(Topic ID: 326676)

PBL vs. Marco - parts quality

By WizardsCastle

1 year ago


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  • 144 posts
  • 69 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by vec-tor
  • Topic is favorited by 10 Pinsiders

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There are 144 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
#101 1 year ago

With Steve Young you don’t even know what shipping is until your order arrives.

Can you imagine trying to order from Steve like this?

Okay I’ll take one of those…
Alright how much is shipping?
Also I need one of those…
How much is shipping now?
Also I need one of those…
How much is shipping now?
Also I need one of those…
How much is shipping now?

#102 1 year ago

Terry,
Keep doing what your doing, You and your team
Are Excellent and I have been more then pleased with the sales and service your company offers !
Thanks Mike
(Mvp)

#103 1 year ago

Our business park has one of those centralized mailboxes with 1 key to open all the bins, here are some recent articles about how rampant / brazen theft has become.
We have had checks stolen and "washed" then cashed by criminals many times this year, us and most of the businesses around us have complained to no avail.

https://www.click2houston.com/news/investigates/2022/09/07/kprc-2-investigates-update-huge-mail-theft-issue-in-houston-area-sparks-new-investigation-team/

https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2022/07/28/caught-on-camera-mail-carrier-robbed-at-gunpoint-in-east-harris-county/

#104 1 year ago
Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

It's all good Terry - I think the majority of people here have no problem with your business and you will always get a few complainers that seem louder than the rest that are content. Keep doing what you're doing!

I don't know that most were complaining as much as just giving their own experiences and why they decide to do what they do. If it makes sense to go with PBL, I do that .....and many times even when it doesn't. I've met the Marco folks at the shows, but none of them have ever invited me in their shop to play games while my order is being filled like Terry has, and none of them have stopped to give me advice and ideas like the folks at PBL have, so I am glad they are out there. But I also am not in the habit of paying extra for what is already an expensive purchase if I can avoid it.

Admittedly, I'm nowhere near a big fish in the pinball parts purchasing world, and I don't expect anyone to change what they are doing based on my projects. All I can do is point out the missed opportunity. PBL is still in business, so I assume they are making money....they obviously know what is best for them.

#105 1 year ago

I’m just wondering how anyone orders 5 dollars worth of parts? It’s like getting out of Sam’s club or Costco less than 100. Even if I forgot something that cost 5 dollars. 200 is gone if I walk back in.

#106 1 year ago
Quoted from Gunnut40:

I’m just wondering how anyone orders 5 dollars worth of parts? It’s like getting out of Sam’s club or Costco less than 100. Even if I forgot something that cost 5 dollars. 200 is gone if I walk back in.

Pretty easy. For me, it usually happens the day after my bi-weekly order. I find I missed something I HAVE to have for the next upcoming job.

#107 1 year ago
Quoted from Gunnut40:

I’m just wondering how anyone orders 5 dollars worth of parts? It’s like getting out of Sam’s club or Costco less than 100. Even if I forgot something that cost 5 dollars. 200 is gone if I walk back in.

Just last night I realized I left a plastic tray off my order, and it's less than a $2 item. I would love to be able to order it and have it shipped in a $2 envelope, but I don't think any of the suppliers are going to do that, so I will wait to see if I forgot anything else and save that part of the playfield for last..

#108 1 year ago

I buy parts from both PBL & Marco's on a regular basis. I don't really prefer one over the other, but it typically just depends on what I need that determines who I go with.

BTW, I wanted to give some kudos to Audrey at Marco's. I've had a few issues with some orders over the last month as I've been working on swapping my Getaway playfield. Some of the issues were my error and some Marco's. With that stated, Audrey has been extremely supportive with helping me resolve my issues, and more than fair when it came to making things right for me.

You can typically buy things from multiple sources at comparative prices, but in my mind what separates the best is how well they handle the situation when things don't go right. I'm not being critical of any other supplier, but just wanted to let people know that my customer support experience with Marco's (Audrey in customer support, specifically) has been top rate.

#110 1 year ago
Quoted from Zitt:

No such thing.

The comment was actually rhetorical, and I figured someone would soon point to my "altered concept of reality". I was not disappointed.

