(Topic ID: 242394)

Robert Brooks - Black Hole Transaction Issue (Resolved)


By knockerlover

1 year ago



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  • 47 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by ForceFlow
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

The main lesson here, is don't deviate from vid1900's guide to buying pinballs. The second lesson is, don't trust anyone elses definition of "shopped" and "ready to roll." I attempted to handle this reasonably between the two of us, but was unable to reach a resolution, so I'm hoping that through my loss I can educate the pinside community to not fall into the same trap.

Robert Brooks advertised on facebook "Black Hole for Sale. Fully Shopped, new rubbers, newer legs and ready to roll."

Here is the facebook advertisement.

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To me, when I hear fully shopped I at least think everything works. I'm optimistic especially for someone reputable, that the mechanisms would be cleaned/rebuilt so they aren't slow/sticking. In this transaction, neither of those things were the case.

I wrote Robert and offered him $1900, but said I wouldn't be able to get down to his area until after Allentown. Here is a screenshot of that conversation. I point this out because in his response to my negative feedback here https://pinside.com/pinball/community/pinsiders/skyemont/feedback#6495 he stated "I was not going to Allentown but when I heard knockerlover was going I figured I would bring it to him." That's not what he indicated in our facebook messages.

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While at Allentown, we first exchanged messages to arrange the pickup around 3:45. In his reply to my feedback he claims "Also keep in mind, you told me to my face after I unloaded it, do you think I could flip it and sell it for 2,400 and make $500. TO MY FACE!!!! Buyers can do what they want after purchase but to say that to me after my 5 hour drive to u. WTF." This is partially true. I asked him "what do you think the value of this game on the floor here would be, $2400?" My thought was, everything has a price, even if you like it. I wanted his opinion on the value because I trusted him. At the time I had no intention of flipping the game. I was also really excited because I thought I was getting a killer deal on a nice working example.

The game was wrapped in what seemed like an entire role of home depot orange plastic. It could be to protect the game very well (while inside of a white cargo van on a rubber floor), or it could be to prevent an inspection during pickup. You decide. It took myself and another friend about 10 minutes to cut all the plastic off.

Once the game was setup, we realized that while the game had newer legs the wrong leg levelers were put on and the game could not be put at the correct incline. There was a box of lightbulbs stuck in the top left hand corner, and various "paper towel" remnants from what is likely a haphazardly playfield wipedown. You can actually see one of these in the listing photos, that I didn't catch the first time. Here's why this is important.

Robert told me via Facebook messenger "I played it yesterday before I packed it up" and in his reply to my feedback he stated "The pinball worked and even had friends by to play before I sold it." If he play tested it after this listing was posted, and he had friends by to play it after he "fully shopped" it, Wouldn't he have noticed or one of them have mentioned this stuck in front of the main stand-up targets in the game?

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Putting the back box on, the game smelled like a barn, my first clue of concern. With the bulb box, and paper towel bits removed, we started a game. A ball wouldn't kick out of the trough when the game was started up. This is when I sent the first message to Robert.

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Yes, Robert offered to come help. But at this point I realized, that I didn't want the repair help of someone who had defrauded me this far, and likely I would be able to correct issues better on my own.

I peered down into the outhole, and could see the outhole kicker stuck out. It could manually be pushed back in, but anytime it fired to kick a ball into the trough it would stay out. I pulled the apron off, and that's when I could see clearly that this mechanism wasn't touched in this "fully shopped" example. I cleaned the mechanism enough so that it was able to fully retract after firing. This is when I asked for a refund, and offered to eat "$200" for the trouble of bringing the game to the show.

In Roberts reply to my feedback on his user profile "You texted me and said it had issues. I offered to help with no response!" I responded to him within about 15 minutes.

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At this point, I realized I would need to buy flipper rebuilds, coil sleeves, and spend time going through the game to actually shop it and get it to where I thought the game I purchased was. I believe my response was fair, just send me "$200" for the delta and let's call it square. Robert agreed on Saturday morning that he would "paypal the $200 tomorrow" but come Monday afternoon, that never happened. So I left the negative feedback on his profile.

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I unfortunately had to leave the show Saturday morning, so a friend stayed behind with the keys and put his number as contact on the game and we listed it at $1800. Throughout the weekend he continued to discover issues. Displays were dim, but he was able to resolve by reseating cables. (The price was dropped to $1600).

He also discovered that the anytime the ball was locked below, it would need to be power cycled so it would get kicked out (I didn't know this until after the game had been sold).

