(Topic ID: 40209)

Horror story of a first pin buy...what was your first purchase like?


By Bbismuth

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 39 posts
  • 30 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by o-din
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 6 years ago

I'll be the first to admit I'm a noobie at this hobby, but pinball has always been a fascination of mine. After years of hinting to my wife that my dream was to own a machine, I finally pulled the trigger and purchased a JP. I was as awkward as I have always been with the monetary negotiations and was only able to bring the seller down by $300. I really don't want to reveal what I paid, because it's a bit embarrassing. However, everything is working 100%...for now. The pin was a couple hundred miles away and I was scared that it wouldn't fit on my Equinox, so I borrowed my friend's Element. It snowed pretty heavily on the way there, and although my knuckles were white the entire drive back, I made it home without any major mishaps...I thought. When I was calling my friend to come pick up his car and help me unload the pin, he told me that he was just pulled over for speeding in my car that he had borrowed and had a nice $200 ticket to pay. As soon a I got off the phone with him I looked outside and my heart sank. There was what appeared to be a dent in his tailgate that I hadn't noticed before. I quickly went out and rubbe the dent. Was it fresh? Had it always been there and I hadn't noticed? As I opened the gay for further inspection some plastic from the light fell on the ground. It was fresh

In the end, my friend didn't want to use his insurance ( he'd just gotten another speeding ticket) and my insurance wouldn't cover it. So...my first pin cost $1,100 more than I had initially planned. Ugh. I really wanted to buy a second pin soon. I guess that won't be happening.

Anybody else have a pin buying horror story? Help me feel a little better here.

#2 6 years ago

Bought a Pinbot for a good price. Got it home tried for the first and last time to birding it in the house and into the basement by myself.

I hit the glass storm door on the way in broke the glass on the door.

Down the 1st step dolly slips a little and cracks the tile floor.

Get it down the steps take the back glass off set it on the floor and it shattered in a million pieces all over the basement floor.

#3 6 years ago

rent a truck at uhaul next time. you would have saved a thousand bucks

#4 6 years ago

Easy..my wife bought it with her money.And they delivered and set it up 1992.Old guy

#5 6 years ago

When the seller delivered my first pin, an eerie silence descended upon the entire neighborhood. The songs of the birds, the buzzing of insects, the laughter of children had vanished. The sunlight became wan as if some alien force was sucking the very sunlight, even though there were no clouds in the sky. My dog first began to howl and then hid in the basement whining. And my daughter asked who was the strange bald man that had just pulled into the driveway. Was it some messenger from a dark beyond?

That was when I met Mr. 68

#6 6 years ago

Actually Kim is a great guy and I have purchased two more games from him since then.

#7 6 years ago
Quoted from maddog14:

rent a truck at uhaul next time. you would have saved a thousand bucks

Ahh...hindsight, why do you haunt me?

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from Pinmeister:

When the seller delivered my first pin, an eerie silence descended upon the entire neighborhood. The songs of the birds, the buzzing of insects, the laughter of children had vanished. The sunlight became wan as if some alien force was sucking the very sunlight, even though there were no clouds in the sky. My dog first began to howl and then hid in the basement whining. And my daughter asked who was the strange bald man that had just pulled into the driveway. Was it some messenger from a dark beyond?
That was when I met Mr. 68

I don't know Mr. 68, but he sounds...interesting.

#9 6 years ago

BTW...anybody have a sub-$1k late 80's Williams/Bally pin for sale in the St. Louis area?

#10 6 years ago
Quoted from Bbismuth:

I'll be the first to admit I'm a noobie at this hobby, but pinball has always been a fascination of mine. After years of hinting to my wife that my dream was to own a machine, I finally pulled the trigger and purchased a JP. I was as awkward as I have always been with the monetary negotiations and was only able to bring the seller down by $300. I really don't want to reveal what I paid, because it's a bit embarrassing. However, everything is working 100%...for now. The pin was a couple hundred miles away and I was scared that it wouldn't fit on my Equinox, so I borrowed my friend's Element. It snowed pretty heavily on the way there, and although my knuckles were white the entire drive back, I made it home without any major mishaps...I thought. When I was calling my friend to come pick up his car and help me unload the pin, he told me that he was just pulled over for speeding in my car that he had borrowed and had a nice $200 ticket to pay. As soon a I got off the phone with him I looked outside and my heart sank. There was what appeared to be a dent in his tailgate that I hadn't noticed before. I quickly went out and rubbe the dent. Was it fresh? Had it always been there and I hadn't noticed? As I opened the gay for further inspection some plastic from the light fell on the ground. It was fresh
In the end, my friend didn't want to use his insurance ( he'd just gotten another speeding ticket) and my insurance wouldn't cover it. So...my first pin cost $1,100 more than I had initially planned. Ugh. I really wanted to buy a second pin soon. I guess that won't be happening.
Anybody else have a pin buying horror story? Help me feel a little better here.

