So I made a trip to the pinball store this weekend (Automated Services)

(Topic ID: 30389)

So I made a trip to the pinball store this weekend (Automated Services)


By Whridlsoncestood

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 51 posts
  • 39 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 days ago by hoby1
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    There are 51 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 5 years ago

    You all know them and see there overpriced games all over eBay. I live about 15 minutes from there actual store.

    I stopped in and checked out there inventory and to see what kind of shape these games really are in for these prices. I was laughing the whole time I was walking through.

    Can't remember all the prices or inventory but here are some highlights.

    TFLE deceptions. 7700. Game looked fine as it is new but the flipper rubbers were definetly dirty from all the "test" playing it has gotten.

    Hardbody. 1950. I can't think of anyone who even wants this game. Let alone pay 2 grand for it!

    Counterforce. Cheapest game I could find at 1650. Shape is to be expected of a game of this era. But not at that price. Playfield is worn and faded and is in typical shape

    DE Star Wars. Decent shape, looked fine but was 5000!

    Earthshaker. Decent players game. Had a price tag for 5000 on it with a sold sticker. I feel bad for that sucker.

    My favorite find was Elvis. Had wear in some spots where the artwork was flawed and shooter lane was pretty messy. Definitely a heavily routed game. Had good legs and lockdown bar. Only 8000!

    #2 5 years ago

    I have been to there a couple times and the prices are outrageous just like you said. They have a lot of stuff. It's too bad that we live close but can't and won't buy from them. Just the taxes alone, even if it was priced better.

    #3 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whridlsoncestood:

    Earthshaker. Decent players game. Had a price tag for 5000 on it with a sold sticker. I feel bad for that sucker.

    I wouldn't be surprised if that was there just to make somebody uninformed think their prices were fair.

    #4 5 years ago

    I was at Lake Compounce with the family this summer and wanted to stop by and check them out on the way home. Glad I didn't waste my time.

    #5 5 years ago

    So I take it they are firm on their prices? Even if you tried to package some stuff? I saw they had a Black Rose and a Baby Pac I was thinking about having them ship to me....I never called them to inquire as a few other machines locally came up

    #6 5 years ago

    Nope. No negotiating. They have warehouses of games and would rather they rot(which some do) then sell them for any less.

    #7 5 years ago

    They try to scam folks on the tax. They charge tax on anything they sell knowing they only can charge tax to people in CT. I'm in NY and they tried to charge me tax. I told them they couldn't and they said "Of course we can" until I pointed them at the tax code and they backed off on it. Left me sour and I cancelled the order.

    #8 5 years ago

    Bummer, I will stick to getting my games from my local pinsiders then...

    #9 5 years ago

    I considered them. Briefly. Until I spoke to them. Figured their prices were maybe negotiable. Not a chance.

    #10 5 years ago

    That's just the icing on the cake. I heard from a couple people that they have a full warehouse, one pin stacked on top of eachother of all the old bally/williams dmd era pins, each one needing a part or two, that's why they're packed away, all just sitting and have been for several years.

    A good place to go to buy nib, and the owner sometimes will shave some off the top of an ebay list price for cash sale

    #11 5 years ago

    I've only had one dealing with them. My TSPP came from them. I saw them advertised on Ebay for 3850 NIB. Some auctions were more from the same company. By the time I called, the 3850 auctions were over and only the higher priced ones were up. Anyway, I asked about a NIB TSPP layaway and they advised they could offer a 6 month plan and I just needed a 200 deposit. I asked if I could have the 3850 price I saw previously and they let me have it. Maybe they are just more flexible on NIB stuff, I don't know. Mike was very easy to deal with.

    #12 5 years ago

    as much bashing as they get, their pre-order price on the Tron re-run was pretty competitive

    #13 5 years ago

    Some of those prices are 3-4x actual value. Why would anyone even try to deal with a company that is obviously looking for a newbie sucker?

