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(Topic ID: 15054)

What's the trick to finding a pin wanted? How long does everyone else wait? FH


By dmacy

8 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 52 posts
  • 36 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 years ago by MrWizzo
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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There are 52 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 8 years ago

Wow, I've been looking all over for FH: the usual forums, CL, contacts, even just random checks online seeing what's out there. Its only been four months but wow, seems crazy.

Although its not a pin that's a low production of 10k or so made, it seems like its a real low production pin. Begining to think like its never going to happen.

I found five so far. One was an ebay seller that was 1-1500 over a fair value and it needed a few things. Was very nice player's game: offered a very fair offer and even asked what would be wanted. No response. It didn't sell and had no bids due to its price.

Another was sold before I could make the 4 hour drive down; kinda expected. Another was sold immediately.

Then there's one someone has that's perfect for what I want but wants trades only which I'm not looking to do.

Lastly I had a guy contact me about a real nice one he has, etc. I asked several questions and what's his price. No phone number, no reply.

Only options are shipping a pin from a retailer and I won't do that. I'm willing to ship one from someone I can trust but nothing has come up. Heck, I'd entertain looking at one

Sorry for the rant. I'm just shocked how this game is so hard to find. I'm seeing similarities to dating as a kid. When you happy with what you have and not looking, they find you. When you're looking; they're nowhere to be found!

Anyway, here's to hoping there's something at Allentown.

Dave

Post edited by Nutty_50 : Added what I'm looking for!

#2 8 years ago

what game are you looking for?

#3 8 years ago

What are you looking for? I spent over 6 months looking for a TFTC and that was with daily, sometimes hourly searches on the net. I know there are people here on Pinside that have looked a year or more and never found the pin they wanted. That doesn't mean you should give up though.

#4 8 years ago

Like Honch said, don't give up. I typically search for years and years for most of my titles, but eventually one surfaces somewhere. Just last December I ended a six year search for Verne's World, so it pays to keep looking.....

#5 8 years ago

When you are looking for one specific title it can be hard. Be willing to consider other pins when they come up if they are good deals and jump on it.

Otherwise try to develop a friendship with as many local pinheads as you can as this can be the best way to find that wanted pin....before it goes on CL or one of the forums.

#6 8 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Otherwise try to develop a friendship with as many local pinheads as you can as this can be the best way to find that wanted pin....before it goes on CL or one of the forums.

Yes, many good pins never make it to market as they trade around in local pinball circles, happens here in Indy

#7 8 years ago

I've been hunting a Mystery Castle for awhile....Over a year

#8 8 years ago

Eventually you have to wonder if spending all that time looking for the "absolute best deal" is worth it, especially when often times that deal ends up being too good to be true. Time is money, at least to many people Personally I am usually better off spending X hours working extra to pay extra for something that I want, rather than potentially wasting X hours looking for something that I may never find.

BTW, are you saying you would trust an individual to ship a machine to you but not a retailer? If so, I don't follow the logic.

#9 8 years ago

Thanks everyone. It seems crazy. I look everyday too. CL alerts, Ebay alerts, etc. I know we're all here for this sickness but even I'm starting to think something's wrong with me lol!

BTW, edited post. Been on a hunt for FH. Not near as rare as some of your searches but hard to come by lately nonetheless.

#10 8 years ago
Quoted from ReplayRyan:

Eventually you have to wonder if spending all that time looking for the "absolute best deal" is worth it, especially when often times that deal ends up being too good to be true. Time is money, at least to many people Personally I am usually better off spending X hours working extra to pay extra for something that I want, rather than potentially wasting X hours looking for something that I may never find.
BTW, are you saying you would trust an individual to ship a machine to you but not a retailer? If so, I don't follow the logic.

I agree, and willing to pay a fair price. $4-5k isn't a fair price for a rough example. I'm a realist. I know there's not going to be a $1000 FH out there that's somewhat decent without a long wait. Just looking for a fair deal when others are finding them left and right.

As for shipping, I wouldn't trust most retailers. Sorry about that; wasn't real clear.

#11 8 years ago

Nutty, I do the same thing. Check every board and forum several times a day. And Im not even looking for a specific pin! Iv been looking for another pin for a couple months now and its just a slow process. There are many MANY re-conditioned and higher end versions of pins now and not alot that people are willing to part with for fair market value. Its the other edge to the "we all love our pins too much" sword.

Persevere brother! Sometimes it helps to put an ad out there and be super annoying about it. Look at Indianapwns. That guy was up everyone's ass about getting a WMS IndianaJones, and he got it! That kind of initiative and tenaciousness can definitely give you a leg up.

Nutty_50 wants a FUNHOUSE everyone! Spread the word!

#12 8 years ago

there are two listed on mr pinball right now. both are listed for 3,800. one in new york.one in mass. i hope this helps.

#13 8 years ago

if you get one to play a while, but desirable, it also gives you trade bait.

#14 8 years ago
Quoted from DrStarkweather:

Check every board and forum several times a day.

Part and parcel (unfortunately) for anyone looking for a specific machine, ESPECIALLY in this day and age!
If this was 2002 you could have filled an airplane hanger to the top with decent FH's... Hell, with ANY title! Dime a dozen ten years ago.
Good luck with the hunt Nutty.
I had a FH pop up on my local CL earlier this week, but it was gone in a flash.

