(Topic ID: 131914)

Fair price to charge on location: Getaway, Doctor Who, Taxi


By EvanDickson

4 years ago



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  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by silver_spinner
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#1 4 years ago

I'm going to put a couple games on location, and wonder what people think is a fair price to charge per game.

The potential games are High Speed 2: The Getaway, Doctor Who, and Taxi.

I'm thinking 75 cents / game, $2 for 3 games for the DMDs, and 50 cents per game / $1 for 3 games for Taxi.

I intend to keep them reasonably maintained (this place is just down the street from my home, so it's not hard to go in and take care of stuff), and want to make enough to keep them maintained and make it worth my while. I also want the price to be fair value so that the games are played.

Do these rates sound reasonable compared to other places? There's really no other pinball in my area to compare rates with.

#2 4 years ago

That sounds pretty typical. We usually do .75 for newer games (sterns) and .50 cents for everything else.

#3 4 years ago

I would pay and do pay those prices to play pinball. Good luck!

#4 4 years ago

If they're well maintained, I think those prices are reasonable. Otherwise .50/play sounds right to me.

#5 4 years ago

Personally I'd do 50 cents a play on all those games, and would only do the 75 cents or 3 for $2.00 on either newer Stern titles or top-tier Williams Titles (ex. Medieval Madness and Attack From Mars).

Kidforce Collectables does 75 cents or 3 for $2.00 on all DMD titles, though, and people do pay it. But everywhere else around me does 50 cents a play on basically everything.

#6 4 years ago

I'd do 75 on the dmds, and 50 on the sys11, flat.

#7 4 years ago

I know nothing about pricing pins on location, but as someone who goes to a location to play for 3-5 hours, I pretty much only play at locations with $0.50 games (besides new games of course). 3/$1 on any game these days I consider super generous, I would play Raven at that price. I'm probably not the bulk of your customer base though, and my locations make money on beer. It probably depends on the type of location you're putting it in and types of players you get.

In the operating pins club I remember someone said $0.75 is a bad price because people who would just want to spend $1 don't get $0.25 back, so prices that divide evenly into $1 and $2 encourage people to put money in more (if using DBVs).

#8 4 years ago

I'd go 75 cents and 3/2.00 on the DMD's and 50 cents for Taxi. That's what they're priced at around here for nicely maintained examples.

#9 4 years ago
Quoted from EvanDickson:

I'm going to put a couple games on location, and wonder what people think is a fair price to charge per game.
The potential games are High Speed 2: The Getaway, Doctor Who, and Taxi.
I'm thinking 75 cents / game, $2 for 3 games for the DMDs, and 50 cents per game / $1 for 3 games for Taxi.
I intend to keep them reasonably maintained (this place is just down the street from my home, so it's not hard to go in and take care of stuff), and want to make enough to keep them maintained and make it worth my while. I also want the price to be fair value so that the games are played.
Do these rates sound reasonable compared to other places? There's really no other pinball in my area to compare rates with.

Looks good to me, but I wouldn't do 3 for $1 on Taxi, that's too cheap if you ask me.

#10 4 years ago

Out of curiousity... what the price is to you on location? Are you paying to rent the space at a fixed rate per month? Do you have to pay for a % of electric? Etc...

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from lancestorm:

Out of curiousity... what the price is to you on location? Are you paying to rent the space at a fixed rate per month? Do you have to pay for a % of electric? Etc...

I've offered to give them 25% of the coins, they have said they don't even care about taking any money in. I plan to set aside a percentage to pay them regardless. Either way, I think we both win. I get to promote pinball, try to run games on location. They get the attraction of having the only pins in town, and it fits the vibe of the place nicely.

#12 4 years ago

Charge as much as the market can bear, you can always lower the prices if you run into too much resistance. Don't forget about all the other costs associated with placing these games on location--insurance, maintenance, licenses, taxes. Seventy-five cents sounds right, with 3 games for $2. Also, while Dr Who and Getaway are the two games you plan on placing, at some point you will need to replace them with something else.

#13 4 years ago

The way it's done at our local spot is $1 for 1 and $2 for 3 for all games. Loonies and twoonies. Easy. Good on you for doing this. Hard work but very much appreciated. Wouldn't have got into pinball so quickly without a location with nicely maintained pins.

#14 4 years ago

don't do the 3 plays for a buck on taxi. that is too cheap unless the game is blown out not taken care of. 50 cents per plays flat on taxi.
75 cents, or 3 plays for $2 on the dmd pins is fine as long as they are taken care of, no issues, set up correct.

#15 4 years ago

$0.75 a game on my newer stuff
Digital/solid states $0.50 a game
EM's $0.25 a game
Coming from an operator with tons of games

#16 4 years ago

No game should cost more than 25 cents.

I kid! I kid!
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#17 4 years ago

On Taxi, you could go $0.50/ea, or 5 for $2.00, I see that a lot. but that's here in the US, not sure what the going rate is up north there. Good Luck.

#18 4 years ago

I am presuming this is in a location where folks can break a dollar if needed. But really, who keeps change these days? Put the prices based on $1.00 / $2.00 plays.

#19 4 years ago

Wow, talk about timing. I am about to put a Getaway on location this weekend soon to be followed with a Taxi and couldn't decide on price point. Thanks for your post.

#20 4 years ago

$1/$2 sounds right to me.

You don't lower the price, but on older games you can give something back to the player by ie giving an extra ball faster.
When you have them all set to 3 balls, set these to 5. Or on medium instead of hard settings.

Being an operator is a lot about getting to know your locations and what people like. Some games may do better than others.
Sometimes medium/hard settings will make a difference. An op I know made more money when he switched from 3 balls/game to 5.
You have to experiment and see what works and what doesn't. Also replay settings, extra balls, ..

The prices for game is only one factor to change, and one you can later always lower, but not easily increase.
So keep your prices and try to see what other things have an influence and work for your locations.

Usually the price per game doesn't influence the initial coin drop much. People will be curious and want to play one game.
If they will play another game after their first, that is something you need to work on. Give them value for their money and set it just hard enough that they stay challenged and not become bored.
Even at $.25 people may not play again if the game is too hard and they immediately drain. If it's too easy they may become bored of it, and your machines stop earning after a few weeks.

#21 4 years ago

Those are good prices. You could charge more. Depends more on where the games are, good area, patrons who can afford more and competition are some factors if you want to go up.

#22 4 years ago

Just got back from The Pinball Lounge in Oviedo, FL where they had several of their games (Firepower, Centaur, Eight Ball Deluxe, etc ...) set at $.25! I don't think they were that cheap when they were new. Just saying!

#23 4 years ago

Games switched over to .50 cents around 1981-82.

Adjusted for inflation, that would be $1.25 in today's money.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on what side of the coinbox you are on) there are still plenty of places where you can play MM or AFM for .50 cents - 5/$2.

#24 4 years ago

There is a laundromat I go to in Wichita, KS where they have 20 pinball machines, and 15 of the 20 are set at 25 cents per play. Most of those 15 are from the 1977-1988 timeframe, but several are DMD-era games including Tee'd Off, SF2, and SWE1. They even have a Harlem Globetrotters that gives you 3 plays for $.50. It's a great place to play a wide selection of games on a shoestring budget. (Not that my budget is a shoestring, mind you.)

#25 4 years ago
Quoted from kst8cat:

(Not that my budget is a shoestring, mind you.)

#26 4 years ago

some of those places like that laundromat may also own the games, so they get 100% of the coin drop and getting monies from people washing clothes. also, are they well maintained? usually cheaper to play games are also blown out.

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