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(Topic ID: 186901)

Estate sale pins


By red-line

3 years ago



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  • 40 posts
  • 30 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by pinster68
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    #1 3 years ago

    Anyone ever go to estate sales looking for pins? I'm planning on going to an estate sale this weekend that has a few pins available, and I'm trying to figure out what to expect. Is it possible to get pins way under value? Or do they pretty much have their values dialed in?

    #2 3 years ago

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If you've ever been to estate sales, sometimes stuff is priced high to get the most amount of $$ out of the items there, sometimes stuff is priced fairly, and sometimes there's a fire sale just to get rid of everything. There's no way to tell until you get there what kind of sale it's going to be.

    #3 3 years ago

    I've gone to several estate sales looking for pins and vintage arcade equipment. On the very rare instance they have pins, they are often way over priced as they don't seam to have taken condition into account and just price them based on ebay asking prices.

    #4 3 years ago
    Quoted from red-line:

    Anyone ever go to estate sales looking for pins? I'm planning on going to an estate sale this weekend that has a few pins available, and I'm trying to figure out what to expect. Is it possible to get pins way under value? Or do they pretty much have their values dialed in?

    Estate sales (at least the ones I've gone to) seem to follow a pattern of prices. The first day of multiday estate sale, everything is over-priced and deals are harder to get. Everything is negotiable however. The final day especially late, unbelievable deals can be had if the stuff is still there, that's the risk. With a pinball machine, like large furniture, if its still there at the waning moments of the estate sale they're gonna make a deal because more than likely it is being held on already sold property and no one wants to move it back to storage.

    Also, I'd be surprised if it was priced properly because of the fickle nature of machines and their state of running condition and what it would take to get them running again being priced by an estate sale person. Gotta know the machine is running or not.

    13
    #5 3 years ago

    Been to a few, but success rate is not high, but here are couple of tips;

    Be there early, like before it opens. If they are priced well, they will be gone immediately, sometimes before they are open
    Make an offer, you never know what they will take unless you ask.
    Leave your phone#, if they don't sell, they will call you.

    Funny story:
    I went to a sale that had a Pioneer and a Twin Rifle, listed for 3,500 and 2,500. Both cosmetically nice, powered on but didn't really work.

    Made an offer of $500. She said each?, I said no for both. She laughed, but I left my card.

    Sunday, about an hour before the sale ended she called me and asked if my offer of $500 was still good. I laughed and said no, It's now $350. They were in my trailer an hour later.

    #6 3 years ago

    Before I go, I will contact the seller to find out what pins they have available and the prices. If the prices are fair, go early. A fair priced pin at an estate sale goes fast.

    #7 3 years ago

    I got my Gorgar at an estate sale for $225, though this was way back in 1991 or so. For once I was on the ball and in the front end of the line when it opened. I made a beeline straight to it and said SOLD! They said are you sure, one flipper is broken? I said sure I'm sure, and one resoldered flipper coil wire later it worked fine!

    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    Made an offer of $500. She said each?, I said no for both. She laughed, but I left my card.
    Sunday, about an hour before the sale ended she called me and asked if my offer of $500 was still good. I laughed and said no, It's now $350. They were in my trailer an hour later.

    Good thing your offer was verbal, if you had left a bid in the offer box like most estate sales have, they'd have expected you to stick to that.

    Quoted from cantbfrank:

    find out what pins they have available and the prices. If the prices are fair, go early.

    Assuming they'll even tell you, many outfits won't say, or they might say what titles but not the prices.

    #8 3 years ago

    I went very early to one local sale but the pin had a "SOLD" sign on it already. Not sure if it was someone that day or a deal made in advance. It's hit or miss, but you need to be there early to have any chance

    #9 3 years ago

    Are you referring to the estate sale starting Friday in Minneapolis, that had the Twilight Zone and the Bally Playboy? Looks like a ton of music memorabilia too. I wish I dint' have to work Friday, so I could be there at 9 when it starts.

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from cantbfrank:

    Before I go, I will contact the seller to find out what pins they have available and the prices. If the prices are fair, go early. A fair priced pin at an estate sale goes fast.

    Many estate sales will not quote any prices over the phone.

    "I'm sorry, we run 30+ estate sales each week. No one in the office has any pricing information or additional photos on any particular item."

    #11 3 years ago

    I've only bought two machines at estate sales. The first was about twenty years ago. They advertised a Cowpoke, which was pretty high on my want list. I got there 30 minutes before opening and was still in the second group let into to the sale. Once I got in, I made a bee line for the machine took a quick look at condition, which was nice, and the price - $350. I grabbed the tag and immediately paid for it. I still have that game.