I think that JP would have fit just fine in your Equinox

#11 6 years ago

I decided I wanted an EDOT. I bought one in Canada. I paid for a customs broker. I shipped it to Louisiana and realized after it arrived that it would NEVER fit in my house.
So it sat in storage for a year until I sold it.

#12 6 years ago

We all had to buy that first pin sometime. Hopefully many future pin owners can pick up a few tips.
I purchased my first one many years ago and paid a little extra to have it crated. It arrived in the nicest crate Ive ever seen. It could of held a Kardashian or two but instead there was my Tri Zone in all its glory. It was a great pin and I had it for years. Sold it to a fellow Pinsider and he has it on route. Its doing its thing and earning its keep again. Too cool.

#13 6 years ago
Quoted from romulusx:

I think that JP would have fit just fine in your Equinox

I had nightmares of driving all the way to Chicago and it not being able to fit. I was POSITIVE it would fit in the Element. Easy enough...borrow my friends car. Run up there and come right back. I still don't know when the dent happened. It had to have been at a gas station when I went inside. It's really messing with my had, but I have to put it behind me. Lesson learned and, best of all, I have a working JP in my house.

#14 6 years ago

Bought my HUO TSPP from Pat Choy in 2011. Great guy, dunno if he does shipping.

#15 6 years ago

That's a bummer man it puts a downer on a totally awesome day! Don't feel bad about what you paid, because good pin prices are almost nonexistent in our neck of the woods.

#16 6 years ago
Quoted from Bbismuth:

I was scared that it wouldn't fit on my Equinox, so I borrowed my friend's Element.

My Toyota Tacoma is no big burley truck, but with the shell on the back it makes one great pin hauler, rain or shine! As far as my first pin purchase, that was easy- Surfside lives a couple of miles
from my house, and he delivered and help me set up GNR and Shadow- no problem! Sorry your experience wasn't as easy. Hope you like your JP. Late!

#17 6 years ago
Quoted from Bbismuth:

I don't know Mr. 68, but he sounds...interesting.

Go to wrongcrowdproductions.com and be afraid. Very afraid.

LTG : )

#18 6 years ago

drove 6 hours roundtrip to Spokane and traded some Neon signs and cash for a gottlieb Lights, Camera, Action...definetly paid too much even with the barter deal...was a good trip and dont miss the money like I would have the game...

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from Venom_249:

That's a bummer man it puts a downer on a totally awesome day! Don't feel bad about what you paid, because good pin prices are almost nonexistent in our neck of the woods.

Thanks. Otherwise, this has been a great pin. A dream come true, really. I see you're in Cape. I graduated from JHS in '94 and spent my 20's living on Sprigg Street. I miss that town.

#20 6 years ago

When I bought my first pin I had to ask the seller how to lift the playfield, then how to load it (of course over paying for it). I got it home and had a couple neighbors that I hardly knew help get it in the house because of the trouble my wife and I were having, and they weren't much better at it. I spent the next couple of weeks cleaning it, replacing bulbs (lots burned out), even soldering a light board fo the first time. I had to replace a switch the diagnostics pointed out... the most impossible switch to work on in the very bottom left corner of the playfield, nearly impossible to solder, or get a screw driver in there, but I did it. Next thing I know the switch went out again and had to fix it. I finally realized, once the playfield didn't hold and fell crookedly into the cabinet, that one of the pivot knobs was loose the whole time, so the playfield did not raise/lower properly and that's what was bungling up the switch. The shaker motor also shook apart, so I learned to rebuild that too.

Suffice it to say by the time I got the game 100%, I was fully initiated in the art of pinball maintenance, and the next time I moved a pin was like a breeze in comparison.

#21 6 years ago
Quoted from Baiter:

once the playfield didn't hold and fell crookedly into the cabinet,

Was it a Data East?

