(Topic ID: 229826)

Is it normal for distributors to just stop responding?


By seenev

6 months ago



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  • 51 posts
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  • Latest reply 6 months ago by Travish
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    #1 6 months ago

    I've been looking to get my first NIB pin and while a couple distributors have been helpful and taken the time to answer my questions even if they don't immediately have what I want, I feel like most distributors I've talked to give very short responses and won't even respond to follow up questions if they don't think they'll get an immediate sale. Is this normal? The impression I'm getting from a lot of these guys is that I should consider myself lucky to do business with them.

    18
    #2 6 months ago

    I'm sure they get quite a number of tire kickers, and they've learned to identify those traits in people. There's a point at which point too much dialog turns into a waste of time for a distributor and potential lost sales with other customers if it doesn't look like a potential customer is actually interested in making a purchase. They generally have plenty of other customers to support, many of which are repeat customers.

    If you're serious, you might want to try a phone call rather than an email if you aren't getting the answers you're seeking. Responding to emails generally takes more time than a quick phone call.

    #3 6 months ago
    Quoted from seenev:

    I've been looking to get my first NIB pin and while a couple distributors have been helpful and taken the time to answer my questions even if they don't immediately have what I want, I feel like most distributors I've talked to give very short responses and won't even respond to follow up questions if they don't think they'll get an immediate sale. Is this normal? The impression I'm getting from a lot of these guys is that I should consider myself lucky to do business with them.

    Yes, that is normal.

    Make a list of all of your questions and then give them a call.

    #4 6 months ago

    Two trains of thought-

    "If you don't want my business, I'll take it elsewhere"

    or

    "This dude seems like he will be a pain in the ass, so it will be better if he goes elsewhere"

    #5 6 months ago

    you might be giving off a vibe that your not serious or too needy.....I would narrow your list of games down to 2 and put together a list of questions before calling. Once u decide it just comes down to who has the game and at what price....

    #6 6 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Two trains of thought-
    "If you don't want my business, I'll take it elsewhere"
    or
    "This dude seems like he will be a pain in the ass, so it will be better if he goes elsewhere"

    My questions have been minimal. I guess right now there's a lot of demand so if someone asks something like "When could I expect it to be delivered?" it's just too much work for some of them.

    All I seem to be getting out of this process is a list of dealers that won't take the time to answer a question. I figure if I have any problems, they won't do anything to fix it if they won't answer a simple question before the sale.

    #7 6 months ago
    Quoted from seenev:

    My questions have been minimal. I guess right now there's a lot of demand so if someone asks something like "When could I expect it to be delivered?" it's just too much work for some of them.
    All I seem to be getting out of this process is a list of dealers that won't take the time to answer a question. I figure if I have any problems, they won't do anything to fix it if they won't answer a simple question before the sale.

    If their assholes then they don't deserve your hard earned cash....hang up and move on....there are plenty of good ones out there.

    #8 6 months ago
    Quoted from seenev:

    My questions have been minimal. I guess right now there's a lot of demand so if someone asks something like "When could I expect it to be delivered?" it's just too much work for some of them.

    All I seem to be getting out of this process is a list of dealers that won't take the time to answer a question. I figure if I have any problems, they won't do anything to fix it if they won't answer a simple question before the sale.

    Have you contacted a local distributor? I know of one in Orange County that has great customer service. If he won't respond, I don't know what to tell you.

    #9 6 months ago
    Quoted from PtownPin:

    If their assholes then they don't deserve your hard earned cash....hang up and move on....there are plenty of good ones out there.

    Agree 100%. Find one that will take the time and answer all of your questions.

    #10 6 months ago

    There was one that seemed to have what I wanted and I said I was interested. I asked if they could nail down the delivery window and I never heard back. I have the money and was ready to lock it in and pay. I just don't get it.

    #11 6 months ago

    Is the game you are inquiring about readily available/in stock? If this is a preorder situation no distributor will be able to "nail down" a delivery window as there are simply too many things that could change.

