I first became knowledgeable about PBR when I was building my visual pinball machine in 2012. I stumbled onto PBR with a google search. My order person was a woman. She advised me about establishing credit by making small purchase. I told her I was surprised they had so many parts available. She replied, " He has 30,000 customers from around the world."
When I brought my 1st pin home, a Stern Big Game, I needed parts and called. Steve answered the phone. I told him what I had and he said he did not supply for Sterns. I said, "well, would you be interested in trying?" I had already had established credit with my first buy in 2012.
My first order for my Stern pin, along with some tools tallied up to $150.00. The order was here in 2 days. I checked for proper inventory and sent the check. But while I was on the phone making the order, I ordered some of those switch point files. Steve proceeded to jerk me through the phone line and said (actually yelled), "You don't want those for your pin. You don't use these files on gold plated switch contacts ! " His point was made and I never forgot.
Steve is old school. He was an operator and knows the pain that comes when an earning machine is out of service. He ships fast. All of my orders are here in two days. Always. He ships fast, he expects fast payment. I don't have a problem with that.
I like the telephone way of ordering. My cousin uses email. When I call and Steve answers, I give my name and my assigned PBR customer number. and tell him I am making an order and that I have some of the part numbers but not all of them. We get to work with the part numbers I do have, and then I tell him what I need but don't have the part numbers for. And he has always seemed to know what I need; You have to figure that all of parts are not in his catalog.
With those parameters, he knows you have expended some effort to look up your part numbers and he is cool with the no-number stuff.
I have asked him a couple of questions about some parts ( classic Stern flipper parts ) and he gets a little elevated. I think he does not like to say "no" but he has no choice.
You all like his cheap price for parts. But surely you would not expect to get those same cheap prices if he was taking credit cards. Cards will bite a retailer with a 5% service charge. Would you be ready to pay 5% extra just so you can use your card? No, you would probably whine about that, too.
Plus with credit cards, at the end of the month he has to tally the credit charge up and go to the trouble of making a payment to the credit card company. If he took Visa and not MasterCard, some of you would whine about him not taking MC. And then their is Discover. And American Express. He would have to hire some else just to handle the paper work.
With 30K customers around the world I doubt he is losing any sleep if you decide you do not want to do business with him.
During my last order, I asked if he preferred my to order via email or continue with the phone. He has no preference and said he learns things all of the time on the phone calls. With that, I will probably continue to order via the telephone.
He has been around awhile and does not have to put up with any bullshit. And he doesn't. If you are in a business that allows you to do that then you are golden. You say that is bad business. Perhaps.
When I was a professional buyer, it was common for buyers to get nasty with suppliers all of the time and most of the time there was no need to get nasty. But there was one supplier down in Ft. Worth that had a lock on its market. It had no competition. I had a couple of buyer friends get nasty on the phone with the order taker ( Her name was Mary Brown). The next thing these buyers learned was that Mary, and her boss, would no longer mess with them. So another buyer had to step in to get the order made. The message: Straighten up and fly right and be professional if you want to do business with us.