(Topic ID: 204195)

Is this hobby still affordable??


By zpinman370

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 247 posts
  • 126 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Blake
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “Is Pinball still affordable to average Joe?”

    • NIB pricing is too high 285 votes
      52%
    • NIB pricing is what it should be 37 votes
      7%
    • Re-sale pricing is getting to be too much as well 226 votes
      41%

    (Multiple choice - 548 votes by 414 Pinsiders)

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    There are 247 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 5.
    #51 1 year ago
    Quoted from t2000:

    I have never bought NIB before as there hasn't been anything that compelling that I couldn't just wait a year or 2 to own and not pay the deprecation. As someone already said patients is the key! I have finally decided to buy my first NIB game - Houdini and that may very well be the only 1 I ever buy NIB.

    You completely contradict yourself.

    And you are fooling yourself to think your NIB purchase will be your only one.

    You are already calling it your "first NIB game'" because subconsciously you know there will be more.

    #52 1 year ago

    No NIBs here. Even if I was rich. Stick w/older games and fix them yourself.

    #53 1 year ago

    what a weird poll. it kinda seems like your opinion is the only one that's possible to select. where is the "nah" option?

    #54 1 year ago
    Quoted from zpinman370:

    I appreciate your comment and yes I believe we all know they are. Point is are we getting to the where (especially with NIB) the average person is going to say no i can't afford this. And I already have a pool table -

    why on earth do you feel the average person should be able to afford a new-in-box pinball machine?

    #55 1 year ago

    Well sure it is - you could have one em for a few hundred or you could 100k worth of games depending on what you want or can afford.

    I look at it like I could have a 50k sports car in my garage, but I play my pins way more than Id drive a nice car.

    #56 1 year ago

    I feel that cars are not an affordable hobby.

    #57 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I feel that cars are not an affordable hobby.

    You can't even park a car for less than a pinball machine in NYC!

    #58 1 year ago
    Quoted from tonedef131:

    Pinball machines are not designed or priced for residential use. They are a commercial device designed to make money in a public venue.

    Once upon a time this was true (>20 years ago). Since then, home use games have become commonplace. I would bet most machines built since 2000 aren't in a commercial environment (and don't earn money).

    #59 1 year ago
    Quoted from snaroff:

    Once upon a time this was true (>20 years ago). Since then, home use games have become commonplace. I would bet most machines built since 2000 aren't in a commercial environment (and don't earn money).

    Then why is there a coinslot?

    #60 1 year ago

    who cares about NIB? Most people don't buy NIB. Buy early SS and EM and you can get 3 machines or more for under $1000

    #61 1 year ago

    NIB pins haven't really changed much in price since the 70's if you adjust for inflation. What seems to be different is the used market has gone up a lot more, presumably due to demand. Even a lot of prices people have quoted on this thread seem low compared to a quick view of the pinside market list.

    #62 1 year ago
    Quoted from poppapin:

    Then why is there a coinslot?

    That's a question for the manufacturers. Stern, in particular, likes to build 3 models and doesn't offer any machine specific options (for example: shaker, blades, rubber color, etc.). I imagine the coinslot mechs are so cheap, that it doesn't pay for Stern to offer home users a choice.

    #63 1 year ago

    It was a lot more reasonable 10 years ago. HUO Sterns could be had for 3k. AFM, TZ, TOTAN were also around 3k. MM, MB and CC were the only outrageous pins around 4-5k.

    I bought and sold my pins on public venues and these were the prices- they were affordable. Once NIB prices went up, so did the secondary market as people had to off load pins for a higher price to keep up with new pins they wanted to buy.

    For me personally, I am priced out. 10 years ago, I could save up and buy a NIB pin with 6 months of saving, now it would take me 2 years of saving.

    #64 1 year ago
    Quoted from snaroff:

    Once upon a time this was true (>20 years ago). Since then, home use games have become commonplace. I would bet most machines built since 2000 aren't in a commercial environment (and don't earn money).

    Nah, even if what you say is statistically true, the way machines are designed and priced hasn’t changed. They are still built to withstand a heavy amount of play and are priced accordingly.

    I may have agreed with you about where most machines end up 5-10 years ago, but location pinball is absolutely exploding. This benefits you even if you only play at home because it’s necessary to keep the industry alive and will eventually reduce price through economy of scale.

    This wasn’t really the point of my post anyway. He’s acting like if he can’t afford to buy a bunch of brand new pinballs he’s priced out of the hobby. The hobby is much bigger than that and some of the most enthusiastic players I know don’t own any machines. But they play in leagues and tournaments and will talk Pinball for hours. All you need for this hobby is a few quarters and a lot of passion.

