(Topic ID: 98967)

How to Not get Ripped Off in Pinball - Vid's Guide


By vid1900

5 years ago



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    #301 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Nope.
    They are never written out to a bank you have local access to.
    They are always written on a far away bank with a real sounding name, or a "Morgan Stanly" account with international routing numbers.
    The international routing numbers keep the check bouncing around until weeks latter you get it back stamped AIFI

    That's the reason to call the issuing bank and check if it's a fake. Cashier's checks are gold to me. It only takes one call during business hours to verify them.

    #302 2 years ago
    Quoted from SadSack:

    That's the reason to call the issuing bank and check if it's a fake. Cashier's checks are gold to me. It only takes one call during business hours to verify them.

    Just like with the fake Escrow websites, the scammers already have the phone lines manned and ready for your call.

    They are miles ahead of you.

    #303 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Just like with the fake Escrow websites, the scammers already have the phone lines manned and ready for your call.
    They are miles ahead of you.

    Please do not suggest that I'm incapable of validating not only the check, but the bank itself. This stuff isn't rocket science. Perhaps you are confusing bank drafts with money orders. There is a big, big difference.

    #304 2 years ago
    Quoted from SadSack:

    Please do not suggest that I'm incapable of validating not only the check, but the bank itself. This stuff isn't rocket science. Perhaps you are confusing bank drafts with money orders. There is a big, big difference.

    I think Vid meant that the phone number on the check could be fake and would be something the scammer set up. Some people would blindly call that number, rather than researching the bank's info for themselves.

    #305 2 years ago
    Quoted from SadSack:

    That's the reason to call the issuing bank and check if it's a fake. Cashier's checks are gold to me. It only takes one call during business hours to verify them.

    Quoted from vid1900:

    Just like with the fake Escrow websites, the scammers already have the phone lines manned and ready for your call.
    They are miles ahead of you.

    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I think Vid meant that the phone number on the check could be fake and would be something the scammer set up.

    I'm getting confused by the crossover in posts. When I've dealt with receiving cashier's checks as payment...they are payable and written out directly to me, not some bank. The issuing bank or Payor must be an entity I recognize to accept it, as I said above. And regardless, my end of the transaction isn't performed until the funds are cleared and paid. Not arguing that cashier's checks can't be forged or fabricated via fraud, just really that payment can't be "stopped" on them. When I've had cashier's checks issued myself to make a payment as the secondary Payor, my bank always tells me "This is like cash, and once it's sent it is hard to dispute if there is an issue." So with cashier's checks, the onus is really more on the person who obtains it, not the Payee, or individual or entity you are paying with the instrument. A seller really gets the safer end of the stick with cashier's checks.

    That being said, most I've dealt with are issued by Wells Fargo, TD, PNC...the heavy hitters here in the States. I run to a local branch and cash it...so my account is never even brought into the transaction.

    Just like this article..even though a tad outdated. It says "Cashier's checks used to be as good as cash, but that's not the case anymore." If you do the responsible thing (ie. cash it at the Payor bank/branch, call to confirm the funds, or simply don't spend the money until it's confirmed as cleared, etc.) then it is the same as cash. If you accept a fake cashier's check, deposit it and immediately spend that money yourself instead of waiting...well that's not necessarily fraud, that's stupid...and you can't fix stupid.

    http://missoulian.com/news/local/missoula-man-foils-attempted-nigerian-internet-scam/article_24a80576-1aab-5b86-92d7-45413903286e.html

    #306 2 years ago
    Quoted from Colsond3:

    That being said, most I've dealt with are issued by Wells Fargo, TD, PNC...the heavy hitters here in the States. I run to a local branch and cash it...so my account is never even brought into the transaction.

    The scammers don't send checks to states that have local branches, they are not dumb, this is their full time job.

    When you call the phone number on the check, they tell you it's genuine. When you look up the phone number on the web, it links to that bank's **international HQ** branch.

    If you really want to take a scammer's check, you are stuck depositing it in your local bank, then stuck with the $30 bounced check fee when it comes back AIFI in a month.

