(Topic ID: 159406)

Best Stern distributor?


By Brian541

3 years ago



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  • 150 posts
  • 66 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by LTG
  • Topic is favorited by 12 Pinsiders

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    There are 150 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.
    #51 3 years ago

    Melissa at cointaker

    #52 3 years ago
    Quoted from TigerLaw:

    Wow! Since when did the shipping company become obligated to do that (as I am certain that was not voluntary)?

    Someone PM'd me about this, and I have people on ignore and can't see the whole conversation. I just want to say that getting hit with the Use Tax has nothing to do with the distributor. Trent was completely unaware about it. The CA Use Tax Board apparently gets copies of shipping receipts and randomly picks ones to go after. I was contacted when I had 2 Metallicas delivered to my house (one for a friend so we could save on shipping)...they saw that I got a 500 lb delivery from Stern Pinball in Chicago, and said I had to pay tax on it. I actually had to pry that info out of them - they said it's my responsibility to keep track of my purchases and pay tax on them. Clearly they don't want to keep tabs on everything you buy - but since it's the first time this happened, I had no idea what they were talking about or how much they wanted. So - she begrudgingly read the shipping invoice to me, and I knew it was for the 2 Metallicas.

    They contacted me again for another game...again, wanted me to tell them what I owed them...and I'm like "C'mon, help me help you...tell me what I owe you and I'll pay"...again, begrudgingly, she told me (I think it was Iron Man this time).

    I asked her "what if I buy a use game from a friend out of state". She said I'd have to pay tax on that...I'm like "but there's no invoice, it's between friends...that's like saying I have to pay tax on things I buy on a garage sale", which of course got the standard reply "It's up to you to keep track of your purchases and pay tax on them".

    Bleh.

    #53 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Someone PM'd me about this, and I have people on ignore and can't see the whole conversation. I just want to say that getting hit with the Use Tax has nothing to do with the distributor. Trent was completely unaware about it. The CA Use Tax Board apparently gets copies of shipping receipts and randomly picks ones to go after. I was contacted when I had 2 Metallicas delivered to my house (one for a friend so we could save on shipping)...they saw that I got a 500 lb delivery from Stern Pinball in Chicago, and said I had to pay tax on it. I actually had to pry that info out of them - they said it's my responsibility to keep track of my purchases and pay tax on them. Clearly they don't want to keep tabs on everything you buy - but since it's the first time this happened, I had no idea what they were talking about or how much they wanted. So - she begrudgingly read the shipping invoice to me, and I knew it was for the 2 Metallicas.
    They contacted me again for another game...again, wanted me to tell them what I owed them...and I'm like "C'mon, help me help you...tell me what I owe you and I'll pay"...again, begrudgingly, she told me (I think it was Iron Man this time).
    I asked her "what if I buy a use game from a friend out of state". She said I'd have to pay tax on that...I'm like "but there's no invoice, it's between friends...that's like saying I have to pay tax on things I buy on a garage sale", which of course got the standard reply "It's up to you to keep track of your purchases and pay tax on them".
    Bleh.

    This is exactly why you don't have pins shipped.

    #54 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Someone PM'd me about this, and I have people on ignore and can't see the whole conversation. I just want to say that getting hit with the Use Tax has nothing to do with the distributor. Trent was completely unaware about it. The CA Use Tax Board apparently gets copies of shipping receipts and randomly picks ones to go after. I was contacted when I had 2 Metallicas delivered to my house (one for a friend so we could save on shipping)...they saw that I got a 500 lb delivery from Stern Pinball in Chicago, and said I had to pay tax on it. I actually had to pry that info out of them - they said it's my responsibility to keep track of my purchases and pay tax on them. Clearly they don't want to keep tabs on everything you buy - but since it's the first time this happened, I had no idea what they were talking about or how much they wanted. So - she begrudgingly read the shipping invoice to me, and I knew it was for the 2 Metallicas.
    They contacted me again for another game...again, wanted me to tell them what I owed them...and I'm like "C'mon, help me help you...tell me what I owe you and I'll pay"...again, begrudgingly, she told me (I think it was Iron Man this time).
    I asked her "what if I buy a use game from a friend out of state". She said I'd have to pay tax on that...I'm like "but there's no invoice, it's between friends...that's like saying I have to pay tax on things I buy on a garage sale", which of course got the standard reply "It's up to you to keep track of your purchases and pay tax on them".
    Bleh.

