(Topic ID: 285650)

Buying a NIB Stern sucks (and I really want to like it)!

By e4wesley

9 months ago


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  • 284 posts
  • 118 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by StoneyCreek
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    There are 284 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 6.
    #251 9 months ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Anyone can see that group is getting harder and harder to please and it's losing members.

    And the pool is being replenished with noobs with every release.

    #252 9 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    And the pool is being replenished with noobs with every release.

    Yes I'm not arguing that point. That is not a healthy way to run a business. That is just keeping your head above water. Would it be bad if they started investing in retention. Making it so pins lasted longer in that hard core group. Would it be horrible if the product was more sought after and the used market started to shrink and become part of the NIB market? Would it be a bad thing if more people were expanding the size of the collection and not just out with the old in with the new. I know I have wanted to buy NIB for years. I have a 5 pin collection that I am in a favorable position with finacially. I could convert my line up to 5 NIB instead of zero. Those noobs are are trickling in but I wonder how many stay and how many people go. Is it even debatable the the current NIB experience need improvement?

    #253 9 months ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    It really doesn't. The math and data show this is actually devastating to the original manufacturer. The NIB box sales that turn over into the used market is a massive loss. I often wonder if it's even on Sterns radar. Anecdotally JJP seems to be a little more focuses and it doesn't seem to be hurting them. Stern on the other hand seems to just getting their asses kicked by the used market.
    Here is how it works, lets say Joe and Fred are friends. Joe buy a NIB Stern. The experience is ok but he has to tinker with it and has a couple of problems. He gets it sorted out and his buddy Fred is getting interested. A few months go buy and Joe is bored with his NIB Pin and is thinking about selling it and maybe getting something else. He sells it to Joe. Joe may buy another NIB, but he may try a different company or even worse he may realize Fred saved some money and he kinda lost on the deal. Joe decides he is going to buy used. 1 NIB pin sold and you lost double that in revenue. You have 0 customers engaged and you have to try and win them back on the next one.
    Take the same scenario but Joe NIB sale is flawless, he is in love and his friend Fred is in love. The nest shiny new pin comes out and Fred tries to get Joe to sell him his old pin. Joe says I can't I love it to much and the next one is going to be awesome you should buy it too. Both Joe and Fred buy another NIB. 1 NIB grew to 3 and you doubled the revenue on the next pin. You have two customers that are engaged and willing to spend.
    JJP and some of the others do seem to be focused on being that Jewel in the crown of a collection. That pin that you have to get your own because you not having mine and get on board early for what is next. Stern has a few of them as well but they don't seem focused on it. They just seem to occasionally stumble into one. The other companies are focused on making another run of jewels. Stern drops a pin and everyone knows to just wait a couple weeks and you can grab used one. I'm not saying JJP and the others don't have issues just that they seem to be more focused on a better more successful marketing strategy to combat the revenue lost in the used market.

    Fred is a dick, and he drinks all of Joey's beer anyway. How can you say "this is how it works" like these are facts?

    #254 9 months ago
    Quoted from yzfguy:

    Fred is a dick, and he drinks all of Joey's beer anyway. How can you say "this is how it works" like these are facts?

    I'm just a dude same as everyone else, having a conversation on the internet. I have some history and experience in a different industry that shares some parallels. It's generally accepted in every mature business that used sales hurt your bottom line. Feel free to disagree and discuss, I am happy to chat but there is a reason basically every manufacturer on the planet does everything in their power to curb used sales. My silly story of Joe and Fred are just two examples of opposing scenarios. They are not meant to be taken as gospel spoken on high.

    #255 9 months ago
    Quoted from DrJoe:

    $4,000 in 2005 is $5,350 today. Pretty close to actual pro street price.

    I think it might be more relevant to compare the price in 2010. Paid $3800 for Iron Man and Avatar NIB that year. We can still use $4000 as a reference point, and in 2010 as compared to now that same money is $4778 today. There was deflation in 2009 and that tends to shade the data when using the range of 2005 to 2021. It really doesn't matter too much what the price is as Stern has a large backlog at current prices.

    As far as the NIB experience goes, just set up LZ on location and it was probably the most trouble free setup in many years. No service calls in the first two weeks and I can't say that about GnR. Love playing JJP games, but man they need a lot more attention to keep up and running on location.

    #256 9 months ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    experience in a different industry

    Pinball is a whole different beast. Unique in almost every way.

    #257 9 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Pinball is a whole different beast. Unique in almost every way.

    It's business manufacturing and selling a new product. It's not so unique that it is the only one that used sales that they have no part of magically increase their profits.

    #258 9 months ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    It's generally accepted in every mature business that used sales hurt your bottom line. Feel free to disagree and discuss

    Upping quality would have zero effect on used sales, it would only hurt the bottom line.
    The difficulty of properly tweaking a pinball machine is up to the owner, or they can physically take the machine back to the distributor to let them do it. For free.
    That’s the model, and don’t forget, these are commercial products, designed to make operators money, Stern has that mindset. Like it or not.

    #259 9 months ago

    Used sales keep spots open in collections and money in the nib buyers’ pockets to buy more games. You’re right that doesn’t affect profits. Revenues and costs do.

