(Topic ID: 218476)

Specificity of Pinball Pricing.


By TractorDoc

10 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 months ago by grantopia
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    #1 10 months ago

    This post is not intended to complain about pinball prices or speculate which direction they will go. Pay to play, supply and demand, market sets pricing -- I get all that.

    Instead what has fascinated me is the specific numbers/pricing that pinball machines will sell for.

    I have a lot of exposure/experience in buying selling "stuff" over the years; mostly in the automotive and agricultural/construction equipment fields. More often than not in those areas negotiations occur between the seller and buyer and an item is sold for a price somewhere between what the seller is asking and what the buyer initially offers. The end number can often vary by hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars from asking price. There always seems to be some wiggle room.

    I imagine the same negotiations occur in the pinball world, but what has impressed me is how small the window of negotiation can be. I've had a couple situations where $50 meant the difference between coming home with a machine vs. nothing. This is not a complaint on my end, more of an observation of sorts and I will admit it has taken some time to get accustomed to. One really has to know the value of not only a pinball machine but also the value that a specific theme, manufacturer, etc. brings to that machine. I suppose it gets more confusing as some games have a value of hundreds of dollars while others have values of thousands of dollars.

    At the end of the day its not a big deal, just a point of curiosity for me. A pinball machine is not a car, tractor, or other large piece of equipment so proportionally I can understand there is a difference. I'm probably overthinking it, but anyone else have similar observations?

    #2 10 months ago

    I would say when it comes to pinball machine negotiations the wiggle room on price is only 5% to 10%, that's it. Take it or leave it.
    That is only my opinion though and take it with a grain of salt.
    -Mike

    #3 10 months ago

    I also think the price window in pinball tends to be a lot smaller. If your ad is listed with an asking price that's a couple hundred over, then the price police are usually out in force. And if the asking price is a few hundred under, the phone will be ringing off the hook. So I think sellers probably understand that once they get those first nibbles, they don't have to give much more before buyers will start pounding down their door.

    #4 10 months ago

    As a guy that's been in the car biz my whole life it also perplexes me.

    Why would I pay 8500 for a used dialed in when new is 9k. Yet pinball machines seem never to depreciate somehow

    #5 10 months ago

    Judge Dredd is a $1400.72 game folks!

    #6 10 months ago
    Quoted from Ns2973:

    As a guy that's been in the car biz my whole life it also perplexes me.
    Why would I pay 8500 for a used dialed in when new is 9k. Yet pinball machines seem never to depreciate somehow

    These days, i’d rather have a HUO over nib. Get a discount, pick up so no shipping and make sure the bugs are worked out.

    #7 10 months ago

    Depends on the game.

    A low-play Baywatch just isn't going to move unless the buyer meets the seller's price. Simple supply/demand.

    *ducks*

    #8 10 months ago
    Quoted from TractorDoc:

    This post is not intended to complain about pinball prices or speculate which direction they will go. Pay to play, supply and demand, market sets pricing -- I get all that.
    Instead what has fascinated me is the specific numbers/pricing that pinball machines will sell for.
    I have a lot of exposure/experience in buying selling "stuff" over the years; mostly in the automotive and agricultural/construction equipment fields. More often than not in those areas negotiations occur between the seller and buyer and an item is sold for a price somewhere between what the seller is asking and what the buyer initially offers. The end number can often vary by hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars from asking price. There always seems to be some wiggle room.
    I imagine the same negotiations occur in the pinball world, but what has impressed me is how small the window of negotiation can be. I've had a couple situations where $50 meant the difference between coming home with a machine vs. nothing. This is not a complaint on my end, more of an observation of sorts and I will admit it has taken some time to get accustomed to. One really has to know the value of not only a pinball machine but also the value that a specific theme, manufacturer, etc. brings to that machine. I suppose it gets more confusing as some games have a value of hundreds of dollars while others have values of thousands of dollars.
    At the end of the day its not a big deal, just a point of curiosity for me. A pinball machine is not a car, tractor, or other large piece of equipment so proportionally I can understand there is a difference. I'm probably overthinking it, but anyone else have similar observations?

    Why would you ever waste your time seeing a machine you want and walk away over $50?

    #9 10 months ago
    Quoted from SilverBallz:

    Why would you ever waste your time seeing a machine you want and walk away over $50?

    I've done it on principle, If we have an agreed upon price do not try to gig me for more once I show up.

    #10 10 months ago
    Quoted from fumbleflippers:

    I've done it on principle, If we have an agreed upon price do not try to gig me for more once I show up.

    While I don’t agree with it over $50, I do understand. It sucks but i think I’d just pay it and post on pinside about the asshole seller.

    #11 10 months ago
    Quoted from SilverBallz:

    Why would you ever waste your time seeing a machine you want and walk away over $50?

    On the flip side, I could not believe a seller would pass up a sale over $50.
    When I went to look at my Rollergames (it was local, about 30 minutes from home) the seller had it advertised at $1600. I offered $1500. Seller came back at $1550 and that was the lowest he'd go. I suppose it was more me being stubborn -- but my mind was set at 1500 and was not desperate to own the game so back to the car I walked. It was not until I was about to hop in and leave that the seller "gave in."

