HOW TO NOT GET RIPPED OFF WHEN SOMEONE COMES TO BUY YOUR GAME
A local sale is always best.
You have cash in hand, the buyer sees that everything on the game works, no waiting for shipping/checks clearing/shipping damage .
Now you need to make the sale as safely as you can.
1. Make sure your ad says "Voice Calls Only - No Text". This cuts out 90% of the scams right off the bat.
You know what your local dialect sounds like.
You know what overseas call center sounds like
Sometimes someone will Text you anyways, just ignore those - they are always scams.
You can always Text someone your address, latter in the transaction, but for the first contact you want voice.
2. Make sure you put good pictures up. It's your game, you know where the wear spots are - show them in the ad. Show the chunk missing out of the backbox. Show the cracked plastic or flake missing from the backglass.
You don't want any problems where the buyer says "Uh oh, what's this cracked plastic????" and then can use that to try and chew you down. It's better to be able to instantly respond with "Yeah, I showed that in the Ad ". Bang! You deflected their price attack.
Good lighting makes for good pictures. Drag out some lamps, and light the machine up.
Take the glass off. Glass-on pics make you look like an idiot trying to hide something.
Don't post out of focus pictures. If the picture is blurry - TAKE ANOTHER ONE!
If you need more pictures than Craigslist will allow, host them on your free Google or Microsoft account and provide a link. TEST your link after you publish, and make sure you have it **public** so people can see it.
Hell, you can even link to your Pinside sale page.
3. Don't post your real phone number. Use a free Google Voice number. It will ring your phone, but you will see the call is GV. You also get to use a different OGM, so you can have it say "Sorry the game is sold" for people who still call a week after the ad is down. You can also block nuisance Pindicks with an OGM that says "The number you have reached, is no longer in service....." just for their number; it's built into GV.
1. If you priced your game fairly and posted good photos, I find that I get about 12 to 15 phone calls the first day.
The name of the game here is to get rid of the game quickly. It does not make sense to squeeze an extra $50 out of the sale by showing the game to 20 people. Your time is more valuable than that AND the more people you show the game to, the better the chances of trouble.
2. Let the calls go to Voicemail. Don't pick it up automatically. You want the caller to have to leave you a callable number. Caller ID can be easily faked. You want a working number.
3. Pre-Screen your calls. Callers who sound like a headache ARE a headache. You've got a dozen potential buyers, pick the most intelligent, well spoken callers. I'm not kidding. You are not a business, you don't have to put up with bullshlt.
"Hey, you are asking WAY too much for that Metallica. I've seen them for $3000 on eBay. Will you take $3000 ??? It's fair." - You can skip anyone who offers substantially less than market value. No need to call them because you know already that the two of you don't see eye to eye on the value of the game. Let them find one on eBay if that's where they see them so cheap. Nobody serious would make an offer without talking to you first.
"I'm calling about the item for sale. Do you still have it? I'll try calling you back in a hour." They don't leave a number because they are calling from overseas. They don't even mention the name of the machine. If you call the number on the caller ID, it rings once and hangs up.
"Hey, I buy and sell pinball machines. Your price is kinda high there, buddy. I know, I'm in the business...but, I might have some games to trade you" Skip that one, you know how dealing with the **experts** always goes. Don't let them capture your curiosity that they have games for trade. It's always Tri-Zone, Phoenix and Eight-Ball, always.
4. Now you need to call your qualified potential purchasers. Find a quiet place to call from and be professional. No FauxNews blaring, no kids screaming, no wife constantly asking you if you know where the remote is.
5. Don't give out too much information, hold your cards close to your chest:
Q: Why are you selling the game?
A: I'm moving next week. No room in the new house. (See, you have given the info that expensive games won't be in the house next week, and the urgency that if they don't buy it now, the opportunity will be gone.)
Q: Got any other games for sale?
A: No, just that one. (Never tell a stranger that you have 12 games including MMr & AFM that you might sell "for the right price..." your greed will get you robbed. Even if this guy does not rob you, he might run his mouth to an unscrupulous friend "This guy has a dozen pinball machines! All top titles! Lives right around the corner...." Don't be stupid.
Q: Have any repairs been done to the game?
A: I put a few new bulbs and slingshot rubbers over the years....
(of course every game has had 100s of repairs over the decades, but people tend to think that homeowners will not do a good job. Like when you call about a car and the guy tells you he rebuilt the trans himself; your stomach instantly starts to sink.
Now if you had someone well known service it, that is actually good to mention "I had Clape rebuild the flippers" or "I had the sound board fixed by King of Cranes or All Amusements ".
Mention selling point repairs like Altek boards or LED Displays.)
Q: When can I come see the game?
A: With all this moving nonsense, I'm in and out all day long. What's good for you?
(See what you did there? You did not tell him you work 9 to 5 so come rob my house during the day, you said you were in and out - thieves hate random. Unlike in the movies, 79% of all domestic burglaries happen during the day, when you are not home. )
Q: Great, how about this evening?
A: Perfect, let's say 7pm? I've got another guy coming at 8pm, so I can just call him if you buy the game.
Q: Oh wow, so you've had other calls???
A: Yeah, a ton of them. But some people want to trade me more games, some want me to wait until the weekend, one guy wants me to ship it to friggin' Florida! Bring a truck, bring cash and you will have yourself a real nice game.
Q: Hmmm, I just wanted to come see the game tonight, then maybe I can borrow my brother-in-law's SUV this weekend....
A: I'm sorry, normally I'd say come on out, but I need to move this game out so I can pack up the rest of the house. Let me call the next guy on the list.
You only want people coming out to the house who can buy the game that day. You don't want people coming out who don't have a vehicle, have to go back and ask their wife's permission, have to "scrape up the cash", or are just casing your home for a robbery.
Q: Can I give you a deposit of $3,000 with Paypal, then pay you the $1,000 balance when I come get the game? That way you know I'm serious!
A: Sure, that'll hold it. But bring the full $4,000 in cash when you pick it up, and I'll refund you your Paypal deposit on the spot.
The scam works because they always do a chargeback on the $3,000 a few days latter, so they stole the game from you for $1,000.
So by you saying that you'll refund the deposit upon pickup, you have killed their scam. It's fun to listen to them squirm before finally abandoning the deal. "I mean, if you can't take Paypal, I can't buy your game!"
When they ask why you will only refund the Paypal; just tell them you had over $9,500 income this year on Paypal, so any payment that large will cause it to be reported to the IRS.
6. Don't give out your address early. If someone is coming out 2 days from now, don't give them your address today.
You may sell the game beforehand, or they might be looking to rob you.
If they ask for the address early, do a professional stall:
"You know, I might be taking the game to my office to possibly sell to my boss. I let you know the day you are coming out which location we are meeting at." Done. Get off the phone.
You know real Pinheads when you talk to them. They've got to tell you about the time they....
You know past pinball people when you talk to them. "Man, I used to play Supersonic for hours every day after school! My mom would get so mad that I was wasting my money. I can't believe you are selling one!"
And then you have people that just seem sketchy. You can't quite put your finger on it, but as you talk, they just seem off.
It's OK to just get rid of them.
As they are pumping you for information, or trying to intimidate you with stories of people they have beat up, you just pretend that your wife said something. Say out loud: "What's that honey? Really? Sweet, that was easy!", then tell the caller "You know what? My wife's boss want's the game! I'm sorry, it looks like it's going to a good home."
Call the next guy on the list.