(Topic ID: 341336)

Frustration with some of the distributors (Poll added)

By jeffgoldstein2

11 months ago


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  • Latest reply 11 months ago by iceman44
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    Topic poll

    “Are you willing to continue to support distributors who are charging way over MSRP on NIB games in todays market?”

    • Yes 9 votes
      6%
    • No 152 votes
      94%

    (161 votes)

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    There are 63 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 11 months ago

    I’m done supporting the distributors that are constantly charging over MSRP. It’s killing the industry and turning several people off who have been in the industry for years.
    I feel it is unethical IMO and they are just totally screwing new people in the industry who don’t know any better.

    Support the good people in the industry like Flippin Out Pinball. I am seeing several games easy to get way over MSRP like GF CE for example. Zach will sell you the same GF CE for MSRP. For someone like me who has bought over 25 NIB games, I am done supporting the companies who highly inflate the pricing on games that are already over priced IMO in todays market.

    I run a business as well and am very successful with it and I am able run my company without taking advantage of my clients. These distributors can make a quick sale and make a massive profit on a game but is it worth losing your clients over it? I am really curious if the majority of our community will continue to support these kinds of distributors so I put up a poll.

    I normally don’t post like this but I feel it needs to be said.

    #2 11 months ago
    Quoted from jeffgoldstein2:

    I’m done supporting the distributors that are constantly charging over MSRP. It’s killing the industry and turning several people off who have been in the industry for years.
    I feel it is unethical IMO and they are just totally screwing new people in the industry who don’t know any better.
    Support the good people in the industry like Flippin Out Pinball. I am seeing several games easy to get way over MSRP like GF CE for example. Zach will sell you the same GF CE for MSRP. For someone like me who has bought over 25 NIB games, I am done supporting the companies who highly inflate the pricing on games that are already over priced IMO in todays market.
    I run a business as well and am very successful with it and I am able run my company without taking advantage of my clients.
    I normally don’t post like this but I feel it needs to be said.

    Just my opinion, but it really doesn't do anyone any good if you aren't willing to name names and let folks know who you are talking about. If you feel they are screwing people over....why won't you call them out?

    #3 11 months ago

    Because it’s blatantly obvious because the MSRP is public knowledge and most all distributors post their pricing, so you can see it for yourself. Just look at the Pinside market page.

    #5 11 months ago
    Quoted from DugFreez:

    Just my opinion, but it really doesn't do anyone any good if you aren't willing to name names and let folks know who you are talking about. If you feel they are screwing people over....why won't you call them out?

    Here you go....

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/for-sale-the-godfather-ce-#post-7707984

    #6 11 months ago

    I recommend listening to the latest podcast episode 37 of the Pinball Party Podcast on The Pinball Network who touches on this subject as well.

    #7 11 months ago

    Not sure why anyone does business with Automated/Mike.
    Overcharges, his used games are total garbage, never changes bulbs, filthy, mechs don’t work right out of the “shop”. His buyback/trade in prices take total advantage of his customers.
    Just wait until you see how he treats his staff, just outrageous. His one guy is selling shit out from behind him on FB Marketplace and he doesn’t even notice sketchy as hell

    The only thing he’s good for is arranging a NIB delivery from the factory to your house.

    #8 11 months ago

    Automated will sell you a pin for what "you" are willing to pay. If your willing to pay more they will take more. Fortunately for me I'm not willing to pay more. When they have a pin I want I call them on the phone and tell them what im willing to pay and how quick I'll come get it. They either says yes or they say no. Pretty simple.

    Mike's a great guy imo.

    #9 11 months ago
    Quoted from F__U:

    Mike's a great guy imo.

    I won't doubt your word and while he may be a great guy to knock a few back with, his current active ad prices in marketplace puts him squarely in assclown territory.

    #10 11 months ago
    Quoted from Retro4Life:

    I won't doubt your word and while he may be a great guy to knock a few back with his current active ad prices in marketplace puts him squarely in assclown territory.

    I feel like he buys a bunch of nib, stores rhem until they are out of production and then goes to town on prices….

    #11 11 months ago

    95% or people on this site are equally as delusional as these distributors. If you want to sell you HOU stern you gotta start with 1.5k off msrp

    #12 11 months ago
    Quoted from jeffgoldstein2:

    I am seeing several games easy to get way over MSRP like GF CE for example. Zach will sell you the same GF CE for MSRP.