    #14 5 years ago

    I've been there a couple of times. I bought my first Terminator 2 from them. When I went there they had one on display. It was over my budget...they WERE willing to deal a bit. Then they said they had one downstairs that needed a few bulbs and the H/K ship was missing. Otherwise it was great. They let me have it for my budget. I also sent a friend there and he bought a machine...again, they lowered the price a bit. This was about 6 years ago, so maybe it's different now as prices have gone crazy...

    4 months later
    #15 5 years ago

    Absolutely awful customer service at The Pinball Store in Orange, CT (Automated Services LLC). Walked in and got ignored for a while. Asked if it was okay to look around and got a simple "uh huh". One guy asked me if I already had a machine. When I told him I did he just turned around and went back to working on a machine. I finally bought an overpriced $25 Novus polish kit (because despite the attitude I wanted to show my good faith as a paying customer and not just a lookie-loo hoping to get a free game and dream about buying a pinball someday). While I was being rung up, the younger (maybe late 20's) guy there had a nasty attitude about a few questions I had. When I asked what he recommended for waxing my playfield he said "what do you mean?". After I "clarified" my perplexing question for him I think he said they use Mills wax. When I asked what the difference was between that and regular caranuba car wax he said...absolute direct qoute here: "you'll have to research that yourself". Being a glutton for punishment I asked how much the Twilight Zone was. I remembered seeing it on their website and knew it was expensive but made the mistake of saying "is it like six grand or so". I got a really disgusted look from this kid and he goes on to say something to the tune of "try like 9500", "it has a full l.e.d. kit". Then, shaking his head and muttering to himself he sort of laughed and said "six thousand...?!". BTW, the Twilight zone was actually listed on their website in the low $8000 range, so he was wrong too.

    Basically, I wouldn't buy a pinball from these jerks unless I needed to strip it for parts to fix my own life support machine!

    #16 5 years ago
    Quoted from lavmech1:

    Basically, I wouldn't buy a pinball from these jerks unless I needed to strip it for parts to fix my own life support machine!

    Ok, ya bastid, I almost choked on my coffee!

    #17 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whridlsoncestood:

    Hardbody. 1950. I can't think of anyone who even wants this game. Let alone pay 2 grand for it!

    Some of us like Rachel and her '80's spandex & hair.

    #18 5 years ago
    Quoted from lavmech1:

    Basically, I wouldn't buy a pinball from these jerks unless I needed to strip it for parts to fix my own life support machine!

    That sir was a hilarious quote!

    #19 5 years ago

    Last summer when the Tron Pro supply getting harder to find (before they announced the fall re-run), I called around looking for one and the price quoted from Mike Jr was extremely competitive at the time (mid 4's). Since they were a driveable distance I decided to buy from them rather then getting one shipped from the midwest. I talked with Mike Jr a while on the phone and he seemed like a great guy, I think he's the owner. I'd definately buy from them again if I was in the market for another NIB and the price was on par with other distrib's.

    #20 5 years ago

    I've bought from Mike Jr. No issues, no tax, and very competitive prices. I guess it just depends.

    -Wes

    #21 5 years ago

    True, I always had dealings with a young woman who was very nice. Sorry you got a lemon.

    #22 5 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Some of us like Rachel and her '80's spandex & hair.

    Yes, one more vote for Hardbody! NOT a $2000 game, but it's less of a joke than people make it out to be.

    #23 5 years ago

    I have found Mike Jr. to be fair to deal with .I have only bought NIB from Automated but found them to be competitive with current pricing. Who pays Retail nowadays anyway without asking for a discount.Shame on you !

    1 year later
    #24 3 years ago

    i took a trip out there yesterday for the first time. they had so many games to play on site that i was overwhelmed on what to buy. the guy there didn't pressure me and answered every question i had. i was there for 2 hours played probably 30 different games before i decided on what to buy. they were extremely nice and had no idea i was going to even buy something. we came to an agreement on price which was a lot lower that he was asking, so you can haggle. and even if the price was still higher than i can get on ebay they provide 30 day warranty and free lifetime support. they have a storefront and big warehouse. they are in business to make money not to give shit away. its a shame people just bash away on the internet

