(Topic ID: 254171)

Dealing with flakes


By jibmums

5 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 30 posts
  • 26 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by whthrs166
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    #1 5 months ago

    Is there something about this hobby that brings out the flakes? If there's anything I can't stand, it's dealing with flaky people.

    So I get a phone call a little while ago. Sounds like a teenager, and he's talking in a really weird, halting, gawky way, though that may just be a typical teenager thing. Here's an abbreviated version:

    -Hey are you the guy looking to buy pinball machines? It's your lucky day, my dad has four of them to sell.

    -Okay, great. What machines are they?

    -An Iron Man, a Superman, and I don't know what the other two are.

    (Meanwhile, I can hear someone in the background having sort of an aside convo with him. I'm assuming it's his dad, though why he doesn't just speak with me himself I have no idea.)

    -So do you want to buy them?

    -Well, I'd have to come by and check them out to see what kind of condition they're in.

    -Oh, okay. (this sounds like it doesn't sit too well) How about tomorrow around 430?

    -I can do that, or I can come tonight if you're home right now. (it's about 630-700 and he's in the next town over)

    -No, come tomorrow. Here's my dad's number XXX-XXXX, call before you come but call me on this number first (the number he just called me from)

    -Will do. How did you get my name?

    -I got it from Charles C_______. (still hearing snippets of the aside convo regarding these things)

    -I don't know who that is. Oh wait, is he (someone I had met & given my number to)?

    -That's his son. Okay, so.....

    A little more to firm things up for tomorrow and then goodbye. Ten minutes later I get another call from the same number.

    -Hello?

    -Hi, it's J_____ again. My dad decided not to sell the machines after all.

    -Well, then I guess I won't be seeing you tomorrow.

    -Yeah, sorry about that.

    -Hold onto my number in case he changes his mind.

    Five minutes later, I get another call from a different number but the same last name on caller ID. One ring and a hangup. A minute later I get a call from this number again.

    -Hello?

    -Yeah, sorry, my dad decided to sell the games to someone else.

    -Okay, bye.

    What exactly the eff just happened here? I had the weirdest feeling right from the very first call, so it wasn't like I was going to bring any cash with me just in case I might get robbed. I kinda got the feeling that this kid was trying to sell some games without his old man knowing about it, or some other not entirely kosher nonsense, but who knows. Very weird.

    14
    #2 5 months ago
    Quoted from jibmums:

    What exactly the eff just happened here? I had the weirdest feeling right from the very first call, so it wasn't like I was going to bring any cash with me. I kinda got the feeling that this kid was trying to sell some games without his old man knowing about it, or some other not entirely kosher nonsense, but who knows. Very weird.

    The drug epidemic is real.

    #3 5 months ago

    Expect the worst and you'll never be disappointed (or surprised).
    You asked to see them first before agreeing to buy which they took as an insult.
    Sounds like you dodged a bullet.

    #4 5 months ago

    Oh.... So you were the guy I had to outbid.

    #5 5 months ago

    Don’t let that shit bother you. If I’ve learned anything in my nearly 40 years, it’s people are either cool and will be straight with you or they are complete assholes. Shady behavior such as this puts them in the latter category, I’m afraid. Don’t waste your time or another thought on it and you’ll be much happier.

    #6 5 months ago

    There are trouble makers in every hobby. Pinball seems to bring out some weirdos, for sure. I could tell you several stories from just the last few months.

    I think you're better off. Don't dwell on it.

    #7 5 months ago

    I may be old fashioned, but I was taught to use Head and Shoulders.

    Mof

    #8 5 months ago

    How about when sellers wont give you a price, but tell you to make offer and then go silent? I had someone text me offering me an addams family that I had bought a machine from in the past, asking if I was interested. I said sure what's asking price, they refused to give a price but asked for me to make offer. When I did they went radio silent. Pretty stupid.

    #9 5 months ago

    I just don't get the point of the whole thing. Was it a prank phone call? If I was a beanie baby collector, would he have called with his dad's beanie babies for sale, then call back again ten minutes later to tell me they're not for sale, then again five minutes later to tell me they're sold to someone else? Does this benefit him or fool me somehow? I guess some idiots gets their kicks wasting other peoples' time.

