(Topic ID: 322032)

Vending Pinball Machines

By Dn310

81 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 7 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 81 days ago by EJS
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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    #1 81 days ago

    Hello all,

    Does anyone here have experience vending pinball machines (buying pinball machines and placing them in various locations, such as bars, bowling alleys, etc. and collecting the profits)? I'm thinking of doing so with a few machines myself. I would like to know more about your experiences doing so. How would I get started? Is this something that can be done as a full time operation, or just a side thing at best? Is it best to buy machines new or used, and where do you buy the machines from? What is the average annual ROI you get on each machine? How much time do you spend doing it (time spent collecting the change from each money and other necessary tasks)? What is the profit split between you and the retail location?

    Also, I know nothing about repairs. Is it easy to find technicians to hire to help repair machines? How often do machines get to the point where they are in need of repair?

    Thanks a bunch!

    #2 81 days ago
    Quoted from Dn310:

    Hello all,
    Does anyone here have experience vending pinball machines (buying pinball machines and placing them in various locations, such as bars, bowling alleys, etc. and collecting the profits)? I'm thinking of doing so with a few machines myself. I would like to know more about your experiences doing so. How would I get started? Is this something that can be done as a full time operation, or just a side thing at best? Is it best to buy machines new or used, and where do you buy the machines from? What is the average annual ROI you get on each machine? How much time do you spend doing it (time spent collecting the change from each money and other necessary tasks)? What is the profit split between you and the retail location?
    Also, I know nothing about repairs. Is it easy to find technicians to hire to help repair machines? How often do machines get to the point where they are in need of repair?
    Thanks a bunch!

    It's called "routing" and if you don't know how to fix games it's probably not a good idea.

    #3 81 days ago

    If you can't fix them yourself you'll either break even or lose money hiring techs, and you'll eventually end up with exacerbated wear and tear on your games. Don't do it.

    #4 81 days ago

    operating pinball machines is a very specialized service. it requires extensive knowledge and experience with all the things you just asked about, plus many others. and in addition to the long learning curve, it then requires dedication, time, patience, technical know-how, a lot of upfront capital, connections in the service industry, and lastly, passion if you want to be great at it. i'm not saying you or anyone else can't do it. but the question you just posed is tantamount to asking if we know what it takes to become a head chef at a 5-star restaurant, even though you have no idea how to cook. oh, and how often does food spoil??

    i'd recommend asking an established operator for a job, or to take you under their wing as an apprentice. get your feet wet, before you try to dive in.

    #5 81 days ago

    Make sure you are insured!!

    #6 81 days ago

    Why do you want to do this, of all
    things, out of the blue? Are you interested in pinball or is this just a business idea? If the latter, almost anything else is probably an easier way to make some money. Or some other kind of vending. Sorry if I seem discouraging, but it’s a really tough way to go if you are starting from little experience or knowledge.

    #7 81 days ago

    Based on the questions you are asking you aren’t close to ready.

    Better to find this out now than after investing $30,000 in equipment for a small route (or one location) while having your head under a playfield trying to learn how to fix something that could cost more than the quarters sitting in the cash box while a customer comes up to you asking what’s wrong and proceeds to tell you about their favorite game and their life story.

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