(Topic ID: 311979)

Deposit profiteering - we can fix this

By swampfire

3 months ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 200 posts
  • 73 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 64 days ago by Aurich
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic poll

    “Should people be able to profit from a “spot”?”

    • Yes - it’s capitalism, get over it 73 votes
      54%
    • No - it’s helping to ruin the hobby 61 votes
      46%

    (134 votes)

    Topic Gallery

    View topic image gallery

    D98A93D2-73BB-4D1F-9A80-594B0487FD6C.gif
    giphy (5).gif
    4F66D13B-95CF-468A-9EAA-0AE253355906 (resized).jpeg
    7D5BA87D-B508-4E33-801B-9F3863E2E6F0 (resized).jpeg
    84FAB678-7C9A-4196-BFA2-C699775BD9AB.gif
    Newman (resized).jpg
    grumpyoldmen (resized).jpg

    There are 200 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 4.
    #151 76 days ago
    Quoted from ralphs007:

    Greedy people look at the world as a zero-sum game. Instead of thinking that everyone would benefit as the pie gets larger, they view the pie as a constant and want to have the biggest part. They truly believe that they deserve more, even if it comes at someone else's expense.

    Just sold a Medieval madness that i swapped for my GnR 63 days before. I listed it at 2k under what i could have got, as that was what GnR was listed for, the swap was one of those both happy deals and i wanted to pass the happiness on in this case.

    It sold in under 2 mins with no haggling and six people queuing up for it.

    Not saying i always do that as when i sell at a profit, it's knowing that the next machine i want to buy will be more than it was when i bought the one i sold.

    But in this case i didn't have it long enough for a profit to seem reasonable.

    -10
    #152 75 days ago
    Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

    There’s no difference between what you are doing and someone scalping tickets to an event.

    And how long has that practice gone on unchecked? I'm 55 and I remember people scalping tickets at my very 1st concert... ted nugent & point blank at the portland maine civic center... when I was a teen. Nothing's changed.

    The stakes are just much bigger now.

    My goal is to end up with a "FREE" fathom mermaid when all is said and done. Keep 1, flip 3.

    #153 75 days ago
    Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

    What you are doing isn’t illegal, .

    then why u crabbin

    #154 75 days ago

    See?

    There's no one else here, just d0n and a couple of dollars.

    #155 75 days ago

    Swampfire, I'm with you on this. Even buying 3 extra pins just to flip comes off bad as well. Neither is good for the hobby.

    Edit: I also find it strange that middle age men with money to have large pinball collections are doing stuff like this. I'm guessing more for the thrill than anything else because I would expect a "hustle" to come from a young person trying to get into the hobby.

    #156 75 days ago
    Quoted from bigehrl:

    **side note: dumping a drink on someone's head in Jackbar will quickly get that CUSTOMER ejected.

    You will feel the wrath of my one star yelp review for this!

    #157 75 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    I'm 55 and I remember people scalping tickets at my very 1st concert...

    Those scalpers were dicks unbecoming genital appendages* back then. Like the scalpers that came before them. And like the scalpers who are here today.

    * I’m going for that Well-Spoken achievement wish me luck!

    #158 75 days ago
    Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

    What you are doing isn’t illegal

    Quoted from d0n:

    then why u crabbin

    This is the difficulty of trying to talk meaningfully about anything online. You say anything, ANYTHING, and it’s going to be interpreted in a black and white way, 100% this or 0% that, no in between.

    I mean, really? Do we have to explain, here and now, in this two thousand and twenty second year of our lord, that there is miles and miles (or kilometers, you do you, we wish to welcome all, etc., etc.) of space in between the concepts of “legal” and “wrong”? Are we, fellow adults, not fully well aware that there is a shit ton of shit one can do in this world that is 100% legal, but simultaneously 100% shitty?