    I can only speak for NJ, but by law I need to keep track of all out of state purchases and even in-state purchases that fail to charge me sales tax, and pay a use tax. When it comes to vehicles purchased out of state, we pay the sales tax when we register the vehicle. People always fudge the purchase price on the title paperwork.

    For my business, any equipment I purchase out of state, I always pay the use tax on it. It is way too easy to get caught on a sales tax audit (which my state does a lot) on a business level.

    #55 3 years ago
    Quoted from Trekkie1978:

    I can only speak for NJ, but by law I need to keep track of all out of state purchases and even in-state purchases that fail to charge me sales tax, and pay a use tax.

    Yup here too.

    #56 3 years ago

    I forgot to mention, Delaware is the place to be...no sales tax. One of my good friends lives in PA, 1 mile from Delaware. He does all of his shopping there to avoid sales tax. Technically, when he brings those goods home, he is suppose to pay the use tax. The chances of him getting caught are between 0% and 0%.

    #57 3 years ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    This is exactly why you don't have pins shipped.

    There isn't a "Stern of California" factory, so I have no choice. If I want a Stern, it ships from Chicago.

    #58 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    There isn't a "Stern of California" factory, so I have no choice. If I want a Stern, it ships from Chicago.

    Have it shipped to a local dock..... =)

    So far for the few who have tried this with me its worked

    #59 3 years ago

    A great big shout out to golfingdad1,(Brenden) Good job helping a pinsider ! This is what we are all about and golfingdad1 is one of the best!!Glad to know people who give a sh..!! Thank you SIR!!!

    #60 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    I have people on ignore and can't see the whole conversation.

    I don't. But whatever helps keep your blood pressure down...

    #61 3 years ago
    Quoted from Gexchange:

    ... if you have a local dealer that takes care of his customers and give you good pricing Go to him first! He's the guy you want to keep around the most! He can help sponsor local shows, Launch parties, Stock parts, and (some) have a showroom where you can come check out games.

    This is why I support Joystix in Houston. Charlie supports his customers and the pinball community. He's hosted our weekly league nights, and recently had an un-boxing party for Ghostbusters. His showroom in downtown Houston is amazing. I can't count the number of times I've called and set up a 'lunchtime meeting' - where I can play test all the newest games, as well as play great examples of the classics. It's also nice knowing he will work with you on a trade-in. ...super nice guy too!

    #62 3 years ago
    Quoted from Brian541:

    My distributor is consistently quoting higher pricing on new sterns than other sources I've heard about,I'm on the west coast and actively seeking a better company to deal with.I'm not going to mention names or spew any venom just ready to look elsewhere and hoping to at least be in the ballpark on the pricing I see discussed on new sterns when I'm ready to buy.Any recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated.

    For Oregon, I suggest Gex / game change by far. You'll get the game first faster than most other distros. And the shipping has been 2 days lately to the local terminal. Gex is great to deal with. Cointaker screwed me out of a $750 deposit I put down on a zombie game so I wouldn't buy from them.

    #63 3 years ago
    Quoted from Gexchange:

    Have it shipped to a local dock..... =)
    So far for the few who have tried this with me its worked

    Yea not only do you save a little on shipping, the real benefit is you don't have to sit around from 1-5 waiting for a delivery 2 days later. The docks are usually open 24 hours and let you open the game and leave the pallet and box there for them to dispose.

    #64 3 years ago
    Quoted from Gexchange:

    Have it shipped to a local dock..... =)
    So far for the few who have tried this with me its worked

    Might be a coincidence - even if you get it at the dock, I'm pretty sure they still have your home address and info - as you have to show ID to pick it up.

    #66 3 years ago

    Just curious... What is sterns new minimum price point?

    #67 3 years ago
    Quoted from Bowlingpin:

    Just curious... What is sterns new minimum price point?

    I don't have any insider info specifically, but I had heard $4900 for a GB Pro.

    #68 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Might be a coincidence - even if you get it at the dock, I'm pretty sure they still have your home address and info - as you have to show ID to pick it up.

    I just picked up from a dock, no id required.

    #69 3 years ago
    Quoted from Bowlingpin:

    Just curious... What is sterns new minimum price point?

    I've hear $4995 but I've also heard that's completely made up and they can still sell for whatever they want. Sort of up in the air now.

    Quoted from lapean111:

    I don't have any insider info specifically, but I had heard $4900 for a GB Pro.

    Yep see diff'rent peeps hearing diff'rent things.

