(Topic ID: 214139)

Distributors marking up hot NIB LE titles


By Cserold

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Concretehardt
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    #1 1 year ago

    I'm curious on the group's opinions on distributors marking up prices on newly released Limited Edition NIB titles when a new title is highly sought after. Do you think Stern/JJP, etc. should have policies preventing this? Have you experienced this before with a distributor? Would this turn you off from buying from a distributor that did this?

    I think there is some of this going on with IMDN LE. Thanks for the discussion.

    #2 1 year ago

    Its bad enough that pin prices have escalated to the point that they have. Its SHAMEFUL that distributors would try and charge even more.

    #3 1 year ago

    Suggested retail is just that so it does not surprise me or offend me.
    Dealers are force fed good and bad titles so for instance wwele was a dud and they still had to buy the allotment.
    Iron Maiden Le is a sought after pin and they can charge full boat or better.

    Now that being said, if you buy normally form a dealer and the jack you up...go to another dealer.
    Seems all are towing the line on retail from Stern/AP these days.
    Once the market cools wheeling and dealing will return.
    I believe its just a sign of a strong Pinball economy.

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from HOOKED:

    Suggested retail is just that so it does not surprise me or offend me.
    Dealers are force feed good and bad titles so for instance wwele was a dud and they still had to buy the allotment.
    Iron Maiden Le is a sought after pin and they can charge full boat or better.
    Now that being said, if you buy normally form a dealer and the jack you up...go to another dealer.
    Seems all are towing the line on retail from Stern/AP these days.
    Once the market cools wheeling and dealing will return.
    I believe its just a sign of a strong Pinball economy.

    I'm a capitalist to the extreme and a business owner so I'm torn on it. Many of us also take same risk on buying NIB before playing (or even seeing) a game so you could argue we are also taking these same risks on duds. I heard (from what I consider a good source) a distributor charged $11k for their last two IMDN LE games. Guess they sold so both sides are happy but i just rubs me wrong. I was impressed and pleased my distributor charged the same as they would for any other title (based on suggested retail of course). Will keep my business for years to come.

    #5 1 year ago

    Your a chump if you pay msrp for anything.... but hey, like they say there’s a sucker born every minute!

    #6 1 year ago

    Prices of NIB is so ridiculous now that it will either drive people out of the hobby or will force most to by second hand. It is a shame, I still think the stern pros are a decent value but wish they would not strip the game down from the full experience. They should only strip down astetic things such as lighting or plastic ramps vs metal ramps etc. we will see how much the market can sustain this resurgence. Such a great hobby but disappointed to see the inflation and price gouging getting so out of control.

    #7 1 year ago

    Easy solution - don't buy one at a jacked up price. Would it be better if a bunch of flippers bought them all up and sold them at a jacked up price? You are already paying a jacked up price for the LE badge. Just buy a premium or pro. Just don't get the whole LE thing.

    #8 1 year ago

    Distributors inflating the MSRP bothers me less than Stern raising the minimum pricing that distributors can offer. Good customers can’t be rewarded for loyalty to a distributor.

    Of course, I have no problem with distributors making a profit. We each decide how much we are willing to spend. I don’t get my feelings hurt over luxury purchases.

    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from Nevus:

    Distributors inflating the MSRP bothers me less than Stern raising the minimum pricing that distributors can offer. Good customers can’t be rewarded for loyalty to a distributor.
    Of course, I have no problem with distributors making a profit. We each decide how much we are willing to spend. I don’t get my feelings hurt over luxury purchases.

    Agree with this^

    I have much more of a problem of the distro's hands being tied from the manufacturer than them (distro) increasing or decreasing price based on demand because I can easily tell a distro NO if I don't like the price or even negotiate with them at that point...

    #10 1 year ago

    Nothing wrong with it in my opinion. Depending on supply/demand they may sell it and make more profit. Or they have to sit on it until they drop the price. Or the game ends up being a dud and months/years later they find a way to sell it for a loss. All within the rights as a distributor.

    #11 1 year ago
    Quoted from ReplayRyan:

    Nothing wrong with it in my opinion. Depending on supply/demand they may sell it and make more profit. Or they have to sit on it until they drop the price. Or the game ends up being a dud and months/years later they find a way to sell it for a loss. All within the rights as a distributor.

    I basically agree. Supply/demand, capitalism etc. However, both Stern and their distributors need to consider the long term effects of always maximizing their profits. Doesn’t create loyalty among buyers and may ultimately limit the growth of the hobby. In other words, the optimum outcome for a company is not always maximizing short term profits.

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from Russell:

    I basically agree. Supply/demand, capitalism etc. However, both Stern and their distributors need to consider the long term effects of always maximizing their profits. Doesn’t create loyalty among buyers and may ultimately limit the growth of the hobby. In other words, the optimum outcome for a company is not always maximizing short term profits.

    Couldn’t agree more with this.

    The end result is going to be a whole lot of unhappy campers when they go to sell that $11k LE for a lot less on the secondary market

    It’s real easy to find another distro in that case

    Doesn’t matter who got what. 500 ain’t “limited” by any stretch. Better than the 2500 LE JJP total though

    I didn’t buy my AFMrLE because 1000 was “limited”. I liked the green armor and topper

    What is really “limited”? I guess everybody has their own idea.

    I view my BM66LE and POTCCE as “collectible”?

    At least Stern did some different things on the boutique BM66 run to differentiate

    Slapping an LE plaque on it doesn’t make it any more desirable! Kind of like my ASLE. But I liked the colors and backglass.

    With IMD people haven’t even seen the LE package. Wow

    #13 1 year ago

    If distributors are allowed to charge more than MSRP for LEs, then Stern should stop advertising MSRP on LEs. Distributors are the only ones who can buy the machines, they can just gobble up all the inventory unopposed, and charge whatever they want. That feels unfair.

    That said, the whole system of LEs is a cash grab anyway, and you should know that's what you're signing up for. These days, you often need to be on a list for them before the game is even announced. Yeah, you get different art, but manufacturers could just sell unlimited Premiums in various art packages.

    #14 1 year ago

    This has happened to me before. On my first nib years back. Then I heard the sales pitch from another distributor. I called around. Ended up buying many nib games from the same distributor now as I don’t get forcefed garbage and the “expected” price.

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    If distributors are allowed to charge more than MSRP for LEs, then Stern should stop advertising MSRP on LEs. Distributors are the only ones who can buy the machines, they can just gobble up all the inventory unopposed, and charge whatever they want. That feels unfair.
    That said, the whole system of LEs is a cash grab anyway, and you should know that's what you're signing up for. These days, you often need to be on a list for them before the game is even announced. Yeah, you get different art, but manufacturers could just sell unlimited Premiums in various art packages.

    I agree. (insert metaphor about shearing vs skinning sheep here)

    #16 1 year ago

    If the distributor has to order for stock. And pay up front. They can charge what ever they like. No one has to buy it.

    If you order one and pay for it up front so no risk to distributor, yes you should get a better price.

    LTG : )

    #17 1 year ago

    I've been learning a lot from this forum in the short time I've been here. Since I'm looking for my first machine,I feel like an investor who decides to buy stocks during a stock market bubble. But like my older brother always says to me, "Enjoy yourself and get what you want,because you never see any luggage racks on a Hearst".

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    If the distributor has to order for stock. And pay up front. They can charge what ever they like. No one has to buy it.
    If you order one and pay for it up front so no risk to distributor, yes you should get a better price.

    Totally agree Lloyd.

    I do think the manufacturers have handcuffed the distributors though. It should be here's your cost, sell for what you want. If you want to add an MSRP to ensure it does not get too jacked up that's fine. If disti A wants to tout service, install and warranty and charge X over so be it. If another goes for volume and prices lower at Y, so be it. The problem is all these A disti's complain and squeezed out the B disti play for volume, rewarding repeat customers, etc.

    This is why it's crap now to buy NIB.

    #19 1 year ago

    If they are selling a marked up game they dont get my money plain and simple. I'll take it somewhere else

    #20 1 year ago

    If you don’t like to pay more, don’t buy it. No one is making us buy a $10000 pinball machine. I wouldn’t overpay for a machine. I’m sure there are plenty of distributors that will make you a special deal. I’ve only had one NIB pin and I got that through a trade.

    #21 1 year ago

    While I didn’t articulate it well, I was mainly referring to this happening with a distributor you have bought from multiple times. My bet is that the distros are honoring the typical pricing with repeat customers then marking up remaining inventory for newcomers that just have to have one. Guess I can’t blame them.

    #22 1 year ago

    I got no problem with it. They take a risk on every title they buy.

    #23 1 year ago

    If this bothers you wait until some of the lucky pinsiders who get a LE start listing them in the marketplace and others list them NIB on Ebay at scalper prices.
    I predict NIB $14000 by Christmas or as soon as they start shipping!

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from venom112:

    Prices of NIB is so ridiculous now that it will either drive people out of the hobby or will force most to by second hand.

    The history of the last 5 years screams otherwise.

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    Couldn’t agree more with this.
    The end result is going to be a whole lot of unhappy campers when they go to sell that $11k LE for a lot less on the secondary market
    It’s real easy to find another distro in that case
    Doesn’t matter who got what. 500 ain’t “limited” by any stretch. Better than the 2500 LE JJP total though
    I didn’t buy my AFMrLE because 1000 was “limited”. I liked the green armor and topper
    What is really “limited”? I guess everybody has their own idea.
    I view my BM66LE and POTCCE as “collectible”?
    At least Stern did some different things on the boutique BM66 run to differentiate
    Slapping an LE plaque on it doesn’t make it any more desirable! Kind of like my ASLE. But I liked the colors and backglass.
    With IMD people haven’t even seen the LE package. Wow

    Limited, in my eyes, has always been viewed as a trim level with slightly limited production. While people are paying two grand over MSRP, i'll be laughing in three years buying a vault edition for less.

    14
    #26 1 year ago

    Nice topic, it's been a pet peeve of mine for years - both as a collector and a distributor. I've been bitten myself as a collector and paid more than was reasonable.

    I'll be the first distributor to say I think it's distasteful. I'm not going to say wrong, but I don't do it as I think it would be embarrassing to me to do that to people I should be valuing as customers, not taking advantage of. I've never done it and will never do it. Maybe a few bucks extra to recoup costs like shipping to have something in inventory but beyond that it's not good. I know I've suspected distributors 'hold back' games and not sell them at a reveal only to see if it's hot, sells out, then all of a sudden later they have them at a higher price. I've been told 'nope sold out' then seen same distributor later selling the game at a markup, total BS. We sign on and agree to make so much on a game so my opinion is I accepted that whether the title is hot or not. If your money as a customer is good when a game doesn't sell out it should be good at the same rate when the game is hot. Beyond that I think it's greedy and disrespectful.

    The companies don't care what we do as long as they get paid. Not sure it's something they should control as we are our own businesses and we do take the risk. For every IM LE a distributor buys he might be stuck with 5 WWE LEs - so please consider that as a flip side. It could occur with other companies as well with other situations... Distributors selling games to new customers to make an extra new sale while their own pre-orders wait. Trust me when we see this as a collective group we pounce.

    PinballSTAR Amusements pledges we won't do it.

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from Cserold:

    Do you think Stern/JJP, etc. should have policies preventing this?

    Absolutely not.

    Quoted from Cserold:

    Have you experienced this before with a distributor?

    Yes

    Quoted from Cserold:

    Would this turn you off from buying from a distributor that did this?

    No. A distributor can charge whatever they want for a game. There’s a lot more that goes into what distributor I choose other than price.

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from ulmpharmd:

    Agree with this^
    I have much more of a problem of the distro's hands being tied from the manufacturer than them (distro) increasing or decreasing price based on demand because I can easily tell a distro NO if I don't like the price or even negotiate with them at that point...

    It was mostly the distros that didn't like competing with other distros using markdowns, so they lobbied Stern into a fixed price model.

    #29 1 year ago

    What if Target charged $100 more for a Nintendo Switch during the peak of the shortage? I know these guys are family operations, but charging more than MSRP for me just tells the largest buyer base that they will gouge you if they feel they can. It’s distasteful to me. Some distributors do this for non LE games also. And they only really move them when they are out of production (automated with Star Trek Pro)

    #30 1 year ago

    I suspect for the resellers virtually every single one of their customers buying NIB pinballs have more net income than they do.

    #31 1 year ago

    Oh well,I live in another world. Normally a pro buyer if new.

    I'm really looking for value and quality pinball gameplay Collectibility not my thing.

    -1
    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from Cruster:

    Your a chump if you pay msrp for anything.... but hey, like they say there’s a sucker born every minute!

    Welcome to Chumpland, home of the single distributor controlled supply chain model where you also pay over and above to secure a low number unit.

    "All price rises are due to currency fluctuations with the US dollar" and anyone who says otherwise is just unAustralian and isn't supporting local businesses doing it tough.

    map_of_australia (resized).jpg

    Now you know why a number of us have chosen to import and bypass official distributor channels instead.

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from Cserold:

    Do you think Stern/JJP, etc. should have policies preventing this?

    There are laws in USA prohibiting 'price fixing'.

    MSRP is just that. "suggested"

    Your best option, as a buyer, is to call as many distributors as you can find, and make them work for the sale.

    #34 1 year ago
    Quoted from scott_freeman:

    There are laws in USA prohibiting 'price fixing'.
    MSRP is just that. "suggested"
    Your best option, as a buyer, is to call as many distributors as you can find, and make them work for the sale.

    Or just be loyal to one solid distro and he/she will take care of you over the years.. even when a hot title comes along.
    Last note it’s not just about price! You may shop around and find out you could save a few bucks on a machine, but if you have a problem with that machine and have a good, long time, high volume distro in your corner.. it is a valuable thing and is hard to put a price on!

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