(Topic ID: 32503)

Weirdest experiences you had purchasing a pin?


By DayDay

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 17 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by the_pin_family
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 7 years ago

Please share your story.

Mine took place responding to an add on Craigslist. The title was something like, "Pinball Machine For Sale" $250.00. There were no pictures or any further description. I responded anyways since it was only a few towns over from me. They were nice enough to take some pictures and send it to me. It ended up being a Gottlieb Timeline that was in pretty nice shape. Didn't see any wear on the playfield or anything major. So... we set up a time to meet at his place a couple days later.

This guy opens his garage and I meet him. My first initial thought was he was a really nice guy. I started to look around and there is stuff piled everywhere in the garage. Clothes, Toys, boxes, coat hangers, and just the most random stuff. I asked if he was moving. He said that they HAD to move. We made some more small talk and proceeded into the house. As soon as I put one foot in the house, I said OHHH You have cats!?Not because I seen one but mainly because it smelled like cat pee. Then, I met his wife, his kids, and... the grandfather? Well, the kids were hyper and running around screaming and chasing after the cats, the grandfather was mumbling in the corner watching a game show on the television at full volume, and the wife was overweight, a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, and glued to a rocking chair with her hair in curlers and yelling on the phone. I felt like I was going to get entertained that night.

The further we walked into this house, the more I wanted to turn back and leave. There were holes in the walls, lamps without the shades over them, carpet halfway ripped up, cracked tiles... just destroyed. But I was curious. I was curious what was up with this family. He seemed like such a normal guy but his family was just nuts.

We walk into the kitchen and I notice more people in the dining room. I waved and said hello and we proceeded to go into the basement where the pinball machine was. The smell of cat urine was even stronger than before. I was getting dizzy from the smell. Then, I got the basement stairs and put one foot on the basement floor. I took another step and my shoes stuck to the floor. It was just a basement floor of old sticky dried up cat piss. Holy shit. This guys like, yep! This is where the kids come and play and hang out. I just smile nod. Yep. Let's see that pinball machine. I looked it over. I turned it on but the game was just locked up in a loop. I knew work would need to be done. But it was a complete game with the manual. He said the last owners of the house left it there and now they are moving and don't want to move it out of the house. Really okay?! This dude was just telling me he wanted to rip out the bar he had in the basement and move that into their new place! That house needed to be burned down.

I asked him how much. He said he didn't really know the value. I told him a lot of work will need to be done to get it up and running again. $50.00 he said? Sold. Got my tools out and took that thing apart as fast as I could. HOLLLLLYYY CRAP!!! The bottom of this cabinet has some of the biggest blackest fattest spiders I've ever seen! They looked like they could really mess some people up if they bit.

We got it to the point of taking it upstairs. Had a hard time positioning the utility dolly since it was such a tight squeeze. All i wanted to do was leave! NOW!!! We had enough. We were able to get it out. Shook hands with the guy and said GOOD LUCK!! Immediately felt really dirty after leaving. We ended up in a fast food joint on the way home to wash our hands.

I'll never forget that day as long as I own this pinball machine. Just another experience in the world of Pinball.

#2 7 years ago

When I got my old RFM, the guy also had a Dirty Harry. So I went to check out the DH and first he opens the coin door and pulls out a shotgun. I am a gun owner so it didn't really bug me or scare me, but it freaked the hell out of my wife, she thought he was going to off us haha. It was way out in the country, so you never know, lots of crazies out there...

That is a great story, thx for sharing!!

#3 7 years ago
Quoted from tomdotcom:

When I got my old RFM, the guy also had a Dirty Harry. So I went to check out the DH and first he opens the coin door and pulls out a shotgun. I am a gun owner so it didn't really bug me or scare me, but it freaked the hell out of my wife, she thought he was going to off us haha. It was way out in the country, so you never know, lots of crazies out there...
That is a great story, thx for sharing!!

I usually remove the guns out of my pins before the buyer gets there.

#4 7 years ago

DayDay,
Curious if any of the spiders down in the basement were black widows??
Price went from inital $250 down to $50 rather quick with no haggling.
Sometimes price is not the hard part of a sale/purchase.
Sounds like in your episode the challenges were toxic waste, and climbing stairs w/ a pinball machine. But you survived and lived to tell about it.

#5 7 years ago

Worst one was on a Williams zip-flip called 'Doozie'. I drove 1 hour out of my way in a 16 MPG van for what was described as a 'great' condition pin, to find a totally destroyed, looked like it had been underwater for a month piece of crap machine. 'totally working' really meant 'about 10%' working....

