(Topic ID: 62079)

Creative ways to acquire games


By ryanwanger

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by bemmett
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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    #1 6 years ago

    My pinball obsession only started a few weeks ago, so I don't own one yet. Any tips on creative ways to acquire games? Obviously, I could drop huge $$$ on a HUO MINT SHOPPED something or other, but what is the fun in that? I've bought a few non-working arcade games, and find that fixing them is extremely satisfying. (Though sadly, I fear they will soon give way to pins).

    It seems really hard finding non-mint stuff for sale at the moment, though part of the problem could be that I'm interested primarily in DMD games and we're in a potential price bubble (encouraging flipping).

    Is there a right/wrong way to inquire about purchasing an un-loved pin on route? Does that ever work?

    Anyone want to share some ways they've recently found pins that need a bit of love?

    #2 6 years ago
    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    Is there a right/wrong way to inquire about purchasing an un-loved pin on route? Does that ever work?

    You could, but routed games are seem to be pretty dried up. Most operators could care less about selling pins (unless they are just sitting in storage taking up space), they've made their money off them.

    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    Anyone want to share some ways they've recently found pins that need a bit of love?

    Just keep checking craigslist (and often). Keep your eye on public auctions, estate auctions, keep an eye on pinside market, etc. There are still plenty of DMD games that need love or fixing.

    #3 6 years ago

    I just bought 2 pins tonight CFTBL and Als garage band both at a great price from a friends former employer. He was into pins\vids\slots\jukeboxes big time 15 years ago and still has an amazing collection of games but I don't think he has done any maintenance to any of them in years.
    I just stopped by his house a couple of years ago introduced my self told him I was just starting to collect pins and asked if he wanted to sell any. He took me out to the garage and showed me some older beat up stuff and gave me some pretty high prices so I wasn't too excited then I saw a Mystery Castle sitting away from the others asked about it he gave me what turned out to be a great price on it so I loaded it up and took it home.
    Fast fwd to yesterday stopped by his place again he showed me the same over priced(although with pinflation not as bad) crap in the garage so I ask if he's ready to sell anything in the house after some thought he said sure and gave me a price that I'm sure he thought was pretty high on those two but lets just say I'm pretty happy.
    So my advice is let people know that your into pins, follow any leads you get and dont be afraid to buy a game you dont want to get in good with a seller.
    Good luck.

    #4 6 years ago

    Get out and play pinball!! Meet some new friends and it seems all the good guys look out for each other in the local crew. You are unfortunate that pinball is hot in your region but you are also fortunate that pinball os hot on location. You can go play tons of NICE games on route and lots of local hotspots >> lyons, 1up, 2up? the new place that Drew operates in Boulder. Lots of great pins so you don't need to buy

    #5 6 years ago

    talk to everyone you know. EVERYONE. someone you know knows someone who has a pinball machine. and as others have said. craigslist,yard sales, local pinheads. good luck on the hunt.

    #6 6 years ago

    ryanwanger, I can relate. Try not to get discouraged at the "rage" over pinball prices. Pawn Stars and such shows have got everyone looking for a payday every time they open an old storage unit.

    It's like fishing. You just have to keep casting and working on technique.
    I live in an area which has been historically poor. Not too many wealthy folks live here who could afford pins for personal use or arcades and therefore, not too many pins laying around awaiting discovery.
    I read stories from you folks in the Northern and Northeastern states - warehouses full of pins discovered for the picking, realistic prices on project machines, deals deluxe because the pin supply seems to have pooled in your region over time. And all I can do is dream and look on with envy.
    Here, we get the occasional E.M. machine which is beat to pieces or been rotting in a barn somewhere.

    Try trolling neighboring states as well as looking in your own region.
    Make lots of friends who share your interest in pinball. Join a club and shake a few hands.
    It's a patience game.

    #7 6 years ago
    Quoted from Fanatic:

    It's a patience game.

    +1.

    Also depends on how selective you are. For example, I don't want any EMs. I would prefer a <4 hour round trip for my next purchase. My budget cap. And then out of what could potentially become available fitting all this criteria, are titles I am not interested.

    It all translates into "the pickier you are, the longer you are likely to wait"

    #8 6 years ago

    I used to say that patience will see you get an opportunity at every pin eventually, and for me this was true until a year ago. Now, the demand is so high, as are the prices, and I'm for the first time starting to think this is no longer the case.

    Most of my machines, and all of my good deals, came from wanted ads. It's pretty competitive now though in this regard, and I get more "are you selling?" responses than machines for sale.

    #9 6 years ago

    Yeah, I recently posted a couple wanted ads for 2 different games I wanted. I got 2 local good/fair deals out of them, 100% success rate so far with that route!

