(Topic ID: 337236)

Letting a friend borrow (store) a pin - advice welcome

By wdbthree

9 months ago


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  • Latest reply 8 months ago by Compy
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    There are 117 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 9 months ago

    Hey all. I'm out of space with a few pre-orders on the way (Scooby invoiced today; Godfather CE hopefully this summer; Pulp Fiction LE in ???).

    A good friend has plenty of room in his finished basement and has been considering joining the hobby. He jokingly offered to rent one of mine. I'm considering taking him up on the offer. Not charging him. Just letting him/family enjoy one of my surplus...while letting me keep one of my OG's on the balance sheet (likely Medieval Madness). If it works out he's signaled he'd love more than one.

    Any guidance on how to make such an arrangement? A few thoughts:
    -Should I have any kind of written agreement acknowledging ownership? (I hesitate to use the word "contract", but maybe there should be one in place)
    -Lead times/notice on either side for removing the machine?
    -Expectation on maintenance? (e.g. contributing to cost for any bigger issues; help for smaller issues)
    -Insurance? I don't have explicit riders on my homeowner's policy for my machines. but: know this is a big issue for operators.

    A separate potential option is to route my extra games in a well-established bar w/ long history of operating pins in a near-by college town, with provision to keep a portion of the take.

    I don't love the idea of the wear/tear for option #2 (bar). But don't want to be naive on option #1 (friend). Adamantly not interested in paying storage $'s to subsidize letting the collection outgrow my available space. Worst case scenario I'm no stranger to selling; just love the lineup and expect I'll end up buying back whatever I let go at a premium (MMr, Twilight Zone, Heighway Alien, Lebowski).

    Any thoughts/recommendations welcome.

    27
    #2 9 months ago

    Sell it to him. Problem solved. No issues or drama that way. Any other way will potentially strain the friendship

    #3 9 months ago

    I've made clear that any damage/maintenance is their job, and I want it back in a similar condition to how it arrived

    32
    #4 9 months ago

    If he truly is a good friend then I wouldn't worry about it. If a problem occurs then why care. You guys will figure it out because you are friends. I have a few friends that I have known for 20+ years and wouldn't hesitate to loan them a game.

    #5 9 months ago

    You will be there fixing something on a weekly basis, as per normal if it was at your place.

    #6 9 months ago

    Several years ago I had over 200 pinball machines. Some were in my basement and my house garage. I had my overfill games at my cousin's house, several friends places and the storage room at my business. It was stressful keeping up with inventory. I soon forgot where games were and one of my friends (or so called friend) said my games got stolen out of his garage that he left open. I told him that he was liable for my games and I was SOL. Lesson learned. Just make sure your friend is really your friend. What really sucks is that I had doubles of most of the A-list Bally Williams WPC/WPC95 games. My games were not cheap $100 EM games. Games included Safe Cracker, Monster Bash, Addams Family, etc.

    #7 9 months ago
    Quoted from Tommy-dog:

    Several years ago I had over 200 pinball machines. Some were in my basement and my house garage. I had my overfill games at my cousin's house, several friends places and the storage room at my business. It was stressful keeping up with inventory. I soon forgot where games were and one of my friends (or so called friend) said my games got stolen out of his garage that he left open. I told him that he was liable for my games and I was SOL. Lesson learned. Just make sure your friend is really your friend. What really sucks is that I had doubles of most of the A-list Bally Williams WPC/WPC95 games. My games were not cheap $100 EM games. Games included Safe Cracker, Monster Bash, Addams Family, etc.

    I’m shocked anything went wrong.

