(Topic ID: 125603)

Steve Young / Bob Roberts credit cards


By asay

4 years ago



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  • Latest reply 4 years ago by OLDPINGUY
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    There are 159 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
    #1 4 years ago

    Why do they both refuse to have a normal searchable ecommerce site that accepts credit cards.

    It's a pain to find anything, and it's a pain to order. It can't make anything easier for them either.

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    #2 4 years ago

    It keeps the prices down so we can afford to buy more parts from them.

    #3 4 years ago

    I don't have a problem order parts. And I see it as protection. I have had a credit card hacked from ordering model airplane parts on-line. Steve ships promptly and then I mail him a check.

    #4 4 years ago
    Quoted from asay:

    Why do they both refuse to have a normal searchable ecommerce site that accepts credit cards.

    This has prevented me from buying anything from Pinball Resource. And the phone is busy every time I call. I've been able to find the parts I need from other places.

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    #5 4 years ago

    Just email them, they're very responsive.

    #6 4 years ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    It keeps the prices down so we can afford to buy more parts from them.

    The initial cost of implementing an ecommerce software would be totally worth the labor saved from doing email and check ordering/fulfillment.

    Quoted from bob_e:

    I don't have a problem order parts. And I see it as protection. I have had a credit card hacked from ordering model airplane parts on-line. Steve ships promptly and then I mail him a check.

    Sending any kind of payment via mail is WAY riskier than using a credit card online. You are responsible for 0 if your credit card number is stolen.

    Quoted from KingDaddy:

    Just email them, they're very responsive.

    They are very responsive, but that's not the issue. The website is like a Maze of part numbers and it's really hard to find things IMO.

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    #7 4 years ago

    The Pinball Resource is one of the best companies that I have ever dealt with!

    #8 4 years ago

    Only a fraction of their parts are online, its much easier to email them, and no credit cards keeps prices lower. I've had my credit card hijacked numerous times... never once had a problem with a mailed check that cost me a dime!

    #9 4 years ago
    Quoted from GoodToBeDad:

    This has prevented me from buying anything from Pinball Resource. And the phone is busy every time I call. I've been able to find the parts I need from other places.

    I have never had that problem. Steve is old school, and will make no apologies for that. But, he knows his stuff; and has certain parts you can just find anywhere.

    #10 4 years ago

    Yes PBR is old school... call or send them an email, you receive parts, then you pay. It's actually easier than using most ecommerce sites, and it's good to take a break from the 3% credit card tax.

    #11 4 years ago
    Quoted from asay:

    Why do they both refuse to have a normal searchable ecommerce site that accepts credit cards.
    It's a pain to find anything, and it's a pain to order. It can't make anything easier for them either.

    Bob does cross shipping at least for his regulars so makes no difference

    #12 4 years ago

    Sending any kind of payment via mail is WAY riskier than using a credit card online. You are responsible for 0 if your credit card number is stolen.

    No it is a PITA when you have auto-payments sent to that card. Then you have to set them up again.

    You have to wait a few days for the new card to show up.

    Quoted from asay:

    The initial cost of implementing an ecommerce software would be totally worth the labor saved from doing email and check ordering/fulfillment.

    Sending any kind of payment via mail is WAY riskier than using a credit card online. You are responsible for 0 if your credit card number is stolen.

    They are very responsive, but that's not the issue. The website is like a Maze of part numbers and it's really hard to find things IMO.

    REALLY?
    No it is a PITA when you have auto-payments sent to that card.
    Then you have to set them up again.
    Change the account # listed in your bill payment.
    You have to wait a few days for the new card to show up. Yes I have two cards I use, so the 'backup' is ready.

    #13 4 years ago

    I initially balked at using Bob Roberts and PBR but they are both awesome and have saved me a lot of money over the last few years over buying from other retailers that had the same stuff.