    #12 6 months ago
    Quoted from FlipperMagician:

    Is the game you are inquiring about readily available/in stock? If this is a preorder situation no distributor will be able to "nail down" a delivery window as there are simply too many things that could change.

    They would still be able to say *that*. What are we missing here? There must be more to this story. Distributors are usually pretty small operations - even the bigger ones are only a handful of people. I'd open another thread asking for distributor recommendations in your area.

    #13 6 months ago
    Quoted from seenev:

    There was one that seemed to have what I wanted and I said I was interested. I asked if they could nail down the delivery window and I never heard back. I have the money and was ready to lock it in and pay. I just don't get it.

    Even if the game is in stock the delivery date will be set up between you and the shipping company. Your distributor can only give you a window of a few days. Once it arrives at the port destination you will have to schedule a delivery date with the shipper when they call to inform you of its arrival. May take a couple weeks after buying for it to arrive at port depending on your distance from the distro.

    #14 6 months ago

    What pin or pins are you interested in?

    Then we can be more help.

    #15 6 months ago

    Pm sent on who my buds and i use for nib orders.

    #16 6 months ago
    Quoted from indybru:

    What pin or pins are you interested in?
    Then we can be more help.

    There's a few I've been asking about. I'm starting to think some of these dealers mislead you on their stock or anticipated stock to get you to make a deposit with them so it's harder to go with another dealer. If you ask for more specific details they just stop responding. A few of them even gave me estimates I know were false based on info from the manufacturer.

    #17 6 months ago

    What games are you inquiring about and how many emails do you send to each distributor?

    #18 6 months ago
    Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

    What games are you inquiring about and how many emails do you send to each distributor?

    I only send one email... I've had 2 or 3 tell me pirates le is in stock or will be imminently but the conversation always drops off. I've inquired about MBr LE, trying to see if they have any allotted for early shipments. A few of them straight up lied about it. Game room guys told me I could have it first week of January even though cgc said they won't start production until after Christmas and there are many other orders...

    10
    #19 6 months ago
    Quoted from seenev:

    I only send one email... I've had 2 or 3 tell me pirates le is in stock or will be imminently but the conversation always drops off. I've inquired about MBr LE, trying to see if they have any allotted for early shipments. A few of them straight up lied about it. Game room guys told me I could have it first week of January even though cgc said they won't start production until after Christmas and there are many other orders...

    Well it did take like 10 people asking what you wanted before you sort of told us

    Both of those games will likely have a little bit of a wait. I use Larry at flipnout pinball. If you prefer to go local it is best to call. If you are not concerned about having it shipped from the factory try giving Larry a call. If nothing else he will be completely honest with you to the best of his knowledge. Keep in mind the manufactures are known for their delays.

    #20 6 months ago
    Quoted from seenev:

    There was one that seemed to have what I wanted and I said I was interested. I asked if they could nail down the delivery window and I never heard back. I have the money and was ready to lock it in and pay. I just don't get it.

    I literally got my Houdini less than two weeks ago from Hemispheres Amusements. I left an inquiry via their site late at night, and woke up to an email, and a voicemail from Kurt. Him and Mark, (billing/invoice) answered my calls immediately, gave me three phone numbers, and even reply to texts. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for more support, and Kurt answered every single question I threw at him, and elaborated well past what I asked. I never felt like I was bugging him once, or couldn't get ahold of him.

    https://www.hemispheresamusements.com

    #21 6 months ago

    Hold up, send a pm to doomid he ownes acey gogi and i think he is now a jjp distro. Thats like 30 min from glendaletucky, no?

    #22 6 months ago
    Quoted from wesman:

    I literally got my Houdini less than two weeks ago from Hemispheres Amusements. I left an inquiry via their site late at night, and woke up to an email, and a voicemail from Kurt. Him and Mark, (billing/invoice) answered my calls immediately, gave me three phone numbers, and even reply to texts. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for more support, and Kurt answered every single question I threw at him, and elaborated well past what I asked. I never felt like I was bugging him once, or couldn't get ahold of him.
    https://www.hemispheresamusements.com

    Hemisphere is one of the few to answer my questions. I have a pretty good impression of them but he's being honest and telling me I'd be way at the back of the line. I have a vacation coming up and if I can't make it happen before then I'm better off waiting.