However, the truth of the matter is, the eject saucer I am referring to could actually be put in a small paper envelope with two stamps and make it here just fine, so if we really want to get down and dirty, the $2 envelope solution is a reality.

I was simply pointing out I was not willing to pay another $17 PBL, or $10 Marco, for a tiny $2 part that I forgot to put on my last order....although I'll admit I will be scratching my head in what to do if I get to the end of the rebuild and don't have anything else to add in........

12
#111 1 year ago

Buy spares. When you need one of something, buy 10.

#112 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Buy spares. When you need one of something, buy 10.

I do that, but it doesn't help, because I put the spares away and either forget I have them until I order more (often), or I know I have them, but I can't find them (even oftener).

It doesn't help that I have parts cabinets and drawers and labeled, indexed, storage bins, with bins inside. Same thing happens with tools... have tool box, the tools are sorted in the drawers. Can't find them when needed, or the particular wrench/socket isn't there.

#113 1 year ago

Yeah. I make those mistakes too. I need to organize things better now that I have so much stuff.

#114 1 year ago
Quoted from slochar:

It doesn't help that I have parts cabinets and drawers and labeled, indexed, storage bins, with bins inside. Same thing happens with tools... have tool box, the tools are sorted in the drawers. Can't find them when needed, or the particular wrench/socket isn't there.

Takes a lot of time to do that. I am some what organized. Bins and etc. It could be better.

#115 1 year ago

Shipping sucks all around. Me shipping eBay packages, me paying for shipping, etc. But we only have so many choices around. I can no longer purchase a resistor, capacitor, IC and so on within a 50 mile radius. I have been using Mouser, Allied and Didi-Key for years. I hate waiting and I hate paying for shipping. But they have what I need, I don't have to waste time calling or driving and I'm not spending gas money to find out it isn't the part I need because the tool on the phone gave me a BS answer.

I always find a way to make shipping equal a time saving expense for me. Example: I always order a box of 100 #47 bulbs from Pinball Life. I can't get any locally, it is something I need for games I sell and the price is reasonable. Every order I add one. Just ordered this week as a matter of fact. I do the same with items PBR and Marco I need and always want to stock.

https://www.pinballlife.com/47-bulb-bulk-pack-box-of-100.html

#116 1 year ago

I use either Marcos, Pinball Life or Planetary Pinball. If you look at each one for pricing, Marco is usually more so share my orders between all to keep them around. My 2 cents

#117 1 year ago
Quoted from Manimal:

However, the truth of the matter is, the eject saucer I am referring to could actually be put in a small paper envelope with two stamps and make it here just fine, so if we really want to get down and dirty, the $2 envelope solution is a reality.

I'm not being combative; just trying to figure out how two stamps works in your mind.
All of my shipments have to go out as "packages" to be able to later claim retail value if they ever get lost. I don't think any vendor in the world is going to risk putting two stamps on an untracked item unless it's a specific request from the customer who absolves the seller from all responsibility when it's done.

I've never been able to ship anything for under 3.50 these days. Here's a screen shoot of my actual shipping costs for customer packages:
pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

So; not really something a real vendor can do in today's world.
If you know specifically how to pass a $2 shipping on to my customers; please shar.

#118 1 year ago
Quoted from Zitt:

I'm not being combative; just trying to figure out how two stamps works in your mind.
All of my shipments have to go out as "packages" to be able to later claim retail value if they ever get lost. I don't think any vendor in the world is going to risk putting two stamps on an untracked item unless it's a specific request from the customer who absolves the seller from all responsibility when it's done.
I've never been able to ship anything for under 3.50 these days. Here's a screen shoot of my actual shipping costs for customer packages:
[quoted image]
So; not really something a real vendor can do in today's world.
If you know specifically how to pass a $2 shipping on to my customers; please shar.

Lol....Like I said, I was making a point and a $2 package wasn't my objective, but I did have a fellow pinsider send me the saucer from NY in a paper envelope. Let's see if it arrives and what the cost was. I'll post a pic good or bad!

#119 1 year ago

Best option for buying quality parts at fair shipping cost and my first choice always is PBR.
Unfortunately they don’t always have everything just like other vendors.

