(Topic ID: 245885)

Are Stern Pros underpriced?


By westofrome

29 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 166 posts
  • 97 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 23 days ago by CaptainNeo
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic poll

    “Are Stern Pros underpriced?”

    • Absolutely. The fake knocker sound is gold, Jerry, gold. 20 votes
      8%
    • Nope, Stern should be paying me to take a few. 221 votes
      86%
    • Trick question - Stern Pros are priceless. 16 votes
      6%

    (257 votes)

    Topic Gallery

    There have been 9 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

    image (resized).png
    umadbro.gif
    how-about-no-20142935 (resized).png
    I+think+your+sarcasm+detector+is+broken+_0cc314f18897b5ea86ad9062efb8ac9e (resized).jpg
    maxresdefault (resized).jpg
    wayne.gif
    bart.gif
    F67A257A-50A8-4FB7-8626-1E3A944700F9 (resized).png
    7CDD02A3-AD6C-43FD-8CF2-AC05F41786AE (resized).png

    There are 166 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
    #1 29 days ago

    https://www.thisweekinpinball.com/this-week-in-pinball-june-24th-2019/
    Gary Stern thinks so:

    On the Pro model:
    Stern: “If you take our Pro model, it is underpriced. It is underpriced. We don’t make enough money on it. But we think it is important for operators and for homeowners…”

    11
    #2 29 days ago

    No

    #3 29 days ago

    Looks like he is setting the grounds for raising the prices even more. I don't think so to be honest. I think the prices right now should be where they stay. They're going to price everyone out of the hobby if they keep raising them.
    Think about it this way... Even if you take half the cost of a NIB game, and spend that going to expos and traveling to pinball arcades. You could go to plenty of places and play far more than just one pin. And lets also be honest. Most of the time your pin is just going to sit there in your house. I play mine about 5-20 hours a week... Some weeks maybe 0 hours if I'm really busy... When I go to a pinball arcade I'm generally there for 4-10 hours for the day. I like to make a day out of it.

    And again you get to play on more than just one machine. I love owning pinballs. But, it is expensive and I don't think it needs to get more expensive.

    11
    #4 29 days ago

    No they are not under priced.

    11
    #5 29 days ago

    Garry greedy

    26
    #6 29 days ago
    Quoted from westofrome:

    https://www.thisweekinpinball.com/this-week-in-pinball-june-24th-2019/
    Gary Stern thinks so: Stern: “If you take our Pro model, it is underpriced. It is underpriced. We don’t make enough money on it. But we think it is important for operators and for homeowners…”

    Ugg...This was the same type attitude that turned me off of Stern at their 30th Anniversary Party a few year back. Instead of saying, "We'd like to thank our customers for supporting us these last 30 years." They literally came on stage and lead a "three cheers for us" chant. Same thing here again. They want us to thank them for the opportunity of spending $5,999 on one of their machines. I'll never understand why they make public comments like that.

    11
    #7 29 days ago

    Insert “Shaking my head on what he said” emoji here

    14
    #8 29 days ago

    Gary has clearly lost his mind.

    29
    #9 29 days ago

    Uh, no.

    I've been tempted a couple of times on newer HUO pins in the mid $4k range, but current full retail prices aren't at all attractive to me.

    12
    #10 29 days ago

    I would be embarrassed to make a statement like that.
    In just a few years the pro model has risen by approximately $1500.
    I understand things go up, but lets not throw it in in our faces Gary. Still love Stern, but dont make statements like that to the public.

    12
    #11 29 days ago

    Lol...wow..nothing surprises me anymore from stern tho

    #12 29 days ago

    Two possibilities:

    1) Gary is lying and there is TONS of profit in the Pro model.

    2) Gary knows way more about his business than the "experts" on a pinball forum and he is stating a fact, that they don't make a lot of money off the Pro model.

    Understanding a tiny bit about business, and how easily the money flows out through fixed costs like payroll and rent, I can see how it would make sense that if Stern was only selling the Pros they wouldn't be very profitable overall, my guess is all the gravy comes from Premium/LE.

    #13 29 days ago

    It supposedly only costs stern $3000-$3500 to make a stern pro. No one but stern knows the official numbers. Obviously there is some room for profit or stern would be out of business.

    #14 29 days ago

    HEEEEEEELL no.

    #15 29 days ago

    if they raised the Pro prices I think most countries outside of the US would heavily reduce there sales, and a little while back the arcades were their main target - so they are just speeding up their sales loss. I know in Aus the sales are slowing as every model goes up $300

    ever since they saw other companies (mainly JJP) with higher priced pins they are wanting that piece of the pie. Look at the LE's which have gone up $3000 over the last 9 years - premiums are all over the place.

    here is the last nine years of their pricing
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/sterns-game-release-history

    #16 29 days ago
    Quoted from Coz:

    It supposedly only costs stern $2500-$3500 to make a stern pro. No one but stern knows the official numbers. Obviously there is some room for profit or stern would be out of business.

