(Topic ID: 355870)

How much of a savings do you need to buy a game HUO vs NIB?

By PanzerFreak

77 days ago


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Topic Stats

  • 22 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 77 days ago by Mike_J
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “How much of a savings do you need to buy a game HUO vs NIB?”

    • $500 2 votes
      3%
    • $500 - $1,000 8 votes
      11%
    • $1,000 - $1,500 30 votes
      42%
    • $1,500 - $2,000 15 votes
      21%
    • $2,000 - $2,500 6 votes
      8%
    • $2,500 - $3,000 5 votes
      7%
    • $3,000+ 5 votes
      7%

    (71 votes)

    #1 77 days ago

    How much of a savings do you need to buy a game HUO vs NIB?

    For me I'm going to say at least $1,500 on a Stern premium, $2k+ on a Stern LE, and $2k+ for a JJP LE or CE. Otherwise I'm buying NIB. Why? It's a pain to travel to someone else's home, break down a game, move it into a vehicle, load it into the vehicle, drive back home with the game, get it out, and then get it into you're home. I've done it many times but there needs to be enough of a savings there to make it worthwhile.

    The convenience of having a game delivered NIB is worth $1k on its own to me. The remaining $1k in savings comes from wanting to be the first owner of a game. There's also something to getting a later production build of a game NIB (did this with GNR and Wonka LE's) versus an early build that is HUO which may have quality issues.

    Let's just refer to games that are still in production.

    #2 77 days ago

    Depends IMO HUO the game has usually been dialed in more & you often get some tasteful mods. If it's worth the extra money for delivery you could always offer more for it I have in the past. I'd say every situation is different but in general the seller usually loses 500 to 1k plus on a premium.

    #3 77 days ago

    My last NIB from Stern was a big POS that required extensive trouble shooting and multiple node board replacements before it worked reliably. My last HUO purchase was $1200 off of MSRP and has had close to zero problems (I replaced a ragged out shooter lane and scoop switch). I'd say I enjoyed the latter experience more despite having to move it myself.

    #4 77 days ago

    I don't recommend the NIB experience to inexperienced people.

    So I'm not sure how you can get to a general rule on how things could be valued.

    If I'm buying a pinball in unknown condition (NIB), how much more important is buying it in known good condition (it's been working well, with all the small problems resolved and the machine properly adjusted and 'dialed in' for good play)?

    It all matters on condition, and your tolerance for risk, and your personal ability to compensate for the NIB experience... and how much do you like a 300lb box delivered to your curb?

    For people in exactly your situation, valuing the things you value, with your comfort level with risk and experience, and repair ability, NIB can be the right answer.

    It's an interesting question, but it mostly comes down to 'what have you been buying cheap' in todays market. Cheap enough, and you'll be glad to buy used. *grins*

    Pricing is in flux right now, hard to draw a general rule.

    #5 77 days ago

    I save $8k- $15k by not buying them.

    #6 77 days ago
    Quoted from AMartin56:

    My last NIB from Stern was a big POS that required extensive trouble shooting and multiple node board replacements before it worked reliably. My last HUO purchase was $1200 off of MSRP and has had close to zero problems (I replaced a ragged out shooter lane and scoop switch). I'd say I enjoyed the latter experience more despite having to move it myself.

    That's a really good point!

    #7 77 days ago

    For myself it's the ability to inspect the game prior to purchasing along with the savings. With so many QA issues with all manufacturers along with terrible service its nice to know the game is fully working prior to purchasing.

    #8 77 days ago
    Quoted from PanzerFreak:

    That's a really good point!

    Another thing to consider is the proliferation of online dealers that don't have a physical presence near you. I don't think they like to advertise the fact that if something happens best effort is all you're going to get. In my area they offered to find a 'local enthusiast' to come over and fix it. I didn't see the point since a) I'm already a local enthusiast b) I'm not going to let some random dude work on my $10k machine and c) why not just pay me to troubleshoot LoL. They told me I was being difficult when I mentioned all this. Maybe I was but in hindsight I'm a bit surprised Stern allows internet sales like this considering how much they rely on their dealer network for service and support.

