What’s the future of the NIB pinball market???
This chart shows how badly we are being ripped off in 2023 by $$$tern…
This thread is not an attempt to be negative, rather it’s a discussion about our current state of affairs in the hobby we all enjoy and where it’s going. Fearing there’s going to be another pinball implosion soon. We are at the beginning of the storm now. Stern and JJP know this and are beginning to see what they’ve done to the market place.
Seriously Stern and JJP have killed both of their golden egg laying gooses. Their core loyal buyers are pausing or stopping further purchases, because they’ve taken the margin we faithful had to buy games and then sell later to fund the next one for minimal gain or loss. The pricing scheme balance is now gone, with sky high MSRPs increased at such large percentages. Only consideration Stern made is to their 30% location PRO market, keeping price increases to a paltry few percentage points. Stern’s main core LE/PRE and JJPs CE/LE buyers are now upside down in whatever they purchase from these two companies.
Stern’s greed has basically destroyed their own loyal core buying market, whom were primed and ready to buy each LE that came down the line. But now that group may rethink and most likely not buy most, if not any LEs in the future. Stern has conjured a triple whammy on the pinball market they built. They destroyed that delicate balance where a buyer could pay MSRP, play the game for a year or two and then sell it at break even or make a little or at a loss of no more than around $500 as long as the title/layout was a good one.
Stern doubled LEs to 1,000, making them far less collectible. Then Stern upped the MSRP price from Stranger Things that sold for $9,099.00 to a whopping $12,999.00 and did not increase BOM value. On top of that, most LE buyers want to finish their collectible and buy a topper, which is now up to $1,999.00, plus $250.00 for a shooter rod, plus tax and shipping. To make matters worse, pandemic demand was at an all time high since people were home most of the time, unable to travel. Stern decides to meet demand by moving to a new factory that can now output 1,000 machines a week instead of the 500 a week they had been making. But because Stern has screwed over their loyal buying base that took every LE, which in turn had a halo effect that sold premiums and pros that market is beginning to dry up. Now distributors will be loaded up on inventory collecting dust with few buyers and higher interest rates being charged on unsold stock.
Stern did all this in the name of the few scalpers that were out in the wild, which most of us would never purchase from anyway. Inflation has also been claimed to be a reason, but if it really was a reason then why was it only Stern and JJP that raised their prices so insanely high? The rest of the market, Spooky, CGC, AP, etc. kept pricing near or at the $10k mark. Stern is now $5,000.00 above that, including a topper, as well as JJP also being $5,000.00 above that level too.
This has been a very interesting phenomenon to watch unfold. FOMO buying is now almost dried up and will be completely over when more NIB buyers lose big money in the secondary market. Stern and JJP have very foolishly sucked up that margin the loyal buying base once had by an insane 30% to 40% price jump in a very short time.
Stern and JJP will have to decrease production or prices or both to lure us back into the market place. Most of us have many machines already, but with the HUO market slowing down to a crawl, we’ll not be buying any longer because who in their right mind wants to keep losing in a hobby that once was balanced for manufacturer, seller, buyer and the HUO market? Answer is, few to no one will continue in such a high priced arena where the market is so unbalanced now.
What are your thoughts on this important subject, as price balance versus BOM is very much a feature of any pinball game?
Added on September 3, 2023:
Pinball Addicts Anonymous (PAA) Oath:
Grant me the serenity that my current pinball lineup or location pinball playing is sufficient;
To accept absurd greedy pinball prices I cannot change as something I don’t need;
Courage to change the things I can in the secondary used (HUO) market;
And wisdom to know the difference between FOMO and real want or need;
Living one day at a time on my new path away from my pinball addiction past;
Enjoying one moment at a time as I play pinball machines purchased during a more balanced era;
When pinball companies considered pricing versus value added products as sound business practices;
Accepting and helping other pinball FOMO addicted brothers with their NIB hardships through finding comfort in treasures we already own or play on location as the pathway to peace;
Unite scammed, fleeced and plundered suffering pinball addict brothers! A new day is dawning!