    If they were only selling Pros, they might be. They have other revenue streams now like the digital pinball, the Premium/LE, contract manufacturing, etc. As you say, no one but Stern knows their actual profit per machine, so why are so many people quick to point at Gary and say he must be lying?

    I get it, from an emotional collector standpoint we all want pins to be priced the way they were in 2003. But given no other manufacturer offers a pin at the cost of a Stern Pro, and given Stern must have the highest overhead of any other pin manufacturer (most factory space, most employees), why is it so hard to see it might not be all that profitable of a model?

    Until Deeproot comes out with the be all, end all of pins and sells it for $4k and they manage to stay in business for more than a couple of years I will just go with assuming Gary knows more about it than I do.

    I think the Premium, and especially the LE models are overpriced and are designed to milk as much out of the collector as they can. As a hobbyist, this bothers me and has had me buy fewer and fewer pins over the years. If I were a business partner at Stern that is exactly what I would want them to be doing though. Strike while the iron is hot, for all they know this resurgent interest in a niche hobby will be gone next decade. Make hay while the sun shines.

    10
    #17 29 days ago

    Gary Stern hasn't changed since 1977, look at the history! If stern isn't making money on the pro model , then they need to look at how they're wasting their budget , whether it's was first gen stern ripping off Bally tech, or data east ripping off Williams sys 11, Gary Stern's company has always had issues with money and quality, if stern had any interest in original themes perhaps they could make more profit, that's the downside of doing licensed theme rinse repeat...

    #18 29 days ago

    couldn't care less.

    #19 29 days ago

    Of course, they are overpriced.

    And I don’t believe that the per unit cost is $3,500.

    14
    #20 29 days ago

    Seems like yesterday when you could buy a new pro for $4500...no more NIB purchases for me.

    #21 29 days ago

    Are Yeti coolers and Tumblers overpriced? Are Nike shoes overpriced? Are Sunglasses and Baseball hats overpriced?
    Why can you buy a 12 pack of soda for $4.99 sometimes, 3 for $10 other times or a 20 ounce bottle for $1.99 when a 2 liter is on sale for $1. Because most businesses price items at very high profit margins to be able to cover losses, theft, poor preforming titles etc, it’s called the free market people. It’s not just Stern.

    #22 29 days ago

    Re-sale prices will determine that.

    #23 29 days ago

    Well, I'm sure their margins are better on the Premium and especially the LE models. How those margins fit into their overall business model, most of us will never know. Knowing that is the only way a true assessment of the "underpriced pro" can be made.

    15
    #24 29 days ago

    Gary’s comment may have just saved me thousands. Thanks Gary.

    #25 29 days ago
    Quoted from Jodester:

    Seems like yesterday when you could buy a new pro for $4500...no more NIB purchases for me.

    I got multiple quotes for AC/DC pro at $4050 shipped just 6 years ago.

    14
    #26 29 days ago

    Never seen so many people worry about how much a company is or isn’t making, I mean do you guys breakdown everything in your life and rage about how much $$$$ Samsung and Dodge are making? Do you have set “margins of profit” you use that bless companies with your dollar? Lol
    I Would guess not, and couldn’t imagine trying to do that.
    But I guess there’s always the guy with the calculator figuring out the restaurant tip, not paying attention to how good the server was or was not.., party on!

    #27 29 days ago
    Quoted from DNO:

    Never seen so many people worry about how much a company is or isn’t making, I mean do you guys breakdown everything in your life and rage about how much $$$$ Samsung and Dodge are making? Do you have set “margins of profit” you use that bless companies with your dollar? Lol
    I Would guess not, and couldn’t imagine trying to do that.
    But I guess there’s always the guy with the calculator figuring out the restaurant tip, not paying attention to how good the server was or was not.., party on!

    Have Samsung and Dodge prices risen anyway near the same rate as Stern over the past decade?

    I would guess not.

    #28 29 days ago

    I think pro's are priced correctly or people wouldn't be buying them, better than the LE or premium as to bang for the buck. The Deadpool and Iron Maiden pro's really impressed me as to what you get for the price so I'll be added one or the other soon.

    #29 29 days ago
    Quoted from Mike_J:

    Have Samsung and Dodge prices risen anyway near the same rate as Stern over the past decade?

    Hmmm? $1,000 phone anyone?

    #30 29 days ago
    Quoted from Mike_J:

    Have Samsung and Dodge prices risen anyway near the same rate as Stern over the past decade?
    I would guess not.

    Bad guess!

    7CDD02A3-AD6C-43FD-8CF2-AC05F41786AE (resized).pngF67A257A-50A8-4FB7-8626-1E3A944700F9 (resized).png
    #31 29 days ago

    Just marketing mumbo jumbo. Stern isn’t leaving any money on the table so safe to assume that they are priced right.