    #8 9 months ago

    Dude what are you doing

    10
    #9 9 months ago
    Quoted from wdbthree:

    Hey all. I'm out of space with a few pre-orders on the way (Scooby invoiced today; Godfather CE hopefully this summer; Pulp Fiction LE in ???).
    A good friend has plenty of room in his finished basement and has been considering joining the hobby. He jokingly offered to rent one of mine. I'm considering taking him up on the offer. Not charging him. Just letting him/family enjoy one of my surplus...while letting me keep one of my OG's on the balance sheet (likely Medieval Madness). If it works out he's signaled he'd love more than one.
    Any guidance on how to make such an arrangement? A few thoughts:
    -Should I have any kind of written agreement acknowledging ownership? (I hesitate to use the word "contract", but maybe there should be one in place)
    -Lead times/notice on either side for removing the machine?
    -Expectation on maintenance? (e.g. contributing to cost for any bigger issues; help for smaller issues)
    -Insurance? I don't have explicit riders on my homeowner's policy for my machines. but: know this is a big issue for operators.
    A separate potential option is to route my extra games in a well-established bar w/ long history of operating pins in a near-by college town, with provision to keep a portion of the take.
    I don't love the idea of the wear/tear for option #2 (bar). But don't want to be naive on option #1 (friend). Adamantly not interested in paying storage $'s to subsidize letting the collection outgrow my available space. Worst case scenario I'm no stranger to selling; just love the lineup and expect I'll end up buying back whatever I let go at a premium (MMr, Twilight Zone, Heighway Alien, Lebowski).
    Any thoughts/recommendations welcome.

    If you are giving it to a friend to store, don't expect anything out of him besides keeping your game in his house.

    I don't think a written note with serial number signed and confirming you are the actual owner, and that the game is on free loan, is out of line, cause shit happens. But beyond that I don't think you should expect or ask for any kind of compensation, "wear and tear" or "maintenance" fees or anything else. Any kind of "maintenance" costs would happen whether or not the game was at your house or his. If a transistor blows up or a board goes bad it isn't his fault or responsibility. I'd just write up a common sense doc for him - "If a piece of plastic/light bulb/etc breaks off on to the playfield please unplug game and let me know," "If you smell smoke, please unplug game and let me know," that kind of thing.

    If you are worried about anything beyond that, just rent a storage space. Worrying about compensation, "wear and tear" etc. is a good way to make this whole thing and your friendship go south. If something on the game breaks, it's just pinball, that shit happens all the time.

    The fact of the matter is, beyond the first couple of weeks, these games are likely to get little use at all. His family probably won't have much interest.

    #10 9 months ago
    Quoted from ManyQuarters:

    You will be there fixing something on a weekly basis, as per normal if it was at your place.

    LOL no he won't.

    The game will barely get played. And as this is a very casual arrangement, he can fix or not fix stuff at his own leisure.

    This arrangement can be as chill or as stressful as he wants it to be. And if it seems like it'll be stressful, he just shouldn't bother with it.

    #11 9 months ago

    If you're letting a friend borrow a game, especially if hes not a pin head, theres too much that can go wrong. If you want to be a nice guy and let him borrow it, then thats fine but be fully expecting to do repairs (especially a lot of stupid stuff since hes a noob) and some wear and tear on the game, and you can't be mad at him about it. Obviously some common decency should be expected on his part but thats about where the expectations should end.

    #12 9 months ago

    I've been in this position, except, I was the newbie friend that another person was trusting me with his games. The stipulation was, he would pay for the parts if I was willing to learn and work on the games. Granted these were not NIB games. They were older games that needed shop jobs and they progressively needed more and more work. He would let me keep it until I was ready for the next.

    The friend kept tabs on me just to see how progress was going. I would ask questions etc and he would come to help when it was outside of my skillset. He was never overbearing or annoying.

    If he's a good friend and you trust him, I say go for it. If something bad were to happen and you are good friends, you'll work it out. I am thankful this person took a chance on me and allowed me to work on his games. It allowed me to learn a whole set of skills, get knee deep into the hobby, and I made a really good friend out of it in the process.

    In regards to wear and tear, I wouldn't worry about it. He would really have to put a TON of plays on it for you to have to do anything. You won't be over there fixing every little thing.

    #13 9 months ago

    I have one game on loan, it's a sentimental favorite I didn't want to sell; Argosy, the first game I bought in 2002.

    It's at a friend's place in Brooklyn. He's not a GREAT friend, just a guy I know, who is good friends with a couple of my friends and they've vouched for him. He's had the game well over a year and it's been nice not having it at my place so I have more space for the games I'm rotating.