    #159 75 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    Sorry you don't have the foresight to do that. But please, keep crying about me doing it. I'm so greedy and I'm ruining pinball

    Pinball bro is just smarter than everyone. Don’t hate…

    7D5BA87D-B508-4E33-801B-9F3863E2E6F0 (resized).jpeg
    #160 75 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    And how long has that practice gone on unchecked? I'm 55 and I remember people scalping tickets at my very 1st concert... ted nugent & point blank at the portland maine civic center... when I was a teen. Nothing's changed.
    The stakes are just much bigger now.
    My goal is to end up with a "FREE" fathom mermaid when all is said and done. Keep 1, flip 3.
    Sorry you don't have the foresight to do that. But please, keep crying about me doing it. I'm so greedy and I'm ruining pinball.
    Wow, john got a 4 pager! Congrats on your first 4 pager swampfire.

    Man, must have touched a nerve.

    4F66D13B-95CF-468A-9EAA-0AE253355906 (resized).jpeg
    #161 75 days ago

    I'm still trying to figure out if this is the same Don Hop who was whining about how I was trying to rip people off when I was selling a $20,000 HUO Monster Bash.

    What happened to that guy?! Why do so many Price Police go bad? Why do so many defenders of the price police faith suddenly find that "scalping" in pinball is perfectly acceptable when they are doing it? Why do so many outspoken members of the Pinball Price Police Force end up trying to gouge the very community who they had once sworn to protect and serve? We see it time and time again!

    There seems to be a systemic problem on the force. Internal Affairs really needs to get involved. We need a system where the "good" price cops aren't afraid to speak out about the "bad" cops. Where's the Pinball Serpico when we need him?

    #162 75 days ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I'm still trying to figure out if this is the same Don Hop who was whining about how I was trying to rip people off when I was selling a $20,000 HUO Monster Bash.
    What happened to that guy?! Why do so many Price Police go bad? Why do so many defenders of the price police faith suddenly find that "scalping" in pinball is perfectly acceptable when they are doing it? Why do so many outspoken members of the Pinball Price Police Force end up trying to gouge the very community who they had once sworn to protect and serve? We see it time and time again!
    There seems to be a systemic problem on the force. Internal Affairs really needs to get involved. We need a system where the "good" price cops aren't afraid to speak out about the "bad" cops. Where's the Pinball Serpico when we need him?

    LOL, You calling to "Defund the Price Police"?

    #163 75 days ago
    Quoted from poppapin:

    LOL, You calling to "Defund the Price Police"?

    This has been my rallying cry for a couple years now!

    The system is broken.

    #164 75 days ago

    Take a peek at Carvana. You should be able to find a bunch of brand new cars marked up above msrp, with only a few miles. These are essentially NIB/NOB pins.

    #165 75 days ago
    Quoted from gorgar007:

    Take a peek at Carvana. You should be able to find a bunch of brand new cars marked up above msrp, with only a few miles. These are essentially NIB/NOB pins.

    I've said it before and I'll say again:

    Pinball machines are just like cars! They are essentially the same thing in every way.

    #166 74 days ago
    Quoted from ralphs007:

    Greedy people look at the world as a zero-sum game. Instead of thinking that everyone would benefit as the pie gets larger, they view the pie as a constant and want to have the biggest part. They truly believe that they deserve more, even if it comes at someone else's expense.

    It's the mindset of a lot of Americans, sadly.

    -13
    #167 69 days ago

    The only thing that will "fix" people making a profit on pinball (if that's actually a problem) is if the makers start pricing their games much higher & more realistically based on the current market. And, can you imagine the pinball people complaining about that if makers bumped prices by $3k-$6k!? That would price so many people out of the hobby.

    Haggis priced fathom mermaids at $9k usd when they announced the game a year ago. A year is LONG time in the pinball hobby. Anyone that's seen the update videos knows this incredible game will easily sell for $12k-$15k today.

    Pinball prices have been blowing up for the last 3-5 years. Especially, in the last year! Coveted Fathom Mermaid preorders (if you can find one) are now selling for $5k and up. Why? Because Haggis way underpriced the game and everyone knows it.

    I guess if y'all want to be upset with someone about "pinball profiteering", focus on the makers for not knowing the true value of their products. Don't be upset with the buyers & sellers who see the real values of SOME games.

    #168 69 days ago

    The problem with scalping spots really comes from the fact that demand is so far above supply right now. It wouldn't be a big issue if there weren't ten more people in line who have been waiting longer than the guy with more money than sense. This leads to a situation where people buy just to scalp which is going to lead to an increase in overall prices 100% of the time.