    Always say you want to use Escrow.com and watch how fast the scammers stop communicating with you.

    #307 2 years ago

    I'll do that. Thanks for the info. You da man.

    3 weeks later
    #308 2 years ago

    Will a bank tell you when the funds are good 3 or 4 weeks later? At what point can you be sure the funds were good?

    #309 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinden007:

    Will a bank tell you when the funds are good 3 or 4 weeks later? At what point can you be sure the funds were good?

    before you deposit the check, you can check with the bank the funds are drawn on. It it's just a money order, you're probably out of luck and will have to wait at least 5 business days or more. That's why a bank check is something more than a money order. Often you can also check money orders, but a lot you cannot. I also like having customers deposit funds directly into my account at their local branch of my bank.

    #310 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinden007:

    Will a bank tell you when the funds are good 3 or 4 weeks later? At what point can you be sure the funds were good?

    The bank MANAGER can, no one else at the bank (especially the tellers) are able to look it up.

    Tellers will always say "Yes, funds are available after 48 hours.", and the scammers count on this.

    #311 2 years ago
    Quoted from SadSack:

    I also like having customers deposit funds directly into my account at their local branch of my bank.

    Scammers love this:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-to-not-get-ripped-off-in-pinball-vids-guide#post-1813449

    #312 2 years ago

    What is better for me, cashiers check or personal check?

    I still might request they drive 3 hours and pay me in cash with the newer 100's only.

    Thanks.

    #313 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Internet Escrow Service
    ===============================================
    OK, if there are so many ways to get ripped off, how do you do a remote transaction and NOT get your ass ripped?
    Internet Escrow Service.
    An IES protects the Buyer AND the Seller of a pinball machine.
    1. The Buyer sends payment to the IES and the IES cashes the check for you. They verify it's good money whether it's a Check, Money Order, Credit Card, Wire Transfer..... all the worries about money scams are now the responsibility of the IES. Any currency conversions are handled automatically for overseas sales.
    2. You ship the game to the Buyer.
    3. The Buyer examines the game and makes sure it is exactly what was expected.
    4. The Buyer signs off on the game.
    5. The IES releases the money to the Seller.
    WOW, you say, that's a great service! I bet it costs a fortune ?
    Nope, even on an expensive $7,000 game, the fees are only about $100 to $160 (depending on the IES).
    Think about this, $160 to have a worry free transaction? That's a friggin' bargain!
    -----------------------------------
    Q: Is there any way I can get ripped off by an IES?
    Only if you use a fake IES.
    As a seller, only use one of the big two:
    https://escrow.com
    http://safefunds.com
    NEVER let the buyer talk you into using a different Escrow Service. They will say things like "Hey, I get a discount from fakescrow.com because I use them so much....I'll even pay the fee.", tell them you ONLY use escrow.com and if they balk, you know it was a scam.
    -------------------------------------
    Q: Who pays the Escrow fee?
    Either party can pay the fee, or you can split it between you.
    -------------------------------------
    Q: I'm really tempted to use a different IES because the fees are so low.....
    Sounds like a bad idea, but check:
    Do they have a street mailing address on their web site?
    When you look up that address on BBB.org is it a legit Escrow business?
    Do they have a toll free number?
    When you call that number does somebody instantly answer, or does it go to voicemail?
    When you run a WHOIS on their web address, was it recently registered?
    Does the WHOIS resolve to their street mailing address?

    What if number 4 doesn't happen - the buyer doesn't sign off on the game? The have the game and I don't have their money. What happens then?

    #314 2 years ago

    Cash. Is. King.

    #315 2 years ago

    Cash.
    Is.
    King.

    #316 2 years ago

    Cash solves a lot of problems that can occur during a pinball transaction. Scams of various kinds, buyers remorse, claims of damage which you know were not there when shipped, etc etc. Any of these can lead to a loss of money to you if the buyer legitimately or unethically uses one of these claims after the fact.