    I'd advise, whenever you have the chance, ask people what games they own! When people come by to check out your machine on craigslist, ask them what they own, and if anything grabs your interest, politely ask them if they want to sell it! This was how I found a pretty nice Gottlieb 2001(a game that was on my wishlist) for pretty cheap recently...

    #10 6 years ago

    I am in the same boat as you Ryan. I am just getting the bug as I finally have the room to make a pin happen but I don't need something in collectors condition and I am finding it hard to find anything near me that isn't priced through the roof and or has just been through a rebuild or heavy shopping.
    Guess I just need to be patient and hope that the pin gods smile on my endevor. Good luck finding the one you want. Cheers!

    #11 6 years ago
    Quoted from JosiahCox:

    I am in the same boat as you Ryan. I am just getting the bug as I finally have the room to make a pin happen but I don't need something in collectors condition and I am finding it hard to find anything near me that isn't priced through the roof and or has just been through a rebuild or heavy shopping.
    Guess I just need to be patient and hope that the pin gods smile on my endevor. Good luck finding the one you want. Cheers!

    Your pretty lucky if you can actually find a pin at all. "pinball" searches on my local CL and neighboring cities returning everything but pins. Spam, broken XBoxs and pinball toys lately is about all around Ohio. *sigh*. $1K solid states anyone? Bueller?

    #12 6 years ago

    The best thing to do is meet your fellow collectors. Find people in your area that have pins, find local pinsiders that live nearby. The best deal I have ever gotten have been from pinsiders. Start learning how to fix anything and everything, read up, that way when you do find a non working one you will have a head start.

    There is bound to be someone in your area that has ten machines in their garage and five of them are in line to be fixed. Make friends with them, offer to fix one up for them, they pay for parts you provide labor for free. Make an agreement that once you get it running your payment will be that you get to keep it for "x" amount of months and play it. I have done this twice now.

    #13 6 years ago

    Patience is useful. I found a guy semi-local that works on and sells machines. Took a couple of months to get my first machine from him, took over a year to get the second. But I wasn't in a hurry and his prices were good, so I just kept in touch and kept letting him know that I was still interested without being annoying. He was apologetic and gave me a good deal eventually.

    Be willing to drive and have Pin transportation. I've come close to traveling for a Pin, but wife and kids usually keep me local. But if you've got the time and means to put in 4-6 hours to check out a deal, that greatly expands your area.

    Communicate. I got outbid on E-Bay on a pretty beat game that I didn't want to spend too much on, so I shot the seller an e-mail telling him that I was still interested at my price and to let me know if the sale fell through. Sure enough it did as the guy didn't want to pack it up for shipping. So I was able to grab it before he relisted.

    But if you have some places local you can play, go for it. I'm my only Pin location for now, and would love to be able to check some machines on location.

    Enjoy!

    #14 6 years ago

    Just come on over and I'll sell you a "collection" of games right out of my garage. There, see how easy that is ?

    John P. Dayhuff
    Battle Creek, Mi.
    269-979-3836

    #15 6 years ago

    Thanks for the great replies guys. I'm doing my best on the meeting local pinheads, though most of it has been through email so far. My proximity to some great arcades has been fueling the fire, and I am extremely lucky to be able to walk over to 1-Up on my lunch break. I should probably keep my eyes open while playing in public for the people who seem to know what they are doing and introduce myself. Going to make a habit of going to Lyons for the monthly tourney.

    Good suggestion on the wanted ad, I'll give that a whirl.

    And of course, I do need to be patient. It'll probably be good for me.

    #16 6 years ago

    If you're looking for affordable, don't be picky. Find a deal, play it for a while, fix it up, sell it.. Or use it in a trade+cash, always have something to negotiate with. I don't always buy pins because it's something I want, sometimes it's just because I never played it.

    #17 6 years ago

    My advice, have cash on the ready and be willing to go buy immediately. Have a large wish list and be willing to take the first decent deal that pops up around you.

    #18 6 years ago

    I strategically mention pinball in conversations with alot of people i meet and found hidden treasures that way.Nice thing is also that if you you're on a lead you're not fishing in the same pond that everyone is fishing in(ternet).

    Happy hunting!

    #19 6 years ago
    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    I'm doing my best on the meeting local pinheads

    Definitely reach out to the locals first, there is a ton of guys with pins here in CO especially down your way. We talked on an ad I had, even though it was gone. When I first started I would message people in CO regardless when they had ads up just to reach out and drop a line that I was looking for games, then later they'd contact me when something was available. And then I'd go from owning 2 to buying/selling over 40 now Addicting!

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