First of all, let me say, I am so very grateful for everyone’s support in what we do for the hobby! Thank you to everyone that has placed an order, sold us a part for the exchange library, or has just called with questions.
It’s still hard to believe some days that we are knee deep into this, but I’m more grateful than ever that we are. I have said this before but I’ll say it again. I value the relationships with you all, even more than the stuff or money. So thank you for trusting me and for at times being patient when we wait longer than usual to get parts back or whatever comes up.
When I took this over, after Mike’s passing, I vowed to do my best to try to keep things the way they were. Mike really wasn’t trying to grow the company, and was able to operate in a way that was very personal (which I never want to change), and in some ways very old school, mainly in the form of payment (this has to change). Now for 1/2 years I’ve keep the same exact things in place and I’ve honestly loved doing so. But I do need to change some things, for the sake of my family and not allowing others to take advantage of my trust. This is a business and I have unfortunately had some take advantage of us. This past year I had a couple of people not pay the balance owed on orders. A couple have just straight up never paid and will not respond. Then another had us plate every single metal part… let me say that again…. Every. Single. Metal. Part. From an early Bally, and then refused to pay their balance. Even after I finally said, “You know what, pay me what I have in it and let’s let this be the last order we’ll do together,” they still won’t pay. They ordered other parts on top of that order as well. They alone still owe over $1800 for the the order. It takes me a lot of orders to make up that kind of loss and in the end my family are the ones that suffer for someone’s childishness. Especially in a year when we had a baby and other things to deal with, just like everyone else. I know some of you will want me to “out them,” but that’s not why I’m here writing this. I believe The Lord himself deals with the things I cannot, and He Himself is the one that provides for my family. They know who they are and if they can live with doing that to us, then it’s on them. So that being said, here are the changes I’m making from today forward.
Effective today, Jan 1, 2019, and moving forward, payment must be received for me to release parts or ship a order. It’s common practice with every other business and it needs to be for us as well. I will still take a check or PayPal friends and family. I do plan to expand my ways of being paid and hope to announce those the next couple of days (Venmo/Apple Pay, etc). I will still keep everything else the same. The same quality parts guarantee, same speedy exchange times, same speedy shipping on new parts, and doing my best to keep platers moving on custom orders sent in.
I had a feeling the day would come that this would need to happen, but I really hoped it wouldn’t, as I’ve enjoyed sharing that kind of trust with all of you. It sets apart what I do and how I do it and I’ve always loved that aspect. It’s also allowed me to explain why I did it to newcomers to the hobby, in telling the story of Mike Chestnut, and I, of course, have loved that as well. Bottom line, this will help me protect my family, and that’s more important than pinball itself. I know most everyone will understand and I sincerely appreciate it. I wish I didn’t have to do it but everyone close to me, especially those in the hobby, have told me I’ve needed to do it. I think I’ve just held on to it as it’s what Mike did and I hated to change that.
Again, thank you to everyone for your support. We helped over 300 people this past year with chrome, brass, nickel, copper, black nickel plating or powder coating for their games and even other things - cars or whatever. We’ve also moved well over 200 arcades and pinballs this year, and I can’t say thank you enough. You are literally helping me take care of my family and it means more than you know.
Feel free to ask questions, give me a call or whatever. I always want you guys and gals to know that I’m here if you ever just need someone to talk with, even if it’s not about pinball. I’m pretty sure God has allowed me to stay in this hobby to care for others as He has cared for me.
Hanging out with my family today but I’ll pop back on later to check things out. Happy New Year, my friends! I hope it is a wonderful year for everyone!