(Topic ID: 70023)

How can anyone afford a single pin?

By tankpinball

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 71 posts
  • 55 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by ForceFlow
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    There are 71 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 5 years ago

    I just don't understand how can pinheads on this site afford one? People at my school think I have a pin, but I currently won't get one unless my family says so. But after I save up for a car I will try to save up for a pinball machine.

    #2 5 years ago

    20 years of working and investing has paid off pretty well. I didn't make anything going to school.

    #3 5 years ago

    hmm, I worked to earn the money for all of mine, so theres One way, but im 25 so i've had some time to save money and whatnot.

    #4 5 years ago

    you probably can't buy a NIB one at 5-9k but you certainly can buy a $500 one that needs some work. I saved up for months to buy a projector when I was 16 as at the time this is what I really wanted and I did it.

    #5 5 years ago

    Work! Earn Money! Make sure you can eat, have housing, pay for electricity, etc!

    #6 5 years ago

    You could always start with an EM. You will be able to find a pin in the $300-$600 easy. I believe the Xbox One is over $500. So, just ask your parents for a pinball machine for xmas. But once you graduate High School and land a decent job $600 wont seem like a ton of money like it once seemed. This is a very expensive hobby, however owning one is not impossible. Just save and spend Or just apply for a credit card and go nuts lol

    #7 5 years ago

    Don't worry... stuff comes with time. When I was in college $100 was a lot of money. Now I spend that much at the grocery store and I don't give it a second thought. The keys are (1) having an income and (2) having your reoccurring expenses being less than that income.

    Money Earned > Money Spent = Money Saved

    Money Saved = money to spend on frivolous things.

    #8 5 years ago

    At your age I was not concerned with owning a p-ball I was more concerned with getting some punanny.-LOL
    Get through high school and concentrate on getting a good degree from a reputable college. Then graduate, get a good job then start plunking all your hard earned benjamins into pinball machines.

    #9 5 years ago

    It's tough spending money on any hobby when you're going to (and paying for) school. And saving for a car (for transportation) is more important than spending money on a non-essential hobby. I remember when I first heard the term "discretionary income" and I wondered why I didn't have any of that? Some guys go right from school into marriage and having children, and that can eliminate discretionary funds for years.

    If you've got to get involved in pinball now, then you'd better start with as cheap a game as you can find even if it is less than stellar in appearance (as long as its in working order). Once you're out of school and earning money, then there are a number of really good pins that can be bought for reasonable money. Just don't try to collect all the pins in Pinside's top ten until you've found that "discretionary income" that keeps eluding me.

    #10 5 years ago

    As everyone else has said, start small, and work your way up. I started with a project EM game, fixed it, sold it for more than I bought it for, bought another, did the same thing. I saved the "profit" from a couple of games until I could afford a game I wanted to keep.

    Keep checking around online (ebay, craigslist, here) and hopefully a reasonably priced project will come up and you can give it a whirl Full warning though, if you get one, you *might* end up with more than one

    #11 5 years ago
    Quoted from littlecammi:

    Some guys go right from school into marriage and having children, and that can eliminate discretionary funds for years.

    I wasn't going to "go there." But getting a career, a few promotions with no wife or kids = money for whatever. One of my friends is buying a $70,000 car. He has no pinball machines though. I sold my extra cars to start a new hobby - pinball.

    #12 5 years ago
    Quoted from Stack15:

    I wasn't going to "go there." But getting a career, a few promotions with no wife or kids = money for whatever. One of my friends is buying a $70,000 car. He has no pinball machines though. I sold my extra cars to start a new hobby - pinball.

    Not having kids will help. But, If you have a wife that has a career and contributes to bills, then having one helps. But they won't let you buy all the pins that you want, so in a way having one doesnt always help with the pinball situation. lol

    #13 5 years ago

    .50 Then find a bowling alley

    #14 5 years ago

    Luckily owning a pinball machine is not essential, to enjoy the hobby with out ownership is do-able. If there are places to play near you, great! Go to the arcade and have Fun. Find out if some one near you has pins you can play at their home. NIB may not be viable for you at this time, that is fine. Time will tell. Good Luck.

