First time buyer questions

(Topic ID: 219110)

First time buyer questions


By MrFancy

4 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 6 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by MrFancy
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 4 days ago

    Hey what's up everybody! I'm moving from an apartment to a house and looking to buy my first machine. I'm in the DC-MD-VA area, looking to spend in the $750-$2000 range, or maybe a little more for a great deal. I've been doing my research and have found a lot of good advice here and elsewhere on the internet, still have a few questions though:

    1. When an ad says there's some wear on the playfield, is that just a cosmetic thing or does it affect the game play? If it does affect game play, does it usually mean there are a couple of spots where the ball rolls a little funny, or can a worn playfield completely screw up the gameplay?

    2. I'd like to learn how to take care of my machine, but I'm not very good at stuff like that and I don't have a good set of tools. Considering that I'm looking at an older machine, are there any that are particularly easy or hard to maintain?

    3. I don't live too far from York, PA- would it be worth holding off until the show there in October? Would it be risky for me to buy a machine that way since I don't really know exactly what to look for in terms of damage, warning signs, etc.?

    Thanks!

    #2 4 days ago

    shows are nice because you can play the game before buying and have a lot to choose from. Prices may be a bit higher though

    Wear won't cause the ball to do crazy things, it's usually just cosmetic. Light inserts being cupped or raised will though, but at some level those are unavoidable on older games, and some people even think they're part of the charm.

    Bally/Stern games are more reliable overall, and replacement boards are more readily available. I wouldn't worry about it that much though if you buy a fully working game that the seller has gone through. You'll definitely end up buying some tools either way though.

    #3 4 days ago

    Always buy in person. If an ad has been up for any length of time, probably a reason it hasn't sold.

    Find a fellow collector to go with and help. So you don't get caught up in drag that first game home no matter what. Maybe budget more for a good working pin to get your feet wet.

    Quoted from MrFancy:

    2. I'd like to learn how to take care of my machine, but I'm not very good at stuff like that and I don't have a good set of tools.

    http://www.pinballnews.com/learn/index.html Scroll down to near the lower part. Lots of good articles on tools and soldering. Look for any by Todd Andersen. And Youtube is littered with short how to videos.

    Quoted from MrFancy:

    are there any that are particularly easy

    I'd start with the Williams DMD era pins. Lots of help available. Lots of parts available.

    Quoted from MrFancy:

    I don't really know exactly what to look for in terms of damage, warning signs, etc.?

    Get a pinhead friend to help. For a basic I like to look at hard to clean areas, if they are clean it has probably been maintained. Look at boards, repairs done with right tools and parts and skills ? Or were monkeys working on it ?

    Most of all . Learn all you can, even before you buy a game. You'll be better prepared. And play the game. Do you like it ? Does everything work ?

    The effort before you drag a pin home can go a long way to making the hobby a great experience for you. Or a nightmare.

    Welcome my friend, and best wishes !
    LTG : )

    #4 4 days ago

    Get connected with a few fellow collectors in your area - waiting for the show is a good idea so you can play games first. Patience will pay off. Again, patience will pay off for you in this hobby. Better to spend more on your first machine and get a good 100% working example and you will have much more fun starting out in this hobby (some try to save and buy a project and then never finish = no fun). Always buy in person and best is from a fellow collector that has taken good personal care of their machines. eBay not a good place to start. Retailer selling used games also not great and you could pay double. Ask questions on pinside (as you are doing) as there are lots of helpful folks here. Good luck and welcome to the hobby - best hobby ever!

    #5 3 days ago

    Come out to VUK in Bethesda on Sunday afternoon/evenings sometime - there's a league at 4:30 where you could guest and a weekly tournament at 7 (not this Sunday though due Father's Day). Lots of pinheads there to chat with and find leads on games for sale.

    #6 3 days ago

    Thanks all! Great idea to stop by VUK on a Sunday, I’ll do that.

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