    The Godfather CE is listed on Flip N Out website but I'm pretty sure they have sold them all , Zach never mentions CE's are available at the end of his podcasts .
    Are there any other places where the GF CE is available at msrp .
    As far as I'm aware they've all sold out , except for obviously higher priced ones .

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    #13 11 months ago
    Quoted from northvibe:

    I feel like he buys a bunch of nib, stores rhem until they are out of production and then goes to town on prices….

    $9500 for an original Avengers LE seems egregious compared to other listings. I am currently in the market for SAM era games, so I have become fairly well versed on those game prices.

    #14 11 months ago

    I like capitalism.
    I like it when people give me options, even if I don't like them.
    I also happen to like and buy from Automated (who have served me very well), but wouldn't spend $3k over MSRP for most any pin.
    I know other people WANT to pay that price because it works for them. I'm happy for them.

    Ultimately, I can't imagine boycotting someone because, in addition to offering things l liked, they also offered something for sale on terms that I didn't like.

    #15 11 months ago
    Quoted from screaminr:

    Are there any other places where the GF CE is available at msrp . As far as I'm aware they've all sold out , except for obviously higher priced ones .
    [quoted image]

    Not from a distributor but new in box:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/162062

    From distributor and new in box:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/161359

    #16 11 months ago

    I don't condone distribs selling over MSRP - but I do feel bad they can't sell under MSRP on JJP LE games as it's next to impossible to sell a NiB GnRLE, GFLE or TS4LE at MSRP.

    JJP forces them to take LEs in order to get the CEs and then won't allow them to sell the LEs under MSRP.

    22
    #17 11 months ago

    (Raises hand)

    I'm a Stern Dealer, and I sell for higher than MSRP.

    Stern's pinballs come with a 30 day parts-only warranty... slightly longer on the display. I extend the warranty to one year, and I cover parts AND LABOR in your home. Bumper to bumper for a year.

    I offer a 'service commitment' that as long as you own your machine we agree to service it in your home for a modest service call charge after the first year's warranty. We don't upcharge on parts (if the part costs me $7, you're price is $7), and I work very hard to get your pinball serviced within a day or a couple of days from when you call me. Three years from now. Ten years from now. Twenty years from now.

    Within 300 miles of me, there are three technicians who will do in-home service. At least one of those is a 'you'll have to talk me into it'. The other two are three weeks or more before they'll be able to fix your machine. Like many areas of the country, pinball service is very scarce. I'm supporting a lot of people's pinballs, and if I'm out of business, I won't be.

    If delivery of your pinball is within an hour of travel time, and is a garage or first floor delivery, I'll frequently waive any delivery charge. If it's up three flights of stairs, yes, there will be a charge, but I have associates over on the pool table side of the business that will hand carry the pinball and make sure that there is no damage to your home.

    I don't deliver 'New In Box'.

    I pull the machine out of the box in my shop. Any problems are fixed (and I'm at 80% of New In Box pinballs having a technical problem. Those problems are a little less than 20% for the kind of problem that the average homeowner would have a serious challenge getting fixed. Most things are simple, some are hard). I set the machine up, and dial it in. THEN the customer has a chance to come to the shop and look it over before he completes his purchase.

    There are probably several hundred threads here on pinside about NIB pinballs with defects. Bad playfields, bad side decals, bad node boards, bad, bad, bad. I catch a lot of these before the customer sees the problem. If it's something rare, like Rush and the scoop sides being beaten to death, I've worked with the customer, got the parts that were available, and installed them for free in the customer's home. Before Stern sent us a kit. When you buy from me, you get someone in your home helping you to resolve the problem.

    Yay for me.

    This doesn't matter at all to a guy who has 'bought 25 NIB'.

    So you aren't my customer.

    But you are dead wrong about 'it's killing the industry'.

    The industry is killed when people throw away pinballs.

    They throw away pinballs when they can't get them fixed.

    The biggest problem with the pinball industry is that pinballs break. They break a lot. Usually they break in a way that is easy to fix. Frequently they break in a way that requires specialty or hard-to-obtain parts. Rarely, but often enough that you should take notice, they break in a way that requires a technician to fix.

    If pinballs were everywhere, people would play them.