    Are you guys familiar with the paper oil market? Something like 90% of oil trade is done on paper with no intent to ever take delivery of the stuff. This causes massive inflation in the market as people with tons of money but no actual investment in the industry are allowed to get in and use their big bag to push everyone else around.

    It might not be illegal or immoral but what OP is pointing out does nothing other than inflate prices in the market. If a distributor has 10 people in line for 2 machines they gain nothing by letting someone buy one of the 2 spots for thousands from a depositor. They would be in the exact same spot if they just refunded the first deposit and went to the next person in line.
    In fact it's in the distributor's interest to find out who is willing to pay so much for the spot and go to them directly and ask for more to jump the line. Do you guys really want the market to go that way? It will get to the point where distributors auction off spots for the highest bidder. That will be lots of fun...

    I'd rather see manufacturers increase prices to meet the market rather than middle men taking a profit for doing essentially nothing. At least the money goes back into the system that way.

    #169 69 days ago

    Why not just don't allow the transfer of pre-order slots? If you don't want it, the slot goes back to the company and they keep the deposit. Seems the simplest way.

    #170 69 days ago
    Quoted from Anony:

    demand is so far above supply right now.
    I'd rather see manufacturers increase prices to meet the market

    alternatively, pinball companies could produce more games! They don't because demand & prices would fall. Just like Harley-Davidson motorcycles, they let the motorcycles trickle out of the factory to keep the demand and the prices artificially high.

    #171 69 days ago
    Quoted from MtnFrost:

    Why not just don't allow the transfer of pre-order slots? If you don't want it, the slot goes back to the company and they keep the deposit. Seems the simplest way.

    they can't do that with a non-refundable deposit and the game isn't ready when promised, when the deposit was taken there was sort of a contract saying the game would be ready and full payment would be made. if the game's not ready you shouldn't lose your pre-order money if you want to get out of the spot.

    the best way to do it is just to not offer spots and pre-orders. just sell the games when you actually have them in stock to sell. non-refundable pre-order deposits are ridiculous

    #172 69 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    alternatively, pinball companies could produce more games! They don't because demand & prices would fall. Just like Harley-Davidson motorcycles, they let the motorcycles trickle out of the factory to keep the demand and the prices artificially high.

    I don't think that's what's going on. By all accounts Stern is producing at full capacity given availability of parts and labor, not intentionally throttling supply to increase prices. They could further increase their production capacity, but that's a risky move if you're not confident that demand will remain high in the long-run.

    #173 69 days ago

    I'm going to be contrarian on this and say that the deposit model may be what has allowed botique pinball manufacturers to exist in the first place and is therefore a good thing. No, I am not a flipper and have not sold pre-order spots for a profit (sold my Rick and Morty spot for cost at start of COVID at cost to a friend and later bought it back). What do deposits do? It gives an actual real number of machine orders that a manufacturer can be expected to make. When Spooky sold 750 machines, they took deposits on every single one of them. This was probably something close to the "profit" they would make on every single machine. That deposit money allowed them to order all of the parts needed to get the machines on the line. Without the deposit money, what would Spooky have done on their limited machine? They could make Rick and Morty so long as it sold, but it already took them 18 months to get just what was ordered out the door. Could they have made more than 750? Yes! But if they did they would likely not have been able to immediately sell out on their next games. The deposits are absolutely a risk for the buyer... especially when buying form a botique or unestablished company (see Deeproot).

    The machine you put a deposit down on to reserve might not end up being a hit. Spooky customers who bought Halloween and Ultraman are now selling those machines for well below cost. Some of these buyers may have been "speculators" or "flippers" hoping to make a profit with no intention of keeping the game. These people (the ones who bought for profit) are getting screwed... but Spooky isn't. They have their deposit money and if people don't pay the remainder, they won't get their game. Only companies with a reputation for actually getting games delivered are able to get real deposit money. Would I begrudge someone for selling their Rick and Morty spot at a profit? Nope... Do I feel pitty for someone selling their Ultraman deposit at a loss? Nope. With too many people speculating the bottom will fall out eventually (as I think is happening with Spooky right now). I do not think flipping pre order spots will be profitable forever, and with some folks losing money on them recently I think we will see less and less people trying to speculate on them.