Just ordered parts from PBL, see picture $16.50 to ship

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#120 1 year ago
Quoted from Madmax541:

Best option for buying quality parts at fair shipping cost and my first choice always is PBR.
Unfortunately they don’t always have everything just like other vendors.
Just ordered parts from PBL, see picture $16.50 to ship[quoted image]

Probably less than 2 lbs for $16.50. Crazy.

15
#121 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballlife:

We're actually not stuck in our ways, that's exactly why PBL used to use the USPS and no longer does. When USPS face-planted during the 2020 COVID lockdown and lost their ability to deliver parcels we stopped using them.
In mid 2021, after many requests to once again offer USPS shipping, we turned that option back on. Immediately, we once again had issues with many orders getting lost, stolen, seriously delayed or returned, so we once again stopped offering their service.
There's only one reason people ordering products for delivery like the USPS; they are the cheapest. And there's a reason they are the cheapest, it's because they offer the least amount of services.
Tracking is spotty at best. Many times parcels are only scanned twice, once when they arrive at our local post office and again when they are delivered. This can cause all kinds of panic and confusion. Customers look at the tracking for their parcel and it appears to just be sitting in our local post office for days. We get emails and calls from customers wanting to know why their parcel is *stuck* at our local post office. I have explained literally hundreds of times that it is not stuck, it's just that no one is bothering to scan the parcel at any other sorting station.
The lost/damaged/stolen/delayed/returned parcel percentage with USPS is about 10 times higher than with UPS. Even worse, when a parcel does go missing there is almost no chance of recovery. Anyone who has ever tried calling the post office to inquire about the where abouts of a lost/delayed parcel knows what I'm talking about. Getting a live person on the phone takes a lot of luck and patience. Once you do finally get someone, they could not care less about finding your parcel. Their entire parcel recovery system seems to be nothing more than a hollow shell that in reality does zero about errant parcels.
The USPS does not consider a parcel lost until it has been 30 days since it shipped. 30 days! No parcel is ever found after missing 30 days.
USPS insurance? Total waste of money. They simply never pay out.
UPS is not perfect, but when a parcel goes missing I can call my rep directly and either get it located and delivered, or get a refund issued.
Why is shipping cost higher when ordering from PBL? Because we don't supplement shipping costs with our product costs. This means if you are ordering a $5 item we are probably not the best choice.
Shipping cost is based on the first pound (the expensive pound) and them a much smaller amount is charged for every pound thereafter. The minimum charge for one pound of product shipped via UPS is around $12, and it only goes up from there depending on where you live and how far away you live from a UPS shipping hub.
PBL is not a shipping company, we are a pinball parts company. We don't set the shipping rates, the shipping companies do. Even though PBL does not own any shipping companies, we are still responsible for their performance. Therefore, we pick the most reliable ones.
I know everyone has had their own successes and failures with the various shipping companies out there and it may be that your experience has not been the same as ours. Our decisions are based on the data we have collected from thousands and thousands of parcels shipped. We have had by far the worst luck with the USPS.
So in summation: no, we are not stuck in our ways. We learn from real life experience and make decisions based on those experiences. If we were stuck in our ways we would still be using the USPS.
As always, I reserve the right to change my mind. I do know that if we ever start using the USPS to deliver our products again, I will start a Pinside thread documenting all the issues we have when they occur. I can only assume the issues will once again reach their tipping point and we will once again be forced to stop using them. When shipping cost complaints once again rear their ugly head here on Pinside, a quick link to the previously documented issues will be a much easier answer than this one!
Terry.

I really appreciate a guy who has the guts to come on here and present his position (of his business) in today's economic climate. Very few vendors do. You do not have to defend your business decisions to anyone here. I want you to know that you are appreciated for what you do for us (even if we whine a bit on occasion). Thanks Terry

#122 1 year ago
Quoted from Zitt:

No such thing.

Quoted from Manimal:

The comment was actually rhetorical, and I figured someone would soon point to my "altered concept of reality". I was not disappointed.
However, the truth of the matter is, the eject saucer I am referring to could actually be put in a small paper envelope with two stamps and make it here just fine, so if we really want to get down and dirty, the $2 envelope solution is a reality.
I was simply pointing out I was not willing to pay another $17 PBL, or $10 Marco, for a tiny $2 part that I forgot to put on my last order....although I'll admit I will be scratching my head in what to do if I get to the end of the rebuild and don't have anything else to add in........