    They aren't everywhere because they are frequently broken, and pinball isn't much fun when it's broke.

    So when pinballs can't be repaired, they are discarded, like trash.

    THAT kills the industry.

    You are upset because your high end luxury good is scarce, and you want to find someone who will sell you a scarce item while making little or no profit. You want to cut out the middleman.

    (nods)

    Great.

    But dealers / distributors CAN be people who offer a whole lot more support to the pinball industry than 'I filled out the invoice so that you can have it shipped directly from the factory to you.'

    In fact, dealers / distributors can be a part of the mix in a healthy environment where there is MORE PINBALL.

    If you feel that some dealer/distributor isn't acting in accord with what you think is right, I request that you look at your own 'NIB crowd', who buy a pinball, sell it at a price where they make a profit and then DON'T SUPPORT a customer who needs help. How many service calls are you running on machines you sold people? How many deliveries did you make right for your customer? How long after the sale did you support them? Look to the 'NIB crowd', and see how well those guys are supporting the industry.

    (Raises hand).

    I'm a Stern Dealer.

    I'm $300 over MSRP. More on LE's.

    I do make a modest profit when I sell a pinball.

    The bit of profit I make allows me to have a showroom with 12-20 machines on free play for you to come in, see the machine, play it, and have a machine delivered promptly. It pays for the trucks, the parts I carry, all the things that allow me to support people after the sale.

    In my corner of the world, I'm making sales, delivering games. The pinball industry is fine.

    Whatever you are hearing from the doomsayers around here, it isn't my experience.

    You don't have to buy from me.

    But there is value (at least my customers say there is...) in a dealer that offers a bit more than a 'flip' of a pinball at a low price.

    #19 11 months ago
    Quoted from PinRetail:

    (Raises hand)
    I'm a Stern Dealer, and I sell for higher than MSRP.
    Stern's pinballs come with a 30 day parts-only warranty... slightly longer on the display. I extend the warranty to one year, and I cover parts AND LABOR in your home. Bumper to bumper for a year.
    I offer a 'service commitment' that as long as you own your machine we agree to service it in your home for a modest service call charge after the first year's warranty. We don't upcharge on parts (if the part costs me $7, you're price is $7), and I work very hard to get your pinball serviced within a day or a couple of days from when you call me. Three years from now. Ten years from now. Twenty years from now.
    Within 300 miles of me, there are three technicians who will do in-home service. At least one of those is a 'you'll have to talk me into it'. The other two are three weeks or more before they'll be able to fix your machine.
    If delivery of your pinball is within an hour, and is a garage or first floor delivery, I'll frequently waive any delivery charge. If it's up three flights of stairs, yes, there will be a charge, but I have associates over on the pool table side of the business that will hand carry the pinball and make sure that there is no damage to your home.
    I don't deliver 'New In Box'.
    I pull the machine out of the box in my shop. Any problems are fixed (and I'm at 80% of New In Box pinballs having a technical problem. Those problems are a little less than 20% for the kind of problem that the average homeowner would have a serious challenge getting fixed. Most things are simple, some are hard). I set the machine up, and dial it in. THEN the customer has a chance to come to the shop and look it over before he completes his purchase.
    There are probably several hundred threads here on pinside about NIB pinballs with defects. Bad playfields, bad side decals, bad node boards, bad, bad, bad. I catch a lot of these before the customer sees the problem. If it's something rare, like Rush and the scoop sides being beaten to death, I've worked with the customer, got the parts that were available, and installed them for free in the customer's home. Before Stern sent us a kit. When you buy from me, you get someone in your home helping you to resolve the problem.
    Yay for me.
    This doesn't matter at all to a guy who has 'bought 25 NIB'.
    So you aren't my customer.
    But you are dead wrong about 'it's killing the industry'.
    The industry is killed when people throw away pinballs.
    They throw away pinballs when they can't get them fixed.
    The biggest problem with the pinball industry is that pinballs break. They break a lot. Usually they break in a way that is easy to fix. Frequently they break in a way that requires specialty or hard-to-obtain parts. Rarely, but often enough that you should take notice, they break in a way that requires a technician to fix.
    If pinballs were everywhere, people would play them.
    They aren't everywhere because they are frequently broken, and pinball isn't much fun when it's broke.
    So when pinballs can't be repaired, they are discarded, like trash.
    THAT kills the industry.
    You are upset because your high end luxury good is scarce, and you want to find someone who will sell you a scarce item while making little or no profit. You want to cut out the middleman.
    (nods)
    Great.
    But dealers / distributors CAN be people who offer a whole lot more support to the pinball industry than 'I filled out the invoice so that you can have it shipped directly from the factory to you.'
    In fact, dealers / distributors can be a part of the mix in a healthy environment where there is MORE PINBALL.
    If you feel that some dealer/distributor isn't acting in accord with what you think is right, I request that you look at your own 'NIB crowd', who buy a pinball, sell it at a price where they make a profit and then DON'T SUPPORT a customer who needs help. How many service calls are you running on machines you sold people? How many deliveries did you make right for your customer? How long after the sale did you support them? Look to the 'NIB crowd', and see how well those guys are supporting the industry.
    (Raises hand).
    I'm a Stern Dealer.
    I'm $300 over MSRP.
    I do make a modest profit when I sell a pinball.
    The bit of profit I make allows me to have a showroom with 12-20 machines on free play for you to come in, see the machine, play it, and have a machine delivered promptly. It pays for the trucks, the parts I carry, all the things that allow me to support people after the sale.
    In my corner of the world, I'm making sales, delivering games.
    Whatever you are hearing from the doomsayers around here, it isn't my experience.
    You don't have to buy from me.
    But there is value (at least my customers say there is...) in a dealer that offers a bit more than a 'flip' of a pinball at a low price.