    #15 5 years ago
    Quoted from TZBen:

    .50 Then find a bowling alley

    That is if you can find a Bowling Alley that has a pinball machine. None of the lanes near me have any.

    #16 5 years ago

    PB and J for food and cheap beer. Seriously though all the above is great advice.

    Word of warning, pinballs are like Jeeps (Just Emptied Every Pocket). If you are not throwing money into an old one to keep it going, then you are spending money on modifications with a new one.

    This hobby will still be here when you have a good income coming in.

    Good luck!

    #17 5 years ago

    Don't fret.

    A young and ambitious man living in central Florida such as yourself should be able to find a world of opportunity in the recession-proof industry of black-market drug dealing. I mean heck, UCF is just up the street, I'd imagine you'd have plenty of opportunities there.

    If you need a kickstart, you could always go rent Breaking Bad Seasons 1&2. Problem solved.

    #18 5 years ago

    Wasn't until I turned 35 that I purchased my first pin...had no kids & we had double income at the time...work hard, be patient, save up & buy your toys when you can afford them...I'm not planning to be buried w/ my money...when I have extra money I spend it on toys that I enjoy...maybe I can be buried w/ my pins...or better yet, inside a pin!

    #19 5 years ago
    Quoted from tankpinball:

    I just don't understand how can pinheads on this site afford one? People at my school think I have a pin, but I currently won't get one unless my family says so. But after I save up for a car I will try to save up for a pinball machine.

    Make sure your car is a big van and you'll be ready for the pinball shopping.
    I don't understand how people on these forums can afford to buy every NIB Stern. My 5 machines add up to 2 LE's. Considering owning a home is the other necessary part of pin ownership, there are some rich mofos around here.
    Don't even get me started on the folks who can also afford getting machines shipped to them. I'm lucky to live in the home of pinball so I can find machines within driving distance.

    #20 5 years ago

    I never would have thought about buying a pinball machine when I was in school. As a matter of fact, I never would have considered buying one until I bought a house.

    #21 5 years ago
    Quoted from dj_xwing:

    maybe I can be buried w/ my pins...or better yet, inside a pin!

    Perfect Casket lol

    #22 5 years ago

    Either start with a project and learn how to fix it, or wait until you have disposable income, and start saving. Work hard; if you're eligible for overtime at whatever job you land, take as much of it as you can stand to. Learn to be thrifty.

    I've got a decent job and a pretty reasonable income for someone who's 26... I just work hard, and keep my frivolous spending (bars, meals out, first run movies) and recurring expenses (utility bills, internet, phone, etc.) to a minimum. I've managed to amass a collection of 11 pins, though I started collecting arcade stuff several years ago, and sold off a lot of that to fund my pin collection.

    #23 5 years ago

    Figure out which game you want, first. Then start saving.

    #24 5 years ago

    Barter up!

    #25 5 years ago

    i mean how many kidney's do you actually need? prob even get a NIB ......

    #26 5 years ago

    How do people afford a 42 foot sailing boat? How do people afford a BMW 735i? How do people afford a $1M vacation home? The answer isn't much different except that pinball machines are much cheaper.

    #27 5 years ago

    My first pin was an EM, $150. You can be patient and find deals, you can put work into it, or you can put money into it (your choice). Money can be earned if you're patient. Hell, every time I buy a pin I usually have $150 just in coins saved up in a jar. If you want it badly enough, you can always find a way even if it means a 2nd part-time job

    #28 5 years ago

    He is in 9th grade btw. Think he has plenty of time to save up.

    #29 5 years ago

    Start asking people to pay to see your impressions...

