about selling my games. They are what earn me my money, so they usually aren't for sale. I do sell games, but when they are for sale they usually go to someone I know for a few reasons.
-I know once it is gone I won't hear about it again
-I don't have to deal with tire kickers and people that are DEFINITELY going to buy it only to go silent when the time comes
So I prefer to take less money and get the game gone. It is all about less hassle, not more money. But that's just me.

I also get asked all the time by people that have no idea about how much pins cost. They think they are all $500-1000. Or less. Once you tell them a new Stern Pro is >$5k, their interest dries up instantly. So I kind of tune it out when someone asks about buying a game because I know 90% of the time they aren't serious and they will never buy it.

So if you want to buy one of my games you need to be knowledgeable and informed, ready to take it as is for what I'm asking, and don't bug me after the sale. That being said, I don't have anything for sale.

Quoted from Willathrilla:

Maybe he'd take a fully working, clean game of comparable value in trade. He gets a new title, no extra work and you get the game you want.

I can tell you as an op that nobody has ever sole me a fully working, clean game that is ready for location right away. People have no idea what you have to do to get a game ready for public play. So telling me you have a fully working game ready to go means absolutely nothing to me because...it isn't.

And one other tip, don't bother asking an op if he'll sell his TAF. The answer is always, "No."

17
#40 1 year ago

Believe me, that operator gets 20 calls a week, all wasting his time because they want the game for a $500.

So, he'll never call you back.

Ops know that the idiots calling are:

1. Always late
2. Want to meet in the evening or weekends (ops work 9 to 3pm M-F)
3. Want to chew them down once they see the game in daylight
4. Don't bring any help to move it
5. Have to come back when they can borrow their brother's van.......

Call one last time and say this EXACTLY:

"I'm offering you $2,000 for the JP game you have at RollerGirl. I will be there on-time, at the exact day and time you specify, no excuses. I have a helper and a truck to move it.

My number is 555-1111 that's 5 5 5 - 1 1 1 1. Thank you."

If you try saying anything else, he will delete your call before he hears you say 3 words.

#41 1 year ago
Quoted from lpeters82:

I'd assume he was joking.

I was for sure. There was an argument on another thread about it being a $4000 game because of eBay sales or something like that.

The only way to buy a game from an op is to catch him pulling it out and having to store it. In my experience anyway. And even then it is a right place right time thing

I also agree with the above comment that most are hoarders and won't sell. At least that is in my experience once again.

If it's on location it's probably still making money and therefore is probably not for sale.

A good rule of thumb though when searching for a specific pinball machine is that you are going to overpay. If you buy what's available then you can get a deal but if you hunting one specific machine you might have to pay more

#42 1 year ago

JP isn't a rare game. Try to be patient, widen the want to buy list a little. You will likely find games that are as good or better than the original game you were looking for. My buying strategy that has worked well for me is

Games I really want- I'll pay market value or slightly more. I know going in I might lose $100-200 for buying NIB or overpaying.

Games I kinda want- These are probably most of my past purchases. I try to buy these with issues whenever possible at a lower price. That way I'm almost sure to break even or make a few dollars (minus my labor).

Firesale or project games- I'll buy a title I don't like if I know I can make significant money on it. I've found a few gems this way as well. Stern Hot Hand looked clanky and awful when I bought it, but I knew it was an easy couple hundred in profit. I like it so much now I don't think I want to get rid of it.

Being impatient will lead to overpaying. I've seen a lot of new collectors overpay, then try to sell the games at what they paid, then get pissed everyone is lowballing them. I see a few JP's around here a year. I've owned 2. Great game, good luck!

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from jmountjoy111:

A good rule of thumb though when searching for a specific pinball machine is that you are going to overpay. If you buy what's available then you can get a deal but if you hunting one specific machine you might have to pay more

Yup. Aside from NIB pins I'm pretty much over hunting for specific titles. There are so many downsides with that. Always obstacles with availability (none available), condition (worse than you'd like), price (almost always too high), location (almost always too far), etc. And shipping sight-unseen sucks. My last two pick-ups were simply random good deals that popped up locally with none of the aforementioned drawbacks. I was all smiles.