    No offense to you or your business, I completely understand the value in what you offer and why that would work well for many customers. For me personally however, none of that extra stuff matters , so in the spirit of the original question being asked, I probably would not ever buy a game from you. I can fix my own games

    11
    #20 11 months ago
    Quoted from Haymaker:

    No offense to you or your business, I completely understand the value in what you offer and why that would work well for many customers. For me personally however, none of that extra stuff matters , so in the spirit of the original question being asked, I probably would not ever buy a game from you. I can fix my own games

    That guy and his grandmother should have used him though

    #21 11 months ago

    MSRP does stand for- manufacturers *suggested* retail price. That’s right, suggested.

    19
    #22 11 months ago

    If someone is selling something I want to buy and I like the price, I buy it.

    The beauty in that concept is its simplicity. Some of you guys are gonna give yourselves a stroke worrying about this stuff.

    #23 11 months ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    Not sure why anyone does business with Automated/Mike.
    Overcharges, his used games are total garbage, never changes bulbs, filthy, mechs don’t work right out of the “shop”. His buyback/trade in prices take total advantage of his customers.
    Just wait until you see how he treats his staff, just outrageous. His one guy is selling shit out from behind him on FB Marketplace and he doesn’t even notice sketchy as hell
    The only thing he’s good for is arranging a NIB delivery from the factory to your house.

    I'm not sure how you can list one of his employees stealing from him as a knock against Mike or the company. That's super weird for a number of reasons, but ok.

    That said, I don't know what your dealings with them have been, but i've bought countless games from Mike, and never had anything but the best experience and fair price. Both from MIke and Beckey. What they list for and what they sell for are totally different things. They're a full service business, and list prices as such. If you don't need the full service and just want to pick up the game, they'll work with you on that too. There's people who are in this for a hobby, and then there's those in it for a business. You're an operator, you should know that.

    That doesn't even factor in the massive philanthropy and charity Mike gives to. When Al Cihak passed away, he gave an additional $5000 to children's charity in Al's name, just because he knew Al loved kids too. And I'm sure there's someone who will retort with "Whatever, that's a tax write-off!". To which I'd ask, Well, if so, why aren't you doing it too?

    I suggest anyone in the northeast region pick up a phone and give them a call to inquire. Tell me I was wrong, if I am.

    #24 11 months ago
    Quoted from jackd104:

    That guy and his grandmother should have used him though

    Lol. Thanks for this.