    #23 6 months ago
    Quoted from Buju:

    Hold up, send a pm to doomid he ownes acey gogi and i think he is now a jjp distro. Thats like 30 min from glendaletucky, no?

    Really? Wow. I was just there on Saturday. It was nuts. Not sure if i want to deal locally. Let's just say I'd like to avoid any imperial entanglements.

    #24 6 months ago

    From the ca whats for sale thread

    I have 3 JJP Pirates of the Caribbean LE and 1 JJP Pirates Standard Spots open that are on order and to be built/shipped in November.
    Please DM if interested. I have an LE setup at On Tilt @ AYCE Gogi in Van Nuys that can be played. If seriously considering, a private play session can be arranged to enjoy the game exclusively on free play to make your decision.
    Thanks

    #25 6 months ago
    Quoted from seenev:

    I've inquired about MBr LE

    Here is a local distributor for Chicago Games, Stern, and American Pinball. If you'd rather have it shipped in from out of state, than have an experienced pro set it up and service it for you that's up to you. If he didn't respond to your inquiries, he must have had a good reason.

    https://www.orangecountypinballs.com/

    As far as local JJP distributors, I can't vouch for any of them.

    #26 6 months ago

    I had the same experience when I bought by first NIB - almost no communication. Decided not to buy from the distro again even though they had a good reputation. It seems you have to be friends to get good service.

    #27 6 months ago

    If you want a great distributor that sells Stern, JJ, Spooky then contact kingpingames

    #28 6 months ago

    Thanks for all the recommendations. I'll look into them. If you're a dealer, I suggest not leaving people hanging. I was considering buying an AFM that one dealer had in stock if the one I asked about didn't pan out, but because they just ignored my last question I don't want to buy from them now. Put in a little time. It will make a much better impression.

    #29 6 months ago

    I emailed every single JJP distributor over the summer to buy a Dialed In. 16 of them emailed me back, most within the first hour of sending it.

    Shout out to Kurt from Hemisphere Amusements who emailed with 5 minutes with a detailed message meant just for me. Crazy how quick that was. When I followed up 3-4 hours later, he once again was able to email me in a hurry. The website isn't pretty (https://www.hemispheresamusements.com/) but the service seemed to be the quickest. If that's your thing, check this guy out.

    I ended up going with a guy more local (Joe pinballstar) and he did pretty awesome. So much in fact that I'm getting my Monster Bash from him too.

    #30 6 months ago

    I've not had that problem with pinball distributors but I have with many other people and places. Obviously business is too good and I just simply move on after the first try. I shouldn't have to work that hard for someone to take my money.

    John

    #31 6 months ago

    Definitely not normal....it's you, not them

    #32 6 months ago

    I dont believe I have seen any emails from you. What questions do you have?

    Christopher

    Sales@kingpingames.net

    #33 6 months ago

    Ok dude, IN THIS THREAD I have counted at least 3 games you have “inquired about”. Unless I’m missing something, you need to pick a game, say “I’d like to buy THIS... game” and be prepared to put down a deposit immediately. Otherwise you seem like a tire kicker.

    I want you to get a game in your driveway ASAP.. just want to make sure you understand how your “inquiries” might make somebody sniff (right or wrong) that you may not be serious -enough-. Lots of people want a game. The serious ones “have the $$ right now and here it is, when do I get my game? “

    #34 6 months ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    Ok dude, IN THIS THREAD I have counted at least 3 games you have “inquired about”. Unless I’m missing something, you need to pick a game, say “I’d like to buy THIS... game” and be prepared to put down a deposit immediately. Otherwise you seem like a tire kicker.
    I want you to get a game in your driveway ASAP.. just want to make sure you understand how your “inquiries” might make somebody sniff (right or wrong) that you may not be serious -enough-. Lots of people want a game. The serious ones “have the $$ right now and here it is, when do I get my game? “

    There's a priority schedule for the games I want. If I can get the one I want the most by the time I need it I would buy it today. If I can't, I would inquire about the next game. The dealers hear me ask when I could expect it and just stop responding, and I don't even get to the second or third game. Ideally I would check as many dealers as I can for the one I want the most before moving to the next. I don't understand why dealers expect me to throw a bunch of money at them without asking some questions. It's like answering some questions is just too much of a demand when buying a 7-10k game.