I felt like punching the guy in the nuts for the blatant misrepresentation.....

#6 7 years ago

One cold winters night, I went to see a BoP from a local guy and when I got there he told me he had one in better condition at his storage yard. He drove us to (what looked like) an abandoned container yard. He unlocked a container and said the machine was inside but that he did not have a light...... He encouraged me to go inside using the light from my cell phone and thoughts ran through my mind about all kinds of atrocities that he may have planned.

I ended up buying the BoP and we are now good friends. We still tell this story from time to time to get a few laughs.

#7 7 years ago

Had been looking for a nice Bally Star Trek for about a year with no luck and finally scored one 1 1/2 hours away. ON THE WAY THERE, a friend called and said a friend of his brother-in-law was in dire straights and had a pin he needed to sell. I asked what title it was and no one could remember but they thought it was a "space theme." So I said, yeah, drop it off in my garage, I'll see what it needs and try to sell it for him. When I got home that night, it was Star Trek. Hunted for a year and now had two in one day. (Kept the nicer one.)

#8 7 years ago

I have two stories but only one was a pinball machine - the other was a Skee Ball machine.

First the pinball story. I drive about 3 hours one way to pick up a Cheap Data East Batman. Get to the guys house (or shack) and he invites me in. Said pinball machine was in the dining room so even though it seemed odd I follow him and we get to the dining room just off his kitchen. Here is a small dining room with a stripper pole right in the middle of it and pinball machine against the wall on one side. All I can tell you is from the looks of his wife & sister in law I would have paid them not to use the pole if I had to watch it in use!

Second one was Skee Ball machine. Found it on Craig's List cheap and drove about two hours to the guys house to get it. Guy selling it told me is was stored at another guys place "don't pay them just paypal me after you pick it up". Get to the guys house and wait like two hours for him to show up. He is like "who the hell are you and what do you want" - I told him I am here to pick up the Skeeball machine. He replies "I told that SOB I wasn't selling him that Skeeball machine for the 99 cents he bought it for on eBay" Long story short - guys teenage son had listed machine for sale on eBay and had it listed wrong. Craig's list seller tried to have me do his dirty work - trying to pick up machine that owner refused to sell. Anyway - long story short - I wasn't about to go home empty - I made the real owner a decent offer and we loaded it. About 3 hours later the other guy calls me "you SOB you were suppose to pay me for that machine I was the owner - I bought it on eBay" I told him settle it with the seller but I wasn't headed home wasting $100 for fuel without having something in my van. ODD one for sure!

#9 7 years ago

I responded to an add for a machine, it was a Taxi. The address was in a well to do part of town, house had to go for $800K. The guy had it at a friends house. The friend was a 45 year old female and she had a couple of teenage daughters. I showed up around 10:30. He takes me downstairs and the lights are off. The lady says there are teenagers down there....they had a party the night before. We go downstairs, turn on a light, and it was like a scene from Dracula. There were about 4 males laying all over the basement, obviously they had been up late. Believe the girls went to sleep up stairs, at least I had thought. Anyway, we turn on the game and I start to play/test it as these males in between 17-23 are laying around me trying to ignore the sounds and keep sleeping. I had a guys head about two feet from where the flipper button was. He moaned and I just said, "sorry bud - I was in your shoes 20 years ago."

Got it out of there in 20 minutes. Bizarre.

-2
#10 7 years ago
Quoted from smokey_789:

Had been looking for a nice Bally Star Trek for about a year with no luck and finally scored one 1 1/2 hours away. ON THE WAY THERE, a friend called and said a friend of his brother-in-law was in dire straights and had a pin he needed to sell. I asked what title it was and no one could remember but they thought it was a "space theme." So I said, yeah, drop it off in my garage, I'll see what it needs and try to sell it for him. When I got home that night, it was Star Trek. Hunted for a year and now had two in one day. (Kept the nicer one.)

So, you were asked to sell a pin for someone and you decided to keep it because it was in nicer condition than the one you bought... and you think that's ok? Or, you at least thought it was appropriate to compare the two to determine which one you were going to sell, and which one you were going to keep, as if one wasn't someone else's property? Cute.

#11 7 years ago

None of my pin-buying experiences have been all that weird. I guess the weirdest was when I bought my first one, a Swords of Fury, and the guy pulls up in this tiny little hatchback car. I was wondering where the machine was when he pops the back hatch and there it is, shoehorned in there with maybe an inch to spare on all sides. The machine was fine, though, and I still have it to this day.