At the end, in order to get out from under this bad deal I sold the game for $1300 as a project game. Another pinsider pointed out way more issues than I observed on the pinfest thread. More evidence that the game hadn't been thoroughly gone through. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pinfest-2019-buy-sell-trade-want-no-hotel-talk/page/41#post-4977134

"- Displays were dim
- 3rd and 4th player displays had segment problems.
- Top pop bumper was weak
- General weak pop bumpers action bouncing between
- Half way through 4 player game, a 2nd ball went in shooter lane which totally confused her as the player # advanced when the 1st ball drained then the other ball in play was the next player. You couldn't help launching both balls at once.
- Top kick out hole was weak"

Another thing I thought was interesting.. in his reply to my profile feedback he basically calls himself out.

"I had a Black Hole for sale. It was fully shopped as best a 38 year old game can be. All new rubbers, playfield cleaned, all plastics hand cleaned, cabinet was cleaned."

Hopefully my $600 lesson will help to be a warning to others, to be more careful in their transactions, particularly with this individual.

#3 1 year ago

The term "fully shopped" means different things to different people... to some it means "I wiped down the easily accessable areas with some lemon pledge and taped on a wire that fell off the flipper coil"

#4 1 year ago

You lost me at “Yes, Robert offered to come help.”

Seems like you just had your heart set on making a flame post. Flame on, brother!

#5 1 year ago
Quoted from Rascal_H:

You lost me at “Yes, Robert offered to come help.”
Seems like you just had your heart set on making a flame post. Flame on, brother!

I can see why you would think that, but in the moment it seemed like it wouldn’t help the situation any. I was pretty upset for being burned, and I didn’t have faith in his abilities to do anything useful at that point.

#6 1 year ago

Was this the Black Hole with the mini post between the flippers?

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from Rascal_H:

You lost me at “Yes, Robert offered to come help.”
Seems like you just had your heart set on making a flame post. Flame on, brother!

Huh? Robert conceded to refund $200... then didn't... How hard is it to login and send the money? Or hand the money over since he was onsite? Truth is he wasn't paying up. And then went back on his word and refused to pay the money he promised.

All that on top of pushing crap as 'shopped' and 'ready to roll' when he probably just flipped it a few times, looked good, and rolled it.

So buyer beware when you see the game listed on Facebook this week, and for sale again by Robert next week.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from Xtraball:

Was this the Black Hole with the mini post between the flippers?

No i don’t believe so..

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from Rascal_H:

You lost me at “Yes, Robert offered to come help.”
Seems like you just had your heart set on making a flame post. Flame on, brother!

He lost me when he wanted to flip it for $500 more than he bought it for.

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from TomGWI:

He lost me when he wanted to flip it for $500 more than he bought it for.

That wasn't the conversation. That was Robert's retelling of the conversation... which was wrong.

You're also missing Robert was flipping it as well. Difference was Robert advertised it as shopped and 'ready to roll'... which it wasn't.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from TomGWI:

He lost me when he wanted to flip it for $500 more than he bought it for.

I wasn’t intending to flip it. I actually wanted the game, I’ve owned BH 3 times now and was searching for a stellar example. That being said, everything has a price.

#12 1 year ago

THERE IS ALWAYS TWO SIDES TO A STORY:

I had a Black Hole for sale. It was fully shopped as best a 38 year old game can be. All new rubbers, playfield cleaned, all plastics hand cleaned, cabinet was cleaned. The pinball worked and even had friends by to play before I sold it. I was not going to Allentown but when I heard knockerlover was going I figured I would bring it to him.

1. Drove 305 miles to deliver
2. Told u it had broken plastics
3. Told you it had wear at pop bumpers
4. Always wrap pins the best I can to protect them
5. You texted me and said it had issues. I offered to help with no response!
6. Told you I would refund 200 for any cost of repairs!

Also keep in mind, you told me to my face after I unloaded it, do you think I could flip it and sell it for 2,400 and make $500. TO MY FACE!!!! Buyers can do what they want after purchase but to say that to me after my 5 hour drive to u. WTF. I did not PayPal the 200 because in lieu of working with me, you blast me on Pinside. I was going to really make things right and give u the diff of what you paid me vs what you sold it for to make peace. But again in lieu of talking to me, you act like a child. SELLERS you have been warned!

-1
#13 1 year ago

Delete a stupid question that would've been clear had I read far enough sorry.

#14 1 year ago

I've been screwed on deals like this --- twice -- in Allentown deals. On the last one, the seller had swapped boards and installed inoperable water damaged boards. Of course, I didn't check because of photos and video shared in the days prior showed no reason to do so.

It sucks. "You" want to trust people... but at the end of the day, you should only buy a game that can be seen and inspected in person. And even in those scenarios, don't stand in front of the game and ask questions. Dig into the game yourself.