    #25 11 months ago
    Quoted from bigehrl:

    I'm not sure how you can list one of his employees stealing from him as a knock against Mike or the company. That's super weird for a number of reasons, but ok.
    That said, I don't know what your dealings with them have been, but i've bought countless games from Mike, and never had anything but the best experience and fair price. Both from MIke and Beckey. What they list for and what they sell for are totally different things. They're a full service business, and list prices as such. If you don't need the full service and just want to pick up the game, they'll work with you on that too. There's people who are in this for a hobby, and then there's those in it for a business. You're an operator, you should know that.
    That doesn't even factor in the massive philanthropy and charity Mike gives to. When Al Cihak passed away, he gave an additional $5000 to children's charity in Al's name, just because he knew Al loved kids too. And I'm sure there's someone who will retort with "Whatever, that's a tax write-off!". To which I'd ask, Well, if so, why aren't you doing it too?
    I suggest anyone in the northeast region pick up a phone and give them a call to inquire. Tell me I was wrong, if I am.

    I have called him on the phone, he was such a massive piece of work, hence my response. Plenty of other reasons, but I don’t feel the need to air all of the things that he’s done to deserve such a review.

    If your employee is very obviously stealing from you and using photos from your warehouse and you, the business owner, choose to do NOTHING, that speaks volumes.

    Al Capone ran a soup kitchen, totally free, during the Great Depression. People are multifaceted, they can do good things and also be unscrupulous. If I repeated some of the things he’s said about pinball events and big people in the community, it would be an uproar. And the way he’s treated some fellow New England operators has ensured I’d never do business with him.

    There are so many other distributors in this hobby, Automated isn’t the holy saint who does no wrong.

    #26 11 months ago

    I understand that, but this is a small niche hobby, and there’s a handful of good distributors out there who will sell at the MSRP opposed to thousands of dollars above it when they can.

    Not telling anyone how to run their business, but just being real. I’ll be supporting the distributors who are at MSRP and offer good service without leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

    -1
    #27 11 months ago

    Also, just looking at the poll today and so far 96% of the people which is close to 100 votes will not support distributors that tend to do this.

    Run your business how you want but the writing is clearly on the wall. I’ve had a couple issues with a couple of my games over the years and the distributors I’ve worked with have always gone above and beyond to help me and they gave me a non-inflated prices on all of my purchases. That is good business and that is why I want to support.

    #28 11 months ago
    Quoted from Damonator:

    I don't condone distribs selling over MSRP - but I do feel bad they can't sell under MSRP on JJP LE games as it's next to impossible to sell a NiB GnRLE, GFLE or TS4LE at MSRP.
    JJP forces them to take LEs in order to get the CEs and then won't allow them to sell the LEs under MSRP.

    That is a problem as well with the manufactures. I hope something changes with this because I do feel bad for the distributors in this boat, but still paying inflated pricing on these new in box games that are not hard to find is still not something I will personally support.

    #29 11 months ago

    My only opinion on this was Automated,
    Guy buys a preorder spot for a CCR LE,
    When the game was to be picked up the price then jumped 1K. Another distro saved him with selling him one a purchase price as should have been done by Automated!

    #30 11 months ago
    Quoted from screaminr:

    The Godfather CE is listed on Flip N Out website but I'm pretty sure they have sold them all , Zach never mentions CE's are available at the end of his podcasts .
    Are there any other places where the GF CE is available at msrp .
    As far as I'm aware they've all sold out , except for obviously higher priced ones .
    [quoted image]

    We do have one that came available after a local guy backed out. MSRP. Easy peasy.

    #31 11 months ago

    When I was shopping for my first pin (JP Pro) they were one of the few who had it in stock. It was like 2-3 distros in the entire country as I went down the whole line on Stern's site.

    I emailed Mike mid-October asking about the price and he replied on October 16th that the best price he could do is $6199.

    I was out of town when he replied and emailed him back on November 4th asking him if that included tax and he replied back the following day telling me that since we last chatted the price went up to $6699 and it would be $250 shipping on top of that.

    Keep in mind, he had it in stock on October 16th when he gave me the lower price. So it wasn't like he got a new stock with the Insider Connected and raised the price.

    I called him on the phone to ask if he could do the original quoted price and he told me nope and was just a total dick about everything.

    So basically, fuck that company.

    I ended up getting one from Greg at Pinball Pro for $6400 shipped. He wasn't the nicest guy I've ever bought something from, especially something costing this much, but he was cheaper and I got it quickly and in great shape and that's all that matters in the end.

    12
    #32 11 months ago
    Quoted from jeffgoldstein2:

    Also, just looking at the poll today and so far 96% of the people which is close to 100 votes will not support distributors that tend to do this.