I can give an example from awhile back. Pinball Resource, I placed an order for maybe $80.00 worth of parts. The next day, I realized I need a weird rubber ring for a Bally Bingo machine. I called Steve and asked if he could add it to the order I already placed.
Too late, the order was already shipped.
Steve placed the ring in an envelope with a stamp or two and sent it in the mail. He charged me for the ring and under a dollar for the envelope & postage.

20221218_182621 (resized).jpg20221218_182621 (resized).jpg
#123 1 year ago

Actually, I am surprised how many people say they order from PBR....I always used PBL and Marco just because they had 99% of what I needed, but I probably need to go back and take a better look at PBR when doing my comparisons.

#124 1 year ago
Quoted from Manimal:

Actually, I am surprised how many people say they order from PBR....I always used PBL and Marco just because they had 99% of what I needed, but I probably need to go back and take a better look at PBR when doing my comparisons.

It really depends on what you need. PBR is great for EM and SS parts, but not so much for "modern" machines.
The older the part you need is, the more likely PBR will have it (and be less expensive).

#125 1 year ago

PBR supplies a LOT of the parts that Marco and PBL sell. He is the guy having a lot of stuff made.

I just hate having to write checks.

#126 1 year ago

Last time I shipped a small package it was $15

The days of the $5 flat rate shipping boxes are long gone.

#127 1 year ago
Quoted from RandyW:

PBR supplies a LOT of the parts that Marco and PBL sell

Wrong. We buy only 1 item from PBR.
Terry.

#128 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballlife:

Wrong. We buy only 1 item from PBR.
Terry.

Ok, well I know Marco buys a good bit from him.

1 week later
#129 1 year ago
Quoted from Zitt:

No such thing.

Needed to follow through on what I said. Saucer made it intact for less than $1

Thanks Pintopia!

Saucer (resized).jpgSaucer (resized).jpg
#130 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballlife:

Wrong. We buy only 1 item from PBR.
Terry.

but that one part is 51% of your total inventory, right? LOL Random strangers on the internet can't just make stuff up right?

#131 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballizfun:

but that one part is 51% of your total inventory, right? LOL Random strangers on the internet can't just make stuff up right?

Apparently they can, but no harm no foul.
I have nothing but respect for Steve. He will forget more about pinball than the rest of us will ever know.

#132 1 year ago
Quoted from Manimal:

Needed to follow through on what I said. Saucer made it intact for less than $1

Thanks Pintopia!

You are really lucky to receive that, much less in one piece. Previously I dug out many torn up envelopes that were similar from mail processing machines. Many were from car remotes, keys, and other non flat rigid items.

#133 1 year ago

When I was at the post office they place a special label on the envelope indicating not to process through the mail sorter which might explain why it took a while to reach manimal…

#134 1 year ago

No one looks at those labels unless it gets torn up in the machine. Think about it this way, those letters and parcels are dumped mixed together from a hamper or cart which may contain thousands of letters.

It may weigh several hundred pounds. It is lifted hydraulically and dumped onto large conveyor belts and processed through the machines. Many times it is only handled as a bundle loading into a DBCS machine. A good operator may be able to cull it out before the machine eats it but they can't catch all of them.

#135 1 year ago

So I’m just gonna leave this here. This is a small order. Obviously, the larger the order, the more the balance shifts to PBL in favor of better individual prices. But with smaller orders like this, even with Marcos mark up, it’s still cheaper. Which is pretty much to say. It really depends on what you need. Sometimes PBL is the clear winner, other times, it’s Marcos

12E06C00-9602-4C85-BDAC-52FCBCC31C7E (resized).png12E06C00-9602-4C85-BDAC-52FCBCC31C7E (resized).pngC690C9D4-D756-4F93-8C78-5FE048C379C9 (resized).pngC690C9D4-D756-4F93-8C78-5FE048C379C9 (resized).png

#136 1 year ago

FWIW:
Reproduction quality,
Here is a reproduction flipper bat; for Bally games.
This is not even a year old, plaid on an old EM pinball.
YIKES!
IMG_0001[1] (resized).JPGIMG_0001[1] (resized).JPG
IMG_0002[1] (resized).JPGIMG_0002[1] (resized).JPG
IMG_0003[1] (resized).JPGIMG_0003[1] (resized).JPG
This is what happens when the plastic formula is not practiced.
Shinny bright white plastic equals brittle plastic.
Purchased from Marcos.