People can and will actively pull a fast one on you if you let them. Not everyone, of course, but when it comes to money and fast transactions, it can happen very easily...

Ask around enough and you'll find some names frequently coming up (names that you constantly see here on Pinside). I know of three right in the MidAtlantic (two in PA and one in VA) that are always on Pinside selling games... and I could link you with multiple people that have all had issues of honesty with them.

Sorry that happened to you knockerlover. Lesson learned

#15 1 year ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

That wasn't the conversation. That was Robert's retelling of the conversation... which was wrong.
You're also missing Robert was flipping it as well. Difference was Robert advertised it as shopped and 'ready to roll'... which it wasn't.

My wife was sitting right there. She heard it as well.

#16 1 year ago
Quoted from Skyemont:

I did not PayPal the 200 because in lieu of working with me, you blast me on Pinside. I was going to really make things right and give u the diff of what you paid me vs what you sold it for to make peace. But again in lieu of talking to me, you act like a child. SELLERS you have been warned!

You claimed you would send the refund via paypal the next day, this didn’t happen. I think we both know it wasn’t going to. I think my request was fair, and I did try to work with you.

#17 1 year ago

You guys should take this to PM

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

You claimed you would send the refund via paypal the next day, this didn’t happen. I think we both know it wasn’t going to. I think my request was fair, and I did try to work with you.

I was ready to send the funds until you blasted me. You did not give me a chance.

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

You guys should take this to PM

Agreed, I’m not taking it any further.

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from TomGWI:

He lost me when he wanted to flip it for $500 more than he bought it for.

Why?

I bought a $400 volley from knockerlover a couple Allentowns ago, and slapped a $700 price tag on it and left it on the floor for 2 days.

He didn’t give a shit and why would he?

A game is sold it’s sold and what happens after shouldn’t be anybody’s concern.

I had a couple parking lot deals this year and both turned out fine. It is a crapshoot but I like to give most my pinball brethren the benefit of the doubt. I also sold a couple games in the parking lot and I hope those guys are happy as well

If either tried to “flip” their games I couldn’t care less.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Why?
I bought a $400 volley from knockerlover a couple Allentowns ago, and slapped a $700 price tag on it and left it on the floor for 2 days.
He didn’t give a shit and why would he?
A game is sold it’s sold and what happens after shouldn’t be anybody’s concern.

Flippers gonna flip I guess.

#22 1 year ago

"Drove 305 miles to deliver" Forgets to mention he was going there anyway. So we can strike #1 I guess.

I was tasked with Black Hole disposal on Saturday. I was also present at setup and saw the pack of bulbs stuck under the glass at the top and found the paper towel stuffed into the standups. Game was filthy. Played like crap. I went and bought new leg levelers so the thing had a fighting chance to go home with someone other than me.

I circled back to the game basically every hour and kept wondering why it was either frozen or off. That's when I discovered the lower playfield issue. Not sure if the non-spinning backbox disc was ever disclosed but that was dead too.

A guy came up later in the show and was interested and I listed everything that was wrong (as far as I knew) and unloaded it for $1300 which was maybe some charity on that guy's part.

Don't buy games without inspecting unless you just gotta have it and are willing to take a gamble.
and from the other perspective...
Don't try to pass off a turd as a diamond.

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Why?
I bought a $400 volley from knockerlover a couple Allentowns ago, and slapped a $700 price tag on it and left it on the floor for 2 days.
He didn’t give a shit and why would he?
A game is sold it’s sold and what happens after shouldn’t be anybody’s concern.

Hey Levi I think you bought it from me.

I miss that game.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from bjsilverballs:

Hey Levi I think you bought it from me.
I miss that game.

Guilty by association.

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from bjsilverballs:

"Drove 305 miles to deliver" Forgets to mention he was going there anyway. So we can strike #1 I guess.
I was tasked with Black Hole disposal on Saturday. I was also present at setup and saw the pack of bulbs stuck under the glass at the top and found the paper towel stuffed into the standups. Game was filthy. Played like crap. I went and bought new leg levelers so the thing had a fighting chance to go home with someone other than me.
I circled back to the game basically every hour and kept wondering why it was either frozen or off. That's when I discovered the lower playfield issue. Not sure if the non-spinning backbox disc was ever disclosed but that was dead too.
A guy came up later in the show and was interested and I listed everything that was wrong (as far as I knew) and unloaded it for $1300 which was maybe some charity on that guy's part.
Don't buy games without inspecting unless you just gotta have it and are willing to take a gamble.
and from the other perspective...
Don't try to pass off a turd as a diamond.

