Phone Call from a Local Op

By BillinIndiana

6 years ago


  • 20 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by guymontag451
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    #1 6 years ago

    I was hoping to hook up with the only local operator in my area to maybe get a deal on some machines on route here in my town... He finally called me back and said he didn't really have anything that he thought I would be looking for.. Mostly he had pins in the $4500 + range that are machines collectors would like to have.. I knew the conversation was all but over right there..

    I asked what are some of the titles of these $4500+ machines .. He said he'd have to look into , but he thinks he has a Scared Stiff, Adam's Family and a Simpson's Pinball Party.. Just to name a few..
    I know where all these machines are in town and have played them.. Definitely abused routed machines.
    So I asked about the TSSP.. told him something like that is what I'm looking for. I then told him the one on location here in town is in rough shape.. Oh he said , you consider that rough? I said yes, the GI's are out the upper PF doesn't work and the display is going out... He comes back with , oh I can get a Display for $150 I think.. I said yes, I know .. How much are you looking for on something like that.. He said he would have to check and see what they're are going for and I should check EBAY for the prices!
    I just kinda chuckled and said those prices are unrealistic... but Thanks... Click !!

    Unbelievable... These machines are beat to death and he wants EBAY prices for them..!!

    Just Fuming, Bill in Indiana

    #2 6 years ago

    It is not logical to think that any old school operator will be rational with his pricing.
    They will all eventually sell their machines & or operation or die and then they'll
    be sale closer to market price. The other operators tend to treat price guide prices
    and word of god and that routed to death = nice or huo. F that.

    #3 6 years ago

    If you really still feel like it, try going to Ebay and sort the listings by "completed" sales. Show him that list of prices. There may not be many but they won't be the ridiculous "asking" prices we all see.

    #5 6 years ago

    i think leeb was referencing completed transactions (items actually were sold). Unfortunately, those don't happen too often on ebay with pins.

    #6 6 years ago

    Never had any luck with local ops. Just tried again 2 weeks ago. One wanted 2 grand for a beat FT and the other never returned my call after 5 times.

    #7 6 years ago

    I haven't had any luck with a local op either. He thinks his beat up, routed pins are filled with gold. He never returns phone calls. The worst part is the fact that his prices change all the time. I have had him go so far to give me a price and then change it 10 minutes later when he realizes i'm interested. I have purchased a few things from him in the past (jukeboxes/dart machines) but I have yet to get him to come to a reasonable price for his routed games.

    #8 6 years ago

    i played a f'd FH at a laundry mat. it was worth 1000 max, needed a new playfield and just about everything else. i offered it to him, and he pulled the 'ebay' price crap on me. i didn't bother to talk to him again. i noticed he listed his washed out MB on mrpinball listing for 6500 with a thrashed playfield. old school operators have lost their minds these days.

    #9 6 years ago

    I too have had hit or miss results with OPs, but was able to grab a really dirty HS2 from one recently for a steal. There aren't many left, and unfortunately, most know what they have, and even worse, they know we want it ;).

    #10 6 years ago

    same experience here most ops are a bunch of jackasses and dont care about some pinheads all they give a damn is about their dart leagues and pool leauges here

    #11 6 years ago

    I recently contact one, and on their website, they had pins for sale, but I asked if they had any, they said not at this time.

    #12 6 years ago

    My local OP told me to do this...


    #13 6 years ago

    Yea the guy kinda insulted me from the beginning also.. I had called and left an message on his voice mail that I was a Hobbyist and was looking for some machines that were coming off route and maybe needed fixed up some..
    I guess by saying that I automatically couldn't be a "Collector" as he said the $4500 machines are more of something a collector would want and he didn't have anything I would be looking for??.. Said all of those are all Mid 90's stuff when they were making good pinball machines.. I guess meaning needs fixed up = older EM's or smotheing... What A Douchebag the more I think about it...Ha

    Bill in Indiana..

    PS.. Not that there is anything wrong with EM's, I do have one of those and would own many more if the right ones come along... I love them all... Well maybe except for the one DMD game " Vacation America" I still remember hating that from my childhood..Ha!

    #14 6 years ago
    Quoted from Meph:

    I haven't had any luck with a local op either. He thinks his beat up, routed pins are filled with gold.

    They kinda are- not gold coins, but coins never the less. People that own a route only care about keeping the machine running enough to keep people pumping quarters into it.

    My friend owns a route and if you wanted to buy something off of him, his prices on his routed machines wouldn't get you doing back flips. Remember if he sells it to you, he is going to have to buy something to take its place.

    New pin prices are way more expensive, and collectors are driving up used pin prices, so if he sold his income source to somebody, how is he supposed to replace it? The rate of return is not worth buying new pins, so they keep the old ones and rotate them.

    For me it is a hobby, for him it is a living.

    #15 6 years ago

    I had a pinsider tell me that ebay was REALISTIC just a couple weeks ago..then called me a cheapskate for offering him REAL market we was only 300 bucks apart...So IMO lots of people think ebay is the new price guide.

    #16 6 years ago

    im very lucky that two of the local ops are cool and offer pins at realistic prices. the pinbot i picked up last month was from a local op. the other op i know offered me a congo at 1,400 shopped.
    i decided to pass on it for now but its still on route so if i want it later its still available.

    #17 6 years ago
    Quoted from mrgone:

    im very lucky that two of the local ops are cool and offer pins at realistic prices.

    That's awesome!! Do they have a website, if I may ask?

    #18 6 years ago
    Quoted from kwiKimart:

    mrgone said:im very lucky that two of the local ops are cool and offer pins at realistic prices.
    That's awesome!! Do they have a website, if I may ask?

    the one with the congo
    the one i got the pinbot from is a local collector who feeds his pin/arcade game addiction by routing pins,vids,jukes,mega touch,etc. he has no website.

    #19 6 years ago

    I agree w/ many of the above comments. Good posts. It is important to note that final actual sell prices on ebay are what should be considered valid & realistic. Offered prices from certain sellers that are way high "buy it now" prices or very high starting price should not be considered as valid or realistic market price. Sometimes they are just advertising their pins on ebay and don't really expect them to sell for that much. Some ebay sellers probably list their machines w/ high prices and just hope to get lucky and get someone w/ a lot of money to buy one for the "high" price who doesn't know (or care) what a reasonable price for a particular machine should be.
    Not trying to defend any particular seller, as I do think some are brain dead and are overly proud of their machines.
    As far as local ops, I wouldn't get worked up if their prices are too high, and just refer back to HighProtein's post. When the op decides to retire, or if he passes away, or if his life circumstances change and he needs cash, then they may sell at more reasonable prices.
    To me, part of the challenge of pinball as a hobby (or business, etc.) is finding a decent deal on a machine you want. Seems like many Pinsiders are willing to salvage/fix/clean an old machine if the price is reasonable. Good luck w/ the search for the next cool pin out there in the wild.

    #20 6 years ago

    Not all op's are delusional and rude. My local op is coming over to help me fix my flash gordon tomorrow for a case of high life. He also helped me go pick up the machine, and got me a great deal on it. I just help him out with beer and food at my bar whenever stops by. Seems to work out, I am lucky enough to live in a town with great op's, and I am glad to call a few of them friends. Just keep trying everybody, it's just like every industry full of good and bad.

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