Quoted from Yelobird:
Crazy late night curiosity. As pinball prices are climbing WAY higher and new games are flowing from many new great companies faster than basements/routes can keep up would you consider a lease option? Kind of like expensive cars today. You buy a pin at a Significant reduced cost say 2900 and you own it for 12 months or 1200 plays which ever comes first. You pay like milage for every game over say $2. At the end of term you are offered a buy out price or an extended least option for a second year. Imagining something like this while logistics would be a trick knowing you wouldn't be out 9k plus for a dud title might be an interest. While ALL of these numbers and this crazy idea are a fantasy would this be a viable growth option to you?
This is a very interesting question regarding the price/value proposition.
I'll open with something I ran into perhaps 15 years ago; It was definitely before the economy collapsed in 2008. I was at a Cablela's out in western Nebraska just walking around looking at all the crap money can buy. Out in the front of the store all of the fishing boats were lined up for sale. I'm not talking the Bass Pro rigs with all of the bells and whistles. These are "run-of-the-mill" regular guy type fishing boats. All of the price tags were showing the list prices of, say, $12,000.00. But you could own this board for "just $100.00 per month for 120 months".
Hmm...lemme see. 120 months/ 12 mo./year = 10 years of fishing boat payments. At $1,200.00 per year. That's a lot of frigging money to go fishing, no matter which way you cut it.
Yeah. Pinball machines are getting into the price range where many buyers would not exist if financing was not available. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that people will finance a pinball purchase, in the first place.
So, let's back up a little bit more. Before 1978, car loans had a 3 year life span. 36 months---and after the last payment the car self-destructed. It was Detroit junk at its finest. And then Detroit got its head handed to it by the quality of the Japanese cars coming in. Detroit changed its game and started producing better quality cars. But the car prices went into the stratosphere. It was called "sticker-shock". In 1977, you could buy a Detroit tank for $4000.00. In 1979, the price had moved up into the $15,000.00 price range. And we were all going WTF is this? !!! You want How Much? Get outta here.
And to make all of this new pricing paradigm palatable to the buying public, and to be able to keep selling cars, the car makers jumped onto the leasing bandwagon. Banks live and breathe auto financing and got on for the ride. And to keep sales moving, cars loan terms were extended from 3 years to 5 years, and now, I believe 7-year cars loans are the norm.
I financed a car purchase one time. One time only. I learned to hate car payments. Every frigging month here came another Fking car payment. I did not mind paying rent. I did not mind paying utilities. But I hated that car payment.
I'll be damned if I am going to have a payment plan for a pinball machine.
And you, OP, raise the issue of leasing pinball machines. I can see where the pinball manufactures are going to need to keep pulling hat tricks with financing to keep the hobby going. But leasing a pin would not be my cup of tea. As others have mentioned, the market might not be ready for leased pins to the home buyer. But it is something the industry will one day have to consider, I suppose.
As a side bar on financing: I read Lee Iacoca's biography when he was still running Chrysler. And he got his first real recognition, in 1956 while at Ford, when he came up with the auto financing plan called "56 for 56". You could buy a new 1956 Ford for payments of $56.00 per month. And Ford sales took off.
Lease a pinball machine? No. I would do without. But does not help the industry.