    #65 1 year ago
    Quoted from tonedef131:

    Pinball machines are not designed or priced for residential use. They are a commercial device designed to make money in a public venue.

    I found Gary Stern.

    #66 1 year ago
    Quoted from tonedef131:

    Nah, even if what you say is statistically true, the way machines are designed and priced hasn’t changed. They are still built to withstand a heavy amount of play and are priced accordingly.
    I may have agreed with you about where most machines end up 5-10 years ago, but location pinball is absolutely exploding. This benefits you even if you only play at home because it’s necessary to keep the industry alive and will eventually reduce price through economy of scale.
    This wasn’t really the point of my post anyway. He’s acting like if he can’t afford to buy a bunch of brand new pinballs he’s priced out of the hobby. The hobby is much bigger than that and some of the most enthusiastic players I know don’t own any machines. But they play in leagues and tournaments and will talk Pinball for hours. All you need for this hobby is a few quarters and a lot of passion.

    Home usage has absolutely effected the design of pinball. In 99% of the public pinball venues, you can't hear what's coming from the pinball machine. If this were the design point, why waste all the effort on sound & shot choreography? The complex rules often depend on hearing what's going on. And then there are the Premium/Limited/Collector machines that are obviously dressed up for home/collector usage.

    I agree that public pinball is on an upswing, however even if new pinball sales are a 50/50 split between home and commercial, it's significant. They both need each other to survive...

    snaroff

    #67 1 year ago
    Quoted from bkbirge:

    NIB pins haven't really changed much in price since the 70's if you adjust for inflation. What seems to be different is the used market has gone up a lot more, presumably due to demand. Even a lot of prices people have quoted on this thread seem low compared to a quick view of the pinside market list.

    adjust from 2003 and see how much you get. They went up 400% since then.

    #68 1 year ago

    Stop running a free play arcade in your basement?

    #69 1 year ago

    If you go by the asking prices in the Pinside marketplace, yes, Pinball has become ridiculously expensive. NIB is too high too, but people are still buying.

    I’m sure there are deals and value to be had, and resale is rarely hard. So it’s not as expensive as it looks (at least).

    #70 1 year ago

    Even if NIB prices hadn't gone up, I'm not sure you could really call this hobby affordable, but it's all relative. To even start in this hobby you need the space to keep games. For the average person that would limit it to one or two at best, past that you are talking about people that can at least afford to have the space (a garage, outbuilding, large house, rent storage). Relative to other kinds of collecting this still seems affordable (but then I live in one the most expensive housing markets). The prices went up because more people got into the hobby that had more disposable income to spend on a NIB game. For those new comers this is still clearly affordable since they are still buying NIB at these prices. As others have pointed out, it is a lot cheaper to buy used.

    18
    #71 1 year ago

    Cars
    Wine
    Whiskey
    Cigars
    And even pinball
    Can be found on every economic level.
    Staying happy at your level is the real trick in life and everything.

    #72 1 year ago

    Have yet to own anything other than an EM. Love them and the prices aren't that bad.

    #73 1 year ago
    Quoted from RTS:

    You completely contradict yourself.
    And you are fooling yourself to think your NIB purchase will be your only one.
    You are already calling it your "first NIB game'" because subconsciously you know there will be more.

    No contradiction here. Basic English language and I'll try to reword it for you ...Up until Houdini I have not found a game compelling enough to buy NIB and have just waited and bought games a year or 2 after being released thus avoiding deprecation. I find Houdini compelling so I am going to buy it NIB. Fairly simple and far from a contradiction. More basic English rewording - when you doing something you have never done before it has to be your "first." The word "first" no way indicates that there will be a second. I've been collecting a bunch of years so a "first" NIB is more like an anomaly rather than a subconscious pattern as you suggest.

    #74 1 year ago

    Yes the hobby is still affordable. Join your local collective, start a collective, find location pinball, make location pinball, make pinball friends who like to share.

    I own a few great games but 95% of my playing is not in my own house. I most enjoy going to our watering holes and playing with friends. There's so much pinball media tournaments etc out there that you don't need to own but so many of them.

    That said, yes prices are absurd these days. No "casual" purchases to be had anymore.

    #75 1 year ago

    Well I picked up a 400 Meteor the other week so their out there; few & far betwixt though.