Fair enough. Good to hear from others besides the buyer and seller on transaction.

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from TomGWI:

Flippers gonna flip I guess.

There is nothing wrong with flipping games for a profit, why do people constantly bitch about this?

#27 1 year ago

I bought my first pin, NGG, from RB. Still one of my favorite games and no transaction issues at all. Being a noob, I would call him with stupid questions and he would spend a lot of time on the phone helping me out. Good dude IMO.

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

There is nothing wrong with flipping games for a profit, why do people constantly bitch about this?

I just thought of something else, I bought a set of NOS plastics at the show to throw on because I intended to keep it. Anyway, I still have those..

#29 1 year ago

I'll buy it and put it in my project queue.

Seems like I'm on a System 80 tear anyways, might as well.

#30 1 year ago

Seller agreed to send $200 Paypal Sunday. First Pinside post about the negative transaction was posted by buyer on Monday. Seller broke the agreed upon post sale remedy. Bad seller!

11
#31 1 year ago

Robert has made good on his word and refunded $400 via paypal a few minutes ago. It is unfortunate that it came to this, but am appreciative of his resolution.

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

There is nothing wrong with flipping games for a profit, why do people constantly bitch about this?

Most for sale threads turn into constant bitching over the price.

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Robert has made good on his word and refunded $400 via paypal a few minutes ago. It is unfortunate that it came to this, but am appreciative of his resolution.

Glad you guys worked it out.

#34 1 year ago

We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Robert has made good on his word and refunded $400 via paypal a few minutes ago. It is unfortunate that it came to this, but am appreciative of his resolution.

Good job Robert. I was lurking because I've seen some of your posts on Facebook and glad to see a resolution reached.

#36 1 year ago

Let the flipping commence.

#37 1 year ago

Given that the deal was for a $200 refund, I reimbursed $200 back to Robert. I appreciate the gesture, but the overpayment wasn't necessary.

#38 1 year ago

Buyer says he was looking for a "stellar example", but was told that this game had broken plastics and pop bumper wear. Was told the game was "ready to roll". That expression is about as meaningful as when an auctioneer tells his audience "this is a real one!" Buyer should have looked it over before purchase. Should have let the seller come over, help with repairs, address any issues, and come to a resolution about what to do. When did the seller get paid? In advance, upon delivery? Buyer should have immediately looked the game over upon delivery before paying and before releasing the seller. I blame the buyer at least as much as the seller for what went wrong.

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Robert has made good on his word and refunded $400 via paypal a few minutes ago. It is unfortunate that it came to this, but am appreciative of his resolution.

You should ask mods to take this thread down.

#40 1 year ago

Mods please delete thread or lock.

#41 1 year ago

I picked up an Iron Maiden from Robert on Sunday, and had a great experience.

Got it home, and the start button wasn’t working. I texted Robert to ask him about it, and he drove all the way over to my house to help, which I did not ask him to do, and noticed that the connection had just come unplugged in transit (yes I realize I am a dumb ass, not sure how I missed it). We played a couple games, and he went on his merry way. I’d 100% do another deal.

As for the flipping of pins, and asking how much you can get for something to the guy you are buying it from. I get that it is yours and you can do what you want with it, but it is a little distasteful. What do I know though, I’m here because I love playing pinball, not to make a few bucks.

#42 1 year ago

Can't delete threads. But they will lock it for you.

IBTL!

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from sbmania:

Buyer says he was looking for a "stellar example", but was told that this game had broken plastics and pop bumper wear. Was told the game was "ready to roll". That expression is about as meaningful as when an auctioneer tells his audience "this is a real one!" Buyer should have looked it over before purchase. Should have let the seller come over, help with repairs, address any issues, and come to a resolution about what to do. When did the seller get paid? In advance, upon delivery? Buyer should have immediately looked the game over upon delivery before paying and before releasing the seller. I blame the buyer at least as much as the seller for what went wrong.

Every black hole I’ve seen has pop bumper wear, my prior two had that and playfield planking. This playfield wasn’t planked. Plastics can be obtained...

I paid Robert in full via paypal in advance.

You’re right I’ll be more cautious in the future.

#44 1 year ago

I’ve dealt with Robert and he’s been a great guy. Glad you two got this issue worked out. Sometimes we buy a pin and it’s not quite what we were expecting, only thing to do is move on.

#45 1 year ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

There is nothing wrong with flipping games for a profit, why do people constantly bitch about this?

I Agree!

#46 1 year ago

I thought you both came to the right decision, wish every thread of this type worked out this way.

#47 1 year ago

Thread closed at the OP's request.

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