So I did what may have been my sketchiest deal to date over the weekend. I had a want ad on Facebook looking for a particular pinball machine. I was contacted by ‘A’ letting me know he had a friend ‘B’ who owned the machine I was looking for, and it was in his bar a couple of towns over. So far not so sketchy...
Then A tells me B is out of state (red flag #1) and he will have his assistant open the bar so I can see the machine (Red Flag #2) It seems the bar has been closed due to Covid for the past few months. So at this point I’m ready to bail on the deal, except A and I start talking via text. It became very obvious he knew pinball, and we knew some of the same people in the California scene.
So I decided to go through with the deal. I let my wife know where I was going, and I took my teenaged son with me.
We got to the bar at the appointed time, and man the area was seedy. Behind the building was a homeless camp and the place looked like it has steel doors on it. A was there when I arrived and we talked a while waiting on the assistant. She showed up and let us in. The machine was what I was looking for, and I bought it. While we were looking at the machine other bar employees filtered in, (weird since the place was supposed to be closed), but they didn’t pay us any attention.
I kept the cash locked in the truck until I knew I was going to buy the machine. Once I was satisfied with the machine my son got the money and gave it to the assistant. A helped me load the machine and I then helped A load another machine he was taking home to work on into his truck. Roughly 4 hours later we were home. So while the deal looked sketchy on the surface, it turned out fine.