    It's a lower-value game, so it's a lot easier to swallow than the titles the OP has mentioned; but the fact is, I lent it out knowing very well I may never see it again, cause again, shit happens. If this guy's apartment catches on fire I'm not gonna make a federal case about it and ask for reimbursement.

    Just do what you are comfortable with and you'll have no worries!

    #14 9 months ago

    Do what you feel comfortable with. You are your own expert witness on yourself. If you think you will stress over this or potentially ruin a good friendship, just store it somewhere.

    But if you are actually easy going, and understand that a newbie on their first machine will have tons of questions and will need to be taught everything, and will 100% mess something up (hopefully small)….then go for it.

    Personally, I have 1 maybe 2 people I would give a loaner to. And that would be a test for me I think. So, I guess, a long winded, you do you.

    #15 9 months ago

    Does he have any young kiddos? If unsupervised, sometimes they can be a little unpredictable (crayons on the walls come to mind).

    Really more of a comment about parents than kids.

    #16 9 months ago

    I had a friend loan me a game once, because he needed the space but liked it and didn’t want to sell it to me. He requested I repair couple minor things, which I gladly did, but there was no need for any contract as there is mutual trust. About a year or so later he decided to sell it, so I happily bought it and it’s still here.

    #17 9 months ago

    What game are you gonna replace it with when you go to retrieve your game? Seems like it will become a revolving door where your friend will always have a free machine to play.

    I’d cover it up and stick it in a bedroom or maybe even a closet.

    #18 9 months ago

    From your collection, I’d lend the Tommy. See how it goes.

    #19 9 months ago

    If he’s your real friend, let him take it for a while without a second thought in your head. If he’s an acquaintance, then I wouldn’t do it.

    I loaned a game to a friend while I was deployed, and when I got back, it magically had invisiglass and a new backbox display. Everyone wins.

    #20 9 months ago

    Unless he is a very very good friend I would absolutely have both parties sign a simple contract stating the game is yours and so on. You can never be too careful with expensive stuff like pins and if he is a good friend he will understand your point of view without being upset or feeling accused of something.

    #21 9 months ago

    The ultimate friendship test.

    #22 9 months ago

    You should do a written agreement. It covers your ass and his. It also will help spell out who is responsible for what and set proper expectations.

    #23 9 months ago

    If it's a good friend it's fine, I have about 16 pins at random buddies houses, I don't want to sell them and they offer me free storage. I picked a lot of games up very cheap many years ago and for what I have in them I wouldn't sell them, because I don't want to pay today prices! Plus it helps others get into the hobby which I love!

    #24 9 months ago

    I'll be your friend !

    #25 9 months ago

    I used to store 20+ games at a local semi private venue just for them to beaten up by the unappreciative and I'd have to fix them if they broke. One day I realized I was a dumbass for doing so, and started cashing them in to a dealer for sterns.

    Even tho I USED to be one, I don't understand the people who store games elsewhere for free anymore.

    My advice? figure out what to sell and do so.

    #26 9 months ago
    Quoted from wdbthree:

    Hey all. I'm out of space with a few pre-orders on the way (Scooby invoiced today; Godfather CE hopefully this summer; Pulp Fiction LE in ???).
    A good friend has plenty of room in his finished basement and has been considering joining the hobby. He jokingly offered to rent one of mine. I'm considering taking him up on the offer. Not charging him. Just letting him/family enjoy one of my surplus...while letting me keep one of my OG's on the balance sheet (likely Medieval Madness). If it works out he's signaled he'd love more than one.
    Any guidance on how to make such an arrangement? A few thoughts:
    -Should I have any kind of written agreement acknowledging ownership? (I hesitate to use the word "contract", but maybe there should be one in place)
    -Lead times/notice on either side for removing the machine?
    -Expectation on maintenance? (e.g. contributing to cost for any bigger issues; help for smaller issues)
    -Insurance? I don't have explicit riders on my homeowner's policy for my machines. but: know this is a big issue for operators.
    A separate potential option is to route my extra games in a well-established bar w/ long history of operating pins in a near-by college town, with provision to keep a portion of the take.
    I don't love the idea of the wear/tear for option #2 (bar). But don't want to be naive on option #1 (friend). Adamantly not interested in paying storage $'s to subsidize letting the collection outgrow my available space. Worst case scenario I'm no stranger to selling; just love the lineup and expect I'll end up buying back whatever I let go at a premium (MMr, Twilight Zone, Heighway Alien, Lebowski).
    Any thoughts/recommendations welcome.