    #76 1 year ago
    Quoted from zpinman370:

    Hi All,
    I know this has probably been discussed on other threads but I am just wondering if many of you are finding the hobby becoming unaffordable? With the pricing on NIB and even re-sale games what it is today looks like the average joe is going to get priced out of the hobby. I see some collections that have almost every new title and wonder how can these guys afford this? Obviously they have lots of disposable income which is great but for the rest of us who want to add more games it is hard to justify current pricing without sacrificing in some other area. I know supply and demand dictate pricing but at some point I believe we will reach a tipping point where the regular guy will say "hey man can't afford this anymore" (and or justify it to the wife why we ant to spend thousands on a game-lol) and get out of the hobby or just stop buying.

    For me... I already hit the tipping point. That's why I only own one pin and will probably only buy one more at some point and it won't be a JJP at those prices.

    #77 1 year ago

    Yes, the pricing is flat out silly for New/"Newish" machines.

    #78 1 year ago

    Head of household : Personal income is an individual's total earnings from wages, investment interest, and other sources. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median personal income of $865 weekly for all full-time workers in 2017. The U.S Bureau of the Census has the annual real median personal income at $31,099 in 2016.

    #79 1 year ago
    Quoted from t2000:

    No contradiction here. Basic English language and I'll try to reword it for you ...Up until Houdini I have not found a game compelling enough to buy NIB and have just waited and bought games a year or 2 after being released thus avoiding deprecation. I find Houdini compelling so I am going to buy it NIB. Fairly simple and far from a contradiction. More basic English rewording - when you doing something you have never done before it has to be your "first." The word "first" no way indicates that there will be a second. I've been collecting a bunch of years so a "first" NIB is more like an anomaly rather than a subconscious pattern as you suggest.

    I understand English. You say patience is the key. But not if you find something compelling enough, then forget waiting, and buy it NIB.

    There is no reason other games won't compel you in the future. Unless you've always found Houdini compelling, even before it was ever announced.

    #80 1 year ago

    Hobbies can get popular and prices climb.

    In the early 1970's I was picking up German tin toys. By the early 1980's instead of a collection, most people could only afford a few.

    Find games you can afford and like. Newest and shiniest isn't always what YOU like.

    And if what you have to have and can't live without, but price is a problem. Get creative. Figure a way or work your way to getting it.

    LTG : )

    #81 1 year ago
    Quoted from RTS:

    I understand English. You say patience is the key. But not if you find something compelling enough, then forget waiting, and buy it NIB.
    There is no reason other games won't compel you in the future. Unless you've always found Houdini compelling, even before it was ever announced.

    Whatever dude. Get a life. I’ll be sure to consult you if I ever decide to buy another NIB as you seem to know what I’m thinking better than me before I know I’m even thinking about it

    #82 1 year ago
    Quoted from Maken:

    Doesn't really work that way in Canada because there aren't as many new games around. You might save a few hundred, but nothing considerable. SWLE is 11k used, for example.

    This was the point i was trying to make at the beginning. NIB are very expensive and even the secondary re-sale market of games that are of interest to me is getting pricey IMO. As others have said looks like we need to manage our expectations with our pocket books and learn to live with what we can afford. Doesn't mean we can't dream of owning some of the nice pins that are out there. Maybe my lottery ticket will hit one day and it will become reality -

    #83 1 year ago

    English language? Hey, my wife says I have a memory issue because I can't seem to remember saying "last pin, for sure".

    #84 1 year ago
    Quoted from westofrome:

    Can you believe the price of a new Maserati?
    Soon no one will be able to afford to drive a car.

    As a Stern owner I can tell you they’re more of a high end Dodge than a Maserati. But still lmao on the cargument example! Well played sir!

    #85 1 year ago
    Quoted from underlord:

    As a Stern owner I can tell you they’re more of a high end Dodge than a Maserati. But still lmao on the cargument example! Well played sir!

    Humankind has simply lost the ability to argue any point without using cars.

    #86 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Humankind has simply lost the ability to argue any point without using cars.

    I wonder if it's just a 'merican thing?

    #87 1 year ago
    Quoted from Vino:

    English language? Hey, my wife says I have a memory issues because I can't seem to remember saying "last pin, for sure".

    Why is it most women don't get the age old adage "the bigger the boys the bigger the toys" -

    #88 1 year ago

    I collect pre-DMD solid state games and am okay with (prefer, even) player's quality condition and fixers, so yes, very affordable.

    Chasing the latest and greatest and/or insisting on flawless examples is obviously going to be extremely expensive, that's true of any collecting hobby.

