(Topic ID: 40063)

Theory on why pinball prices have risen

By BradLinden

6 years ago

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  • 130 posts
  • 81 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by OrochiLeona
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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“My PRIMARY influence in pre-ordering WOZ was...”

  • Investment/Value related 39 votes
  • Fun/Pinball related 74 votes

(113 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

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#9 6 years ago

I talked about it again on the latest episode of The Pinball Podcast (shameless plug alert!), and I think there are probably more factors than we can really see. I'm no economist, but I might come back and recap what I said there. I'm not expecting anybody to look through a 2 hour episode to find that right now.

#13 6 years ago

I think even though there are more collectors, I think the buying pool has actually gone down with the economy a bit. The problem is, those who can still buy, are willing to pay more, which is driving up cost.

I talked to a lot of people about it. There are much fewer listings than there was before, because people are worried that they won't be able to buy it back 2-3 years from now if they want to. As a result, there are less machines on the market, and because people aren't listing, they're not adding to their "pin funds." It's just people who can add a machine to their collection because they have enough cash already to do so that are buying. Lower supply mixed with people willing to pay more will always lead to higher prices.

There's no such thing as a bubble that doesn't shrink, however. In pinball, the inflation and shrinking might seem lopsided toward the inflation side, but as with all things, there will be a correction in pricing if more and more people get squeezed out of the buying pool. I'm out. To get my Tron I had to sell one of my all time top 3 games. I don't have the cash on hand like I used to. The economy dictated that.

There are a lot of older collectors who are deeper into their careers, or retired, who aren't raising kids anymore and they have plenty of disposable income to sink into pins. I think they're the biggest driver in price inflation right now. Eventually their limits will get pushed though, and things will have to reach a stabilization point.

Edit: one more thing. There's very few project machines being sold anymore. There's too much money to be made by fixing them up yourself before selling them. A lot of the great deals disappeared along with the project listings.

#16 6 years ago
Quoted from chas010:

Bottom line people who play pinball aren't very bright, sorry but someone had to say it. The only machined part in a game is the coil plunger the rest is stamped steel. Copper wire, wood and labor and "pinheads" pump thousands out of there bank accounts to buy them.

Yeah...you're right. There's absolutely no work that goes into designing the layout, creating the art, developing the rule set, engineering the mechanisms, laying out how all the coils and wiring harnesses will fit onto the playfield, creating the music, recording the call outs, and assembling the machine. These things should cost no more than $100 new in the box.

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