    #70 3 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    I've hear $4995 but I've also heard that's completely made up and they can still sell for whatever they want. Sort of up in the air now.

    Yep see diff'rent peeps hearing diff'rent things.

    It was smart of Stern to announce this Minimum pricing policy on a hot title like Ghostbusters. Forcing distributors to do this on a weaker title like WWE would have been interesting if they couldn't discount games or throw in any extras. -I guess dealers would just get stuck with them?

    #71 3 years ago
    Quoted from MikeS:

    Forcing distributors to do this on a weaker title like WWE would have been interesting if they couldn't discount games or throw in any extras. -I guess dealers would just get stuck with them?

    Ha...would have been packed distro centers I can tell you that!

    #72 3 years ago
    Quoted from Jaybird815:

    I just picked up from a dock, no id required.

    So anyone could have just shown up and taken your game? Your name wasn't on the shipping invoice? Weird.

    Anyway, this "Use Tax Problem" is specific to California.

    #73 3 years ago
    Quoted from TigerLaw:

    Wow! Since when did the shipping company become obligated to do that (as I am certain that was not voluntary)?

    The "shipper" in this case would be the distributor and the "carrier" would be NAVL or whomever actually transported the item...

    #74 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Anyway, this "Use Tax Problem" is specific to California.

    It's specific to most states, if not all who collect sales tax.

    #75 3 years ago

    Count me as another satisfied GEX customer. I purchased two games (one order) Summer 2014 and received a good deal on both the games and shipping. I visited their store last Summer and it is a "must do" activity for pinheads visiting the Denver area. The store was spacious and had an outstanding selection of pins, arcade games, and other coin-op stuff, everyone was warm and welcoming (not surprising, CO is friendly in general), and they let my three boys (5, 8, 10) have mostly free reign of the place (even chastising me at one point for telling them not to touch stuff!). I also found that they had a lot of inventory in the store which was not listed on their web site. I am planning on adding a game or two this year, and they will be the first place I call.

    I also had a good recent experience with The Pinball CO. (Columbia, MO). They tend to advertise fairly high prices on their web site (relative to some other distributors), but become much more competitive when speaking to them by phone. I had an issue with the shipping company which was absolutely not Pinball CO's fault, but Brooke cheerfully handled the situation to my complete satisfaction and I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them again. I am also under the strong impression that they would be great with tech support, and I'm sure Brooke would be a great liaison to Stern, though I have not required this level of service.

    I've never bought a pin from Cointaker, but have had numerous orders for other stuff, and they have always been great too.

    #76 3 years ago

    Flipper Fidelity has been great for my orders

    #77 3 years ago

    A related question: when someone buys a pin NIB and then sells it, does the Distributor continue to support the sale? I'm wondering what others have experienced. In the past I've worked directly with Stern on any problems, but it seems that they want you to work through the Distributor now. I don't blame them, it's not scalable to provide direct support.

    #78 3 years ago

    Great question. Would like to know too. Don't know if it's a "take to nearest distributor" or contact original seller kind of thing, but Stern is no where as big as say, Sears, so I don't know whom the warranty work falls on......

    #79 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Anyway, this "Use Tax Problem" is specific to California.

    It's only a problem if you don't pay your taxes. The use tax worksheet is interesting indeed.

    https://www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/usetax.shtml

    #80 3 years ago

    I use my Local Distributor, Little Shop of Games!

    Who's the Best Distributor?

    They all are!!!

    We are lucky to have them!

    #81 3 years ago
    Quoted from Gexchange:

    As Most of you know now.. Stern has created a Minimum Sales price. This means all Dealers of Stern Pinball cannot sell below a Minimum Price. This includes not being allowed to include anything in the price but free shipping.. No Shakers. Gift cards, Terminal Discounts Ect.
    We would hope you would take into consideration what your dealer provides. Which in our mind includes Full Time Parts, Tech and Service Support, involvement in local tournaments and shows ect.
    Thanks,
    JJ

    JJ, if your agreement with Stern allows, can you tell if the minimum sales prices has a time component. For example, will that minimum sales prices expire? What happens if you gamble on an unpopular game and have excess inventory a year or two later? On quick thought, would this not encourage some distributors to make smaller orders?

    Chris

    #82 3 years ago

    So without mentioning the distributor, how much did people pay for Ghostbusters Pro shipped? I see someone says the lowest they're allowed to sell for is $4995, and someone else says $4900. Has anyone paid these prices? Or less?