    Quoted from Daditude:

    There are trouble makers in every hobby. Pinball seems to bring out some weirdos, for sure. I could tell you several stories from just the last few months.

    Please do tell, I'd like to hear. I think the best pin story I've ever read was the methheads in the cabin in the woods with the STTNG.

    #10 5 months ago
    Quoted from jibmums:

    I just don't get the point of the whole thing. Was it a prank phone call? If I was a beanie baby collector, would he have called with his dad's beanie babies for sale, then call back again ten minutes later to tell me they're not for sale, then again five minutes later to tell me they're sold to someone else? Does this benefit him or fool me somehow? I guess some idiots gets their kicks wasting other peoples' time.

    Please do tell, I'd like to hear. I think the best pin story I've ever read was the methheads in the cabin in the woods with the STTNG.

    Sounds like you made the right moves asking to come see them and proposing the time. I'm not a pinball power seller by any means, I've sold maybe 5 vids and 5 or 6 pins in my time in the hobby, but after the first 2 or 3 you can smell the tire kickers, picture collectors, and window shoppers in the first 2 minutes of the conversation. I don't take it personally but I think doing what you did is the best way to eliminate the nonsense. Ask direct actionable questions, get a deposit if it gets that far, and put accountability on them.

    I've never shipped a game so I've really only had local sales, but once someone starts to ask a lot of tire kicking questions or you can tell they are just window shopping you just quickly pivot to something like "well I have X other messages so what time would you like to come see the game". Usually they either make an excuse about checking the schedule and you never hear from them again or they come over and buy the game. I don't know if it helps, but I've taken to putting something like "please ask the wife, secure a truck, check with your moving buddy, go to the bank, etc. before contacting me". Who knows if it actually helps but it makes me feel better

    I was selling a multicade last year and talking with someone who was "very excited" because it "would make the perfect Christmas gift for the kids". I wanted to know when they would be over to look at the game, and I get "can you send me 150 pictures of X, Y and Z". I replied sure, but I'll need a $5.00 PayPal deposit. 2 hours later "the wife said no".

    Most people like the idea of spending money, but not actually spending money.

    #11 5 months ago

    I picked up a pin Wednesday night and within 5 minutes the woman was telling me all about her vegan diet and how I should try it.

    Could not flee fast enough.

    #12 5 months ago
    Quoted from jibmums:

    Please do tell, I'd like to hear. I think the best pin story I've ever read was the methheads in the cabin in the woods with the STTNG.

    Ok, I have a few I will share. I will just tell you seller stories. If we start talking buyer stories, I might take up another thread...or 4, lol!

    All of these have happened within the last 6 months:

    1) I am trying to buy a pin or 2 from a posted ad that a guy put up (minimal info, no prices, no pics, and not even enough info to know what he has exactly). I like to move forward with things, so I ask about pics, price, and when he is available. He takes forever to get back to me. He wouldn't give me a price and never sent pics. He did eventually message back and forth several times....enough for me to find out he lived out of state and was only in my area for a few days. He never made time to meet (even though I made tons of time to meet him), so I asked if i could stay in touch for the next time he came down. He said yes, so I kept up with him for months.

    Flash forward many months later. I ask him again about pics, prices, and meet up time (he will only be around for a few days). He gave no pics, but he did offer a couple of prices...though not on what I asked for, lol. He did, however, set up a time to meet...which he later changed...twice...and then he showed up late when we finally did get together. Ok, great! I'm there, I have money, I am interested in a couple items. He tells me that he doesn't want to sell a few of the items we talked about. The 2 pins that I really wanted, he wouldn't give a price on. He made me make an offer...which he immediately thought was too low. I try to negotiate, and he said he wants to think about it. I bought 2 small parts and otherwise had to leave empty handed.