#44 1 year ago
Quoted from RobKnapp:

Some Idiot Pinsiders suggested you jam up the coin mech. Very poor taste and If you owned the game how would you feel if you made no money or had to go on a service call and take time out of your life to fix a jammed up coin mech that some ass hole did on purpose . Think about the Golden Rule.
I own a Coin - Op Amusement game company . Do not fuck with the operators machine in any way that will prevent it from earning revenue you imbecile . Just keep trying to call them.

Can't believe people actually downvoted this.

I'm hoping the jam up guy was just being sarcastic or joking. But seriously. Don't mess with people's livelihood.

#45 1 year ago

If you do make contact with the opp and they aren't interested in selling that game, ask if they have any others for sale. I once found someone with a busted T2 & Earthshaker that offered those up for sale after shooting me down on what I called for and his price was great. Another option is of offer to trade something other than a pin. I once asked if they thought a driving game would bring in more than the broken pin and that was all it took to have it load into the back of my truck. Granted I had to buy a driving game but that was much less than I was willing to pay for the machine.

#46 1 year ago

Plus a lot of ops lived through the cutthroat arcade heyday. A lot still have the mentality that they'd rather destroy a game than risk seeing it in a competing location. Look at some of the horror stories on KLOV about arcade games (concrete poured in / over the coin boxes & mechs, etc).

#47 1 year ago

Steal his quarters.

#48 1 year ago

I've only purchased from an operator once, and the circumstances were unique:

1) Another collector informed me of the game, and had spoken to the operator before about buying it, so there was a level of baseline interest.
2) The game was turned off at the location and thus not making money (game ran but was not fully functional, e.g., slingshots not working).
3) I called the *location* and got a hold of the operator while he was there (shear luck, I was just calling to confirm the game was still on location).
4) On the phone I asked if the op was willing to sell still and immediately agreed upon a price.

Note, even with all this, it wasn't smooth. I was not a priority issue to the op. He cancelled the first meeting with me and I had to play it day-to-day as he was noncommittal on even rescheduling. We'd agree on a follow-up time just to try and schedule a pick-up. I finalized it by calling on a day (at the location again, rather than the op direct), said I had the cash and could be there in a couple hours. He agreed, I went and got the game (with help; he made clear he wasn't going to assist in moving it at all but I'd never have assumed otherwise).

So, it took a bit of work on my end, for a game that wasn't making him any money (and the business was fine with him just leaving there in a corner). I did get a good deal for what condition it was in. The funny thing was, once I was there, he was interested in trying to sell more (an arcade game in this instance). In this op's case, I think he couldn't be bothered to really try to sell games since there was no pressure to get them out of the location, but likewise since they were making him nothing the idea of cash in hand outweighed the desire to keep them around... so long as there was next to no work on his part.

Anyway, don't know if that helps, but it's the only first-hand example I have of dealing with an op. As per JP itself, I got one last year within the Pinside average range. I watched a number of them pop up for more than I wanted to spend. I think I watched local listings for 18 months or so. For games like JP (with large production counts) you should likely be able to stay close to Pinside ranges if you don't mind waiting and watching. As others have noted, helps to know other collectors as they can keep an eye out for deals for you.

#50 1 year ago
Quoted from Fusionwerks:

I'm not looking to rip him off, but I agree. Right now there are about 5 on Ebay going for around $3500-$4500 and Pinsides "median asking price" is $2470. I wonder which listing he'd look at?

Right now, there are 4 listed for sale. Asking prices are $5000, 4295, 4200, and 2995. These 4 listings are also looking for best offers. Go look in sold listings and of the sold history that is available, no JPs are in the sold listings. so, all of these asking prices are fiction.

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