    #260 9 months ago
    Quoted from DNO:

    Upping quality would have zero effect on used sales, it would only hurt the bottom line.
    The difficulty of properly tweaking a pinball machine is up to the owner, or they can physically take the machine back to the distributor to let them do it. For free.
    That’s the model, and don’t forget, these are commercial products, designed to make operators money, Stern has that mindset. Like it or not.

    I agree Stern still has the commercial mindset on one side, but they are clearly trying to have their cake and eat it too.

    Clearly you guys disagree and that's cool. There is no point to try and turn this into an economics class. All I can say is you have to look past the short term model. You guys are making this assumption that the hard core needs to sell used in order to buy. That is not something I support. I believe there are plenty of consumers and operators (operators not so much with covid) that can continue to buy and expand and not turn over product into the used market. I believe Pinball should be going the way of every other industries and taking trade ins on new product and doing the whole certified product and turning that used market into profits. I understand you guys think that is a bad idea. I do agree Pinball needs to work on that service and warranty a little before they can start selling any kind of certified product. Upping quality so that you can sell your own product multiple times has proven successful in basically every industry.

    #261 9 months ago

    I think it's poor attacking nib buyers and calling them the problem. Let people make their own buying decisions. We are all adults and if you do zero research buying expensive items that's on you. Whether buying new used or not at all it's all decisions that should be made by individual on what is best for them.

    #262 9 months ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    I agree Stern still has the commercial mindset on one side, but they are clearly trying to have their cake and eat it too.
    Clearly you guys disagree and that's cool. There is no point to try and turn this into an economics class. All I can say is you have to look past the short term model. You guys are making this assumption that the hard core needs to sell used in order to buy. That is not something I support. I believe there are plenty of consumers and operators (operators not so much with covid) that can continue to buy and expand and not turn over product into the used market. I believe Pinball should be going the way of every other industries and taking trade ins on new product and doing the whole certified product and turning that used market into profits. I understand you guys think that is a bad idea. I do agree Pinball needs to work on that service and warranty a little before they can start selling any kind of certified product. Upping quality so that you can sell your own product multiple times has proven successful in basically every industry.

    That seems like a good idea on the surface, but that’s kind of the bread and butter of their distributors already. If stern takes all that, they could be taking lots of revenue from their distributors.

    #263 9 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    That seems like a good idea on the surface, but that’s kind of the bread and butter of their distributors already. If stern takes all that, they could be taking lots of revenue from their distributors.

    Really, how many people are trading in at the distributors, the entire model seems to be failing. Just seems like you search for the distributor located with the best tax deal and cheapest price. You deal with issues as much as possible yourself and sell it locally when you move on. This programs work when you have a national programs and no one even knows anything about a distributor. That is a whole other topic of conversation though.

    #264 9 months ago

    I can’t speak for all distributors but Trent does constantly and he’s the largest distro in the world. Zack does a lot of trade ins too.

    #265 9 months ago

    Respect to a open-minded discussion on Pinside

    #266 9 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I can’t speak for all distributors but Trent does constantly and he’s the largest distro in the world. Zack does a lot of trade ins too.

    Yeah I don't disagree with you on that one. I do think it would be a lot better and more people would do it if Stern backed it with a national program. If you could go to there website and search for all the used certified pins that you got some warranty and it all just got directed to the Trent and Zacks of the world behind the scenes. That way everybody wins. Right now the Trents and Zachs sure seem to be holding the back on a lot of NIB issues.

    #267 9 months ago

    I don't get it.

    Stern has made it super easy at least for me to not want to buy any of their NIB games anymore.

    If you have some sort of addiction problem, perhaps a visit to a good therapist or support group is in order.

    #269 9 months ago

    Man, this thread wasn’t nearly as fun to read as I was hoping.

    Sorry for the OP. Sucky experience.

    Personally, I still have PTSD from buying AVLE NIB. I literally took a hammer to that game to get it to work. A hammer. Since then, Stern has done absolutely nothing to engender enough confidence in me to but another one of their games new.

    My NIB MMr was almost perfect out of the box. Had to put the Ethernet cable in the right port (weird) and the lockdown bar was a little loose, and sharp as shit, and put a tiny ding in one of the top rails, but otherwise has given me zero problems in 18 months.

    #270 9 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I can’t speak for all distributors but Trent does constantly and he’s the largest distro in the world. Zack does a lot of trade ins too.

    When did Trent surpass Automated?

    #271 9 months ago
    Quoted from DNO:Deleted post

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    #272 9 months ago
    Quoted from TheFamilyArcade:

    When did Trent surpass Automated?

    LOL, he didn’t.

    #273 9 months ago
    Quoted from TheFamilyArcade:

    When did Trent surpass Automated?

    I don’t know. Just going off what stern and Trent have told me.

    #274 9 months ago
    Quoted from snaroff:

    No doubt. From my perspective, it's about how you are treated (by the respective company) when problems exist. Just bought my first Spooky game (R&M) and have had lots of issues. Mostly minor, but have spent over 40 hours dialing it in (and Spooky has sent me several parts). What's the difference? Spooky is responsive (same day email/call returns) and engages with us on Pinside. When a company takes ownership of problems and does everything they can to "make it right", it makes you feel like they have your back. Stern has taken care of me over the years, but the service and quality aren't what they use to be.