    If cash is not possible, I have taken personal checks from major banks with a branch local to me. I cash the check in person before shipping the game, or allowing the person to take it. But it is not uncommon for a bank to charge you a fee to cash their own check if you do not have an account with them. Obviously, depositing a check into your own bank is useless. If a problem arises, your bank will back out the deposit without a second thought and you will be out the money AND the game!

    Everyone says postal money orders are foolproof, but I have seen post offices that won't cash a postal money order because they say they do not have enough cash on hand, or because they say they can not verify that the postal MO is genuine! And as has many have said before, I avoid Paypal at all costs, other than for a small deposit, or from a personal friend who I have dealt with previously. Paypal has way too many ways for the seller to be scammed.

    Like mentioned above - only CASH is king! On a related note, what does this mean for future pinball buying and selling if the current war on cash comes to fruition like it has in other countries and cash sales over X amount are banned?? It seems to me that either a black market will occur, which opens buyers and sellers to legal pitfalls, or many sales will become much more difficult and untrustworthy between strangers! Many will say it will never happen, but it already has in several other countries. How would you like someone to wave their I phone at you in payment for your mint 25th Anniversary WOZ? Do you ever really have the money if it is just 1's and 0's on a screen?? Perhaps only trading like value for like value will survive.

    #317 2 years ago
    Quoted from sbmania:

    ...if the current war on cash comes to fruition like it has in other countries and cash sales over X amount are banned?? ...it already has in several other countries.

    What countries and amounts?

    -1
    #318 2 years ago

    According to various articles on the net:
    Italy banned cash transactions above 1000 euros
    Spain above 2500 euros
    France is contemplating a law to ban cash transactions above 1000 euros
    India has banned 100 and 50 rupee notes, making large cash transactions difficult, and forcing everyone who was holding those notes to turn them in and convert them to smaller bills or deposit them
    Norway, Sweden and Denmark are said to be moving to a total cashless society
    Greece is limiting cash withdrawals from banks and ATMs to 420 euros per week.

    There are other examples. These are just a few I found in a quick search.

    #319 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinden007:

    What is better for me, cashiers check or personal check?

    Both take the same 3-4 weeks to clear your bank, unless the cashier's check happens to be drawn on a bank you can get to a branch.

    But scammers always choose a bank with no branches in your area.

    #320 2 years ago

    I am trying to work with my distributor who would do the transport. BTW, this is a shuffleboard and not a pinball. Logistically much tougher.

    I am hoping that they will be able to accept the buyers credit card payment and then cut me a check for my portion.

    The buyer mentioned BOA and cashier's check but I don't think that leaves them much recourse other than verifying me the distributor.

    #321 2 years ago
    Quoted from sbmania:

    According to various articles on the net:
    Italy banned cash transactions above 1000 euros

    Partially true. PM "emergency declaration" in 2011 but law never passed by their parliament and not currently in effect as far as I could tell.

    Quoted from sbmania:

    Spain above 2500 euros

    Infowars isn't a legitimate news source. I could find nothing to substantiate your claim.

    Quoted from sbmania:

    France is contemplating a law to ban cash transactions above 1000 euros

    Source please. Contemplating a ban isn't the same as banned. Please tell me you aren't referring to http://govtslaves.info/france-bans-use-of-cash-for-more-than-e1000-1060 as a reliable source of information.

    Quoted from sbmania:

    India has banned 100 and 50 rupee notes, making large cash transactions difficult, and forcing everyone who was holding those notes to turn them in and convert them to smaller bills or deposit them

    Partially true. Cash wasn't banned, the 500 & 1000 rupee notes are no longer legal tender. There was a temporary shortage of smaller notes as people exchanged their large notes.

    Quoted from sbmania:

    Norway, Sweden and Denmark are said to be moving to a total cashless society

    We have Pinsiders from the Netherlands, ask them. robin ? Are you permitted to use cash? Please cite a source for a cash ban other than at prisons for Norway, Sweden, or Denmark.

    Quoted from sbmania:

    Greece is limiting cash withdrawals from banks and ATMs to 420 euros per week.

    Not a ban on cash. Source please.

    #322 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinden007:

    What if number 4 doesn't happen - the buyer doesn't sign off on the game? The have the game and I don't have their money. What happens then?