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from gyerfat:

    i took a trip out there yesterday for the first time. they had so many games to play on site that i was overwhelmed on what to buy. the guy there didn't pressure me and answered every question i had. i was there for 2 hours played probably 30 different games before i decided on what to buy. they were extremely nice and had no idea i was going to even buy something. we came to an agreement on price which was a lot lower that he was asking, so you can haggle. and even if the price was still higher than i can get on ebay they provide 30 day warranty and free lifetime support. they have a storefront and big warehouse. they are in business to make money not to give shit away. its a shame people just bash away on the internet

    Unfortunately, my experience there matches what everybody else said. Drove 100 miles from NJ. When my friend asked them if they could give me a break on the price, they said no. When we pointed out it might never sell at that price, they said, "We're not worried."

    Nice.

    #26 3 years ago

    I asked for my deposit back for my MMr purchase and received it in three days...while others are trying to trade theirs. Thanks for making it SO easy I would definitely do busy with you again!

    #27 3 years ago
    Quoted from gyerfat:

    i took a trip out there yesterday for the first time. they had so many games to play on site that i was overwhelmed on what to buy. the guy there didn't pressure me and answered every question i had. i was there for 2 hours played probably 30 different games before i decided on what to buy. they were extremely nice and had no idea i was going to even buy something. we came to an agreement on price which was a lot lower that he was asking, so you can haggle. and even if the price was still higher than i can get on ebay they provide 30 day warranty and free lifetime support. they have a storefront and big warehouse. they are in business to make money not to give shit away. its a shame people just bash away on the internet

    specifically resurrecting an almost 2 year old thread? Appears that you are affiliated with the company and searched for this thread to post something positive? (oddly enough bringing back to light what an over priced flipper they are and also showing additional sketchiness).

    #28 3 years ago

    Ok guys I know Automated has had a bad reputation in the past. Fact of the matter is Mike is trying to change that. Mike is a huge supporter of Pintastic New England and a big supporter of pinball in general. Recently he had the Hobbit Christmas party. Everything was free and I had a blast.

    I had a long talk with Mike at that party and he knows what the public perception of his business is. He wants to change that and is taking steps in the right direction to do so in 2015!

    #29 3 years ago
    Quoted from dannunz:

    Ok guys I know Automated has had a bad reputation in the past. Fact of the matter is Mike is trying to change that. Mike is a huge supporter of Pintastic New England and a big supporter of pinball in general. Recently he had the Hobbit Christmas party. Everything was free and I had a blast.
    I had a long talk with Mike at that party and he knows what the public perception of his business is. He wants to change that and is taking steps in the right direction to do so in 2015!

    I have no issue with Mike, and he was a wonderful host at the party. He needs to rethink the way his staff handles customers.

    #30 3 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    specifically resurrecting an almost 2 year old thread? Appears that you are affiliated with the company and searched for this thread to post something positive? (oddly enough bringing back to light what an over priced flipper they are and also showing additional sketchiness).

    i have nothing to do with the company. i just went there and had a good experience and when i came home to research the company i wasnt happy with reading all the negative comments. people mostly post when they are unhappy, there are plenty of satisfied people out there but we usually dont post about it. i am new to forums and a little disappointed with all the constant negativity, about all the topics i wind up reading

    #31 3 years ago

    Im new to pinside, but from my experience this far, there are some members that are know it alls when it comes to values and can't be very disrespectful and mean. I am sure their prices (pbs) are high but they've been in business for a long time it seems. If some walks in talking trash about everything, I'm sure they'd be way less open to negotiating and stand offish to get them out. Just my thought.

    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from gyerfat:

    i have nothing to do with the company. i just went there and had a good experience and when i came home to research the company i wasnt happy with reading all the negative comments. people mostly post when they are unhappy, there are plenty of satisfied people out there but we usually dont post about it. i am new to forums and a little disappointed with all the constant negativity, about all the topics i wind up reading

    So what did you buy, and what was the asking/final price?

    #33 3 years ago

    Ordered a plastic set from them that they had on eBay. Other than taking several days to ship, the transaction was perfect and the plastic set was reasonably priced.

    I'm too far to go to their store but you gotta expect that a brick and mortar store will have higher prices than picking something up from a private seller. If you don't like their retail prices, don't buy from a retailer.