    #32 29 days ago
    Quoted from Mike_J:

    Have Samsung and Dodge prices risen anyway near the same rate as Stern over the past decade?

    I would guess not.

    Let's look at some actual numbers. This is all pulled from the interwebz. Accuracy isn't guaranteed, but I think it is close enough for a comparison. If we are talking the Pro model, which is what the quote was referring to, given some basic numbers/math:

    Avatar Pro (2010) - 4799
    Black Knight Sword of Rage (2019) - 5999
    Difference in MSRP - $1200 or ~25% in 9 years

    Difference just taking inflation into account: 4799 in 2010 is about 5636 now. So really, MSRP has increased a couple of hundred bucks in a decade.

    Dodge Ram ST Regular Cab 2WD 2010 - 21500
    Dodge Ram ST Regular Cab 2WD 2019 - 27300
    Difference - $5800 or ~27% in 9 years

    Difference just taking inflation into account, 21500 is about 25250 now.

    Premiums and LEs are a different story and have gone crazy, but looking at actual numbers it appears the Pro is still about as good of a value as it was a decade ago. I do concede that people have to pay a lot closer to MSRP now than they did a decade ago, how much of that goes to distributors vs Stern is an unknown.

    #33 29 days ago
    Quoted from Mike_J:

    Have Samsung and Dodge prices risen anyway near the same rate as Stern over the past decade?
    I would guess not.

    Ever buy an Apple product?

    #34 29 days ago

    I assume it's like any other product, if you are selling more than you can make then it's under priced. If they sit unsold then it's overpriced. Ultimately buyers decide what is priced correctly.

    #35 29 days ago

    Just look at the rate of price increases over the last few years.

    They could be sold cheaper

    #36 29 days ago

    I think Garys statement could be accurate depending on the Pro. It all comes down to us...will be buy it and the answer so far is an overwhelming yes.

    For example take IM Pro, Gotg Pro and BKsor Pro....do they all look the same price wise?
    If I had to price each today based on what I can see NIB = Gotg Pro - $5495 IM Pro $5295 BKsor Pro $4895. These suggested retail price points seems right to me. The higher prices due to licencing and sculpts. BKsor did have a licence cost involved though be it lower than the other two mentioned above.

    Gary may be right price wise if you consider the other manufacturers entry level pricing, none are at Sterns Pro entry price point.
    Not defending Stern but the cheapest entry level game right now is $5995 I believe now that TNA is off the line.

    #37 29 days ago
    Quoted from HOOKED:

    I think Garys statement could be accurate depending on the Pro. It all comes down to us...will be buy it and the answer so far is an overwhelming yes.
    For example take IM Pro, Gotg Pro and BKsor Pro....do they all look the same price wise?
    If I had to price each today based on what I can see NIB = Gotg Pro - $5495 IM Pro $5295 BKsor Pro $4895. These suggested retail price points seems right to me. The higher prices due to licencing and sculpts. BKsor did have a licence cost involved though be it lower than the other two mentioned above.
    Gary may be right price wise if you consider the other manufacturers entry level pricing, none are at Sterns Pro entry price point.
    Not defending Stern but the cheapest entry level game right now is $5995 I believe now that TNA is off the line.

    TNA... Alice Cooper... can you really consider those “entry level?”

    #38 29 days ago
    Quoted from Coz:

    It supposedly only costs stern $3000-$3500 to make a stern pro. No one but stern knows the official numbers. Obviously there is some room for profit or stern would be out of business.

    I think this is just teh BOM for a single game - the recurring costs, marketing, etc are not included in that number. I bet he's right, they don't make that much on it. But obviously the LEs are helping to make up the difference

    #39 29 days ago

    Well, we show no signs of restraining ourselves. Until we vote "Hey Gary, you finally hit the point where we ain't buying anymore" with our lack of purchases, the price is never gonna be enough. This current pinball boom will be just like the past tennis and golf crazes--it will all of a sudden go away--maybe take Gary along with it if he alienates his consumer base.

    23
    #40 29 days ago

    Anybody that pays $70,000 for a Jeep anything clearly needs a subscription to Consumer Reports.

    #41 29 days ago

    I think the real question is how much are YOU willing to lose when selling your new game?

    #42 29 days ago
    Quoted from arcademojo:

    I think the real question is how much are YOU willing to lose when selling your new game?

    Agree, and those newer to hobby are buying at price points well above that of a NIB Stern pro.

    10
    #43 29 days ago

    no.
    they are overpriced.
    when potc, spiderman, wof, family guy, csi, 24 and others of that era came out they were $3500. now at ~$5500 its 2 grand more not much later in time.
    if they rise more id hesitate put any more new games on location.
    the return isnt optimal enough.