    #174 69 days ago

    This is probably not how it is intended to come across, but this is how the voice in my head reads this...

    Quoted from d0n:

    Anyone that's seen the update videos knows this incredible game will easily sell for $12k-$15k today.

    SALEMANSHIP!

    Quoted from d0n:

    Coveted Fathom Mermaid preorders (if you can find one) are now selling for $5k and up.

    "See how much my preorders are worth."

    Quoted from d0n:

    Why? Because Haggis way underpriced the game and everyone knows it.

    "It's their fault, not mine. I'm fixing their error by adding the proper markup"

    Quoted from d0n:

    I guess if y'all want to be upset with someone about "pinball profiteering", focus on the makers for not knowing the true value of their products. Don't be upset with the buyers & sellers who see the real values of SOME games.

    "How dare you call me out for driving up the cost without providing any value to the supply chain. They just don't know what their games are worth. Shame on them for offering a product at a reasonable market price. I'M UNREASONABLE GOD DAMN IT!"

    #175 69 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    alternatively, pinball companies could produce more games! They don't because demand & prices would fall. Just like Harley-Davidson motorcycles, they let the motorcycles trickle out of the factory to keep the demand and the prices artificially high.

    I think you mean to site either the DeBeers diamond cartel or Girl Scout cookies. They both inflate their value by creating artificial scarcity through tightly controlling their market availability. Harley wishes they could move more units. Their value is tied to the aesthetic of the Harley lifestyle and that it is an American brand, not the rarity of them (and certainly not the quality or engineering). Supply chain shortages are hitting them like every other large manufacturer.

    Pinball is still the industry that nearly collapsed in the last 25 years and it only limped along though cost cutting measures to make it through to today. I don't think any manufacturer in the business today wants to go through a wild, ill thought out expansion of their production facilities when the demand for individual titles is so variable.

    #176 69 days ago
    Quoted from bigguybbr:

    This is probably not how it is intended to come across, but this is how the voice in my head reads this...

    SALEMANSHIP!

    "See how much my preorders are worth."

    "It's their fault, not mine. I'm fixing their error by adding the proper markup"

    "How dare you call me out for driving up the cost without providing any value to the supply chain. They just don't know what their games are worth. Shame on them for offering a product at a reasonable market price. I'M UNREASONABLE GOD DAMN IT!"

    I was going to respond but... meh. Not worth it. You've got it all figured out.

    #177 69 days ago

    Yes, we can see what's happening.

    #178 69 days ago
    Quoted from bigguybbr:

    Pinball is still the industry that nearly collapsed in the last 25 years and it only limped along though cost cutting measures to make it through to today. I don't think any manufacturer in the business today wants to go through a wild, ill thought out expansion of their production facilities when the demand for individual titles is so variable.

    You're not in tune with pinball today. Haggis moved into a 400% larger place, JJP moved into a HUGE place in another state, stern can't keep up with production. Demand is at an all time high. Pinball is nothing like it was 25 years ago when stern was the only name in the game. Pinball is not limping anymore, it is sprinting.

    #179 69 days ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I'm still trying to figure out if this is the same Don Hop who was whining about how I was trying to rip people off when I was selling a $20,000 HUO Monster Bash. What happened to that guy?! Why do so many Price Police go bad?

    Hey d0n, any truth to the rumor you spent some time in the ranks with the Price Police?

    #180 69 days ago
    Quoted from fosaisu:

    Hey d0n, any truth to the rumor you spent some time in the ranks with the Price Police?

    All I see is ignored user. Sorry.

    #181 69 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    All I see is ignored user. Sorry.

    A darn shame, price-policing hypocrisy threads are generally more interesting than price-policing philosophy threads.

    #182 69 days ago
    Quoted from fosaisu:

    A darn shame, price-policing hypocrisy threads are generally more interesting than price-policing philosophy threads.

    d0n is the only one on pinside that is allowed to constantly brag about his ignore feature.