    #14 4 years ago

    All valid points raised. I kind of like the 'oldschool' mentality of being invoiced for parts that I ordered. I've had a few Gottlieb/Premier games and Steve Young was the only realistic option.

    One thing of note however, I would e-mail your part #'s so there isn't any confusion ordering over the phone...just my experience.

    #15 4 years ago

    What bank do you use? My back will cover any mishaps with a check. And I've bought 100x with no issues. I mail checks every day for all sorts of stuff and never have had an issue. However I have had my Credit card compromises more than once buying on line

    #16 4 years ago

    The way I look at it, that's how they do business. If you don't like it, you don't have to do business with them - and they know they lose some orders that way.

    Hey Chick Fil A, I can't spend any of my money at your restaurant on Sundays because you decide to close!

    That's OK, we're closed on Sunday, and we're doing just fine being closed on Sunday

    Steve sends my orders, I send him a check. Lather, rinse, repeat. Works fine.

    #17 4 years ago

    Exactly.

    I've had my credit card # stolen 7 times in my life.

    I've never had a check stolen or cashed by a 3rd party.

    #18 4 years ago

    I don't mind the paying with a check once you get your invoice program. It would be nice IMO to have the website better though. Everyone always says "they have tons more stuff then the website shows" or something like that. Why is that good?

    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from Red_Shirt_Ensign:

    Only a fraction of their parts are online, its much easier to email them, and no credit cards keeps prices lower.

    I believe you, but then what is this I hear about getting yelled at if you don't have a part # on hand? And how is this a good thing?? It just re-iterates my point that the website is hard to navigate and not intuitive at all.

    Quoted from KenLayton:

    It keeps the prices down so we can afford to buy more parts from them.

    Quoted from Baiter:

    it's good to take a break from the 3% credit card tax.

    No chance that the way they operate saves any money. Think about it. Someone has to sit there all day and answer the phones/emails. They need to look up each part number to make sure it's correct and it's in stock. They have to manually tabulate each invoice and calculate shipping. Then the buyer has to snail mail payment, and if they don't, they have to be hunt them down to get paid. What part of this is efficient? 3% is peanuts. I would gladly pay 3% more if I could add stuff to a cart and checkout with a card.

    Quoted from vid1900:

    I've had my credit card # stolen 7 times in my life.

    How much of the stolen money were you responsible for?

    Quoted from Straight_Shooter:

    The Pinball Resource is one of the best companies that I have ever dealt with!

    Quoted from johnwartjr:

    The way I look at it, that's how they do business. If you don't like it, you don't have to do business with them - and they know they lose some orders that way.
    Hey Chick Fil A, I can't spend any of my money at your restaurant on Sundays because you decide to close!
    That's OK, we're closed on Sunday, and we're doing just fine being closed on Sunday
    Steve sends my orders, I send him a check. Lather, rinse, repeat. Works fine.

    I'm not saying they are a bad company or that I don't want to do business with them. But as a web developer it boggles my mind that anyone would choose to operate an online retail store this way. It's like commuting in a steam engine car because it "works fine".

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    #20 4 years ago
    Quoted from dozer1:

    . Everyone always says "they have tons more stuff then the website shows" or something like that. Why is that good?

    They have millions of parts, it would take forever to to enter them all into a website.

    It's way more fun to call, have Steve yell at you for not having a part number, giving him a part number, having him tell you that's a bullshit number, having him find a suitable replacement anyway...you just can't get that kind of interaction from a website.

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from asay:

    How much of the stolen money were you responsible for?

    Even if a check is fraudulently cashed by a 3rd party, I'm not responsible at my bank.

    A credit card can charge you $50 for stolen charge, they just never seem to enforce it.

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    It's way more fun to call, have Steve yell at you for not having a part number, giving him a part number, having him tell you that's a bullshit number, having him find a suitable replacement anyway...you just can't get that kind of interaction from a website.

