(Topic ID: 269739)

Requesting buyer ettiquette advice (for a first timer)

By A-1Bogart

1 year ago


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  • 26 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by PersonX99
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    #1 1 year ago

    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!

    #13 1 year ago

    Thanks for all of the great advice everyone! I've definitely made that mistake on occasion - community is one thing, the business transaction is another. I will keep that in mind for the future.

    Unfortunately being an essential worker and travel restrictions have made it hard to pick up right away for me personally. I have definitely expressed interest to pay cash and given a specific date I can pick up. Those concerns mentioned are reasonable though.

    Quoted from Daditude:

    I first want to say that you have already been very wise in starting off by lurking, reading, and setting a realistic budget. Few people do that the first time. Kudos.
    I am not sure if you have specific pins in mind (if you do, please share them), but I always recommend playing them as much as possible beforehand. Read reviews, watch videos, and find out what you really like...and more importantly...WHY you like them, prior to any purchase.
    As far as your questions go:
    1) as a seller, what makes you consider one buyer's offer vs. another if price is equal?
    Ease of sell. Fewer questions, less hassle, cash, niceness, communication, moving quickly to buy.
    2) What information would you expect in an initial contact from a serious potential buyer?
    I expect them to say they are interested, ask specific questions if need be, and ask for more pics if necessary. If you have a legit concern or question...it should be specific. I can't tell you how many times people have asked me questions that were clearly stated in the ad already. It shows me they weren't looking at it, or they are just tire-kicking.
    3) How seriously do you consider a offer to provide a deposit immediately but if the person can't pickup for a couple of days?
    This depends on the seller, how bad they want to sell, and how many buyers that are interested in it. Most people would prefer a cash seller the same day over a seller leaving a deposit that can't pick it up for a week.
    4) What else do you factor?
    I guess this really boils down to 4 things:
    Seriousness of the buyer, how fast are they coming over, how are they paying, how much of a hassle are they being.
    If you really want a game...try to first state that you will take it...or at least you will take it pending questions. Communicate quickly and directly. Phone is best, text is next, messenger/app after that, email last. Ask intuitive and specific questions upfront. Don't waste the sellers time. Offer cash if you can, if not...ask what payments they will accept. Set up a time to go see it ASAP. Communicate that you are on the way/what you arrival time will be. Show up on time and ready to buy (vehicle to load it in, tools, any questions, money ready, etc.)
    If you are quick and have money, you shouldn't have a problem.
    What specific pin(s) are you interested in?

    Thanks for the thorough answers. I have tried to do a lot of research on anything I've offered on. Maybe too much at times.

    To start I mainly want something that works decent, that I'll enjoy for awhile, and so that I can start to learn the maintenance aspects of ownership before I invest more. Definitely want a DMD game. I've considered, as a short list:
    The Shadow
    Road Show
    Johnny Mnemonic
    High Roller Casino
    Lethal Weapon 3
    STTNG (Was more money from a friend of a friend... Fond memories of that game, but gotta stick to the budget, for now).

    Anyway I'm waiting to hear back from a guy about a Sharkey's Shootout (not for $3500, don't worry!), so hopefully I'm posting in the "Pin I brought home" thread soon.

    #25 1 year ago

    Thanks for asking!

    I do have a lead on a Sharkey's Shootout. Its relatively local and the guy and I have spoken on the phone twice and exchanged a few texts in the last several days. I was supposed to get it last week, but he called me the night before pickup and said there was some repair that needed to be done and he had a part sent out just before the holiday weekend. While that did make me a little concerned he does represent a local amusement/vending company, so it's not an entirely private sale and he seemed interested in trying to protect their reputation.

    We've already discussed that he's going to have the game set up so I can play test it when I arrive and that he will give me time to look it over it after. I've clearly communicated interest but not committed to buy if it seems in different condition than was represented. I also have a friend that will be accompanying me, for a second set of eyes (and hands).

    Hopefully soon... the empty floor space is getting restless...

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