    The buyer has 48 hours to either sign off, or return the game.

    If they don't do either in 48 hours, the money is automatically released to you.

    1 week later
    #323 2 years ago

    Vid do you have a guide or advice on the shipping part of the transaction.
    In my case I'm a seller and the buyer is maby 2000 miles away and we are both in the USA.
    Thanks
    RVH

    Edit: specifically wondering about which party should arrange shipping, and how much packaging of the game should the seller be doing.
    Edit#2 also you say to insure it through a separate insurer and not the trucking company, who's responsibility should that be I'm assuming the seller?

    2 weeks later
    #324 2 years ago

    sorry if this has already been answered but, what's the best and safest way to get payment on a game your selling if your shipping to someone across the US ?

    #325 2 years ago
    Quoted from mollyspub:

    sorry if this has already been answered but, what's the best and safest way to get payment on a game your selling if your shipping to someone across the US ?

    Escrow.com

    #326 2 years ago
    Quoted from RVH:

    Vid do you have a guide or advice on the shipping part of the transaction.

    Edit: specifically wondering about which party should arrange shipping, and how much packaging of the game should the seller be doing.

    It depends....

    If I was buying a valuable game, I'd have pro shippers like Craters & Freighters pick it up and crate it for me. Those guys do a great job and everything is nested into expanding foam.

    If it's a common game, you local coin-op distributor will probably give you a Stern box to pack it in. Strap this box to a pallet with ratchet straps.

    Quoted from RVH:

    Edit#2 also you say to insure it through a separate insurer and not the trucking company, who's responsibility should that be I'm assuming the seller?

    It depends....

    Whoever arranges shipping, probably.

    If you ship it, and it gets destroyed, you are going to want the full value of the game, not the $900 that the shipper will "settle" with you for.

    If the buyer arranges shipping, then they will want to insure it for the full value, because they will not be happy with $900.

    2 months later
    #327 2 years ago

    Any thoughts on using Zelle? It is a peer to peer service banks are promoting for individuals to send money. It is similar to Venmo, but if both banks participate the money can arrive in minutes. There are some cap limits. I am not sure how disputes work. Chase has QuickPay now using Zelle. It looks like Zelle used to be clearXchange. Since this is going from checking to checking, it would seem like the chargeback issue would not be a factor. Thoughts?

    #328 2 years ago

    How would that protect the buyer?

    #329 2 years ago

    USE A LEGITIMATE ESCROW SERVICE.
    USE A LEGITIMATE ESCROW SERVICE.
    USE A LEGITIMATE ESCROW SERVICE.
    USE A LEGITIMATE ESCROW SERVICE.

    How many ways can it be said?

    #330 2 years ago

    I am not sure what the buyer protection would be? Yes, escrow has the best for both.

    #331 2 years ago
    Quoted from gripwhip:

    Any thoughts on using Zelle? It is a peer to peer service banks are promoting for individuals to send money. It is similar to Venmo, but if both banks participate the money can arrive in minutes. There are some cap limits. I am not sure how disputes work. Chase has QuickPay now using Zelle. It looks like Zelle used to be clearXchange. Since this is going from checking to checking, it would seem like the chargeback issue would not be a factor. Thoughts?

    https://www.usaa.com/inet/wc/mobile_banking_send_money_zelle_faqs_index?akredirect=true

    https://www.finder.com/zelle-payments

    There are no buyer or seller protections.

    Also, it sounds like it could take a few days to clear, so a buyer could send you money and a few days later, it could be removed from your account if the buyer has insufficient funds. So, like plenty of other scams, you would be out both the money and the item.

    For disputes, it says to call them. Somehow, I don't think they will be very helpful with mediating a dispute.

    #332 2 years ago

    I read about the delay issue, but it seems like once it clears much like a wire transfer the money would be hard to get back unlike a credit card chargeback.

    #333 2 years ago
    Quoted from gripwhip:

    I read about the delay issue, but it seems like once it clears much like a wire transfer the money would be hard to get back unlike a credit card chargeback.