    I see interactions like that on these forums every day

    11
    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from asay:

    I'm not saying they are a bad company or that I don't want to do business with them. But as a web developer it boggles my mind that anyone would choose to operate an online retail store this way. It's like commuting in a steam engine car because it "works fine".

    The moral of the story here is that they are NOT online retailers. They are stores the require the assistance and knowledge of the owner. They have a website to promote the business and provide contact info, but have little interest in becoming an online retailer/website.

    The phone is always busy because people are constantly ordering. I love these guys, Steve literally knows everything about old games. Vid sums it up nicely above

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from ovfdfireman:

    The moral of the story here is that they are NOT online retailers. They are stores the require the assistance and knowledge of the owner. They have a website to promote the business and provide contact info, but have little interest in becoming an online retailer/website.
    The phone is always busy because people are constantly ordering. I love these guys, Steve literally knows everything about old games.

    Finally a decent explanation, we can all go home now. But I still think it would do them a whole lot of good to implement a modern website/ordering system.

    #25 4 years ago

    On another point, the credit card companies do charge retailers per transaction. They would have to charge more for a credit card purchase?

    #26 4 years ago

    I will provide a counterpoint - I've had checks stolen from the mail and washed and reused. I've also had credit card fraud. It happens with both, though online credit card transactions are pretty darn safe these days.

    Dealing with Steve Young and PBR is excellent. The only 'bad' experience I've had was early in my days of fixing games when Steve told me I'd be wasting my money to buy something - and he was right, of course!

    They are quick to ship, quick to tell you if they do or do not have a part, and overall great to deal with. I hate to think what would happen if they didn't exist - especially for Gottlieb pins in particular and woodrail games in general. He also does a lot to get parts made that are no longer available.

    Steve Young does a ton for the hobby, and though he operates his shop as a mail-order business, it's usually well worth the call - he just might tell you not to spend that money on a part that you think_ you need. And he'll be right.

    #27 4 years ago

    or get a parts catalog and check out the few dozen playfield diagrams

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    #28 4 years ago

    It wouldn't do them any good if they didn't want to use it. To you it would be easier, it would help you run things better, it would streamline everything, etc. and to your business it would be a great idea.

    Steve and Bob are old school, technology isn't going to be a help to them it's going to be a hindrance. In their situations it'd likely actually slow everything down and make it harder for them instead of easier.

    #29 4 years ago
    Quoted from Darcy:

    On another point, the credit card companies do charge retailers per transaction. They would have to charge more for a credit card purchase?

    It depends on the company processing the card. The "standard" for services like square or paypal is 3%+$0.30 per transaction, but I can guarantee companies like amazon do not pay that much.

    #30 4 years ago

    Here's one more counterpoint.. it's their business, and they don't care. They don't have to care. what they have works for them and business is quite brisk with some of the longest records of customer satisfaction you can find in the industry. Pick up the phone, send an email, then send an electronic check through your bank and your parts are there even more reliably than the best companies that have all the commerce bells and whistles.

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from gamestencils:

    Here's one more counterpoint.. it's their business, and they don't care. They don't have to care. what they have works for them and business is quite brisk with some of the longest records of customer satisfaction you can find in the industry. Pick up the phone, send an email, then send an electronic check through your bank and your parts are there even more reliably than the best companies that have all the commerce bells and whistles.

    Quoted from LyonsRonnie1:

    It wouldn't do them any good if they didn't want to use it. To you it would be easier, it would help you run things better, it would streamline everything, etc. and to your business it would be a great idea.
    Steve and Bob are old school, technology isn't going to be a help to them it's going to be a hindrance. In their situations it'd likely actually slow everything down and make it harder for them instead of easier.

    I get it. It's hard to change something that has been working for decades.

    But there are ways to make things easier on your customers that doesn't shatter your back-end process. Someone re-did Bob Robert's catalog so it was easy to use, nothing at all had to change in his fulfillment process:
    http://www.orderfrombob.net/

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    #32 4 years ago

    I have known Steve I think since 1979 or 80.
    Always an asset to the pinball community to be supporting us for so long.
    Right or wrong, Left or right, Steve always tried has hardest to be of help.
    I am very grateful.