    Ironically, the second was just a week or so ago. There was a Gottlieb pinball machine advertised at a one day estate sale, just down the road from where I work. Me and a buddy went over at lunch to check it out. Turned out to be a pretty decent Ice Show. Here they were accepting sealed bids, minimum $375. My buddy already has one of those so I placed a bid and a few hours later got the call!

    So, it can work out, but usually they are overpriced and underwhelming.

    #12 3 years ago

    I bought one pin from an estate sale out of the 90+ I've owned. It was a nice Grand Prix for $250. Price was agreed upon over the phone before I left my driveway.

    #13 3 years ago

    I got my Getaway at an estate sale. The person running it was a friend and had told me it was coming up.
    As you start visiting these, let the people running it know that you have a particular interest in pins, and would appreciate a quick contact if another one comes up in the future.

    BTW - that Getaway was undocumented HUO (I got it a couple of years ago) for $1k.

    -scott

    #15 3 years ago
    Quoted from Minneapolispin:

    minneapolis.craigslist.org link

    Please, nobody show this to spfxted.

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from PaulCoff:

    Please, nobody show this to spfxted.

    What happened to Steve? (That he's selling all this stuff).

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from KozMckPinball:

    What happened to Steve? (That he's selling all this stuff).

    I think Ted would be interested in some of that stuff from previous pics he posted of his stuff.

    #18 3 years ago

    Got my Roy Clark for fifty bucks at an estate sale. Half price Sunday for the win.

    #19 3 years ago

    Thanks for the info, guys. The estate sale is in St. Louis. I'm having a hard time imagining that I can get a deal, as on their website, the three pins are the "featured items." but I will definitely call on Sunday to see. Not sure I'm interested in getting up at 530 to drive an hour to see some overpriced pins. I'll let you all know.

    #20 3 years ago

    I have a friend who hits these up all the times and has bought many pins. Seems like a waste of time to me as he always overpays, spends half a day, and travels too far for a run of the mill title. I wouldn't chase these down unless this kind of thing is fun for you.

    #21 3 years ago

    I've gotten 5 or 6 I think from estate sales.

    As was mentioned, it's a crap shoot on pricing and condition. Best days are usually on the last day of the sale...if it wasn't nabbed earlier.

    My advice is to call about 15min after the sale starts the first day and ask for the price. You'll at least get an idea if it's worth taking the time to see it or not.

    #22 3 years ago

    Just last weekend. 175$ Big Ben

    IMG_9699 (resized).JPG

    #23 3 years ago

    Keep in mind the recent article / news stories which could influence the mindset of the sellers and support the possibility of way over priced pins:

    Quoted from red-line:

    I'm having a hard time imagining that I can get a deal

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pinball-in-the-news-cbs

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pinball-article-in-the-new-york-times-today

    #24 3 years ago

    I bought my Stern Dragonfist at an estate auction for an out of business Mechanic shop. It cost me $327 after taxes and fees.

    And I picked up a High Speed at an estate sale back in 2006 for $300 because nobody wanted to pay the listed $1,000. The house had to be empty the next day. So I got lucky attending during the last few hours of the sale. The tag had been slashed three times. $1,000 to $800 to $600 and then finally to $400. I offered $300 and they accepted.

    So while not the best places to grab a pinball machine, when you do, it can be very cheap.

    Marcus

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I have a friend who hits these up all the times and has bought many pins. Seems like a waste of time to me as he always overpays, spends half a day, and travels too far for a run of the mill title. I wouldn't chase these down unless this kind of thing is fun for you.

    The thrill of the hunt is what gets some people excited.

    The only estate sale pin I've acquired was a Fun Fest. It was covered in an inch of dust, and the playfield was filthy. I made an offer that was rejected initially, and as I was going to my car the estate executor followed me out and said "will you come up to $x". I told her no, that my offer was as high as I was willing to go. She said she would think about it and would call me, and I told her I wasn't going to come back-- my offer was as high as I was willing to go, and it was only good until I got into my car.

    I went home with the machine, and had it mostly working within an hour of getting it set up.

    #26 3 years ago

    I feel like this thread could lead to a show down akin to Storage Wars!

    #27 3 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I have a friend who hits these up all the times and has bought many pins. Seems like a waste of time to me as he always overpays, spends half a day, and travels too far for a run of the mill title. I wouldn't chase these down unless this kind of thing is fun for you.

    You say that, but I'd almost guess you're near the front of the line at some of these things. I am only basing this on a conversation we had last summer about how Stars was such a lousy game, but you sent the seller an e-mail that same night trying to buy it. (Un)fortunately I had already made a deal with the seller, and even though I over-paid by about $400, and the game never has worked right, I still like the game.

    Most of this I'm mainly giving you a little bit of a dig, and it's meant to be light-hearted, so please take it the right way. If you're going to have your Stars tournament again this year, keep me in mind if you have room.