    The stories of their show room staff's attitude is inexcusable. The owners need to fix that if they have not already....

    #34 3 years ago

    A retail shop is going to have to charge a lot more than the "street price" on used games.

    Let's say that they had their games priced at normal street prices:

    All the games would sell instantly (just like fairly priced games on Craigslist do), and now the shop would have no inventory. It's not like they can just call up Bally and order more used games.

    Even if they charged 30% more, all their games would be gone from impatient collectors and those who fear Craigslist encounters (and not the 'lonely housewife' kind).

    -

    The person who shops at a retail store for a used pin is a different customer than a hardcore pinhead; just like a person who buys a '67 Mustang from one of those "classic auto showrooms" is a different customer than the guy who buys a '67 Stang from Craigslist.

    #35 3 years ago

    #36 3 years ago

    Since I was the original poster of this years ago I will chime back in and note that Mike the owner has been very generous and helpful to me and the community in the past year. He was nice enough to let us run our league out of his store for a season and ran our benefit tournament for Python Anghelo where we raised over 1000$ for his hospital bills And refused to take a single dime from us.

    I've since started my own place for our league with a few friends www.tothesanctum.com and has quoted me very reasonable prices on new stern games for us. His used game prices may be way to high but like vid said can't keep a game in stock that isn't produced.

    -Jim

    #37 3 years ago

    They have always worked with me and the recent open house was great.

    Thanks for doing that Mike!

    #38 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    A retail shop is going to have to charge a lot more than the "street price" on used games.

    Let's say that they had their games priced at normal street prices:

    All the games would sell instantly (just like fairly priced games on Craigslist do), and now the shop would have no inventory. It's not like they can just call up Bally and order more used games.

    Even if they charged 30% more, all their games would be gone from impatient collectors and those who fear Craigslist encounters (and not the 'lonely housewife' kind).

    -

    The person who shops at a retail store for a used pin is a different customer than a hardcore pinhead; just like a person who buys a '67 Mustang from one of those "classic auto showrooms" is a different customer than the guy who buys a '67 Stang from Craigslist.

    Exactly. We usually buy pins from private parties that have no overhead. The costs of running a business means that they have to charge a premium. If they sold their inventory for razor thin margins, then they would be soon out of business. Rent, salaries, taxes, workman's comp, etc... means you are paying retail and not CL prices.

    Are they too high compared to the prices most Pinsiders would pay for a pin?: Yes

    Could they run a legit business and charge less?: Maybe, Maybe not.

    This model is working for them as they probably are one of the biggest amusement sellers in the US.

    #40 3 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    specifically resurrecting an almost 2 year old thread? Appears that you are affiliated with the company and searched for this thread to post something positive?

    Mind reader?

    #41 3 years ago

    I received a quote on an Iron Man VE and compared it to the price on Automated' website and I can't believe the difference. Without telling you the difference I will tell you it's significant. The only plus to automated is he will take credit cards. Other than that I can't see why anyone would pay his prices.

    #42 3 years ago

    I have bought 2 NIB pins and a new Juke Box from Mike (I think Mike Sr.). I got VERY good prices on all three of them. My LOTR LE and the Wurlitzer Juke Box were several hundred dollars cheaper than any other place I could find on the internet or by phone calls.

    It IS interesting when you call there. To the ear of a 'southerner', everyone sounds a little gruff and testy, and giving the appearance they are in a hurry or you are infringing on their time. Ole Mike and Jersey Jack are both Italians. I'm Italian and have relatives 'up North'. I am used to that kind of behavior so I can handle it.

    Not to knock our Yankee friends, but we simply don't talk like that 'down here'. We speak s l o w l y and with great friendliness in our voices. That's because we ARE slow and too damned dumb to think fast enough to BE mean! Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    How's THAT for equal opportunity insulting?!

