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(Topic ID: 138512)

First time on route maybe...what to buy?


By VolunteerPin

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 15 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by LTG
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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#1 5 years ago

I may have an opportunity to put my first pin on route in a local pizza joint. It would be a very advantageous earnings split which hopefully will make my first foray into this a little more rewarding. I'm leaning towards something new and a pro (Kiss vs. GoT vs. Metallica vs. IM vs. something else.) There is already a TWD pro on route in my area so would rather do something different. My initial thought would be to start with one and add an additional if it looks like it would be profitable. At that point rotate in new pro pins a couple of times a year and either sell the routed pin or add it to my personal collection to eventually have a very nice large collection which has been at least in part offset in cost.

Just FYI...this is not something I'm looking to get rich with and is VERY secondary to my life. Any funds I do make would basically be to offset my hobby costs and to increase local pin availability.

Also, I've heard that bill acceptors can really help revenue. Not sure how true this is.

Any suggestions from you veterens? I'd like thoughts on income but also maintenance ease.

#2 5 years ago

I would suggest sticking with a PRO games because your ROI will be faster. You will need a bill acceptor especially for a location like a pizza shop.

#3 5 years ago

I have one game on route at an arcade that has 37 other pins, I basically go in for league night and it pays for my coin drop that evening plus food and drinks afterwards, like you said not getting rich, but offsetting some of my hobby costs. Overall though it has been an enjoyable experience.

#4 5 years ago

I would make sure that you have insurance to operate at the location...and get an LLC to cover your personal finances. All it takes is one small accident or one stupid move by a customer...and you could have some folks coming after you. you won't be making enough from the box to make it worth risking anything.

Aside from that, if you're able to have good volume on the game (sound), then go with a music pin...KISS or AC/DC. If not, I'd go with GOT or ST.

#5 5 years ago

I think Metallica led pro is the best choice for testing the waters for a few reasons. First and the biggest reason for met pro is the fact that all the ramps are metal and not as easy to brake or show wear as you would get with clear plastic ramps. Next reason is that it already has leds installed which is more likely to draw people in to play. Third it is an easy game to shop and work on, as a Metallica owner myself it was a breeze to do the rubbers on Metallica in comparison to Star Trek (what a PItA lol) or other pins. Also most people playing on a location aren't necessarily into pinball but I'm sure will love to bash sparky

#6 5 years ago

Pins in your area ? Go there and watch what people like. Get a pin like that. Not what you like. Of course you aren't there all the time and don't see the income of the game, but at least you'll have an idea. Don't go by what you see at home or someone's house. People playing for free is different than people paying to play.

I would go with a pin that is fun as opposed to a pin that is work.

Bill validator is a must.

Did you already check into zoning ordinances, licenses, insurance ?

LTG : )™

#7 5 years ago

Was working on that today. I knew I needed a stamp which is only $10/machine. Not bad at all. However, I will also need a $500/year coin operated amusement license which may just put this whole idea out of commission. Not sure if that is worthwhile for only one machine.

Any thoughts with that?

#8 5 years ago
Quoted from VolunteerPin:

Any thoughts with that?

If you need it, you need it.

I wouldn't risk ignoring it. Some cities have heavy fines, penalties, and may confiscate equipment being operated illegally.

LTG : )™

#9 5 years ago

Of course I would get it. Does the $500/year offset what I could potentially make is what I wonder. As I have never done this before I truly have no idea what to expect.

For example...if the pin brings in $500/ year (net to me) and all of it goes to taxes then that is pointless. But if the pin brings in $1500 (net to me) then there is still $1000 of profit. I just have no idea what a pin is expected to do financially.

If operators don't want to share that info on a forum post I totally get it. Feel free to PM with any information you'd like kept confidential but still helpful to me.

#10 5 years ago

I've read before (probably from Lloyd) that $100-200 monthly is a good take from a pin (before maintenance, etc.) and half that is more realistic. Find the other similar threads from would-be ops and the operator club thread. Lots of info out there, just not a lot of specifics. Also hoping to become an hobby op one day just to get games out there if I don't lose completely lose my shirt on licensing and insurance.

#11 5 years ago
Quoted from VolunteerPin:

If operators don't want to share that info on a forum post I totally get it.

How the heck would I know what you might take in ? So many variables. Location, machines, people. You want to be an op, then you need to push ahead and learn. What works, what doesn't. Then you know what your income is. No guarantees before you do something.

Quoted from VolunteerPin:

Just FYI...this is not something I'm looking to get rich with

Remember when you wrote this ?

LTG : )

#12 5 years ago

I think your plan to go a new pro is a great idea. It will definitely help reduce your personal time for issues. Not saying all of them are solved with a new pin but we personally have had a lot better success with them. Up until I purchased the Wizard of Oz, the Walking Dead Pro was my number one earring game. For me its all about the theme and not a pinball players view. We just wrapped up the Pinball on-a- Stick at the Minnesota State Fair. Its a 12 day event and VERY MUCH casual players.

1. Wizard of Oz
2. Walking Dead Pro
3. South Park
4. Kiss Pro
5 Star Trek
6. Attack From Mars
7. Arabian Nights
8. Eight Ball Deluxe
9. Hercules
10. Mustang Pro
11. WrestleMania Pro (Down for half the fair)

#13 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

How the heck would I know what you might take in ? So many variables. Location, machines, people. You want to be an op, then you need to push ahead and learn. What works, what doesn't. Then you know what your income is. No guarantees before you do something.

Remember when you wrote this ?
LTG : )

Both very valid points. I certainly understand there are no guarantees. On the other hand, trying to do some due diligence before starting something is certainly worthwhile and wise. I would guess there are averages and data that is generally known and that is all I was looking for. Also, I'm sure experience has shown what type of pins and what type of schedule to rotate them are most advantageous.

No sense in me trying to re-invent the wheel, so to speak. I just want to learn as much as I can before I make the plunge.

#14 5 years ago

I am waiting on my fingerprinting results from the PD before I can get my vendor license with the city. I have my LLC, and my city business license, but because my games will be at a location that I don't own, the city has a specific additional license for that. Get ahead on the paperwork and see if there are any hidden nuggets they won't tell you in the beginning. The PD thing wasn't mentioned at first and when all my papers were done, then they said "Oh yeah, you have to do prints too and that will take around 45 days to go through."

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from VolunteerPin:

I just want to learn as much as I can before I make the plunge.

I am proud of you for this.

LTG : )

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