    #33 4 years ago
    Quoted from asay:

    I get it. It's hard to change something that has been working for decades.
    But there are ways to make things easier on your customers that doesn't shatter your back-end process. Someone re-did Bob Robert's catalog so it was easy to use, nothing at all had to change in his fulfillment process:
    http://www.orderfrombob.net/

    What happens if he's out of stock on something like.... oh, one of the 5000+ parts he's got? You do realize that web site just literally copies and pastes whatever you click into a notepad, right?

    The way Bob's site is now, you copy what you want, and paste it into an email.

    If we used the other gentleman's website, you find what you want, and hit a button. When you're done hitting buttons, you hit another button that copies it into an email.

    How does that make anything any easier? Does Bob email the guy everytime he changes a price, or runs out of something, or what happened, for instance when Bob was closed all last month?

    You're taking a process that's really pretty simple, and just adding another layer to it, and expecting a man who's well into his 70's to get with it to make your life easier since you don't like using the Control +F function on your keyboard.

    Steve's really kind of a whole different subject, he's probably got 10,000 parts and it'd be nearly impossible to keep all of that inventoried on a webstore... nor worth the time since half of those parts probably price out at less than a dollar and get bought once a month...

    If you feel it's a pain to find anything and a pain to order from them, just don't, the rest of us will continue to keep them very busy....

    #34 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    They have millions of parts, it would take forever to to enter them all into a website.
    It's way more fun to call, have Steve yell at you for not having a part number, giving him a part number, having him tell you that's a bullshit number, having him find a suitable replacement anyway...you just can't get that kind of interaction from a website.

    Exactly. It's the banter. He can be such an a-hole and I can't get enough. I feel like a student almost every time I call. He's the he freakin' masta.

    #35 4 years ago

    We get cranky as we get older!

    #36 4 years ago
    Quoted from asay:

    Why do they both refuse to have a normal searchable ecommerce site

    They have no need.

    #37 4 years ago
    Quoted from GoodToBeDad:

    This has prevented me from buying anything from Pinball Resource

    Likewise. I ended up ordering the parts I wanted from a pinball site in Germany because it was easier.

    #38 4 years ago

    Easier for who ? Maintaining a web site with PBR number of parts not a easy task . If you happen to know Marco ask him how easy it is to keep his site running . Some things just not worth the effort .No better company to deal with than Pinball Resource . Shane

    #39 4 years ago

    Give me a break! Really? Boo fricking Hoo Ive got to call or email to get a part for my machine. Oh no, I dont know the part number! Im sure if you asked here someone like LLoyd,KenLayton,vid1900 or someone would know it! All the time you spent on this thread, you could've ordered a ton of parts from him!

    baby.jpg
    #40 4 years ago

    Yes ordering from PBR is not as easy as ordering from PBL, but ordering from PBR is worth it. He had tons of parts you won't find elsewhere (that aren't listed on the site), he gives a 10% discount when you reach $100, shipping is fast and reasonably priced. It is kind of a pain to have to write a check and mail it, but I always send it out the next day because I appreciate the service they give.

    The easy way to order from PBR is by email. Send a list of what you want, include part numbers of course. Make it clear and easy to understand: quantity, part number, description, price, total. You'll get a reply that either clarifies or asks questions, or a reply saying your order is complete and shipped.

    My standard way of ordering is by email. If I have a question about a part of if they have it, I send an initial email titled "Parts Inquiry" and ask if they have the item. I give them a part number if I have it. If I don't have a part number, I state that I don't and apologize for not having it. They get back quickly, it is easy.

    If I call it is usually because I need a hard to find item that needs more description than is practical in an email. I try to have a part number if possible. If I don't have a part number, I immediately say that I'm sorry but I don't have a part number. Steve may still bitch, but he at least knows you aren't clueless and realize that having a part number is how he likes to operate.

