I read the warnings and still went ahead and made a series of stupid mistakes.
1- Don’t buy at auctions. Ended up making a winning bid for a Black Belt estate sale auction. Higher than I wanted but still seemed like an ok deal. Bid $900.
2- Pictures always look better - it really looked like brand new to me on the pictures, everything lit up and digital displays were working. Well, in person it was a different story. What I though was chrome gloss on the photo was worn out metal. Plastics were merited and warped, game wouldn’t start, credits wouldn’t register, rubbers were falling apart and the unit was banged up all over.
3- Don’t buy sight unseen - the pickup was 150 miles away from me. 2.5 hours each way. When I saw the machine I immediately realized I had made a huge mistake. I was on the hook for $1.300 w taxes and fees and a junk machine I needed to get out of a basement and drive back 150 miles to basically dispose of.
I was able to negotiate a deposit of $250 to the auction company to be able to walk out of the deal. So I drove 300 miles to lose $250. Still better than $1,300 in the hole and stuck with a pinball carcass.
So, lesson learned the hard way. From now on I will only buy either from the pinside marketplace or local listings were I can inspect the machine in person.
Shame on me.