    #9 77 days ago
    Quoted from PinRetail:

    I don't recommend the NIB experience to inexperienced people.
    So I'm not sure how you can get to a general rule on how things could be valued.
    If I'm buying a pinball in unknown condition (NIB), how much more important is buying it in known good condition (it's been working well, with all the small problems resolved and the machine properly adjusted and 'dialed in' for good play)?
    It all matters on condition, and your tolerance for risk, and your personal ability to compensate for the NIB experience... and how much do you like a 300lb box delivered to your curb?
    For people in exactly your situation, valuing the things you value, with your comfort level with risk and experience, and repair ability, NIB can be the right answer.
    It's an interesting question, but it mostly comes down to 'what have you been buying cheap' in todays market. Cheap enough, and you'll be glad to buy used. *grins*
    Pricing is in flux right now, hard to draw a general rule.

    Buying used is basically all the things you are describing still, if not worse

    #10 77 days ago
    Quoted from PinRetail:

    I don't recommend the NIB experience to inexperienced people.
    So I'm not sure how you can get to a general rule on how things could be valued.
    If I'm buying a pinball in unknown condition (NIB), how much more important is buying it in known good condition (it's been working well, with all the small problems resolved and the machine properly adjusted and 'dialed in' for good play)?
    It all matters on condition, and your tolerance for risk, and your personal ability to compensate for the NIB experience... and how much do you like a 300lb box delivered to your curb?
    For people in exactly your situation, valuing the things you value, with your comfort level with risk and experience, and repair ability, NIB can be the right answer.
    It's an interesting question, but it mostly comes down to 'what have you been buying cheap' in todays market. Cheap enough, and you'll be glad to buy used. *grins*
    Pricing is in flux right now, hard to draw a general rule.

    For an experienced buyer theres very little risk. In this market buying NIB is a complete waste.

    #11 77 days ago

    I voted $1-1.5K but a big deal for me is finding a game I want in my area (75 mile radius). So for example if I wanted a specific game and none for sale in my area I'll buy new which is typical.

    However I just bought a AIQ premium with topper and saved around $3K, it just happened to be a case of the game I wanted and the location lined up. I wasn't really looking to buy AIQ premium except the deal was too good to pass up.

    I see deals on less desirable NIB games like Turtles or Zeppelin premium that are almost $2K off from the dealer, I figure AiQ would probably fall into that category where the NIB game should be discounted (if they were in stock), so my $3K savings might really have been more like $1K off new if the dealers were discounting it like TMNT or Zeppelin.

    #12 77 days ago

    The problem with threads like this is that they get tainted by people who make buying and selling (for a profit) their hobby on top of playing pinball. So you'll get biased replies that "NIB is horrible - buy used!!! It's dialed in!". NIB is a danger to their hobby/business model.

    All my NIB pins were perfect out of the box and all my used pins have wear. I'm sure some deny that a steel ball will wear down items on a playfield but that's just silly.

    #13 77 days ago
    Quoted from galore2112:

    The problem with threads like this is that they get tainted by people who make buying and selling (for a profit) their hobby on top of playing pinball. So you'll get biased replies that "NIB is horrible - buy used!!! It's dialed in!". NIB is a danger to their hobby/business model.
    All my NIB pins were perfect out of the box and all my used pins have wear. I'm sure some deny that a steel ball will wear down items on a playfield but that's just silly.

    Also without companies selling NIB pins there would be no HUO or used pins to buy, so the NIB buyer is doing a service to the and keeping the pinball companies and dealerships in business. I feel like when I buy a new pin I'm doing my part to help the pinball community, I did lose money on Venom LE (according to the value currently) but if NOBODY bough any Venom LE Stern would have lost a lot of money and the hobby would suffer.

    #14 77 days ago
    Quoted from galore2112:

    The problem with threads like this is that they get tainted by people who make buying and selling (for a profit) their hobby on top of playing pinball. So you'll get biased replies that "NIB is horrible - buy used!!! It's dialed in!". NIB is a danger to their hobby/business model.
    All my NIB pins were perfect out of the box and all my used pins have wear. I'm sure some deny that a steel ball will wear down items on a playfield but that's just silly.

    My experience has been unfortunately the opposite unsoldered wires shitty coil stops bad connectors many adjustments have needed to be made. The huo pins usually have had no issues.

    #15 77 days ago
    Quoted from acedanger:

    My experience has been unfortunately the opposite unsoldered wires shitty coil stops bad connectors many adjustments have needed to be made. The huo pins usually have had no issues.