    ...which is then risky for a buyer if the seller doesn't follow through.

    1 month later
    #334 1 year ago

    Has anyone used a counterfeit pen/marker when accepting cash?

    #335 1 year ago

    what escrow service is best to use?

    #336 1 year ago
    Quoted from Bugsy:

    Has anyone used a counterfeit pen/marker when accepting cash?

    Yes, if the bills seem really fresh.

    #337 1 year ago
    Quoted from Bugsy:

    Has anyone used a counterfeit pen/marker when accepting cash?

    For big bill, I don't think that's real effective anymore. The North Koreans were using the correct paper last I know, and theire bad bills would pass the marker test. I don't think most somewhat effective counterfeits are that easy to spot anymore.

    #338 1 year ago

    There are about 6-8 things to look for on a $100 bill. Each only takes a second or 2.

    I spot checked every couple of bills. I also requested all new bills with the blue strip.

    2 months later
    #340 1 year ago

    Scams don't only extend to pinball (of course), so be weary in any transaction. Scammers are also targeting event tickets (think pro sport events, theme parks, festivals, etc.) Do not pay anyone via PayPal, especially friends and family. Use your best judgement in these deals, and don't get suckered in on a "great deal." If it's too good to be true, it probably is.

    1 month later
    #341 1 year ago

    So far,I've read almost four pages of this thread,and this is what I've learned. I'm either going to buy a new machine,or buy a used one locally from a Pinside collector.

    Thank you vid1900!

    #342 1 year ago
    Quoted from ralphs007:

    So far,I've read almost four pages of this thread,and this is what I've learned. I'm either going to buy a new machine,or buy a used one locally from a Pinside collector.
    Thank you vid1900!

    I don't know, I bought both of my machines from people out of state and had them shipped. The first one I was allowed to use Paypal, and the second one I used a check... From what you read here, I'm completely an anomaly, but I had great success with both of my purchases.

    2 weeks later
    #343 1 year ago
    Quoted from Fezmid:

    I don't know, I bought both of my machines from people out of state and had them shipped. The first one I was allowed to use Paypal, and the second one I used a check... From what you read here, I'm completely an anomaly, but I had great success with both of my purchases.

    It's great you had 2 successful transactions.

    Thieves are getting smarter all the time.

    Next time, use escrow.

    #344 1 year ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Next time, use escrow.

    Escrow is the best.

    14
    #345 1 year ago

    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.

    YOUR AD
    =======

    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.

    FIRST CONTACT
    ==========

    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.

    SKETCHY BUYERS
    ============

    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.

    14
    #346 1 year ago

    MEETING TO SELL THE GAME
    ======================

    If you have a cool boss, nothing beats taking the game to work with you.

    The potential buyer can't case your home, there are plenty of other people around and if you put it in the warehouse, there are probably some big guys working who can help load it.

    If you are selling a smaller item like a backbox, just meet in the local police station lobby. It's open 24 hours, and the cops encourage you to use it for CL transactions.

    SELLING FROM YOUR HOME
    ===================

    1. Get the game on the ground level. This means that the buyer does NOT have to climb any stairs. Pinheads are usually old and fat, and if they hurt themselves, they will, of course, sue you.

    Never sell a game displayed in a basement. Your stairs are a deathtrap to an old pinhead. Even if they get the game up without dying, they will chew up the drywall and tear the screen door on the way out.

    2. Get the game away from other games. You don't want the guys telling their friends you have an arcade. You don't want the guy hopefully buying Wizard! to be distracted by your Tommy. This isn't the time to show off your collection to strangers.

    3. Put your game in the garage. It's on ground level. It keeps strangers out of your house. You can put up tarps to hide your Harley or tool chest. If they ask what's up with the wall of tarps, tell them you were making Blood Sausage.

    4. If it's cold, leave the game on 24/7. If your garage does not have heat, leave the game on so it stays warm. Frozen pop skirts will chip, and frozen playfield plastics will shatter.