#22 6 years ago
Quoted from Bbismuth:

I'll be the first to admit I'm a noobie at this hobby, but pinball has always been a fascination of mine. After years of hinting to my wife that my dream was to own a machine, I finally pulled the trigger and purchased a JP. I was as awkward as I have always been with the monetary negotiations and was only able to bring the seller down by $300. I really don't want to reveal what I paid, because it's a bit embarrassing. However, everything is working 100%...for now. The pin was a couple hundred miles away and I was scared that it wouldn't fit on my Equinox, so I borrowed my friend's Element. It snowed pretty heavily on the way there, and although my knuckles were white the entire drive back, I made it home without any major mishaps...I thought. When I was calling my friend to come pick up his car and help me unload the pin, he told me that he was just pulled over for speeding in my car that he had borrowed and had a nice $200 ticket to pay. As soon a I got off the phone with him I looked outside and my heart sank. There was what appeared to be a dent in his tailgate that I hadn't noticed before. I quickly went out and rubbe the dent. Was it fresh? Had it always been there and I hadn't noticed? As I opened the gay for further inspection some plastic from the light fell on the ground. It was fresh
In the end, my friend didn't want to use his insurance ( he'd just gotten another speeding ticket) and my insurance wouldn't cover it. So...my first pin cost $1,100 more than I had initially planned. Ugh. I really wanted to buy a second pin soon. I guess that won't be happening.
Anybody else have a pin buying horror story? Help me feel a little better here.

That just means you'll have to put about 4,400 more games on it to get your money's worth.
Now get to work and enjoy your new pin!

#23 6 years ago

My first pin was not a horror story... I got my spectrum less than a year ago. I bought it without seeing it (the one thing noobies should never do, I was told... but I trusted the guy). I had the machine delivered to my house. Took me some time to understand basic things but it went well.

My horror story was when I went for a roadtrip to buy an EM. The pin was OK... but we had to climb a very narrow spiral stairway (in a old medieval house) to move the pin. It was really nightmarish for the cabinet. The lesson I got from this was: "ask where is the machine located before driving 3 hours..."

#24 6 years ago

First pin purchase went easy. Moving it however, did not. I had no clue how to move these things around. Had a friend help me who proceeded to drop his end when it got awkward. Suffice it to say, I quickly learned how to move any one of these monsters completely on my own.

#25 6 years ago

My first purchase went very well. Had to drive from Seattle to Portland to get it. Price was fair and seller showed me all the basics ie how to get the balls out, lifting the playfield etc. He helped me load it and trip went off without a hitch. The hardest part was getting in the house.

#26 6 years ago

When I got my first pin the seller was cool, the drive there and back with couple of buddies was fun, getting the pin into my basement went well (with the Escalera I rented). I was a little freaked out by the way it played at first but once I got it leveled correctly and tweaked a few things from the move it worked fine. 3 days later, it died. No GI, no DMD, no other lights, no nothing but the faint hum of the speakers. I ended up having to send the boards off for repair. A month later I got the boards back and it's been great ever since. I've done a little cursing at the OP fixes that were done on it some 20 years ago, mostly cosmetic things. I dove right into the repairs, tweaks etc. It's been a blast so far.

#27 6 years ago

I bought mine from a reseller, with an actual business. I bought two A titles and then waited 5 months for them to be shopped. In the course of those 5 months I realized I paid about 20% too much for the pins.

I never made that mistake, unknowingly, again.

Now because of this site and a couple others, I only overpay if I want to...

#28 6 years ago

I was naive and bought a funhouse sight unseen over the Internet. Had it shipped. Luckily it was a good machine and worked out.

#29 6 years ago

If your lucky, the seller offers to help with delivery. I sold my CSI and IJ4 last night to a former co worker. They were in immaculate condition and he didn't know jack about moving them. I moved them 12 miles in his house and set them up for free. Most would have charged for delivery, but I got a good price for the pair and hated to see them damaged.

#30 6 years ago

My first purchase was 'interesting' to say the least.

My girlfriend (now wife) and I played Rollergames at the local Noble Romans pizza pretty regularly.

Eventually, I wanted my own pin. I watched eBay (hey, where would you buy anything, besides Walmart and eBay, right?) because the operator who had the game in the pizza joint wanted $1700 for it. That was over 10 years ago...

I finally found one for a price I could afford, won the auction for a little over 4 hundred. It had playfield wear, a pretty sorry cabinet, didn't work entirely, and had no playfield glass.

So, we headed off for the 4 hour drive in a SUV I borrowed from my Mom on a Friday night after work. Stayed the night somewhere. Picked the game up the next day.

The seller was a container seller of pins, and had a building with lots and lots of pins. Probably were better than 100 folded up. I talked with his wife a bit, about other games, etc while he fished out my pin from the sea of games.