    #183 69 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    All I see is ignored user. Sorry.

    Ha! Just like I had to block this lunatic on Facebook when he accused me of having a small apartment!

    Of all the vicious things to say to a New Yorker! (And not true, our place is huge by city standards!)

    Anyway, glad everybody else has figured out what a class act and asset to the hobby Don is.

    #184 69 days ago

    giphy (5).gif

    #185 68 days ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Ha! Just like I had to block this lunatic on Facebook when he accused me of having a small apartment!
    Of all the vicious things to say to a New Yorker! (And not true, our place is huge by city standards!)
    Anyway, glad everybody else has figured out what a class act and asset to the hobby Don is.

    And here he can be seen again showing how much of a great asset to the hobby he is

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/haggis-fathom-mermaid-71-preorder-spot#post-6902816

    #186 68 days ago

    Depositeering. Just came to say that.

    #187 68 days ago

    Simple.. and its been said. Non transferable, non refundable deposit. Or.. just non transferable for those life events. At least then the buyer is somewhat committed to their flip.. they will have to take possession, pay shipping, tax, etc.. Lowers their margin some. Won't end flipping but may slow it some. It is a little disheartening that we've been wanting a GZ and keep seeing them for sale NIB for 2-3k or more than retail. Idk... maybe the pinball hobby just has lots of peeps that routinely change their mind on $10k purchases..

    -2
    #189 67 days ago

    double post

    -1
    #190 67 days ago
    Quoted from smokinhos:

    Simple.. and its been said. Non transferable, non refundable deposit. Or.. just non transferable for those life events. At least then the buyer is somewhat committed to their flip.. they will have to take possession, pay shipping, tax, etc.. Lowers their margin some. Won't end flipping but may slow it some. It is a little disheartening that we've been wanting a GZ and keep seeing them for sale NIB for 2-3k or more than retail. Idk... maybe the pinball hobby just has lots of peeps that routinely change their mind on $10k purchases..

    Even more simple... how about no more preorders at all?! Makers can only sell games that are in stock and ready to ship.

    #191 66 days ago

    Possible solution: Distributors get a percentage based sales commission on any preorders sold/transferred higher than the original amount.

    It wouldn't stop pre-order scalping entirely but would create more revenue for distributors at least. I feel like they are also kind of getting screwed out of money on the table.

    #192 65 days ago

    I feel ashamed and dirty that i actually wanted to buy an extra spot and bet they would make the machines and flip it after i paid for it and got it delivered.

    I'll never offer to do that again, it's filthy.

    #193 65 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    Even more simple... how about no more preorders at all?! Makers can only sell games that are in stock and ready to ship.

    D98A93D2-73BB-4D1F-9A80-594B0487FD6C.gif
    #194 65 days ago
    Quoted from punkin:

    I feel ashamed and dirty that i actually wanted to buy an extra spot and bet they would make the machines and flip it after i paid for it and got it delivered.
    I'll never offer to do that again, it's filthy.

    No, no, no. Haven't you been reading? It's FINE. It's called "the hustle"...

    #195 65 days ago
    Quoted from KozMckPinball:

    "wait time truncation"

    A newly coined term now added to the pinball lexicon. Companies like Amazon have accustomed people to expect extremely quick delivery. Opportunists recognize and profit from this demand for immediate gratification.

    If everyone would be satisfied with a premium or pro model and willing to wait until their spot in line came up, then there would be no opening for opportunists to flip games (or spots). But people don't like to wait and some just have to have the LE model of a game.

    New pinball machines have never been more expensive. Some of us have already been priced out of NIB, or limited to saving up for an occasional purchase. With record high NIB pricing still leaving room for flipper markups, it has been suggested that manufacturers raise MSRP and take the additional profit themselves. Wealth in America has become so disproportionately divided that the super rich could still buy at double the current prices. But manufacturers like Stern know that this would kill sales to the middle class.

    Then again, maybe one of the rich suggested raising prices, so he wouldn't have to wait for new games.

    #196 65 days ago
    Quoted from littlecammi:

    A newly coined term now added to the pinball lexicon. Companies like Amazon have accustomed people to expect extremely quick delivery. Opportunists recognize and profit from this demand for immediate gratification.

