(Topic ID: 254732)

Pinball on route. Tips/tricks

By V8haha

8 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by silver_spinner
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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    #1 8 months ago

    Wanted to start a thread for operators to share tips and tricks on running their games on location.

    We can share adjustments and issues with games.

    #2 8 months ago

    Tip: put as many redemption games out as possible.

    #3 8 months ago

    Tip 1 - put a Ghostbusters Pro on location -it out earns everything else

    #4 8 months ago

    Don't bother with pinball at all. Put a crane out and make money instead of losing it.

    #5 8 months ago

    Wow, a lot of negative responses so far

    #6 8 months ago

    Me personally I do different eras for my locations (from Gottlieb Sys1 to new JP). I try to have at least a pair of matching systems out there so if there is a major issue with one I can have the ability to swap parts/boards to correctly diagnose issues

    #7 8 months ago

    have lots of parts on hand...LOTS. even boards. I have had a few stern sam's and my sys11's have many board issues and it is easy to just swap the board then fix the spare and have it on hand again.

    Otherwise having flipper rebuild kits and swap balls every X plays or whatever.

    Or have a spare game or two, that you can rotate out. If you don't have a large qty of games at the location, people get bored quick...ugh its annoying

    #8 8 months ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    Tip: put as many redemption games out as possible.


    Quoted from Coz:

    Tip 1 - put a Ghostbusters Pro on location -it out earns everything else


    Quoted from fattdirk:

    Don't bother with pinball at all. Put a crane out and make money instead of losing it.


    In all seriousness, I run pinball because I love pinball. In general they dont make great money, but you can buy one new and run it for 3 years and sell it for at 500 to 1k less then you paid. In that time it should earn you 2k to 4k.
    I have a mmr and mbrse on location with a crane next to them. The crane does 2 to 3 times as much as the 2 pins combined.

    #9 8 months ago

    I maintain pins at an arcade where the games are on free play so they get tons of plays. We have shopped out all the games with Pinball life perfect play rubbers and their Warm white frosted LEDS. The regular flipper rubbers and slings wear out within a month with the natural rubber. So far the synthetic rubber is still going strong after 10,000 plays on most of our games. The LEDs look great but we have not had to change any bulbs in about a year of operation where as the games that have incandescent bulbs have to be changed starting at around 4 months. As others have stated, have flipper rebuilds handy and extra balls.

    #10 8 months ago

    I refurb a lot of games and also love the pinballlife.com warm white frosted. I also use titans so I can give it a more custom look the added durability is a plus.
    I have gotten away from running older machines. Too many little things eats away at your profit when you need to drive to locations all the time. The oldest game I have is an iron man and it's the only one giving me problems. Just bought a spidey vault and plan on replacing it soon.
    Side art blades and shakers are the only mods I will use or leave on a game. The IM had all kinds of figures and a topper that I stripped off before it went out.

    #11 8 months ago

    Y'all have the wrong locations it sounds like. Pins earn more for me than arcades no question.

    #12 8 months ago
    Quoted from Ronnie1114:

    Y'all have the wrong locations it sounds like. Pins earn more for me than arcades no question.

    Not talking about arcades. Cranes, key masters, stackers, etc...
    That's why when you go into a FEC or bowling alley there is 6 to 10 cranes by the door.

    #13 8 months ago
    Quoted from northvibe:

    Otherwise having flipper rebuild kits

    I stopped with full rebuild kits. Usually only replace the coil stop, sleeve, plunger and clean the EOS (or replace if pitted). Might replace the bushing every other time, because they do snap on occasion. Everything else is replace as needed. never really understood the reason behind replacing the flipper pawl every time.

    #14 8 months ago

    Anyone running CC readers on their pins?

    I come from the car wash industry and we use crypto pay swipers for everything. Have been looking into mounting one on my pins and having them send a plus to the coin mech.

    If so what brand CC swipes? what % of revenue do you see come from CC?

    #15 8 months ago

    I know touchtunes discontinued using cc swipes on the jukes because of the disputes they were dealing with. I have seen people mention using a cc reader on a changer. You can only use tokens but would justify the cost if it's a medium to large game room

    #16 8 months ago
    Quoted from freeplay3:

    Not talking about arcades. Cranes, key masters, stackers, etc...
    That's why when you go into a FEC or bowling alley there is 6 to 10 cranes by the door.

    Ahh yeah, I misread. Yeah the local bowling alley has fallen victim to that. Used to have 3 pins there, AFM, FT, and SP.

    #17 8 months ago

    Thanks to all who like pinball and operate them!!!

    #18 8 months ago

    Start small. Find a place that lives pinball but may not necessarily make lots of money. this is important because the culture of a location will make a huge difference with how the games are looked after as well as appreciated.

    Offer to set up a monthly tournament. Run it and then show someone working there how to run it and that way you can focus on the games as compared to you running tournaments. Once the spot has a monthly tournament, even if it's only a few games. You will start to get more regular participation. get the location of involved by adding to the pot or adding prizes like shirts or hats or something like that that people will associate with the place. Free advertising.

    Get your games on pinballmap.com.

    Contract is useful with your location. but ultimately the contract should be about effective communication not necessarily protection. If the location feels like they're being constrained as compared to adding to their environment, you are not going to get the location. ask for a high split. Start at 100%. The deal is that butts in seats means that beers are being sold and the like.

    if someone tries to talk me down to a 50-50 split, I walk. Most of my locations are 75/25.

    the only thing the locations going to have to pay for is electricity and if someone physically damage is a game. Broken play fieldglass and the like. Most of my locations that have issues like this either don't last his locations or people get arrested and then they pay me for damages how was work after being apprehended.

    Do you have insurance policies for your games? Also, what are the licensing laws in your local area? Do you need to pay money to put a sticker on the back of your game every single year? Check your local laws. Establish legal ownership of your games before you put them on location. I have had locations being closed down due to back taxes, guess whose games were inside. If you don't have proof that the games of yours, things may get long and drawn-out.

    Talk with other operators and see if they are willing to speak with you. In many cases most local operators want nothing to do with pinball because it's so high maintenance. Networking with these people means that you'll get games on location but you won't have real money making opportunities like billiards, jukeboxes or other means pulling quarters out of people's pockets. It's also good to be known within your community. In many cases putting a card on your games and someone needs help with a repair, they'll call you. Same thing with the other operators, if it got pinball games that need fixing, make some money.

    Feel free to message me with questions and if you ever listen to The Little Kings pinball podcast myself and my former co-host talk about operating quite a bit.

    Welcome to the next level.

    #19 8 months ago

    Don't ever go 50/50. Pins have constant maintenance and at 50/50 you are on the losing end. Also, very few operators know how to set pins up correct to have the best earning potential and keep them running correct. Old style ops pretty much don't.
    its the new era ops who are also collectors, techs and good players themselves that keep em straight.

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