    #83 3 years ago

    On this site most of the distributors are within $100 of each other. At $4900, I submit that it's not worth a relationship with a good distributor to switch over a hundred dollars. They do a lot more for you than give you the best price. If you ever need that service after a sale, they will be worth every penny. I would, however, definitely think a of switch if I had bad service after a sale.

    I've had great reccomendations for JJ and Gio.
    I had a great Full Throttle transaction with Cointaker.
    I'm very happy with Trent also on my purchases from him.

    #84 3 years ago

    Come to think of it, we have it pretty good in pinball. Most, if not all, of the distorts come to the many shows and are easily accessible.

    #85 3 years ago
    Quoted from hawkmoon:

    A great big shout out to golfingdad1,(Brenden) Good job helping a pinsider ! This is what we are all about and golfingdad1 is one of the best!!Glad to know people who give a sh..!! Thank you SIR!!!

    Glad I could help .

    #86 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    So anyone could have just shown up and taken your game? Your name wasn't on the shipping invoice? Weird.
    Anyway, this "Use Tax Problem" is specific to California.

    I had to email my distributor and let him now when I was an hour from picking up, he called and had the game released. I just gave them my name and signed the faxed release from the distributor.

    #87 3 years ago

    I will also endorse " The Little Shop of Games" ....Curly is a good guy to do business with....

    #88 3 years ago

    Top 3 Distributors:

    1. Cointaker
    2. Cointaker
    3. Cointaker

    Always the best price quoted the FIRST time. No BS going back & forth between dealers trying to profit take.
    Great customer service that goes way beyond others I've used.
    Super fast shipping anywhere in the US from their shipping/storage depot in Chicago

    #89 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    If you live in Ca., no matter where you buy it from, you pay sales tax or use tax. It's the law.

    I have bought 3 NIBs with no tax...

    #90 3 years ago



    One for each.

    #91 3 years ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    I have bought 3 NIBs with no tax...

    As a CPA, I'm required to report you to the local taxing authorities. Haha jk. But seriously, just because you didn't pay tax, doesn't mean it's not owed.

    #92 3 years ago

    JJ at game exchange has become my go to guy. Bought two NiB pins from his last week and plan to buy a Star Wars battle pod from him this fall. I highly recommend him.

    #93 3 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    As a CPA, I'm required to report you to the local taxing authorities. Haha jk. But seriously, just because you didn't pay tax, doesn't mean it's not owed.

    Honestly never considered that there would be some sort of tax if it was not charged to me by my distributor...am I seriously supposed to contact my local government thief to tell them I bought a toy and ask if they want any money ?

    #94 3 years ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    Honestly never considered that there would be some sort of tax if it was not charged to me by my distributor...am I seriously supposed to contact my local government thief to tell them I bought a toy and ask if they want any money ?

    No. Chances are slim anything happens. If you were getting 3 a year it might throw up some flags though.

    #95 3 years ago

    Gio @ Pinball Refinery is one of the best too!
    Buy with confidence!!
    He takes amazing care of his customers!

    #96 3 years ago

    As stated before Game Exchange in Colorado is great place to buy from and JJ is first class.

    #97 3 years ago

    Game Exchange is my go to place. JJ has been nothing but top notch.

    #98 3 years ago

    Seems to me with Stern's price fixing or fixed price like they call it, is somewhat taking the ability away from the distributors to really compete, and is absolutely a bad thing for the casual NIB buyer.

    If you were a loyal customer, you could get a free shaker, allow for local pickup (save on shipping), or a few bucks discounted, on future purchases, now all thats gone?

    Seems to me everyone is sticking it to the little guys again.

    If I no longer am able to get a small fringe benefit here or there, besides the obvious customer service expectations, what else brings me back to the same guy over and aver again? Really Nothing....

    Why would I buy from someone 3 states over when I can buy from a guy in the same state or the next one over at the same cost?

    Thoughts?????

    #99 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    So anyone could have just shown up and taken your game? Your name wasn't on the shipping invoice? Weird.
    Anyway, this "Use Tax Problem" is specific to California.

    Texas has a similar law.
    http://www.cpa.state.tx.us/taxinfo/sales/faq_use.html.
    1. What "purchases" are subject to use tax?
    ...You used property purchased from an out-of-state retailer. In general, if you purchase a taxable item from an out-of-state retailer without paying Texas tax and use the property in Texas the purchase is subject to use tax and must be reported.

    #100 3 years ago

    Melissa at cointaker, she is awesome to talk to and deal with. One of the nicest persons in pinball that I can think of.

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