    5. Have everything already in the garage. The keys, the manuals, wrench to take the head & legs off, and receipt. Thieves will try any trick to get you to go back in the house for a moment. "Can I trouble you for a glass of water?", "Do you have a phone charger I can use for just a few minutes?". Don't fall for it. They will be lifting your tarp in an instant.

    6. Have a Receipt already printed with 2 copies. Have the serial # already on it, name of game and a place for a signature.

    Make sure the receipt says that the game is used, antique (if its over 25 years old), and sold without warranty of any kind.

    Make sure the receipt says that pinball machines need constant maintenance and replacement parts to keep them functioning.

    Make sure the buyer signs your copy. That way if he takes you to court when the game breaks, you can show the judge that it was sold "as is".

    Have a pen ready.

    Have the business card of your local Pintech ready to give to any non-pinhead buyer. "If you have any problems, just call Jed at Jed's Amusements....He makes housecalls!"

    7. Have some cash to make change already in your pocket. Even if you priced the game on an even hundred, you might discount the game $50 if some damage even you did not know about is found. Don't go back in the house to find change.

    8. Have your house find-able. If your address is impossible for an old pinhead to read from the street, tie some balloons to the mailbox. Make sure all the lights are on. Make sure all the cars are out of the driveway, so it's easy for someone who's never backed a truck up, to back up to your garage.

    Just like at the Boat Launch, don't be afraid to have the driver move over and YOU back their truck in.

    People are terrible drivers as it is, let alone when they are driving a borrowed truck and don't know how mirrors work.

    9. Have a friend there with you. Don't sell a game alone. Even if you have to borrow the neighbor's teenage boys to stand in the driveway swinging a golfclub, have someone else there.

    10. If any buyer turns out to be a prick in person, you can block their number on your Google Voice account. That way, even if you put another game up for sale months from now, they will hear "The number you have reached, has been disconnected....." if they try calling. Your phone will never even ring.

    11. Pricing expectations. Remember that not everyone values the same things.

    If you tell someone "I've got $300 worth of LEDs in that game!" and they hate LEDs, they are not going to pay any extra. Really, only Pinsiders like Clownpuke LED lighting. Non-pinheads will not be impressed with your pink Spiderman.

    If you tell a regular person "That's a $170 Paul Stanley doll glued on top", they are going to think you are totally gay. Only Pinsiders like dolls on top of their games.

    Same with undergame lighting, plastic toys, colored plastic protectors.

    A guy looking for his favorite pinball from his youth is going to hate a gussied up game, just like a guy looking for an old guitar is going hate if someone put all neon hardware on it.

    Be prepared to swallow your pride if someone does not share your enthusiasm for aftermarket stuff.

    #347 1 year ago

    Absolutely outstanding. Thanks Vid!

    #348 1 year ago

    #349 1 year ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    MEETING TO SELL THE GAME
    ======================
    IPinheads are usually old and fat, and if they hurt themselves, they will, of course, sue you.
    .

    HAHA!
    true...
    great post vid!

    #350 1 year ago

    HEADACHES AFTER THE SALE
    =====================

    About 20% of the time, you get a call that something is wrong with the game after the buyer got it home.

    Usually from nubies, but sometimes even from people who claim to have a bunch of games.

    They have had all night to rehearse their spiel, their wife has worked them into a frenzy "Yep Herb, you really needed a 400lb paperweight, what a waste!" and they already told everyone at work they have to come over and play some pinball.

    If they've ever bought a car from a used car lot, they of course feel that you rigged the game to work just long enough to sell it.

    Because they have had time to work up their speech, it will be extra dramatic:

    "Man, I though you were an OK guy!"

    "You said everything worked!"

    "My wife is pissed!"

    "$2000 is A LOT of money for a pile of junk I can't even use!"

    "I don't want to have to take you to court, but this is ridiculous. My brother-in-law is an attorney...."

    You of course have a signed receipt that says the game is "as is" and without any guarantee, but some states have implied warranty laws, and going to court will eat up an entire day, even if you win.

    You now have a fork in the road. You can give them the GV "The number you have reached..." or you can call them back.

