(Topic ID: 160098)

Tips for buying my first Pin


By Junglist

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 11 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by volkdrive
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    #1 2 years ago

    Hi, new to the forum and the hobby. Loving this pinside community. I'm looking at a couple tables, but really looking for tips if I'm going to buy a used table. Can anyone shed some things to always check/ask or watch out for when buying a used table? Ideally I want to put together a checklist I can go through when inspecting the machine on site. I know the obvious like is it home use only etc, but things to watch out for that are good indicators if I'm going to have future trouble.

    Thanks everyone!

    #3 2 years ago

    Be ready to think about your 2nd...3rd...4th.............Joey

    #4 2 years ago

    Go and look at it, play it, open it up. Look for burnt connections, PF wear, ask the owner to open up PF and get a good look underneath. Also check head unit, look at the back of the translit, look for peeling or flaking of it. Look at connectors at all the boards, esp at where the batteries would be located for corrosion!!!!!!
    A lot of this also depends on the age of the machine!

    #5 2 years ago

    There's a post purchase checklist thread with crossover for pre purchase:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/post-purchase-checklist

    Might help you identify some issues in advance.

    #6 2 years ago

    Play the machine. If you are not able to do that, then look for the behavior of the seller. An honest seller will be upfront about all the issues and freely offer to show you photographs of everything. Look for playfield and cabinet wear. A credit dot would be an easy indicator of an issue with game play. Used games are used and if they don't have issues, they will.....so be prepared to learn and tinker after purchase, even if your game is working perfectly when you get it.

    #7 2 years ago

    Depending on where you live you should track down the closest place to go play some different machines (maybe you have already) and just see what you like. There really are TONS of different titles that are truly amazing in their own ways. The price on some of these amazing machines depends on a lot of different things. Condition, art package, sound package, ruleset, rarity, designer, the era it was made etc etc. Pinball is an amazing hobby you will get the bug and want more machines haha. I am always on the lookout for pins I want now and trying to convince the wife that we need another pinball machine in the house!! (and I only have 3, approved for the 4th though lol) For your first machine though try not to take on a "project" you will get discouraged rather quickly. For your first machine you are going to want to get it home, turn it on, and start flipping!!

    #8 2 years ago

    Also what everyone else is saying is great advice

    #9 2 years ago

    my advice to any first time buyer is:

    - don't buy a pin you haven't personally played and inspected.

    - be patient! it may take time for a nice machine that you like to come up for sale in your area, but it will happen. don't let yourself feel pressured into a bad deal just because you're afraid of missing out.

    - learn what a credit dot is, and how to check the error if there is one. sometimes, it's no big deal at all, just a warning because a switch hasn't been triggered in a long time. but sometimes it's something more serious.

    - open the backbox up and look for battery damage and hacked up boards.

    - of course you also want to look for playfield wear, especially in areas around the flippers, pop bumpers, and high-traffic areas, and check for broken or missing ramps and plastics, but that's obvious.

    - personally, i think pins tend to be in better shape when they come from pinball hobbyists rather than commercial retailers. just my opinion. (i know there are good retailers out there, and i understand the peace of mind some get from buying from a professional establishment.)

    welcome to Pinside and good luck!!

    #10 2 years ago

    few more pieces of advice:

    - update your profile so people know where you're from. you never know what opportunities might crop up

    - the Pinside marketplace is the best place to start looking for a game. you can check out a seller's posting history and verify that they're an active member of the community.

    - if there are any leagues or regular pinball get-togethers in your area, consider participating. those folks are always buying / selling / trading their games and if you make friends with them, they can help you out or give you a sweet deal.

    #11 2 years ago

    Being involved in both hobbies, treat it like a car purchase.....inspect top to bottom, in and out. Check function of all switches, "toys", lights. If a newer game, use the test menu and run through it all. Is it clean? Playfield and underneath, wiring condition as well. If you are unsure try to find a pinhead close to you to go along (help for hauling too!) I've bought from retailers and collectors and the home hobbyist machine tends to be better.

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