    You are over-thinking it. If he is a friend he must be someone you trust? If not, don’t bother.

    10
    #27 9 months ago

    I just received a loaner STTNG from a friend and I immediately took a sharpie and signed my name all over it, good luck proving its not mine.

    #28 9 months ago

    Only you can judge your friend
    My 2 week old Godzilla is at my sons place. He only has a surface knowledge of pinball, if there is a problem, I have to fix it
    The day after I leave the game, the ball got stuck behind Meca Godzilla's arm. not a big issue, but my son had no idea that Sterns now open with latches

    #29 9 months ago
    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    Only you can judge your friend
    My 2 week old Godzilla is at my sons place. He only has a surface knowledge of pinball, if there is a problem, I have to fix it
    The day after I leave the game, the ball got stuck behind Meca Godzilla's arm. not a big issue, but my son had no idea that Sterns now open with latches

    I’m still not a fan of the latches! ‍♂️

    #30 9 months ago
    Quoted from centerflank:

    I’m still not a fan of the latches! ‍♂️

    I love the latches, the lockdown bar is always tight! The old system was a PITA to adjust

    #31 9 months ago
    Quoted from ASAC_Schrader:

    I love the latches, the lockdown bar is always tight! The old system was a PITA to adjust

    If I have to quick pop the glass off for a stuck ball, slide latch and magnet thumb key locks, it’s so fast. I dunno…I always put beer seal under edges of the lockdown bar for the slide latch the fit fine no adjustments needed but I hear ya

    #32 9 months ago
    Quoted from Tommy-dog:

    ...so called friend) said my games got stolen out of his garage...Games included Safe Cracker...

    I coincidentally read the above post right after seeing the one below in another thread (unfortunate about the loss above...though I found some humor in the coincidence here)

    Quoted from darkryder:

    ...have hit BIG profits on some pins. Snagged some Craigslist/garage sale games back in the day for $500 or less (SafeCracker...

    #33 9 months ago

    I have borrowed pins from many friends, and lent out a few myself. Love doing it, and everyone I do it with is even more deeply nerdy about pinball than me, and we trust each other's technical abilities.

    #34 9 months ago

    If he is a pinhead then you are doing him a favor, if he is just a dude with a basement then he is doing you a favor

    I would do something simple in writing just in case your friend drops dead and his extended family starts looting his home before you can retrieve your game.

    #35 9 months ago

    I was on my way home with a project Lightning, wondering where I was going to put it. I stopped by a friend's store and we figured it could go there.
    A few months later one of his customers saw it and mentioned having a pinball too - a dead one that they wanted to get rid of. $100 later and I had a project Future Spa.
    Lightning hasn't gone anywhere. Hasn't broken anything serious.

    #36 9 months ago

    Don’t do it. I’m not worried about a friend claiming your pin as his. I’m not worried about him or his family breaking it. I am worried should ANYTHING go wrong and cause harm you are now personally liable. They left it on overnight and a wiring error caused it to catch fire, umm it’s your personal assets on the line. Machine isn’t properly grounded and his kid electrocuted himself, umm it’s your personal assets on the line. Game falls over and crushes the family cat ….. you get the picture. We always view this from a “they’re a friend and friends have one another’s back”. My friend that can very quickly vaporize the moment the sh*t hits the fan. If you insist on doing this, transfer these pins to an LLC you create and control so that if bad things happen the LLC goes bankrupt not you personally. You don’t lose your house. You don’t lose your retirement account. The few bucks you save on storage costs just ain’t worth it given the very very low risk but potentially very very high liability issue of “friend storage”.

