Shipping a pinball machine can be one of the highest costs and risks of ownership, but I kept wondering if there was another option that could reduce the hassle and expense. I think there is, if the buyer is not in a hurry. I don't often use shippers for the pins I buy, but sometimes distance leaves me no choice. I learned about Games on the Go through pinside, and texted owner Ray Starego at 610-739-2509, and he called me back same day. He picked up the machine I bought in Buffalo and will deliver it to me on his next leg here to NC. How long will it take to get here? Could be 2 weeks, could be 3 months. But I'm okay with that. I'm in the middle of two project machines now, and I'm out of room. Not everyone fits my category, but I would probably do it again, even if I had the space. So I'm wondering, is this a viable option for other pin owners?
Here's my recent story about the frustration with shipping pins. I just sold one of my all-original Gottlieb wedge heads last week to a collector though PBO. When a big-name shipper came to pick it up, the two guys (sub-contractors) had no idea what they were doing, and they packed it wrong. They charged the buyer over $560. I don't know what happened to my Gottlieb after it left here. Of course I'm not saying this happens a lot, but the risks and costs convinced me there must be a better way.
Games on the Go is charging me a flat fee of $300. Maybe it varies by distance, not sure. The down side is I have to wait until they have more machines to make the trip cost effective. If you live in their market region -- which is pretty large -- this is a good option, especially considering that Ray moves the pins personally. So if you're anywhere east coast between New England and the Carolinas, or as far west as Ohio and even Illinois, check with Ray to see if he has a trip planned in your area. If you're not in a big rush, this may be your best option. Can't hurt to ask. My approach to buying machines now is, when I'm ready to buy, I check Ray's schedule first. Then I factor that into my bid or offer before I do the deal.