Quoted from Toucanf16:
I've purchased from Choo Choo. They're prices are negotiable and I got a fair deal. But it was interesting dealing with Dale nonetheless. Lesson learned was to be paitient and wait to purchase from a pinsider.
Lets take a moment here to reflect on what has been happening in 2017.
This will help people understand things in a bigger scope.
Choo Choo prices are not negotiable on everything, it depends on the title and the age of the game.
If Dale believes the title is worth 3-4X the value, he will not budge.
The methodology I mentioned is not opinionated, I am providing observations as I watched the Ebay while evaluating market conditions and how things work in this hobby.
There are "marketeers", speculators, dealers, and brokers not considering any person that is a collector, owner, or private restorer.
The last type are not going to be considered here, nor HEP sources either, as they are specialized.
Therefore, as I describe, this has nothing to do with private individuals looking to make maximum profit off a game on pure CL ads.
A "marketeer" (a play on words of "musketeer") is a person who lists prices that follow trends and doubles or triples costs on typical selling locations. Many are informed, so this is not an accidental afterthought by any means. This type of person spikes during the "good times".
A speculator is a person who buys a game as low as possible, and then turns and flips the game with no intention of keeping the game, as soon as they can. Once again, this does not consider private owners sitting on NIB games for years, those fall into the category of "marketeer" collectors. Speculators always exist, and also are known simply as "flippers".
This applies to both new and used games.
A dealer is a seller who exclusively sells games for business profit as a lifestyle, and if they are good, they know how to properly restore games, in order to continue to have repeat customers, which is critical in this hobby, especially when the market stalls.
This is also how they acquire more inventory stock more easily.
The most successful have been in the business for over 20-30 years, and there are not that many left now (less than a two dozen in the world).
Collectors continue to buy games during stalls, new owners sell, enthusiasts do not, and operators rarely buy restored games from dealers, they buy from distributors, under the same pretense has the dealers themselves, meaning inventory stock, sometimes with trades between them.
This is exceptionally important, if an enthusiast wants to know "when to buy, and when to sell" if you know what you are looking at with collector glasses.
A broker is a turn key seller, selling stock at whatever price they believe it can pass, but provide minimal restoration efforts, sometimes incorrectly or taking shortcuts, if they can get away with it. This also is where the "mom and pop" stores get generated during periods of resurgence, which for the time being remains active.
Some operators subsidize into these categories as well, when they dump their old games.
Choo Choo is classified as a broker, meaning if it does not sell it squats in their warehouse because it does not sell, it does not really matter. They recently conducted warehouse auctions again under the same pretense. They would welcome the opportunity to buy quality games from owners, and provide pennies on the dollar, in order to sell them back at increased prices on Ebay or their website.
If owner wants to know when the market "bubble bursts" (which I do not use these words anyway), watch the NIB sales.
Sales continue to be dropping, as extended games remain unsold, foreign markets cannot afford the games, and operators outright refuse to buy except in mecha regions, with the exception of a handful of titles, and the "special editions" which are going to home owners.
Stern is being untruthful when they state "more than 50% of their games are going overseas", as the buyers are in the USA.
This is marketING not the markET.
For manufacturers that are building less than 300 games per year, it remains inconsequential for the time being as these are directed to the home market, but eventually are impacted and will close in time.
More and more games are coming up for sale now in the market as far as choices (from every source, and is a positive), competing against new releases, particularly older titles as every category of people are trying to "cash in" on the pinball craze.
Dealer prices are currently through the roof, as some simply cannot find games to add to their inventory stock, and must continue to make a profit somehow, coupled with their own greed.
The saddest part of the negative side of a surge is not that prices are affected, but the eventually it is the greed that catches up to those that participated and market implodes upon itself, as more and more games just sit in the mud.
The "mom and pop" shops close, a few manufacturers remain, and then the whole cycle starts over again in 5-15 years.
If people are curious to know "who owns pinball machines" here is a snapshot of the past 90 days of game serial number submissions at IPSND.
71% of all submissions were from the USA.
North America simply has the largest number of collectors, brokers, "marketeers", and dealers in the world.
This has not changed significantly since the 1980s.
Not particularly a huge revelation if you understand the market, but has incredible relevance to sale prices.