    #28 3 years ago
    Quoted from red-line:

    Not sure I'm interested in getting up at 530 to drive an hour to see some overpriced pins. I'll let you all know.

    Dude, this is the excitement of Pin Hunting! You gotta put in your time if you want to find good stuff.

    The disappointments make the finds feel even sweeter.

    #29 3 years ago

    Estate sales are still very effective means to acquire multiple machines, especially if they have been sitting in storage for years.
    It does not matter if they are SS or EM.
    Often times owners do not even really know what they have for sale.
    If machines do not work, many people will not buy them.
    If machines "sort of" work, more people think they are worth a small fortune.

    The latest example I can remember was about 4 months ago, when 3X 4MBC were purchased for $550, all unworking, mostly complete, and in general good condition overall

    I am not saying for anyone to sabotage a game on site like cutting a power cord (which I have actually observed with my MKII eyeballs and pointed out to the auctioneer who physically threw the person out on his a$$), just be mindful of the difference and be prepared to 'pinjockey', if the sale is in close proximity to a major urban area or city, or advertised in multiple ways.

    "A long time collector is like a 'big game hunter'. Patient, methodical, and always ready."

    -2
    #30 3 years ago
    Quoted from Minneapolispin:

    Are you referring to the estate sale starting Friday in Minneapolis, that had the Twilight Zone and the Bally Playboy? Looks like a ton of music memorabilia too. I wish I dint' have to work Friday, so I could be there at 9 when it starts.

    Quoted from Minneapolispin:

    minneapolis.craigslist.org link

    I have noticed you often go out of your way to attempt to blow up any possible deal you think someone may be getting by repeatedly posting or even linking what you think it is. Poor form and a little tip that it alienates you from getting more ingrained in your local/regional community and possibly getting a deal on game your are ISO.

    Many of your more avid regional collectors take note and then avoid people that do that when selling games. Just a heads up. It gets you no gain by continually doing this and in fact it has already hurt you in the past.

    #31 3 years ago
    Quoted from Whridlsoncestood:

    Just last weekend. 175$ Big Ben

    Hah, congratulations! I saw that listing but couldn't get to the sale. Looks like a great score!

    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    I have noticed you often go out of your way to attempt to blow up any possible deal you think someone may be getting by repeatedly posting or even linking what you think it is. Poor form and a little tip that it alienates you from getting more ingrained in your local/regional community and possibly getting a deal on game your are ISO.
    Many of your more avid regional collectors take note and then avoid people that do that when selling games. Just a heads up. It gets you no gain by continually doing this and in fact it has already hurt you in the past.

    ??? examples that I’ve attempted to ‘blow up’ deals? I posted a link to the sale. Wish I wasn’t stuck at the office this morning or I’d go out there. I better act right or I’ll stop getting invited to all the cool kids pinball parties in the Twin Cities.

    #33 3 years ago

    I stopped by the sale today. The Twighlight Zone sold yesterday for $3900. They said it was 'nice'. The Playboy was still available for $1200. Nice backglass and cabinet, but the playfield was bad. Would definitely need an overlay. Tomorrow anything left is half off, so someone may get a cheap project Playboy.

    IMG_3155 (resized).PNG

    #34 3 years ago

    You are not doing yourself a favor by posting that kind of information here. Trust me. People here are quick and brutal, usually the more quiet ones or people not even registered to the site I'd say. If they want something more than you they will take your deal without thinking twice. I left the quote blank incase you want to edit/remove the post, guess it depends how bad you want a chance at it.

    Golden rule of all time is pickup first, then brag/share.

    #35 3 years ago
    Quoted from Otaku:

    You are not doing yourself a favor by posting that kind of information here. Trust me. People here are quick and brutal, usually the more quiet ones or people not even registered to the site I'd say. If they want something more than you they will take your deal without thinking twice. I left the quote blank incase you want to edit/remove the post, guess it depends how bad you want a chance at it.
    Golden rule of all time is pickup first, then brag/share.

    "Tomorrow anything left is half off, so SOMEONE may get a cheap project Playboy."

    #36 3 years ago
    Quoted from DennisDodel:

    "Tomorrow anything left is half off, so SOMEONE may get a cheap project Playboy."

    Ah. Could of sworn it said otherwise, but apparently not. Oh well. Good lesson regardless. Most people learn it the hard way!

    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from Otaku:

    You are not doing yourself a favor by posting that kind of information here

    What information is so sensitive?

    #38 3 years ago

    God forbid a game sell for the going rate because everyone involved in the transaction is aware of current pricing...

    #39 3 years ago

    Anybody know what the Playboy wound up going for?

    #40 3 years ago

    I was at a North Jersey estate sale where a Cactus Canyon went for $1,900. I was fifth in line.

    That pin was sold for $10k shortly after, and now resides in NYC.

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