    #37 9 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Don’t do it. I’m not worried about a friend claiming your pin as his. I’m not worried about him or his family breaking it. I am worried should ANYTHING go wrong and cause harm you are now personally liable. They left it on overnight and a wiring error caused it to catch fire, umm it’s your personal assets on the line. Machine isn’t properly grounded and his kid electrocuted himself, umm it’s your personal assets on the line. Game falls over and crushes the family cat ….. you get the picture. We always view this from a “they’re a friend and friends have one another’s back”. My friend that can very quickly vaporize the moment the sh*t hits the fan. If you insist on doing this, transfer these pins to an LLC you create and control so that if bad things happen the LLC goes bankrupt not you personally. You don’t lose your house. You don’t lose your retirement account. The few bucks you save on storage costs just ain’t worth it given the very very low risk but potentially very very high liability issue of “friend storage”.

    WOW, YOUR FRIENDS SEEM LAME. YIKES

    -1
    #38 9 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Don’t do it. I’m not worried about a friend claiming your pin as his. I’m not worried about him or his family breaking it. I am worried should ANYTHING go wrong and cause harm you are now personally liable. They left it on overnight and a wiring error caused it to catch fire, umm it’s your personal assets on the line. Machine isn’t properly grounded and his kid electrocuted himself, umm it’s your personal assets on the line. Game falls over and crushes the family cat ….. you get the picture. We always view this from a “they’re a friend and friends have one another’s back”. My friend that can very quickly vaporize the moment the sh*t hits the fan. If you insist on doing this, transfer these pins to an LLC you create and control so that if bad things happen the LLC goes bankrupt not you personally. You don’t lose your house. You don’t lose your retirement account. The few bucks you save on storage costs just ain’t worth it given the very very low risk but potentially very very high liability issue of “friend storage”.

    Well that's a dark way to look at those close to you.

    #39 9 months ago

    Both times that I've moved I lent most of my games out to friends to play and store for me when I listed my house and built my new one. I'd rather have them sitting in someone's house than sitting in a storage unit. As long as you trust your friend I wouldn't worry about it.

    #40 9 months ago

    You sound pretty uptight about it so i would say don't do it.

    I let people borrow games or traded games for short times with people countless times.. I never gave it any thought let alone thought about a written agreement or something.

    #41 9 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I have one game on loan, it's a sentimental favorite I didn't want to sell; Argosy, the first game I bought in 2002.
    It's at a friend's place in Brooklyn. He's not a GREAT friend, just a guy I know, who is good friends with a couple of my friends and they've vouched for him. He's had the game well over a year and it's been nice not having it at my place so I have more space for the games I'm rotating.
    It's a lower-value game, so it's a lot easier to swallow than the titles the OP has mentioned; but the fact is, I lent it out knowing very well I may never see it again, cause again, shit happens. If this guy's apartment catches on fire I'm not gonna make a federal case about it and ask for reimbursement.
    Just do what you are comfortable with and you'll have no worries!

    What if his apartment caught on fire cuz of a old EM being naughty?

    #42 9 months ago
    Quoted from trueno92:

    What if his apartment caught on fire cuz of a old EM being naughty?

    Then I Wouldn’t have an argosy anymore.

    Who gives a shit ?

    My friend would have far worse problems.

    #43 9 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Then I Wouldn’t have an argosy anymore.
    Who gives a shit ?
    My friend would have far worse problems.

    I think he's asking if you would be liable (legally or morally) for the fire

    #44 9 months ago
    Quoted from Knxwledge:

    I think he's asking if you would be liable (legally or morally) for the fire

    The day I waste a second of my time worrying about such a ridiculous scenario is the day I quit the hobby.

    I’m sure LTG has a story but he’s got a story for everything, but back in the real world and 20+ years in the hobby, I’ve never once seen or heard of a pinball machine causing an apartment fire.