    Mike in Kentucky

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from Whridlsoncestood:

    Since I was the original poster of this years ago I will chime back in and note that Mike the owner has been very generous and helpful to me and the community in the past year. He was nice enough to let us run our league out of his store for a season and ran our benefit tournament for Python Anghelo where we raised over 1000$ for his hospital bills And refused to take a single dime from us.
    I've since started my own place for our league with a few friends http://www.tothesanctum.com and has quoted me very reasonable prices on new stern games for us. His used game prices may be way to high but like vid said can't keep a game in stock that isn't produced.
    -Jim

    Since Jim is the OP of this thread and chimed in i will say that I've met Jim a couple of times and he even restored a PF of mine before......didn't seem like the type of guy that would spout off on pinside for nothing or talk shit....even if there was shit needing to be discussed. He seemed very level headed and just a nice dude.

    I've never dealt with Automated but I have dealt with a pin retailer before....and I see where his prices are coming from with the used ones. They do a lot of work that other people just will never or want to do on these pins....so they need to cover those costs. As long as they aren't selling a pile of junk and back there workmanship.....I think anything is fair game when it comes to pricing. All the customer can do is ask for another price or not buy from them.

    #44 3 years ago
    Quoted from gyerfat:

    i took a trip out there yesterday for the first time. they had so many games to play on site that i was overwhelmed on what to buy. the guy there didn't pressure me and answered every question i had. i was there for 2 hours played probably 30 different games before i decided on what to buy. they were extremely nice and had no idea i was going to even buy something. we came to an agreement on price which was a lot lower that he was asking, so you can haggle. and even if the price was still higher than i can get on ebay they provide 30 day warranty and free lifetime support. they have a storefront and big warehouse. they are in business to make money not to give shit away. its a shame people just bash away on the internet

    It's nice that you wanted to share your feelings on a great experience at Automated. But you should have started a whole new one instead of resurrecting a dead thread. A new thread would've been a lot more positive.

    That said, it's nice to see the original thread poster (Whridlsoncestood) who is as nice a guy as you will ever find in the hobby or otherwise, come back in and say some kind and honest words about Mike the owner.

    For those that don't know, Mike has done more for this hobby than most could begin to imagine. He's a great guy with an amazing passion for the hobby and we need more like him in it.

    As others have correctly stated, store prices on used machines are always going to be priced higher because of all the overhead involved. And don't forget, they put a lot of work into their machines to get them ready for sale, and when one of their machines sell, you can rest assured that it is going to run properly. And if you got it home and there was a problem, I'm sure they'd come out and fix it for you as well.

    So again, Mike has made changes and will only get better. He's a great people person and will be at Pintastic in July. If anyone wants to talk shop with him, I'm sure he'd love that so be sure to say hi as well as thank you for all the awesome stuff he does for this hobby. Trust me, Mike does stuff that he'll never publicly talk about regardless of what anyone says about him. That's class!

    #45 3 years ago

    I thought Stern doesn't permit their prices to be advertised on the web, yet these guys and K's arcade do.

    #46 3 years ago

    i guess its my fault for resurrecting this thread, as i said i am new to forums and didnt realize how old this thread was. i just searched the store here and found bad reviews and wanted to share my experience. lesson learned.

    #47 3 years ago
    Quoted from Jasontaps:

    I thought Stern doesn't permit their prices to be advertised on the web, yet these guys and K's arcade do.

    You can advertise msrp.

    #48 3 years ago
    Quoted from gyerfat:

    i guess its my fault for resurrecting this thread, as i said i am new to forums and didnt realize how old this thread was. i just searched the store here and found bad reviews and wanted to share my experience. lesson learned.

    No worries bro. Your new and everyone understands.

    Just don't let it happen again. LOL

    3 years later
    #49 7 days ago
    Quoted from beelzeboob:

    Unfortunately, my experience there matches what everybody else said. Drove 100 miles from NJ. When my friend asked them if they could give me a break on the price, they said no. When we pointed out it might never sell at that price, they said, "We're not worried."
    Nice.

    No, NOT everybody else. Maybe 50% of those on this thread have stated Mike is a good guy to deal with and they had positive experiences (as I did!) at Automated!! God, the spinning.

    #50 7 days ago

    Mike is awesome. Give him a big "Hi" and tell him LTG sent you.

    LTG : )

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