    #89 1 year ago

    I guess it depends on what your wanting in your collection. Someone could have a decent collection of 4 pins for around 12k. That is how I started and then built from there and added a few NIB games over the years and traded up on some. I used to make money on all my pin sells but I think those days are long gone. I got lucky and won a new spiderman vault edition a couple years ago which helped out for sure. These days I am really just looking for quality over quantity. Good coded games go to top of my want list and now after owning DI I am looking at adding some more JJP games but the price tag is steep. It might be hard for me to drop 9500 on jjpotc.

    #90 1 year ago

    In the end, what is your goal?

    Personal private enjoyment or bragging rights?

    #91 1 year ago

    It's way too expensive. I'm totally priced out. Once my AFMR, Alien and JJPotC arrive I think it's going to be almost impossible for me to buy more than three or four machines after that.

    #92 1 year ago

    Never say never.

    #93 1 year ago
    Quoted from TimeBandit:

    It's way too expensive. I'm totally priced out. Once my AFMR, Alien and JJPotC arrive I think it's going to be almost impossible for me to buy more than three or four machines after that.

    This hobby has no room for your impoverished like. Good day sir. I SAID GOOD DAY SIR!

    #94 1 year ago

    Let me go count...

    #95 1 year ago

    We are constantly and consistently buying and selling pinball machines to support our hobby. Is the hobby too expensive? Hell yes! People are not fully understanding that this is more than just a hobby. It is also an addiction and a sickness. We normally have around 7 machines in our collection so selling one to buy another does not normally cost a lot of money. At the moment we have 9 with 2 more coming. Is the hobby affordable? That depends on your disposable income. You also have to remember that his hobby is not a retirement fund.

    #96 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinballaddicted:

    We are constantly and consistently buying and selling pinball machines to support our hobby. Is the hobby too expensive? Hell yes! People are not fully understanding that this is more than just a hobby. It is also an addiction and a sickness. We normally have around 7 machines in our collection so selling one to buy another does not normally cost a lot of money. At the moment we have 9 with 2 more coming. Is the hobby affordable? That depends on your disposable income. You also have to remember that his hobby is not a retirement fund.

    By retirement do you mean using the pin as a coffin? Other than that, then yes. Not a good investment at all.

    #97 1 year ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    Let me go count...

    Ok, I own 18 games right now. That's just stupid. But, if I sold out all my games, I'd probably make money. This hobby tends to hold a high residual value in the games. Is it expensive? Absolutely. But even if I got 70% of the value I paid for my games, that is crazy good for a hobby! In fact if I put up my whole collection at 70% of its current value, it would probably sell almost instantly.

    A little over a week ago a good friend sent me a text about a game I wanted that was a thousand bucks. I was completely tied up with family stuff, so I asked a different good friend if he would go get it for me... and he did. So now I have a game I wanted for only $1000. If it ended up being a load I could dump it for $700 in an instant.

    I guess I'm saying that it's a hobby. Normal hobbies are expensive. But pinball isn't. Sure, the cost of admission is high. But even if you F up really bad, the cost is only 30% of what you dropped. No big deal for such a fun hobby.

    #98 1 year ago

    IMG_0786 (resized).PNG

    #99 1 year ago
    Quoted from TimeBandit:

    It's way too expensive. I'm totally priced out. Once my AFMR, Alien and JJPotC arrive I think it's going to be almost impossible for me to buy more than three or four machines after that.

    Dilly dilly

    #100 1 year ago

    So many spot-on comments in this thread, on both sides of the issue! I think there's merit to both sides of the argument, and a lot depends on the particular machine and the particular buyer and seller and the particular geography, as several other people have said or hinted at it earlier in the thread. In my opinion there are many games out there right now (new and old) that are worth the prices they appear to be getting. That said, I also feel a lot of frustration when I look through sale listings recently, because I see so many sellers that are asking prices that IMO are way too high for certain machines. And part of the frustration (for me) is that I believe there are people out there buying them at the inflated prices. (Likely newbies to the hobby.) And when C-grade and D-grade games are selling for premiums of $1,000-$2,000+ more than they probably should, those market events cause pricing on A-grade and B-grade used games to inflate too, because the owners of those games justifiably say to themselves, "well, if such-and-such crap title game sells for $2,500-$4,000 now when I used to see it sell for only $1,200-1,800, then sure as sh!+ my cool game that in fairness I wouldn't have thought is worth more than $5,500 ought to sell for $6,900 so that's what I'll insist on getting." The 90s and 2000s games are where the inflation seems worst, IMO.

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