    #45 9 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I’m sure LTG has a story but he’s got a story for everything, but back in the real world and 20+ years in the hobby, I’ve never once seen or heard of a pinball machine causing an apartment fire.

    I've never heard of a pinball machine starting a fire.

    Namco had a big sit down video game ( I forget the name right now ) it had a fresnel screen in front of the monitor. If sunlight could get to it, it would act like a magnifying glass and start a fire. There were reports of it happening.

    Main thing I would think is that if there is a fire, and a pinball machine isn't URL approved, it could get blamed, whether it did or not.

    LTG : )

    #46 9 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I’m sure LTG has a story but he’s got a story for everything

    LTG is surely more interesting than you are. Facts.

    #47 9 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    The day I waste a second of my time worrying about such a ridiculous scenario is the day I quit the hobby.
    I’m sure LTG has a story but he’s got a story for everything, but back in the real world and 20+ years in the hobby, I’ve never once seen or heard of a pinball machine causing an apartment fire.

    This all comes down to a question of “what’s your risk tolerance ?” Yours is greater than mine. To each their own. I just wanted to raise the point for consideration. I like my friends as much as the rest of us, give them free passes to my arcade all the time. But I let them enjoy themselves in an establishment that has liability insurance if I screwed up somehow.

    Nobody is going to question whether I should have liability insurance for my arcade or for operators who put their games on site right ? Exactly how is this different ? Your friend is a nicer person and won’t sue if they get hurt ? Nothing bad will ever happen ? You never ever want to think about bad stuff ?

    I have training in electrical engineering. I found a game on our floor we bought from someone that literally had the 120 mains wires straight into the coin door (as demonstrated by shocking the hell out of myself when I first opened the coin door). I repair my own games. Something goes wrong I want to make damn sure my liability is umbrellaed by my LLC.

    This isn’t dark, this is reality. People get sued all the time when someone falls down their stairs or off the porch and injures themselves badly while attending a party at your house. It’s why you have homeowners liability insurance too. Or maybe you don’t.

    As I said, likelihood of something bad happening …. Reallly really low. Zero ? Not a chance.

    #48 9 months ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    I've never heard of a pinball machine starting a fire.
    Namco had a big sit down video game ( I forget the name right now ) it had a fresnel screen in front of the monitor. If sunlight could get to it, it would act like a magnifying glass and start a fire. There reports of it happening.
    Main thing I would think is that if there is a fire, and a pinball machine isn't URL approved, it could get blamed, whether it did or not.
    LTG : )

    I agree with you, I am not aware of an actual pinball fire. But a Sega G08 vector fire, yep that’s for sure happened. I’ve seen other arcade games spark after being plugged in. Lots of frayed cords on what we bring in and refurbish. Missing ground plugs is common too. Jumpered fuse holders … yep. Overheating coils that smoke out … yep. This stuff is 40 years old.

    Now maybe the owner can claim they knew nothing about any defects. That’s a pretty good defense. It’s like loaning someone a ladder that they then fall off due a flaky step you didn’t know about. But as I said I’m an engineer, and I will surely be blamed if bad electrical things happen even unknowingly.

    12
    #49 9 months ago

    You guys sure have given me a lot to think about, what with your totally realistic, grounded scenarios that you’ve solemnly presented here.

    Ok well as soon as my mint condition argosy turns into an exploding original Sega Star Trek video game, or the pristine, Grounded power cord turns into a flayed, crumbling artifact of the depression, as the fuse clips on a game I’ve had for 22 years and know inside and out suddenly disintegrate and become jumpered with aluminum foil, I’ll be happy to start spending all my days endlessly worrying about it spontaneously combusting, resulting in a 7 alarm block fire that leads to my friend and half of Brooklyn suing me for all I’m worth.

    Thanks for destroying the life I thought I knew, and forcing me to confront a world of terror, fear, and insecurity.

    (In short, You suburban/ country guys are way too neurotic! What the fuck is going on out there to cause you to spend all of your time coming up with these bizarre, dark fantasies?!!!)

    #50 9 months ago

    I will be your friend !

    how many can you send ?

    There are 117 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.

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