    #44 29 days ago
    Quoted from swinks:

    if they raised the Pro prices I think most countries outside of the US would heavily reduce there sales, and a little while back the arcades were their main target - so they are just speeding up their sales loss. I know in Aus the sales are slowing as every model goes up $300
    ever since they saw other companies (mainly JJP) with higher priced pins they are wanting that piece of the pie. Look at the LE's which have gone up $3000 over the last 9 years - premiums are all over the place.
    here is the last nine years of their pricing
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/sterns-game-release-history

    I've still got the email from 2012 when the local distributor AMD was touting that ACDC was the biggest seller in Australia since TAF in 1992.

    That was due primarily in part because of the sub $6kAU Pro pricing and operators were actually siting the machine in order to reinvigorate a long neglected third leg of the pinball stool.

    Fast forward seven years and the domestic distributor sales strategy has been flipped to only appeal to existing collectors with fear of missing out marketing (we can only secure a small number of units from Chicago - get your preorder in quick!!!).

    My personal view is that Stern has essentially given up on operators and sited machines in favour of appealing to the more profit per unit of an LE and local distributor marketing efforts is simply a reflection of that.

    40/40/20 (LE/Prem/Pro) was the import ratio claimed a few years back for Australian Stern sales figures but I would say that number has become even more skewed in favour of the upper end at the expense of an entry level (currently $8850) Pro machine as more operators drop out.

    Interestingly given all the information provided above and we have never heard a peep from the local distributor again about record sales numbers of NIB machines into Australia since.

    TLDR - it's an opening to raise prices on the Pro and price out any potential new or existing operators from siting pinball and instead focus on upper tier FOMO sales with a healthier profit per unit.

    #45 29 days ago

    Supreme, Primus, Beatles, Black Knight 5,000,000 yes.
    Deadpool, Guardians no...

    #46 28 days ago

    They are over priced for the content and build quality IMO. Sweet spot is right under $5K.

    #47 28 days ago

    Tron and Iron man were ~4k NIB. that wasnt long ago.
    that rate of inflation is extremely high.
    a silly thing is, people these days (newbees mostly) will pay $4500 for used csi, 24, wof, bbh, etc as they prob think they were 5.5k new, when in fact they were under 4k new as i previously mentioned...lol

    #48 28 days ago

    The cost of the machine isn't just raw materials and assembly labor. They have to figure in development costs, and of course the investors want to be paid also. But even if development costs are $1 million as they use to tell us, that is $200 on each machine over a run of 5k machines. I do not know what Stern figures for their sales projections on a new title, but you can scale up or down from there. You can add another couple hundred per machine so the investors get their pound of flesh.

    That being said, $5799 is too much for my blood when it comes to what I see Stern putting out these days. You can usually find them for $5200 if you call around, last time I called around. Even at that...its a bit too much. My sweet spot is $4500-$4800. I have no real evidence to back up that number, but that price range just feels right for when we get in a machine.

    I think the good times are coming to an end soon, and the economy is going to contract a fair amount in the next 12-24 months. Stern is best equipped to weather the storm, but its probably going to be painful to watch. Enjoy it while you can.

    #49 28 days ago

    Gary’s quote to me means the margins on Pros aren’t where they would like them but they are priced to sell as low as they can from a business perspective.

    I know this is an ongoing debate here but until a competitor can match Stern Pro pricing then they are the best priced NIB pinball available.

    #50 28 days ago
    Quoted from 27dnast:

    TNA... Alice Cooper... can you really consider those “entry level?”

    Yes. We are comparing Sterns lowest level commercial offering price point vs other manufacturers entry level. But to your point spooky adds more in their machines than most current pros.

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    $ 76.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    $ 19.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Sparky Pinball
    $ 1,400.00
    $ 7,499.00
    Pinball Machine
    Classic Game Rooms
    $ 19.95
    $ 430.00
    Cabinet - Armor And Blades
    MI Pinball Refinery
    From: $ 200.00
    Lighting - Interactive
    Professor Pinball
    $ 6.95
    From: $ 42.00
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 269.00
    Lighting - Led
    PinGraffix Pinside Shop
    $ 29.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Full Tilt Pinball LEDs
    From: $ 42.00
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 18.99
    Eproms
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    $ 9.99
    Eproms
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    $ 69.95
    Cabinet - Armor And Blades
    Hookedonpinball.com
    $ 72.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    PinWorlds
    $ 75.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    pinballmod
    $ 30.00
    Playfield - Decals
    Mods for your pinballs
    $ 48.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 229.99
    Lighting - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 7,499.00
    Pinball Machine
    Deadpool Premium Out of stock
    Flip N Out Pinball
    $ 139.00
    $ 17.50
    Hardware
    Pinball Haus
    There are 166 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside