Yes, this called is capitalism.
Have you ever had to unload a half dozen NIB machines that were "stinkers" and end up selling them as an overstock loss?
It is a gamble.
Profit margins are sometimes less than $1000, that is why platinum distributors can give better pricing.
Many times Bally/Williams games sat in warehouses for months, and distributors kept hoping some operator would buy them.
Some could sit on them indefinitely, some could not.
Some even passed games around to other distributors in "trades".
Ultimately, you pay what you want as a collector, which is still not the market for pro model Stern machines.
You hold the cards, you make the choices.
If you do not like one vendor, walk away.
The aftermarket is FLOODED with certain titles, that unfortunately are inflated due to people actually thinking they are worth more.
They are not.
It is just like buying a new car and driving it off the lot, you pay for the entertainment value.
Wait until the spring, and you will get a better deal from a distributor.
A LOT better.
It like what happens with TAF every Halloween, it is laughable.
If you are not in Europe, feel fortunate.
The mark ups are EXTREME!
In fact, you may get an even better deal than that when a private owner gets bored of the new toy after Christmas.
However, if you are looking some type of LE or Special Edition because you decide to change your mind, it might be time to break open the piggy bank.
Many machines may not have the future small production runs.
I waited for two years to buy my Metallica Premium for many reasons, and it paid off.
Price match EVERYTHING, and you will be surprised at the price spectrum.
There are plenty of distributors that say they will "price match" other distributors, but in reality that is not entirely true.
Shipping and "rules" get people all the time.
Taxes come right up behind.
Read the "fine print".
Try not to run to the Cabbage Patch Kids aisle too fast in enthusiasm.