    #35 6 months ago
    Quoted from seenev:

    I've been looking to get my first NIB pin and while a couple distributors have been helpful and taken the time to answer my questions even if they don't immediately have what I want, I feel like most distributors I've talked to give very short responses and won't even respond to follow up questions if they don't think they'll get an immediate sale. Is this normal? The impression I'm getting from a lot of these guys is that I should consider myself lucky to do business with them.

    The TL:DR version of this is 'time wasters' - people get burnt out over people who eat up a lot of cycles for little or no return.

    If you have more than 2 rounds of back n forth, or plan to.. pickup the phone.

    #36 6 months ago

    I'm starting to feel for the distributors.

    #37 6 months ago
    Quoted from seenev:

    Thanks for all the recommendations. I'll look into them. If you're a dealer, I suggest not leaving people hanging. I was considering buying an AFM that one dealer had in stock if the one I asked about didn't pan out, but because they just ignored my last question I don't want to buy from them now. Put in a little time. It will make a much better impression.

    Yeah, no offense OP; but all these guys are in business to make money...I've spoken to almost all of them at some point in time, Joe@PinballStar, Mike at Automated, Trent, PinballCompany guy; JJ at GameExchange...They are all always nice in answering my questions, and I usually have a lot of them....They are running a business; and trying to sell pins; not jerk you around...

    #38 6 months ago

    Here's how to make it simple and succinct:

    You: "Hi, *Distributor Name Here*. I'm interested in MBr. Do you have one in stock?"

    Them: "Yes. CE, SE, and 1 LE left"

    You: "What are the Pinside prices?"

    Them: "$5999, $7299, $8399" (made up for this example)

    You: "Great! Can I pay with card?"

    Them: "Yep!"

    You: "I'll take MBr SE."

    Them: "Fantastic choice!"

    *card info is exchanged*

    Them: "Thank you for your business! Your game should arrive next week. Enjoy it!!"

    *1 week later, you have your game. Life is good.*

    Don't obfuscate it.

    #39 6 months ago

    Just think about the initial conditions for a second. You are one person, buying one machine. You are contacting enough distributors to use the word "most" when describing their behaviour. So, you are contacting a lot.

    By definition, to all but ONE of those guys you are a no sale, straight up, from the get go. You think they can't tell that? Whatever they do, they are a big chance of not selling to you, even if you ever get around to actually pulling the trigger. Business people can see this a mile away. And they haven't got the time to even begin to care.

    #40 6 months ago

    If you are asking distributors to give you some certain window on a MBr, you are asking them to make something up or tell you it’s gonna be a while. Since you know what CGC said, and don’t want to wait, there is no happy answer for you. Maybe that’s why no response.

    If you are looking for a game that is actually in stock only question should be price and delivery. That you should be able to get an answer and if you don’t I would call elsewhere.

    Both of my pins were ordered NIB and both came many weeks after the initial expected delivery. If you can’t live with delays don’t buy games that are not in stock now. My advice based on your posts.

    #41 6 months ago
    Quoted from seenev:

    I only send one email... I've had 2 or 3 tell me pirates le is in stock or will be imminently but the conversation always drops off. I've inquired about MBr LE, trying to see if they have any allotted for early shipments. A few of them straight up lied about it. Game room guys told me I could have it first week of January even though cgc said they won't start production until after Christmas and there are many other orders...