    He posted again asking around on the exact items I wanted. I made sure to call him again to mention that I wanted those items. He finally gets back to me, I meet him up...again... and he sells them, but refuses to look for parts to them that are missing that he swears he has, and were part of the deal :/

    2) This guy is clearing out a large building before the roof fully crashes in. It had partially come down, and it will be bulldozed within a few days. He posts one pic of a couple of pins, but says he has more pins, arcades, pool tables, jokes, etc. It looks like an old operators stash. He doesn't know much about games, but he wants to sell...or so he says.
    I offered to buy some games outright or to help him clear items if he gave me an option to buy something. I also offered to help him price/value items, and to reach out to people to get them sold and picked up.

    He took an unreasonably long time to return my messages. Gave little to no info on anything. No more pics...at all. This drags on for days. Random messages when I reach out to him...always late and with no real info.

    He finally tells me (about 2 weeks later) that a guy that was supposed to help him ripped him off and offered a bulk price and got everything from the building owner except for 2 pins he had already taken out (the 2 pins I told him I was mainly interested in).

    We eventually hammer out a price, but he won't commit to a time. I stayed in touch, just to have him say he sold them to someone else a few days later.

    3) seller lists a pin. I contact her, agree to a price, and set up a meet time. She is about 3 hours away. I always like to let them know when I am on the way, and on a long trip...text them when I am close. I did just that. When i was about 10 minutes away, she tells me about the specifics of how to get there when I arrive (there were some poor street signs) and where to park. As I am pulling up to her driveway, literally, she calls me and says someone else is interested. I told her I was there and had cash, so I would like to see it. The whole time I am there, she kept saying how someone else wanted it and offered more. It had damage, so it was ok if I didn't want it. She didn't think I could move it. She didn't think it would fit in my vehicle, etc, etc. ARGHHH!

    After thanking her for not turning me away after an agreement and a 3 hour drive...I eventually bought it, moved it, and hauled it away.

    4) a seller lists a game which I call about. It had sold. I asked him if he had anything else. He said he didn't, but he might be getting something soon, so keep in touch. I did. In about a month, he got a game which we agreed upon a price and a pick up time (the next morning...whch was he choice of time, btw). He lists it later that day. I told him I was still planning on getting it and asked if he would take the listing down. He said he would...but he didn't.
    I went out got it the next day. He told me he didn't expect to get it...he did nothing to it...and he just sold it to me for a profit. Ok, cool. It was a pin I really wanted.

    I received some bad news later that day. I had to sell the pin and whatever else I could. IMMEDIATELY. I stayed up half the night to fix the pin, clean it, and do whatever I could to sell it. I listed it very low to sell it as fast as possible. The guy that sold it to me immediately starts blasting me to others. He even went as far out as to start a fake craigslist ad with my personal info front and center in the listing. (this is the same guy that admittedly did NOTHING to the pin and sold for a profit within hours, but has an issue with me fixing it and selling when I HAD to)

    I will stop there, but believe me...there are more...and these are just sellers too! I didn't even include buyers!!

    Bottom line is that a lot of people don't have morals and ethics. Their word is NOT their bond. They are unrealistic, greedy, and will lie at the drop of a hat.

    Hold up your own standards, and let karma take care of the others.

    #13 5 months ago

    It's the world man, the whole world, not just pinball.

    #14 5 months ago

    Sounds like you avoided getting robbed by a den of crackheads. Consider yourself lucky my man.

    #15 5 months ago

    Some people are straight shooter, have their sh!t together and are organized. Sometimes you can spot the other ones miles away.

    16
    #16 5 months ago
    Quoted from xsvtoys:

    It's the world man, the whole world, not just pinball.

    Ain't that the truth. and the numbers are staggering. I question how about 40-50% of the population can even survive in society. So many people seem to lack any type of people skills and show no common courtesy, empathy, or any regard to anyone other than themselves. And the number of people that can actually employ critical thinking ability is even less than that. Most people just want to be told what to think and believe. I don't mean to sound elitist or anything but people in general are pretty dumb.

    #17 5 months ago
    Quoted from MikeS:

    Ain't that the truth. and the numbers are staggering. I question how about 40-50% of the population can even survive in society. So many people seem to lack any type of people skills and show no common courtesy, empathy, or any regard to anyone other than themselves. And the number of people that can actually employ critical thinking ability is even less than that. Most people just want to be told what to think and believe. I don't mean to sound elitist or anything but people in general are pretty dumb.