    In summary, just buck up and do it. It is worth it.

    #41 4 years ago

    I just look the part numbers up online or in manual then email my order in.

    #42 4 years ago

    I wouldn't personally attack him or anything, but the op sounds like an asshole. Someone either of these businesses would gladly flush down the toilet. So why don't the take credit cards? To avoid people like the OP.

    #44 4 years ago

    While I totally agree that it would be nice, Steve is never going to change. Steve once asked me who would pay for the $150,000 in credit card fees. I told him the doubling of his business would easily handle that.

    So I actually went out and got a new order of checks (I had stopped using them) and learned how to order through email. Having a parts catalog is also critical. While I am working on a game, I create an email and begin listing the parts I need. I save it and leave it open like a shopping cart. Once I am sure I have everything I need for that game, I hit the send button. As long as the email doesn't get refused because of some PBR Holiday, I get my package in a couple of days. I have a post office in walking distance at work, so I leave a supply of checks, stamps and address labels in my desk and just take care of it there.

    Jimmy who takes care of the email orders is awesome and he will contact me with any questions. Also, Marcos buys tons of parts from PBR and stocks them on their site. Worse comes to worse, you can go there for most of your needs. For me I will stick to PBR. Yeah its kind of like dealing with the Soup Nazi of pinball parts, but damn is the soup good.

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    They have millions of parts, it would take forever to to enter them all into a website.
    It's way more fun to call, have Steve yell at you for not having a part number, giving him a part number, having him tell you that's a bullshit number, having him find a suitable replacement anyway...you just can't get that kind of interaction from a website.

    This is a true statement. I have ordered from Steve many a times and yes you better have part #'s. I have also got a few history lessons as well.

    #46 4 years ago

    old school parts with old school accounting whats not to like .How many businesses this day and age trust customers enough to send out the parts and trust you enough to pay them later ? These guys are the best .

    #47 4 years ago

    No Part number?
    thYV8Y1H63.jpg

    No parts for you!!!!
    Next!

    #48 4 years ago

    i've said this before, but i'll say it again...

    i send jimmy an email before noon, and the parts show up on my front porch the next afternoon, unpaid for... i can't find any possible way to complain about that... i then go through the MASSIVE hassle of "write a check, put it in an envelope, open my mailbox as i walk past it, put it in, and raise the pickup flag"... how i survive that hassle every time, i'll never know...

    as far as parts numbers go... a small investment in the parts catalogs eliminates that issue, and also gives you all those wonderful exploded views of mechs (which helped me immensely when i was starting out)...

    every few months one of these threads gets started, trying to tell steve how to run his business... personally, i like the way it is done... if nothing else, how many people/vendors do you deal with that send you stuff BEFORE you pay for it? i like that "old school trust"...

    plus in effect, i AM ordering online... i just happen to pay offline...

    #49 4 years ago

    Just bought a cap kit from the real bob. I had never done business with him before and he shipped the item before he even received the check. Great customer service and he was able to point me in the right direction for what I needed.

    Steve has been great too.

    #50 4 years ago
    Quoted from Gort:

    Give me a break! Really? Boo fricking Hoo Ive got to call or email to get a part for my machine. Oh no, I dont know the part number! Im sure if you asked here someone like LLoyd,KenLayton,vid1900 or someone would know it! All the time you spent on this thread, you could've ordered a ton of parts from him!

    baby.jpg

    All my friends order from PBR all the time. In fact my buddy Welby spends thousands with PBR every year. I order from PBR too. I'm always pleased with what I've ordered from them and the reasonable prices too.

    I have scanned many of my Gottlieb parts catalogs and saved them on my computers for reference. Just a few days ago I scanned my copy of the Volume L (1972) parts catalog, all 98 pages of it, and am in the process of doing digital clean-up on the scanned pages right now.

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