    Some people are quietly crazy and will throw a brick through your window or put the hose in your house and turn it on, so generally it's best to call them back.

    DON'T GET DEFENSIVE
    ===============

    Of course, the game worked when they took it yesterday. Usually it's just a loose connector or broken rubber, but to the buyer it's the end of the world.

    So you've got to really fight your every instinct to be defensive.

    Let them fully vent (they have been practicing all day), then you can try and smooth things over.

    You: Hey, what's going on with my poor baby?
    Herb: Your poor baby is broke! WTF man!!???

    (don't get defensive, try to sound concerned)

    You: You got to be kidding me? After 40 years of people banging on it, it finally breaks the moment you get it?
    Herb: Aw, man, I'm sick over this. My wife, my kids, everyone's saying I'm an idiot for buying this thing.
    Y: What exactly is not working?
    H: You know that rubber band triangle thing above the right flipper?? It fncking broke! Right in half!!! My neighbor, he's a mechanical engineer, he said it's nothing standard that he's ever seen, and they've probably not made anything like that in 40 years!!!!

    (now you know it's a .50 cent part, and your first instinct is to tell the guy to order a new one from Amazon, but you know he is very distraught right now. He'd probably order the wrong size anyway.)

    Y: That really sucks on your first date with her! It's a common part they still make even today because they break all the time. Tell you what, shoot me your address, and I'll drop a couple in the mail tonight.
    H: Really??
    Y: Sure. Then in the future, you can order your own replacements from Amazon or a place called Pinball Life.
    H: Hey man, you are alright!

    (So you see here that it was way quicker to mail him a couple of rings, than to try and explain what to search for on Amazon. Without sounding defensive, you also slipped in that the rings break all the time.

    The guy can smooth his wife's feathers that you are giving him the repair parts, not just abandoning him to Amazon)

    -

    You: Hey, what's going on with my baby?
    Herb: You sold me a broken game! It's got no sound! You can't play the game with no sound!!
    You: Oh my gosh my friend, that stinks! It had sound yesterday when you took it, didn't it? (sounding like you really don't remember).
    H: Yeah...it did.....but now, totally busted! I think you ripped me off!
    Y: My preacher always says "you can't get into heaven by ripping people off", so that's just something I don't do.
    H: Well, it's totally busted. I just want to bring this pile of shlt back to you and get my money back.
    Y: When you put the head back on, did you make sure EVERY wire went back in it's proper spot? (ignoring his demand for a refund)
    H: Oh yeah. Every wire went back EXACTLY where it was supposed to go. I made sure of it.
    Y: Hey, do me a favor and open up the back box.
    H: I don't know what you expect me to find, it's busted.
    Y: I can't stand thinking that my little girl is not working, humor me for a second.
    H: OK......
    Y: Alright, are there 2 wire connectors going to the little sound board on the bottom Right?
    H: Yep, I put every....no, wait. There is only one. The other wire is missing. It's not even here to connect!
    Y: It's still in the bottom of the game, it's a small wire.
    H: It's not here! Nothing!
    Y: You got to reach down the neck hole, it's there.
    H: Wait, I got the somebitch.
    Y: OK, turn it on.
    [you hear the familiar BONG sound]
    H: Heh, heh, You know I went over every connector 5 times....
    Y: I know.
    H: Man, I though you ripped me off!
    Y: Yeah, I know...

    It's always the same things, loose connectors (especially DMD dark), missing ball (game won't start), broken rubber, TILT ball rolled and stuck all the way forward, it's extremely rare that something major broke on the trip home.

    I did once sell a guy a Xenon for $600 and he could not get it to work. The guy had no tools, no meter. He was so pitiful that after a few days I told him just to bring the game back.

    When we unloaded the game I asked him where the leg bolts were.

    He admitted that he left them at home, but because he could not find a wrench, he actually just set the game up on a ping pong table.

    He said he tried to just put the bolts in by hand, but the game was so wobbly that his wife was worried it would just fall over.....

    I sold the game to another guy the next day. The game booted fine, and I never could figure out what the problem was with the pitiful guy.

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