First off, thanks to everyone who contributes on this site. I've spent several months lurking and reading - it's crazy to see all of the information available. Overwhelming at times, but really cool to see the group available to help each other and someone new trying to get into this hobby!
So I've read a bunch of the newbie buyer threads and have taken much of the advice from them. I've saved a bunch of the links, purchased some equipment, already convinced the GF we're getting multiple pins, set my budget ($3500ish) and realistic targets, will try not to get scammed, etc... I'm in the process of my 7th attempt (including a couple not via Pinside) to buy my first machine and I was curious about what's considered proper buyer etiquette for communication until pickup - apologies if I've missed a related thread.
I started out my first few emails with a short personal introduction, to relatively local sellers. After all, eventually I'd like to make some acquaintances here as I know I'll likely need help in the future and want to grow in the hobby. For 2 of the first 3 offers I made I was told they wouldn't sell to me because it would be my first pin. A few of my messages to sellers simply haven't been returned. I have missed out on a couple pins due to timing and location, which happens of course. During most of these I started out offering contact information up front to show that I was legit, been specific about dates and dollars, haven't low balled, and have returned any communication promptly. But repeated attempts without success have led to me just leading off with shorter communication which now has distilled to basically "Me....BUY...$$$? <insert caveman grunt>".
And since I am still without a game to play I'm basically just curious - as a seller, what makes you consider one buyer's offer vs. another if price is equal?
--What information would you expect in an initial contact from a serious potential buyer?
--How seriously do you consider a offer to provide a deposit immediately but if the person can't pickup for a couple of days?
--What else do you factor? (Besides reputation and time on Pinside, because.. well...)
Thanks in advance for the advice!