    40 hours dialing in a game?? Seriously? That sounds like a full time job

    #275 9 months ago
    Quoted from dsmoke1986:

    40 hours dialing in a game?? Seriously? That sounds like a full time job

    40 hours spread over 6 weeks isn't really that big a deal if you are into pinball as a hobby. I'm retired, but even if I was working, 6 weekends would have covered it. Like it or not, pinball manufacturing is an art, and some of the people doing the work aren't artists

    #276 9 months ago
    Quoted from snaroff:

    40 hours spread over 6 weeks isn't really that big a deal if you are into pinball as a hobby. I'm retired, but even if I was working, 6 weekends would have covered it. Like it or not, pinball manufacturing is an art, and some of the people doing the work aren't artists

    No Doubt, even spread out over 6 weeks, that's a ton of time to dial in a pin...I've owned plenty of NIB pins in my lifetime, and that just sounds infuriating.

    Hopefully you have it where you want it now and are able to enjoy the pin.

    #277 9 months ago
    Quoted from dsmoke1986:

    No Doubt, even spread out over 6 weeks, that's a ton of time to dial in a pin...I've owned plenty of NIB pins in my lifetime, and that just sounds infuriating.
    Hopefully you have it where you want it now and are able to enjoy the pin.

    To be honest, dialing in my IMDN Premium was more infuriating, but probably slightly less time. All the Spooky issues were fairly easy to diagnose/correct. When I get a chance, I'm going to write up what I did (since I've received several PM's from other owners that are interested). R&M is a great game, so it was worth the effort.

    #278 9 months ago
    Quoted from dsmoke1986:

    No Doubt, even spread out over 6 weeks, that's a ton of time to dial in a pin...I've owned plenty of NIB pins in my lifetime, and that just sounds infuriating.
    Hopefully you have it where you want it now and are able to enjoy the pin.

    Stranger things LE owner enters the chat. 40 hours easy before I got everything working right. And yeah. Definitely infuriating at times.

    #279 9 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I don’t know. Just going off what stern and Trent have told me.

    I've heard he's the #1 Stern distro as well. Doesn't surpass Mike in total pinball sales since he doesn't handle JJP and God knows what else. But for Stern I think he moves the most.

    #280 9 months ago
    Quoted from jawjaw:

    I think it's poor attacking nib buyers and calling them the problem. Let people make their own buying decisions. We are all adults and if you do zero research buying expensive items that's on you. Whether buying new used or not at all it's all decisions that should be made by individual on what is best for them.

    Lol. Yeah trying to blame buyers for the state of affairs seems ass backwards to me

    It assumes people are stupid consumers. They are not! And you all know that

    People think they can buy NIB pins, enjoy them, and the rotate them out for something else losing a nominal amount of money. They can and do.

    If you try and say the pinball market is about to crash because of high pricing and poor quality you’ll get bombarded with nasty downvotes and comments!

    People are gonna keep buying what they like, like it or not. I ended up NOT liking LZ so I didn’t buy.

    Now I’ll get to compare a new JJP next week with GNRCE arriving.

    Regardless, I know I’m gonna have a ton of FUN, and that’s why I buy games!

    #281 9 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Stranger things LE owner enters the chat. 40 hours easy before I got everything working right. And yeah. Definitely infuriating at times.

    That was more like it with my IMDNLE. Now it’s gone.

    You def provided some great help on STH Erik!

    The cooling fans for the flippers did it for me. My Telekinesis lock has worked great. Did have some lane adjustment issues

    Love that game though. Very underrated

    #282 9 months ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    That was more like it with my IMDNLE. Now it’s gone.
    You def provided some great help on STH Erik!
    The cooling fans for the flippers did it for me. My Telekinesis lock has worked great. Did have some lane adjustment issues
    Love that game though. Very underrated

    Stranger things is an awesome adrenaline rush. It’s completely slept on

    #283 9 months ago
    Quoted from BrianBannon:

    I think it might be more relevant to compare the price in 2010. Paid $3800 for Iron Man and Avatar NIB that year. We can still use $4000 as a reference point, and in 2010 as compared to now that same money is $4778 today. There was deflation in 2009 and that tends to shade the data when using the range of 2005 to 2021. It really doesn't matter too much what the price is as Stern has a large backlog at current prices.
    As far as the NIB experience goes, just set up LZ on location and it was probably the most trouble free setup in many years. No service calls in the first two weeks and I can't say that about GnR. Love playing JJP games, but man they need a lot more attention to keep up and running on location.

    BrianBannon thanks for setting it up! played your LZ and JJP GNR tonight and had a Blast Two great games! Everyone support your route operators, let them take the NIB risk for you.

    #284 9 months ago

    I had two NIBs that both landed with slight issues...that were expected...and were easy to adjust.
    I don't really believe in this thread's pretext. It just sounds bitchy.

    There are 284 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 6.

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