    Come on dude your poll question is ridiculous so stop gloating.

    May as well have asked “would you buy a game from a company that tortures puppies?” Or “would you buy a game from Bernie madoff?”

    There’s literally no way to answer your question besides “no.”

    The real question is why you care about any of this? Just buy from guys you like, trust, and think have a fair price, and you’ll be happy.

    Even happier than the joy from getting almost 100 percent in a silly stacked poll.

    You can bet if any company - even automated - has a game people here want at the price they want, and they can’t find it elsewhere, they’ll forget
    About their poll answer and buy. The is absolutely meaningless.

    10
    #33 11 months ago

    So, moral of the story, shop around.

    #34 11 months ago
    Quoted from DugFreez:

    Just my opinion, but it really doesn't do anyone any good if you aren't willing to name names and let folks know who you are talking about. If you feel they are screwing people over....why won't you call them out?

    People are scared of being blacklisted or legal action

    #35 11 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Come on dude your poll question is ridiculous so stop gloating.
    May as well have asked “would you buy a game from a company that tortures puppies?” Or “would you buy a game from Bernie madoff?”
    There’s literally no way to answer your question besides “no.”
    The real question is why you care about any of this? Just buy from guys you like, trust, and think have a fair price, and you’ll be happy.
    Even happier than the joy from getting almost 100 percent in a silly stacked poll.
    You can bet if any company - even automated - has a game people here want at the price they want, and they can’t find it elsewhere, they’ll forget
    About their poll answer and buy. The is absolutely meaningless.

    I can't believe I actually agreed with Levi. More than once.

    #36 11 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Come on dude your poll question is ridiculous so stop gloating.
    May as well have asked “would you buy a game from a company that tortures puppies?” Or “would you buy a game from Bernie madoff?”
    There’s literally no way to answer your question besides “no.”
    The real question is why you care about any of this? Just buy from guys you like, trust, and think have a fair price, and you’ll be happy.
    Even happier than the joy from getting almost 100 percent in a silly stacked poll.
    You can bet if any company - even automated - has a game people here want at the price they want, and they can’t find it elsewhere, they’ll forget
    About their poll answer and buy. The is absolutely meaningless.

    I absolutely disagree with you 1000%. I’m sick of a few people that I know that just got into the hobby. They got taken advantage and want to leave immediately. So that being said this is my thread, feel free to leave.

    10
    #37 11 months ago

    Personally, I always shop around and then go with the distributor selling at the highest price. Some may see this as a waste of money, but I get to brag to all of my friends about how my stuff cost more than theirs. I'm happy to let them know that I'm richer than they are and just better than them overall in every way. Of course, there are all those nights curled up in the fetal position crying myself to sleep, but it's worth it to me.

    #38 11 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Come on dude your poll question is ridiculous so stop gloating.
    May as well have asked “would you buy a game from a company that tortures puppies?” Or “would you buy a game from Bernie madoff?”
    There’s literally no way to answer your question besides “no.”
    The real question is why you care about any of this? Just buy from guys you like, trust, and think have a fair price, and you’ll be happy.
    Even happier than the joy from getting almost 100 percent in a silly stacked poll.
    You can bet if any company - even automated - has a game people here want at the price they want, and they can’t find it elsewhere, they’ll forget
    About their poll answer and buy. The is absolutely meaningless.

    Also, why do I care about this? Because I’m a good person and sick of seeing people getting screwed and then turned off from the hobby.

    #39 11 months ago
    Quoted from jeffgoldstein2:

    Also, why do I care about this? Because I’m a good person and I don’t want to see people getting screwed.

    Somebody please nominate this guy for the Nobel prize.

    #40 11 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Somebody please nominate this guy for the Nobel prize.

    tenor.giftenor.gif
    #41 11 months ago
    Quoted from jeffgoldstein2:

    That is a problem as well with the manufactures. I hope something changes with this because I do feel bad for the distributors in this boat, but still paying inflated pricing on these new in box games that are not hard to find is still not something I will personally support.