A South Park was nearby. I had played that game, so for small talk, his wife and I discussed it. She said 'It's kinda dirty'. I said 'I think it'd clean up'. She said 'No, I mean South Park. It's kinda dirty. I don't like it'. I quickly realized she and I had different opinions on humor and changed the subject again.

Loaded the game, excited and proud, and started home.

Stopped at an Applebees along the way home for lunch, opened the tailgate of the truck to make sure it was still safely stowed, and noticed a big label on the back that read '230 Volts. For Export Use Only'. My stomach sank, and I thought, I don't have a 230 volt outlet, am I going to have to pay an electrician to come out and put in a special outlet for it?

Probably the most hilarious moment was when I ordered parts to clean it up, and asked the parts vendor how I got to the bulbs on the bottom of the playfield? I didn't think my arm was long enough to reach all the way to the back of the cabinet through the coin door

#31 6 years ago

Close to the same story here ...
So excited I backed out of the garage with SUV Tailgate opened (up in the air) ... it drilled the top of the garage - broke the wiper blade, busted the log plates off, and dented the tailgate. THEN, got a speeding ticket on the highway going 80 in a 60 ... never wanted to add up exactly how much extra it cost me so I think I'll stop there.

#32 6 years ago

My first purchase went ok. Picked up 5 pins from a nearby seller - looking back on the price I did ok. Of course - I could have really overpaid and I would never have known the difference. Only thing I would have done a bit different - is I would have used a dolly instead of almost breaking my back taking it out of his basement.

#33 6 years ago

My story is only around 6 weeks old. Bought my first machine (JD) from a Pinsider and I think I paid too much since a longer thread here says JD is a $1400 machine! Got it home and within the first hour the ball wouldn't shoot then I lost power. The seller helped me over the phone troubleshoot it to some loose connectors and then to a broken wire. The next day I soldered it back together and was pretty proud of myself. But I continued to have various issues and my wife was giving me the "I told you so attitude". The seller has a friend who is local he asked to come and help me and this friend has. In fact he's been over three times and has fixed a few things. He's taught me a ton so maybe the repairs this machine has needed has been kind of a long term blessing since I'm gaining confidence in my ability to repair these myself. Tonight I'm going to my new friends house to check out his collection of games. I'm bringing pizza. I guess it hasn't been a horror story, although my JD still has a drop target problem.

#34 6 years ago

Paid $450 for a comet, pickup and setup went uneventful, and the rest is history...Plenty of interesting stories in between, but the initial one was easy peasy.

#35 6 years ago

My first pin purchase was bitter sweet. Met a got from Craigslist, got a maverick for a good price. Really nice guy, told me about pinside and other sites. I was a complete noob. Gave me extra drop targets, coils, novus. Really happy, until 2 months later the maverick has a complete meltdown. Blows the power supply board, bridge rectifiers etc, the machine starts smoking etc... I take a look and many of the coils don't even have coil sleeves. I eventually traded it non working plus cash for another machine. Glad I bought it, but lost at least $500 or more on it and I don't regret it.

#36 6 years ago

Not first pin purchase, but I once bought a Fathom from an operator I know and forgot to take the legs. A few months later I'm in the area and decide to pass and pickup the legs. On the way back to the highway I also got a speeding ticket.. it was a set of expensive pinball legs in the end

#37 6 years ago

Discovered Mr Pinball classifieds on my dialup connection and bought a High Speed. The guy was super cool and even delivered the game to my house. Despite looking up machine dimensions and measuring the doors a million times in giddy anticipation, it would not fit into the den - or any other room in the house besides the kitchen. My wife gave me 'the look' but I told her it wouldn't be for long (I hope). For some reason, High Speed has a slightly wider backbox than most other machines of that era.

The guy says to disconnect the wires in the backbox and remove the head and it should fit. Not having any idea what he's talking about I nod my head and smile. He leaves and I figure out how to remove the backglass and am dumbstruck by the amount of wires and connectors in there. No way am I messing with any of that!

So there it sat next to the kitchen table for two weeks until my brother came over and we removed the head bolts and -get this- rotated the backbox 45 degrees so that it would squeeze through the door. Problem solved!

#38 6 years ago
Quoted from johnwartjr:

Probably the most hilarious moment was when I ordered parts to clean it up, and asked the parts vendor how I got to the bulbs on the bottom of the playfield? I didn't think my arm was long enough to reach all the way to the back of the cabinet through the coin door

And look at you now.

An important lesson for newbies. You can learn.

LTG : )

#39 6 years ago

How to fix the car without opening the hood.

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