    Yup, the dumbing down of America>
    There are more weirdo's out there than you think.

    #18 5 months ago
    Quoted from MikeS:

    Ain't that the truth. and the numbers are staggering. I question how about 40-50% of the population can even survive in society. So many people seem to lack any type of people skills and show no common courtesy, empathy, or any regard to anyone other than themselves. And the number of people that can actually employ critical thinking ability is even less than that. Most people just want to be told what to think and believe. I don't mean to sound elitist or anything but people in general are pretty dumb.

    It's not elitist. They are either inherently stupid or servile morons. There's no other tactful way to put it.

    I find it bizarre how so many people seem perfectly content to drift through life letting others (usually those with self serving interests) do their critical thinking for them and never even consider to question the veracity of what they are being told.

    Exacerbating it is when they regurgitate it as gospel and act with hostile defensiveness to anyone who directs them to evidence to the contrary.

    Quoted from wdennie:

    Yup, the dumbing down of America>
    There are more weirdo's out there than you think.

    It's not a uniquely American affliction.

    Australia is rife with it as well.

    #19 5 months ago

    There is definitely a reason I make every effort to deal with friends first, "known" forum people second, and hope to not have to go to the third option of random unknown people. Thankfully this hobby is small and the local scene is tightly-knit enough to let that usually happen.

    #20 5 months ago
    Quoted from jibmums:

    So I get a phone call a little while ago. Sounds like a teenager, and he's talking in a really weird, halting, gawky way, though that may just be a typical teenager thing. Here's an abbreviated version:
    -Hey are you the guy looking to buy pinball machines? It's your lucky day, my dad has four of them to sell.

    Important Question:
    How did he get your number in the first place?

    #21 5 months ago

    I am aware of amusement operators in my area that have these same types of flakey business practices. I refuse to deal with them. I am also aware that they have a significant substance abuse problem. I prefer to stay as far away from these people as possible. They are unpredictable and willing to take advantage of anyone they are dealing with and have in the past. These type people are potentially dangerous and sometime desperate, in my opinion. They could also be locked away any day and I don't want to be in the area when that happens.

    #22 5 months ago

    It honestly sounds like a scam if he hesitated and got weird about meeting in person. Either way scam or no scam, it sucks but its just apart of buying anything on the aftermarket these days. I found a killer deal on a mid century turntable on facebook market place, after going back and fourth the "lady" claimed to live near by but wasn't home and wanted to ship it instead.

    #23 5 months ago
    Quoted from MikeS:

    Ain't that the truth. and the numbers are staggering. I question how about 40-50% of the population can even survive in society. So many people seem to lack any type of people skills and show no common courtesy, empathy, or any regard to anyone other than themselves. And the number of people that can actually employ critical thinking ability is even less than that. Most people just want to be told what to think and believe. I don't mean to sound elitist or anything but people in general are pretty dumb.

    I hate to admit it, but I tell my friends that the average person that you observe walking on the street is dumb as a brick and they usually agree.

    #24 5 months ago

    It sounds like the original poster may have one of those "I will buy your pinball machine" ads up somewhere. That is just asking for all types of people to respond and you will definitely deal with some flakes.

    #25 5 months ago

    How about a long lost 'friend" that you haven't talked to in years, suddenly shows up on your door with a pin he overpaid for at an auction and just decided you could go through it for him and fix it because the auctioneer said it only needed a fuse. After a little back and forth when you tell him what your time is worth, he is utterly pissed off because you had the audacity to charge him when you are such great buddies.

    If I hear the phrase, " I thought I would bring it by and LET you tinker with it" one more time, I will puke.

    #26 5 months ago
    Quoted from jibmums:

    -Yeah, sorry, my dad decided to sell the games to someone else.
    -Okay, bye.
    What exactly the eff just happened here?

    My guess is his dad had already had a conversation with a friend or other acquaintance about buying the machines, and decided to sell them once they came to a deal. But had also called you in case that didn't happen.