    Was it one particular manufacurer. Or were all equally guilty?

    #16 77 days ago
    Quoted from gandamack:

    Was it one particular manufacurer. Or were all equally guilty?

    Stern

    #17 77 days ago
    Quoted from galore2112:

    The problem with threads like this is that they get tainted by people who make buying and selling (for a profit) their hobby on top of playing pinball. So you'll get biased replies that "NIB is horrible - buy used!!! It's dialed in!". NIB is a danger to their hobby/business model.
    All my NIB pins were perfect out of the box and all my used pins have wear. I'm sure some deny that a steel ball will wear down items on a playfield but that's just silly.

    Not under normal market conditions, which we are currently in. NIB purchasing prior to covid buyers lost 10-20% by opening the box. My guess is with current MSRP pricing the market will continue to fall. Experienced buyers also realize that there is very little support from manufacturers on NIB purchases aside from supplying new parts so basically aside from getting parts you're on your own. Aside from having a machine that nobody else had owned theres little benefit from buying NIB.

    #18 77 days ago
    Quoted from acedanger:

    I’ve only owned sterns

    I've purchased JJP, Stern, and CGC. They are all the same with NIB sales. They will provide phone support and parts, but your on your own to fix the problem.

    #19 77 days ago
    Quoted from gandamack:

    Was it one particular manufacurer. Or were all equally guilty?

    Mark Ritchie is famously quoted as saying that no pinball comes from the manufacturer ready to play.

    The problem is that when you buy NIB, YOU become the last step in the quality control process. The way the pinball system has been designed to work is that the pinball would be shipped to a local-to-you dealer/distributor, who would unbox it, fix anything that's wrong, burn it in for 24 hours and 'dial it in' for good play before the pinball would be picked up by an 'operator' who would take it to Joe's bar, where it made money. The dealer/distributor would handle local warranty service, keep parts in stock, and frequently extend the warranty.

    NIB sales mean that you agree to take on the normal issues that are intended to be your local dealer's/distributor's job.

    100% perfect out of the box experience possibly isn't possible. There is an intent to provide a great product with very few problems, and to support the dealer/distributor network to handle the issues that come up.

    People buying NIB bypass the normative distribution channel, and if they are their own quality control and they are their own service person and they are their own delivery person, and they are their own parts department... they sometimes save a few bucks. For some people that works out pretty well.

    #20 77 days ago
    Quoted from PinRetail:

    Mark Ritchie is famously quoted as saying that no pinball comes from the manufacturer ready to play.
    The problem is that when you buy NIB, YOU become the last step in the quality control process. The way the pinball system has been designed to work is that the pinball would be shipped to a local-to-you dealer/distributor, who would unbox it, fix anything that's wrong, burn it in for 24 hours and 'dial it in' for good play before the pinball would be picked up by an 'operator' who would take it to Joe's bar, where it made money. The dealer/distributor would handle local warranty service, keep parts in stock, and frequently extend the warranty.
    NIB sales mean that you agree to take on the normal issues that are intended to be your local dealer's/distributor's job.
    100% perfect out of the box experience possibly isn't possible. There is an intent to provide a great product with very few problems, and to support the dealer/distributor network to handle the issues that come up.
    People buying NIB bypass the normative distribution channel, and if they are their own quality control and they are their own service person and they are their own delivery person, and they are their own parts department... they sometimes save a few bucks. For some people that works out pretty well.

    That makes perfect sense. Many buyers don't have a local distributor that operates in that manner + my guess is most of the sales are going into peoples homes (especially on the premium /LE models) so theres little infrastructure that supports these buyers. Like I said before manufacturing companies basically provide parts warranty for 6-12 months, but rarely provide labor to fix the problem, which is why buying used is actually less risky than buying NIB. If problems on a newer game dont crop up in the first 100 games its probably gonna be pretty reliable especially in a home environment.

    #21 77 days ago

    One of my problems is lack of help bringing it home and setting up. I’m getting to old and my wife isn’t a fan of the whole process.

    Tried loading my sold Stern Met in my suv and
    Didn’t fit .

    #22 77 days ago

    I’d prefer an HUO that has already been sorted at opposed to NIB.
    I’m getting too old to bother with the set up and tuning. Outside of minor adjustments, I just want to play.

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