#137 1 year ago
Quoted from Pinball_Postal:

You are really lucky to receive that, much less in one piece.

On a part like this, the risk was probably worth the reward.

Quoted from EJS:

Also I need one of those…
How much is shipping now?
Also I need one of those…
How much is shipping now?

I spit my beer out reading this, LOL!

I am a long time customer of PBR, PBL, and Marco. I have never had a problem with any of them--they all provide excellent service and quality products that are difficult to impossible to find.

I've been a pinball enthusiast for nearly 20 years and remember a similar thread -- it may have been on Pinside or RGP, but the roles were reversed regarding shipping. The community was concerned about Marco's shipping costs vs PBL, and PBL always had more competitive shipping prices. It is strange to see the roles reversed like this. I understand and support Terry's reasons for dropping USPS in his area, but I hope someday things will improve and he can go back to offering USPS in the future.

I am thankful for the suppliers that work so hard to provide these parts so we can continue to maintain and enjoy our games.

#138 1 year ago
Quoted from vec-tor:

FWIW:
Reproduction quality,
Here is a reproduction flipper bat; for Bally games.
This is not even a year old, plaid on an old EM pinball.
YIKES!
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
This is what happens when the plastic formula is not practiced.
Shinny bright white plastic equals brittle plastic.
Purchased from Marcos.

That wasn't made in Chicago....

#139 1 year ago
Quoted from vec-tor:

FWIW:
Reproduction quality,
Here is a reproduction flipper bat; for Bally games.
This is not even a year old, plaid on an old EM pinball.
YIKES!
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
This is what happens when the plastic formula is not practiced.
Shinny bright white plastic equals brittle plastic.
Purchased from Marcos.

Deleted

#140 1 year ago
Quoted from vec-tor:

FWIW:
Reproduction quality,
Here is a reproduction flipper bat; for Bally games.
This is not even a year old, plaid on an old EM pinball.
YIKES!
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
This is what happens when the plastic formula is not practiced.
Shinny bright white plastic equals brittle plastic.
Purchased from Marcos.

Delete triplicate post.

#141 1 year ago

I put an order at Marco's a week ago and no response... Only order confirmed.
This is a first for me. Called Marco and was put on hold, I got tired of waiting.
I do not know if Marco is short staffed... bad weather, etc.

#142 1 year ago

I ordered a ton of fuses from PBR in summer 2021. Some of the boxes contained the wrong size fuses. The little metal fuse boxes were various ages and designs - all fairly beat up. Upon closer inspection, many of the actual fuses appeared to be used. Dirty glass, grimy, oily, yellowed from cigarette smoking, corrosion, and scratches on the metal ends from fuse holders. They were also varying ages based on different style filaments, lettering, etc.

It completely looked like they sent me a bunch of random fuses removed from old games, not brand new.

So this made me go back and look at the bag of twenty 2.5 Amp fuses I ordered from them in 2012... out of the 20 fuses, 5 were blown... still sealed in their original plastic bags and you could see the blown filaments. These looked as brand new... not used like the ones I received in 2021.

I complained and this was the response: "That's how the fuses are being made and distributed today. Those fuses are no longer made in the USA and not made of the same quality as when they were made in the USA."

PBR refunded or replaced them all, so I am very pleased with the customer service. This experience just makes me more diligent about inspecting parts when they arrive.

#143 1 year ago
Quoted from vec-tor:

I put an order at Marco's a week ago and no response... Only order confirmed.
This is a first for me. Called Marco and was put on hold, I got tired of waiting.
I do not know if Marco is short staffed... bad weather, etc.

I placed an order today and it was confirmed and shipped today. Respond to the confirmed email and ask for a status.

#144 1 year ago
Quoted from vec-tor:

I put an order at Marco's a week ago and no response... Only order confirmed.
This is a first for me. Called Marco and was put on hold, I got tired of waiting.
I do not know if Marco is short staffed... bad weather, etc.

UPDATE:
I just got the package... They gave no tracking or anything... odd.

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