Quoted from Skyemont:
I understand they are a business but buyers should not pay the fees period! Most guys going to auctions don’t have a business ID number so adding 600 dollars to a 3k purchase sucks. I appreciate what Auction Game sales does, but buyers fees and shell bidding sucks. You can’t sugar coat this.
Sorry but as someone who has gone to the AGS auctions for about 20 years now as a buyer and seller, I have to disagree.
These auctions are based around the coin-op business, not the hobbyists. The reason that AGS is still around and not Super Auctions, USAA, and the smaller ones that have come and gone over the years is because, while not perfect, AGS takes care of the regular sellers. It keeps equipment coming to the sale in large, sustainable numbers.
The "most guys" you speak of who don't have a business are just not going to be catered to. I know them well, the guys who scan over the 100s of games and narrow down to a few games that they hope to get at a steal just because it's at an auction and there's a chance, like a Theatre of Magic going for $3000 in 2020. The machine comes up for auction and they wiggle themselves to the front of the crowd and pull their bidder card out of their pocket. Then when the bidding over $5k they throw their hands up, look around at their buddies and say "can you believe this!?" Look I get it, we all want a deal. But the reality is that deals at these auctions mostly disappeared years ago as pinball (and some other coin-op sub-markets like classic vids) became hot again and prices shot up because of supply and demand. You want a deal on something? Buy a pool table, cigarette machine, or some junk off the parts (let's be real, it is mostly junk) table because nobody wants those. 20 years ago nobody wanted to pay over $2500 for a Theatre, and those looked a hell of a lot nicer than the ratty ones that bring $5500 today. But that's just the way it is.
I also know that it sucks when you find out that the person you are bidding against is the seller. But the sellers know the market too. A seller knows his ToM should sell closer to $5k than $3k (depending on condition of course) in today's market, and there are various unknown factors at each auction like the crowd turnout, machine turnout, weather, etc. A seller brings their ToM to an auction instead of just listing it on eBay, Pinside or whatever because they know that in a worst case scenario -- 50 people show up to the auction because there is a blizzard but 2 other ToMs were also brought to sell, AND 1 of those 50 people is that guy who likes to try and mess with the machines (happens too often) -- they can buy the machine back with a reasonable fee. It is not an absolute auction. It is a consignment auction, with a lot of variables. Sometimes things work in a buyer's favor...like maybe that ToM seller just needs the money or doesn't know how to fix a problem that makes it sell for less. Or maybe, as happened yesterday, there were like 10 Buck Hunter Pro arcade games so most of them sold for a bit less than they usually would. But you take away the option of buybacks, and I can assure you the quality and quantity of machines at each auction will take a huge hit, and then you might see AGS end up like the other auction companies of the past.