    It won't change, this has been industry norm for almost everything for decades. Without enforcing MSRP sale requirements on your products, you open a can of worms which is retailers undercutting each other and bringing the product value down. One retailer will sell cheaper than MSRP. Another dealer then sells lower than that dealer to compete. Then someone else comes along and sells even cheaper. It keeps going, it forces down prices and theres always those idiot retailers that ruin it for everyone and drive a products value into the ground. The bottom of barrel resellers then force as low as price as possible making it impossible to sell future product at targeted profit margins, and what happens is that manufacturer will just end up saying "no more" and just won't bother anymore making said product.

    Every manufacturer of big box goods puts price controls on their products to avoid the market from crashing on said product

    Quoted from jeffgoldstein2:

    Also, why do I care about this? Because I’m a good person and sick of seeing people getting screwed and then turned off from the hobby.

    If they couldn't take 2 mins to google and see better prices online elsewhere, I don't think your pinside poll is going to help them much.

    #42 11 months ago

    This poll is ridiculous.

    Nobody wants to pay more than needed.

    By "support" you mean "buy from"

    By "willing" you mean "desperate enough"

    This is like a government study to see if watering plants helps them to grow

    Then you say it's your thread so Levi should leave...

    hqdefault (resized).jpghqdefault (resized).jpg
    #43 11 months ago
    Quoted from jeffgoldstein2:

    Also, why do I care about this? Because I’m a good person and sick of seeing people getting screwed and then turned off from the hobby.

    Life is a lot more enjoyable when you stop worrying about the decisions that other people make for themselves.

    #44 11 months ago
    Quoted from PanzerKraken:It won't change, this has been industry norm for almost everything for decades. Without enforcing MSRP sale requirements on your products, you open a can of worms which is retailers undercutting each other and bringing the product value down. One retailer will sell cheaper than MSRP. Another dealer then sells lower than that dealer to compete. Then someone else comes along and sells even cheaper. It keeps going, it forces down prices and theres always those idiot retailers that ruin it for everyone and drive a products value into the ground. The bottom of barrel resellers then force as low as price as possible making it impossible to sell future product at targeted profit margins, and what happens is that manufacturer will just end up saying "no more" and just won't bother anymore making said product.
    Every manufacturer of big box goods puts price controls on their products to avoid the market from crashing on said product

    That completely makes sense. With most all other industries especially when somethings has been out for a while and if it’s not selling well, they’ll do a sale price to help move units that aren’t moving. I don’t really recall ever seeing that in the pinball industry. That being said, it’s such a niche market, maybe that wouldn’t work.

    #45 11 months ago

    Plenty of sleazy people in this hobby.
    This includes, manufacturers, vendors and hobbyists.

    #46 11 months ago
    Quoted from Mike_J:

    Plenty of sleazy people in this hobby.
    This includes, manufacturers, vendors and hobbyists.

    Only four, actually, if you go by this scientific and foolproof poll.

    So I guess it’s actually the least sleazy hobby on the planet!

    #47 11 months ago
    ff44 (resized).pngff44 (resized).png
    #48 11 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Only four, actually, if you go by this scientific and foolproof poll.
    So I guess it’s actually the least sleazy hobby on the planet!

    Haha
    There are plenty of good people too.

    #49 11 months ago
    Quoted from jeffgoldstein2:That completely makes sense. With most all other industries especially when somethings has been out for a while and if it’s not selling well, they’ll do a sale price to help move units that aren’t moving. I don’t really recall ever seeing that in the pinball industry. That being said, it’s such a niche market, maybe that wouldn’t work.

    Pinball machines don't get phased out or replaced, each is a different product. In other industries its common a product will be replaced by a newer version of that product, like a TV gets replaced by a new better mode. Pinball Machines are all unique, and profit margins aren't huge on them. It's simpler to have controls.

    Retailers get around MSRP all the time, they simply have to sell direct. Dealers make deals all the time, they simply can't advertise or make this info public. Theres also the grey area of used sales, so simply taking it out of the box dealers claim a machine is used and can play with price more. And of course there is trades being done as well.