    Seems like Part of the problem is even when the dealers are Trying to answer your questions you say they are Lying and you Clearly no more then they do?? FYI, MBrLE IS shipping the first week of December so as it turns out they Do know more then you. And honestly What questions could you possibly have that hasn't been discussed on these forums or the OEM's website? Your not buying a Lear Jet your buying a Toy for goodness sake. lol

    #42 6 months ago
    Quoted from Outlanes:

    I'm starting to feel for the distributors.

    Suddenly, The Pinball Company's crazy high pricing makes sense.

    #43 6 months ago

    Maybe don’t contact any business untill your actually ready to buy a product.
    Instock, delivery, model, game and price questions sometimes are used because window shoppers are lonely and want attention.

    #44 6 months ago
    Quoted from MEuRaH:

    I emailed every single JJP distributor over the summer to buy a Dialed In. 16 of them emailed me back, most within the first hour of sending it.
    Shout out to Kurt from Hemisphere Amusements who emailed with 5 minutes with a detailed message meant just for me. Crazy how quick that was. When I followed up 3-4 hours later, he once again was able to email me in a hurry. The website isn't pretty (https://www.hemispheresamusements.com/) but the service seemed to be the quickest. If that's your thing, check this guy out.
    I ended up going with a guy more local (Joe pinballstar) and he did pretty awesome. So much in fact that I'm getting my Monster Bash from him too.

    Kurt and Hepmispheres Amusements is top knotch.

    #45 6 months ago
    Quoted from Londonpinball:

    Maybe don’t contact any business untill your actually ready to buy a product.

    This^^^^^

    I have seen lots of tire kickers on Pinside. Guys who post want to buy ads several times but never buy anything. It is like they don't know what the hell they really want. When I am a serious buyer I simply call a few distributors to check current availability and pricing(not that difficult). People want someone to hold their hand and that's fine but as a distributor you need to prioritize who is serious and who enjoys kicking tires. Sounds to me like OP is on fence to what he really wants. Does he want a JJP POTC or a MB LE? Post a thread of what should I buy? to help determine what you want. $7000-$8500+ is a lot of money to spend on a pinball machine, but at the same time if you are going to spend that much I feel you need to perform your own due diligence. Not necessarily by contacting every distributor you can think of and playing 20 questions.

    If you are considering a complex machine like JJP POTC you may consider going with a local distributor just so you have more available support. Lots of distributors will take your money but what distributors will have your back when you have an issue is the question you want to have answered.

    #46 6 months ago
    Quoted from pinmister:

    I have seen lots of tire kickers on Pinside.

    my-10-big-learnings-on-raising-a-13m-seed-round-rakesh-soni-7-638 (resized).jpg
    #47 6 months ago

    I dunno.... maybe become an actual customer before complaining about unresponsive customer service?

    I guess buying a NIB pinball machine is not like walking into a clothing store and instantly being greeted with “can I help you find anything?”

    #48 6 months ago

    I don't look at it like "tire kickers" I look at it as smart buyer shopping around. If you go to one grocery store and bread is $1.50 and another store is $1.75 for the same thing it doesn't matter. If the exact same game from one distributor is $5000 and $7000 from another it pays to shop a little. If you're to "busy" for a question or two how will you be if the customer has a issue?

    #49 6 months ago
    Quoted from Eightball88:

    I dunno.... maybe become an actual customer before complaining about unresponsive customer service?

    Yep, distros have their hand full keeping people that have already bought, and are going to buy again.
    Probably goes back toward dealing with operators that buy lots of equipment, and have a history with them.
    That, and asking for a Jersey Jack delivery date alone, shows a bit of not doing your own homework.
    What answer can they give, really, knowing JJ "deadlines"?

    #50 6 months ago
    Quoted from Travish:

    If you're to "busy" for a question or two how will you be if the customer has a issue?

    Easy!

    Once they have an issue with your product, *they have paid you*. NOW they are a customer, and you can give them customer service.

    My customers get all the time in the world from me. And guess what..they get BETTER customer service if I'm not tied up with crazies all day long.

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