Though, there was the time when I bought my Black Knight 2000-- I don't even remember how I found it was for sale, but it ended up being a very quick spur-of-the-moment decision. After I had bought it and picked it up down by the airport, I found out that my girlfriend had planned on buying me a Black Knight 2000 for Christmas; she had even won an eBay auction for one and had to cancel it. Fortunately the guy selling it to her understood and didn't ding her on eBay for backing out.

#12 7 years ago

I went to pick up a Jokerz! and a hydro thunder sit down arcade about 4hrs drive one way. my son decided he wanted to tag along, because the hydro thunder was for him. about half way there, we run into a terrible storm..wind blowing trees over in the road, powerlines on the ground, and a torrential rainstorm for the rest of the trip. i call the guys cell phone and we meet in a covered carwash to load my trailer. as we are loading up, we hear a booming voice over a megaphone loudspeaker that could be heard over the entire city, stating everyone take shelter, a tornado had just touched down 1/2 mile from city limits! after about 1hr, me and my son were headed back home with a pin and his arcade. it was a little spooky at the time, but nothing serious happened and it gave him a great story to tell his friends at school

#13 7 years ago

My first pin was Fathom. It came across the country, sight unseen. It came with actual beach sand in the machine.

#14 7 years ago

All great stories. I got rear ended on the freeway a few moths back coming home with my F-14. Luckily it was not damaged. The 16 year old girl who rear ended me asked "Do you know how log this will take?" in the whiniest voice possible when I said I had called highway patrol because I wanted an official report.

#15 7 years ago
Quoted from Darkslide632:

So, you were asked to sell a pin for someone and you decided to keep it because it was in nicer condition than the one you bought... and you think that's ok? Or, you at least thought it was appropriate to compare the two to determine which one you were going to sell, and which one you were going to keep, as if one wasn't someone else's property? Cute.

He never said which one he kept. Your just assuming. Your also just assuming he didn't pay him a fair price. Pretty rude nice contribution to the topic...

#16 7 years ago

I responded to a TMNT on cl about 6 months ago. It was posted about 8pm on a saturday night and it was almost an hours drive from me. The ad was up for about 10 min when I responded and the guy called right back. He let me know others had responded and were willing to come asap but I was the first to respond. It was typical for CL, shit or get off the pot. I shit. Told him I was on the way. He gave me his address and I instantly knew it was is a bad part of town. Those of you familiar with my area know PG county right on the south east DC line is no place to play on a saturday night. I thought I was tough shit in my younger days and spent a lot of time there so it didnt bother me. $500 cash in my pocket on a saturday night and I was off to the ghetto. No problem though, I took everything with me I needed. Common sense, check. Gun, check. Dolly, straps, blankets, tools, check check check. My wife went with me and I had mixed feeling about it. On one side shes my wife but on the other hand she has connections and gun privileges others might not have(gov law enforcement job) ill leave it at that. We pulled up to an end-unit town house that didnt look that bad actually. We had a plan. She was to sit in the jeep with the cash, doors locked and phones on and connected so she could hear me. The townhouse was dark. Didnt look like anyone was home. I walked to the door and knocked. The door opened and there were two guys in there early 20's. Both in big puffy jackets with their hoods up. One standing behind the other with his hand in his jacket pocket. I was ready to turn tail and roll out but they seemed friendly enough. They said they were moving out and the power was off. The pin was in the basement. Damn! I walked inside by the light of lantern and proceeded to follow the first guy while hand in his pocket guy followed behind me. We walked down stairs and there it was, a TMNT in fantastic shape. Had some issues related to the batteries and lack of maintenance but no permanent damage. No wear at all and the cab looked great. SCORE! The fun factor was lacking I came to find out though. They helped me move it up stairs by the light of a lantern and helped me load it. I paid them outside and was off with no issues. Was a little nerve racking at first but thats what happens when you prejudge or make assumptions. Your usually proven wrong. I cleaned that pin up and played about 50 games on it trying to like it, that never happened. Sold it a month later for a grand.

#17 7 years ago

Another one.
I was looking at a HS on eBay in my town. The guy let me come over to look at it before I bid. There was one day left on the auction and no bids. Starting price was $350. Machine was in good but dirty shape. It didnt work, "adjustment failure"= dead batteries. I looked at the auction in his driveway before I went inside, still no bids. We talked and I convinced him to sell it to me right then for $300. I loaded it up and went home. When I took another look at the auction two hours later he had 5 bids and it was up to $700. Oh, I bet he was mad.I felt bad for a second but neither of us could have known. The bad feeling passed when I put some batteries is and it started working great. Hope none of you were bidding on that machine.

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