(Topic ID: 299282)

Shipping Advice

By Techsture

32 days ago

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Topic Stats

  • 17 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 12 days ago by Techsture
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 32 days ago

Hi all,

This is somewhat related to buying/selling, though I'm not doing either of those things. I only need to setup shipping of a machine. If this belongs in another sub-forum, please let me know! I did some preliminary searching on the forum before posting and wasn't able to find anything relevant and recent.

Here's the story:

Back in the late 90s my parents bought an X-Files pinball machine. It's been in their house (in the basement) ever since. I finally bought a house 9 months ago or so, and today my mom said I could have the pinball machine. I just need to get it. The problem is the machine is in Connecticut, and I bought a house in California.

How do I get the machine from Connecticut to California? I haven't ever done cross-country LTL freight shipping, and I'm actually not even sure that's what I need. To make matters worse, I'm old, but my parents are even older (go figure)! They won't be able to deconstruct the machine, get it on a palette, etc. However it's shipped, the people at the shipping company will have to deal with all the packing, moving, and loading.

Surely, someone here must know how the process works. Any pointers are appreciated. I figure it's worth the hassle for the free machine after my GF gave me the go-ahead to get one for the garage. I figure getting this one for free means that I can use the money I was going to spend to get a second one.


#2 32 days ago

One standard way would be to call Michelle Bianchi @ Beltmann (or whomever picks up the phone), tell them you need a pinball machine shipped from location A to B, and you need it palleted on site.

Now, I don't know how/if they come in to a home and move it around; so i hope someone can chime in with that.


#3 32 days ago

STI ships with legs on and head up so there is no prep work, they blanket wrap and load it, there is an extra charge if they have to go up/down stairs in the order of $100, cost to Ca. from you 500-550

#4 32 days ago
Quoted from tomtest:

STI ships with legs on and head up so there is no prep work, they blanket wrap and load it, there is an extra charge if they have to go up/down stairs in the order of $100, cost to Ca. from you 500-550

How the heck do they move a game though? I'd imagine they have to take the legs off to get it out of the house...then they put them back on?
I've had games shipped both ways so legs on is fine by me.

#5 32 days ago

I mean, given the cost to have them ship it that distance, is it easier to just sell it locally?
(Guessing your parents wouldn’t then gift you the cash though?)

#6 32 days ago

I don’t see STI carrying it out if a basement …could be wrong but I’d also be wary of them blanket wrapping. Of course if you don’t mind some dings and scrapes then I guess it’s all good.. could some local pinsider do the basement move out and wrap it a bit fir a small fee, then STI pick it up?

#7 32 days ago

Take a vacation fly there and rent a van and drive it back yourself would be best to keep it damage free and as previously stated you can probably find a local pinsider to help for say pizza and beer good luck and I hope the garage your setting it up in at home is climate controlled

#8 32 days ago

i wouldn't put a pin in the garage. bad idea, unless you have a mini split AC in it. temp swings will damage the wood.

#9 32 days ago

Depending where the pin is located in CT, maybe try and call Mike at Automated in Milford CT 203-877-0348 and see if he can help you out.
Website: pinballs.com
He certainly has he man power and shipping capabilities to "possibly " help you out in this situation.
Even if you the pin is on the other end of the state, he may have a delivery or pick up scheduled and can help you out.

#11 32 days ago

Sounds like a road trip. Fly out, visit, rent an suv and have a nice cross country vacation.

#12 32 days ago

Thanks all for the replies, much appreciated. Here's some extra info:

- My mom literally had to go down in the basement to "see" if they still had it. I don't know how she could not remember if they still had it. Probably why they haven't sold it yet.

- Spending a grand or so shipping it seems like a worthwhile deal to have the machine. I'd rather have the machine than the money.

- Unfortunately, all my vacation time is tapped out for the foreseeable future (going to Dubai and a few other places for the World Expo next year, if the global situation approves). Driving the machine myself is out of the question right now.

- My garage is a pretty steady temperature (living in Silicon Valley, the temperatures and humidity stay fairly constant). Will probably also be getting an extra HVAC register installed in my garage next week due to an issue unrelated to pinball.

Anyways, I will definitely check out all the options listed here. Glad to have found a very active community for this hobby!

#13 31 days ago

U-ship is another option. If you can negotiate with the driver to pack it properly, it could save a ton of money getting it to you. I shipped a game from California to Utah for about $225 and it was well taken care of (and quick!) but you have to vet the drivers and not pick the first one that accepts your offer.

#14 31 days ago

one issue with X-files is the backbox design that Sega used at the time, it does not laydown like every other pinball
you need to be aware of this, the person shipping it needs to be aware of this

#15 31 days ago

Call michelle. I have a machine in transit as we speak. $664.28 to go from NC to NJ. They picked up the machine, wrapped it, and will bring it up the stairs in my house and put it where I want it. Would have been $450 but they charge more because of the stairs.

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#16 31 days ago


Mike from Automated in Milford, CT wrote me back this morning and suggested I call Beltmann. They will be out to my parents house nest Tuesday, and expect it'll take 14 days before it arrives in CA. $560 shipped (with additional $250 surcharge for stairs at the pickup location... none at my house in CA).

Thanks again everyone for the pointers, this would have been very difficult to arrange without your help!

Added 27 days ago:


They forgot to add the surcharge for the third guy to get the pinball machine up the stairs, so the total shipped was closer to $800. It's on the truck as of an hour ago and on it's way to me now!

2 weeks later
#17 12 days ago

Final update:

Beltmann organized shipping through CRST who got it here on exactly they day they said it would arrive (yesterday (9/14)). Arrived in perfect condition, they did a great job. And it turns out they didn't actually need the 3rd guy for carrying it up the stairs at my parents house, so I got a refund for that.

Thanks again everyone for your suggestions!

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