    Not terribly out of the ordinary. But it is always fun to start threads saying how you got your time wasted.

    #27 5 months ago
    Quoted from QuietEarp:

    It sounds like the original poster may have one of those "I will buy your pinball machine" ads up somewhere. That is just asking for all types of people to respond and you will definitely deal with some flakes.

    Quoted from PaulCoff:

    Important Question:
    How did he get your number in the first place?

    I gave my card to a guy who did some work on my house, and this kid said he knows the guys son.

    Quoted from o-din:

    My guess is his dad had already had a conversation with a friend or other acquaintance about buying the machines, and decided to sell them once they came to a deal. But had also called you in case that didn't happen.
    Not terribly out of the ordinary. But it is always fun to start threads saying how you got your time wasted.

    I can see that happening maybe within the space of a couple days, but this went from "I have pinballs for sale" to "Decided not to sell pinballs" to "Pinballs have been sold to someone else" in the space of ten minutes. Verrrry flaky.

    My last flake episode was a few years ago. I was cleaning house and had a stack of 1960's Life magazines that I put on CL for free. The dingbat that eventually took them must have called me five times that day, first she was going to come, then her daughter was going to come, then she was on her way herself, then she couldn't find my street, etc. I like talking to people but I was so done with her that I put the magazines in a box marked "LIFE MAGAZINES" in big black letters, and left it at the curb. I got another call five minutes later when she pulled up, she asks me "Are those the Life magazines?" No way you can make this stuff up.

    #28 5 months ago
    Quoted from jibmums:

    I gave my card to a guy who did some work on my house, and this kid said he knows the guys son.

    I can see that happening maybe within the space of a couple days, but this went from "I have pinballs for sale" to "Decided not to sell pinballs" to "Pinballs have been sold to someone else" in the space of ten minutes. Verrrry flaky.
    My last flake episode was a few years ago. I was cleaning house and had a stack of 1960's Life magazines that I put on CL for free. The dingbat that eventually took them must have called me five times that day, first she was going to come, then her daughter was going to come, then she was on her way herself, then she couldn't find my street, etc. I like talking to people but I was so done with her that I put the magazines in a box marked "LIFE MAGAZINES" in big black letters, and left it at the curb. I got another call five minutes later when she pulled up, she asks me "Are those the Life magazines?" No way you can make this stuff up.

    I would've said "Since you can't read, what do you plan to do with these magazines?"

    #29 5 months ago

    I have already put this in another thread but I’ll share. I sold a ToM. Also had cash and was looking for an MMr used, but was ready to buy new. My weekend plan was to go to Automated and buy NIB. Guy messages me and says I’ll sell my 1 year old MMr . I ask for a price he says “X” firm. I say that’s a fair price, I don’t counter offer, I agree to the price. We set a time, I arrange a transport (sold my pin hauler). So I went and get my buddies truck, load it up. Went to the bank to get the remaining cash. Guy messages me the night before saying I can’t sell it because of his kid. My weekend is now shot. I can’t get to Automated now it’s too late. Mind you I asked the guy, this is a pretty popular game if you don’t mind why are you selling? My kid doesn’t like it and I want to shake things up. Apparently the kid comes home from a sleepover and has a meltdown over the news of the game leaving, Dad backs out. Or it could be a B.S. story because people are weird. I have quite a few of these deals in my time in the hobby. Including a time I drove all the way to a place to find out the guy sold it to someone else while I was wasting time and gas going to get it. I’m sure it’s all hobbies but man is it annoying.

    #30 5 months ago
    Quoted from MikeS:

    Ain't that the truth. and the numbers are staggering. I question how about 40-50% of the population can even survive in society. So many people seem to lack any type of people skills and show no common courtesy, empathy, or any regard to anyone other than themselves. And the number of people that can actually employ critical thinking ability is even less than that. Most people just want to be told what to think and believe. I don't mean to sound elitist or anything but people in general are pretty dumb.

    And in my state, they are very dangerous when they drive in any condition anywhere with no regard for anyone but themselves. It is getting worse here everyday with these people. Surviving the drive is an everyday concern.

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