    #50 11 months ago
    Quoted from PinRetail:

    (Raises hand)
    I'm a Stern Dealer, and I sell for higher than MSRP.
    Stern's pinballs come with a 30 day parts-only warranty... slightly longer on the display. I extend the warranty to one year, and I cover parts AND LABOR in your home. Bumper to bumper for a year.
    I offer a 'service commitment' that as long as you own your machine we agree to service it in your home for a modest service call charge after the first year's warranty. We don't upcharge on parts (if the part costs me $7, you're price is $7), and I work very hard to get your pinball serviced within a day or a couple of days from when you call me. Three years from now. Ten years from now. Twenty years from now.
    Within 300 miles of me, there are three technicians who will do in-home service. At least one of those is a 'you'll have to talk me into it'. The other two are three weeks or more before they'll be able to fix your machine. Like many areas of the country, pinball service is very scarce. I'm supporting a lot of people's pinballs, and if I'm out of business, I won't be.
    If delivery of your pinball is within an hour of travel time, and is a garage or first floor delivery, I'll frequently waive any delivery charge. If it's up three flights of stairs, yes, there will be a charge, but I have associates over on the pool table side of the business that will hand carry the pinball and make sure that there is no damage to your home.
    I don't deliver 'New In Box'.
    I pull the machine out of the box in my shop. Any problems are fixed (and I'm at 80% of New In Box pinballs having a technical problem. Those problems are a little less than 20% for the kind of problem that the average homeowner would have a serious challenge getting fixed. Most things are simple, some are hard). I set the machine up, and dial it in. THEN the customer has a chance to come to the shop and look it over before he completes his purchase.
    There are probably several hundred threads here on pinside about NIB pinballs with defects. Bad playfields, bad side decals, bad node boards, bad, bad, bad. I catch a lot of these before the customer sees the problem. If it's something rare, like Rush and the scoop sides being beaten to death, I've worked with the customer, got the parts that were available, and installed them for free in the customer's home. Before Stern sent us a kit. When you buy from me, you get someone in your home helping you to resolve the problem.
    Yay for me.
    This doesn't matter at all to a guy who has 'bought 25 NIB'.
    So you aren't my customer.
    But you are dead wrong about 'it's killing the industry'.
    The industry is killed when people throw away pinballs.
    They throw away pinballs when they can't get them fixed.
    The biggest problem with the pinball industry is that pinballs break. They break a lot. Usually they break in a way that is easy to fix. Frequently they break in a way that requires specialty or hard-to-obtain parts. Rarely, but often enough that you should take notice, they break in a way that requires a technician to fix.
    If pinballs were everywhere, people would play them.
    They aren't everywhere because they are frequently broken, and pinball isn't much fun when it's broke.
    So when pinballs can't be repaired, they are discarded, like trash.
    THAT kills the industry.
    You are upset because your high end luxury good is scarce, and you want to find someone who will sell you a scarce item while making little or no profit. You want to cut out the middleman.
    (nods)
    Great.
    But dealers / distributors CAN be people who offer a whole lot more support to the pinball industry than 'I filled out the invoice so that you can have it shipped directly from the factory to you.'
    In fact, dealers / distributors can be a part of the mix in a healthy environment where there is MORE PINBALL.
    If you feel that some dealer/distributor isn't acting in accord with what you think is right, I request that you look at your own 'NIB crowd', who buy a pinball, sell it at a price where they make a profit and then DON'T SUPPORT a customer who needs help. How many service calls are you running on machines you sold people? How many deliveries did you make right for your customer? How long after the sale did you support them? Look to the 'NIB crowd', and see how well those guys are supporting the industry.
    (Raises hand).
    I'm a Stern Dealer.
    I'm $300 over MSRP. More on LE's.
    I do make a modest profit when I sell a pinball.
    The bit of profit I make allows me to have a showroom with 12-20 machines on free play for you to come in, see the machine, play it, and have a machine delivered promptly. It pays for the trucks, the parts I carry, all the things that allow me to support people after the sale.
    In my corner of the world, I'm making sales, delivering games. The pinball industry is fine.
    Whatever you are hearing from the doomsayers around here, it isn't my experience.
    You don't have to buy from me.
    But there is value (at least my customers say there is...) in a dealer that offers a bit more than a 'flip' of a pinball at a low price.

    Charging $300 over MSRP (for pros / premiums), but offering everything that you’re mentioning that you do plus extending the warranty is absolutely worth it and if I was local, I would absolutely be a customer. The service that you’re offering is well worth the additional $300.00 for that warranty and delivery alone.

    That being said when I go on other distributor websites and see a premium $1000+ over MSRP to have shipped without any of those additional bells and whistles that you’re offering in my opinion I personally think it’s bad business that will turn away a lot of potential clients in today’s market.

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