    I recently put a project game up for sale for $350. I've had several offers at $250. Told potential buyers I'd take $300. No one wanted to go more than $250. I said to heck with it and gave the game away to a local pinsider that will use it as a project/to learn on. Think I feel better about going that route than making a sale.

    #12 10 months ago
    Quoted from fumbleflippers:

    I've done it on principle, If we have an agreed upon price do not try to gig me for more once I show up.

    Don't Like being Dinged huh... I hear ya. Prices also seem to differ in certain areas of the country too for some reason. Probably availability more than anything else. I have been a stickler once in awhile on my prices but I was always willing to wait. I had to wait 13 months for one game but I got what I was asking. The bottom line is this: If your in a big hurry to get rid of it, ya better be ready to bargain!

    #13 10 months ago

    A couple of hundred dollars difference is usually not a big deal when the transactions involve machies valued at $3000 or more, but is a big deal at an $800 or $1000 machine.

    I also don't build negotiating room unto my prices. I sell them at a reasonable fair price, take it or leave it. I also pay seller price without question. All my transactions take around 2 weeks at the absolute most to buy or sell.

    #14 10 months ago

    There is varience. It’s just very small. The big differences come with condition. A $3K game in good shape may struggle to get 1500 in terrible shape, especially if the parts in bad shape are not available.

    Also, location is important. West coast high, East coast low.

    It takes some time to figure out but you will start to notice trends. One thing I’ve learned in 18 years is that no matter how hard you try, you can’t polish a turd.

    Also, if you see a game you want and the price is fair, don’t dicker around and just pay it!

    #15 10 months ago

    I asked exactly the pinside average for my X-Men Pro, $4000. I got 18 or 19 offers at $3750 or below until somebody finally bought it. Never had that happen before ever on a game. I could see if I was asking way higher, but asking the average on a game with shaker and sub doesn't seem like too bad of a deal to start, lol.

    #16 10 months ago

    My guess is that price matters because people are constantly buying and selling pins. A few hundred dollars doesn't matter if you're going to keep the pin for three years, but if you're constantly turning pins over then the small losses start adding up. It's why people will buy a used DILE for 8500 when a new one is 9000, because they know they're not likely to lose much money selling the used one. Again, this wouldn't matter much if you were keeping it for five years, like a car. It's the same reason why people freaked out over ghosting playing fields, it instantly dinged a few hundred off the resale value.

    #17 10 months ago
    Quoted from iloveplywood:

    My guess is that price matters because people are constantly buying and selling pins. A few hundred dollars doesn't matter if you're going to keep the pin for three years, but if you're constantly turning pins over then the small losses start adding up.

    This! I have sold 18 pinball machines. Imagine if I lost $200 on each one. $3600 down the drain...

    #18 10 months ago
    Quoted from kermit24:

    This! I have sold 18 pinball machines. Imagine if I lost $200 on each one. $3600 down the drain...

    But - do expect to lose sometimes, that's the price of entertainment from an amusement machine. Compared to other forms of entertainment, it's pretty reasonable. Concert, movie and ball game tickets, 100% loss. I've bought VCR tapes, video games, DVDs, CDs, Blu-Ray. The players and many consoles are nearly worthless when you are done with them, and the media is a struggle to sell for 2 bucks apiece at a flea market. Pool tables take a hit, swimming pools cost constantly in maintenance. Almost any form of entertainment costs some money that is never recouped.

    I look at it this way: How much do you play your games before you sell them? If you've played them 800 plays before you lost $200 at the time of sale, then you got about the same $.25 per play you would have gotten in the 1980s out on location. The fact that we CAN break even on the initial cost of a pin - or even make a profit on occasion is a huge bonus in this hobby. On some machines you'll play for free while you own them, but sometimes when it completes the deal and you make another pinhead happy a small monetary loss is totally worthwhile. I've made a few smiles, and I know the feeling of elation when I get a hold of a pin I've been looking for.

    #19 10 months ago
    Quoted from fumbleflippers:

    I've done it on principle, If we have an agreed upon price do not try to gig me for more once I show up.

    Yep. I've had someone try this on me once and I walked away. All I could think about is if we agreed to a deal and now he's trying to get more out of me, what else did he tell me about the game that isn't true. This is also a reason I only really look at stuff locally. If someone tries to jack up a price on you it's much easier to pass and drive home 15 minutes than 3 hours.

    I think in the end, everyone wants to feel like they "won", either shaving off a few bucks buying or getting as much as you can selling. I think this is why people lowballing (or "lowballing") never bothered me much. Last year I saw a Flash on Facebook that was broke and the guy was asking $1,000. I sent him a message saying I'll come grab it for $400. Not to insult him, but that's what I personally was willing to pay for it, so if he said no, I wasn't going to fault him. He said "sure just come get it out of my garage". I've sold a few games on the apps like Offer Up and Let Go and you get about 10 messages a day from people saying "u take 200cash today". I either ignore them or just say "nope sorry". I usually just offer what I want to pay for a game and ask for how much I want to get for a game when I buy and sell and don't sweat it or take it personally if it doesn't pan out.

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