    I've known a lot of wealthy people. Some of them very nice, some of them [email protected] Money doesn't define your personality. If anything it makes nice people nicer, and jerks jerkier.

    Tell you what's rare to find though, a rich person who's patient. I'm sure they exist, lots of people on this mud ball. But why wait if you don't have to?

    Anyways, here's what I don't get. If you have thousands and thousands of dollars just sitting around being useless that you can tie up buying deposits on pinball games ... why do it? I mean, it's kind of a crummy way to make money. Sure, you might turn $4000 into $8000 or something, but if you've got that much spare cash is that really a huge windfall? There's always a risk involved too, it's not a sure thing.

    Seems like a strange way to be a bit of a scumbag to me I guess. Just day trade or something.

    At least if you're rich and paying $3000 for someone's deposit to get a game faster you're just being impatient to enjoy a toy. The flippers are just being low key parasites on the hobby for this little dinky return, I don't actually get it.

    #197 65 days ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    I've known a lot of wealthy people. Some of them very nice, some of them [email protected] Money doesn't define your personality. If anything it makes nice people nicer, and jerks jerkier.
    Tell you what's rare to find though, a rich person who's patient. I'm sure they exist, lots of people on this mud ball. But why wait if you don't have to?

    I am in the service industry, and there are plenty of people from lower economic thresholds that have absolutely no patience, nor understanding, compassion, professionalism, deciency, etc.

    I get the point you are attempting to make, but you are stereotyping a wee bit.

    #198 65 days ago
    Quoted from Methos:

    I am in the service industry, and there are plenty of people from lower economic thresholds that have absolutely no patience, nor understanding, compassion, professionalism, deciency, etc.
    I get the point you are attempting to make, but you are stereotyping a wee bit.

    This isn't about stereotyping personalities, it's about the reality of money. When you're rich you don't have to wait, because you can make things appear by opening your wallet.

    Want a game? Rare or otherwise? Post a wanted thread, and make your offer high enough and one will appear. It's that simple.

    "Regular people" hunt for games. For many of us the hunt is part of the pleasure honestly. You have a list of things you keep an eye out for, you check the listings regularly, you stumble across random things in the process. A laugh, a treasure, that game your friend wanted. Looking out for things is part of the hobby tradition.

    Rich people show up at the Banning auction, see a game they want now, and pay for it. We sit there shaking our heads, because we know they paid 4x what you could get one for, but that would mean spending time looking. They can afford to not look and make it appear.

    -4
    #199 65 days ago

    That's the classic cunundrum... do you spend your time or your money? Let's say your grail game is a fun house but you want a nice one. You scour the ads for 4 years and finally find one local, you race to get there before the other 20 collectors do. You actually are the first one there and get it for the advertised price of $2000! Now you bring it home, spend hours shopping it out and make it what you've always envisioned your funhouse would look like. Congrats. Your grail game only cost you $2k, 20 hours of labor to shop it and 4 years to find it.

    On the other hand, a "rich guy" calls up HEP and says... "I'd like a nice
    fun house. How much money are we talking?" Hep says $16k and I'll have it done in 6 to 8 months.

    Which funhouse owner is better off and happier? Neither or both... they each got what they wanted.

    A "rich person" is rich because they know the value of money versus time and understand how short life is.

    This is off topic though. Mods?!

    10
    #200 64 days ago
    Quoted from d0n:

    A "rich person" is rich because they know the value of money versus time and understand how short life is.

    Huh, is that how it works?

    Anyways, HEP working on a machine adds value to the hobby and the world. He does a lot of work and leaves things better than he found them. People paying him for his time is very reasonable.

    What value someone buying up multiple pre-order spots to flip them for a profit adds to anything is beyond me.

    There are 200 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 4.

    Reply

    Wanna join the discussion? Please sign in to reply to this topic.

    Hey there! Welcome to Pinside!

    Donate to Pinside

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run without any 3rd-party banners or ads, thanks to the support from our visitors? Please consider a donation to Pinside and get anext to your username to show for it! Or better yet, become a Pinside+ member!