    #30 5 years ago

    Fun question and I'm enjoying these responses. And I love the idea of a pinball casket lol. Too bad I'm donating organs and getting cremated.

    I was 33 before I felt like I had enough savings to splurge on a machine. Two actually! Took me a decade after college to pay down all my debts and pull the trigger on a pin.

    Plus, it's not like flushing money down the toilet. If you're selective, your purchase will hold its value and you can usually get your money back if you're in a pinch.

    In the meantime, feed the hobby at large 50 cents at a time by visiting your local pin on location. I always make a point to drop a couple bucks at least into every pin in the wild that I stumble across.

    Good luck and keep the dream alive!

    #31 5 years ago

    We're all old and have jobs.

    #32 5 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    We're all old and have jobs.

    Well said. I don't have enough time to play with all my toys anymore.

    #34 5 years ago

    Deals are out there. Tell everyone you know you're looking to get one. You'd be surprised what might happen. You might even get one for free.

    I got a couple of decent pins for very cheap that way.

    Buy a book on basic electronics.

    #35 5 years ago

    So does a sugar mama!

    #37 5 years ago
    Quoted from Jean-Luc-Picard:

    He is in 9th grade btw.

    Well, that explains the hunt for teenage girls. He sure had me fooled.

    #38 5 years ago

    It's amazing what you can buy once you graduate college. Or high school.

    #39 5 years ago


    Post edited by The_Dude_Abides : Political banter is not allowed on Pinside if you post this kind of thing in the future it will likely result in a ban.

    #40 5 years ago

    political commentary unnecessary... all that will do is get this thread locked...

    op... work... save... aim low to start... there are a LOT of inexpensive pins out there, the vast majority of pinball owners entire collection didn't cost as much as one nib... i have 6, and you couldn't even pay for half of a nib pin for what i paid for them...

    good luck...

    #41 5 years ago

    Work hard, play hard. Made some good choices career wise, invested in my education which has afforded me the opportunity to purchase certain luxury items in life.

    #42 5 years ago

    In some ways pinball is a very inexpensive hobby compared to others. Yes, the pins cost a bunch of money, but they seem to hold there value (more or less). If you were into flying, cars, boats, home audio, then you would redefine what you consider an expensive hobby.

    #43 5 years ago

    You have to remember that you're only 14/15 years old.

    Think about your entire life up to this point... Now double it. Triple it. Quadruple it??

    Long story short, most people on these forums have had nothing to do but work, make money and be successful for the past 10, 15, 20+ years while you've simply been focused on kickball, recess, and snack packs (mMmMmM...)

    Give yourself time, stay focused in school, and business. The rest will come....

    #44 5 years ago

    WTB: snack packs

    #45 5 years ago

    It used to be I could put wanted ads out & pick up games for dam cheap,fix them up,& sell for a profit. Then buy expensive games with the $. It's hard to do now that everyone is in on it. After 15 years of this I now have some very nice expensive games.

    #46 5 years ago

    I suggest do well in school, go to a decent college and get a major in a field where jobs are abundant such as accounting or engineering, and don't spend money on frivolous stuff if pinball is what you really want. Most of all, in that life plan it is important to have patience and a great work ethic.

    #47 5 years ago

    Listen to pinmister. Plenty of time for owning pinballs when you're old, have extra money and nothing else to do. Buy that car and find a lady friend! Save the leftover change to play on location.

    #49 5 years ago


    in all seriousness, you'll have to work for it. better to learn to fix/restore on your own and make some money flipping/selling. been doing this since 1998 to be where I am today.

    Post edited by The_Dude_Abides : I explained that political banter is not allowed on Pinside above please do not do this again.

    #50 5 years ago

    I am just about positive that picture was taken at the Cedar Point arcade in Ohio. That is one of my favorite places! Rollercoasters in every direction! That arcade has two Hurcules machines when I was there in early September. AHHH how I miss Top Thrill Dragster and Millenium Force

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