#15 8 years ago

It's hard finding that pin you want, that's why I have many pins that I want so it can be easier!!

#16 8 years ago

The market has changed quite a bit the last couple of years. 10 years ago, I would wait for certain titles to come up for sale, and buy the titles I thought I really wanted. Rewind to about 5 years ago, and the market started to dry up (and is pretty dry now), so I just started buying anything that was a decent deal. For myself this is the best way to go for a couple of reasons- I get to play games I normally wouldn't have considered, I don't lose my butt on them when I go to sell, and it gives me trade-bait for a machine I have more interest in down the road. trading has picked up in popularity quite a bit, and is even easier to do when you aren't attached to a particular game.

Ironically, I just picked up a Funhouse and Buck Rogers for $1900 (Plus 200 in gas and tolls), with no interest in either (have already had Funhouse and thought it was just okay), but knowing down the road I can parlay those into something I have more interest in.

My longest wait for a title I wanted was 3 years (CO1812), and it was ROUGH. But the price was right and it was a project that pushed my skills to the limit. The time you wait for a machine is directly related to how much you are willing to spend

#17 8 years ago
Quoted from ReplayRyan:

Eventually you have to wonder if spending all that time looking for the "absolute best deal" is worth it, especially when often times that deal ends up being too good to be true. Time is money, at least to many people Personally I am usually better off spending X hours working extra to pay extra for something that I want, rather than potentially wasting X hours looking for something that I may never find.

My philosophy as well. If I find a reasonably good deal on a pin I'm looking for, that's good enough for me. As you said, time is money. And all of that searching for the 'best deal' can add up to a whole lot of time.

#18 8 years ago

I just posted about my method in another thread, but...

Quoted from ralphwiggum:

Rewind to about 5 years ago, and the market started to dry up (and is pretty dry now), so I just started buying anything that was a decent deal.

We're in the same market, and I would argue that while the market has gotten a little more difficult thanks to a lack of auctions and ops closing and clearing out games, if you cast a "wide enough net" you have a decent shot at still getting what you're interested in.

My trick was always to have a list of about 20-25 machines that I was interested in at any given point. I started with the "buy anything cheap enough to flip" mentality, but got out of that after I had more projects than I knew what to do with, and then I sold a bunch of them off. I just focused on my list of machines, and I slowly picked them off. The last few years I've slowed down greatly, as my list has gotten a lot shorter and I haven't put as much on it as I used to because I'm so far out of space, it's just gotten silly.

I don't want to dissuade anyone from trying out different games, since my tastes are as wacky as yours and I think if people had more open minds, a lot of great overlooked pins might get some extra love, but I think especially when you're beginning, you want to end up with machines that you know that you want. Then, you can go about buying your Mario Andretti's and Viper Night Drivin's to see if they suck as bad as everyone says, or as good as we think they are

Oh yeah, and...

It helps to know as many people as possible and to ask them to keep an eye out for you. Got a BUNCH of stuff this way. Made a LOT of friends in the biz. Also, when you are only really looking for a game or two, things get way more difficult. For about a year, I've been looking for mostly just one -- and I have yet to see it. Doesn't bother me though, I don't have space for it when I get it!!

#19 8 years ago

I've been pretty fortunate thus far. When I've got a game in mind, my first step is to put out the trade feelers on various sites. Depending on how big of a hurry I'm in, I'll let that ride anywhere from 1-3 weeks. After that, if I can't find a taker, I'll either sell a game(s) to clear the necessary cash/space, or just start saving up.

Once I've got enough cash to pay the going price for a game, I'll put out the feelers again across multiple sites with WTB threads, call collectors that I know in neighboring states who can keep their eyes peeled for me, and I'll also scour CL multiple times a day. When I'm ready to buy, most of my searches last no more than a few weeks. I find that if I'm willing to pay the "going rate" (or a little higher if it's a game I REALLY want), I can usually find a taker relatively quickly.

#20 8 years ago

I waited several years for at least one pin that I've been wanting.. and there's another on my "must get" list that I've been waiting even longer for. Sometimes you have to be patient.

I have a Funhouse I might consider selling or trading. I'm looking to get a LOTR so I'd be interested in a deal involving that. My FH is in really nice shape.

#21 8 years ago
Quoted from mrgone:

there are two listed on mr pinball right now. both are listed for 3,800. one in new york.one in mass. i hope this helps.

Thanks I asked about them a while ago and the one is sold and the other one I didn't get a reponse either of the three times I asked.

#22 8 years ago

It doesn't take any time at all. Just Pony up the cash. Usually those searching forever refuse to pay the going rate thinking everything is just over going rate.

#23 8 years ago

If anyone knows of one they have or know someone has and wants to sell, send me a PM.

I appreciate all the reponses. I guess its common place now. I wish I got into the hobby 10 years ago but never even considered it.

#24 8 years ago

I hunted for my FH for over 2 years, however my criteria was within 6 hour drive and priced decently. Contemplated a couple that were on the edge of my distance limit but I felt were really overpriced (about double what I expected to pay) Eventually a friend of a friend in the hobby who knew I was really looking for a FH came across one 2 hours from me and passed the contact info along before it ended up on craigslist. $1300 for a fully working, above average playfield, needing a new main ramp and a serious shop job. After about 3 weeks of work and some new ramps, looks and plays great! Sorry but unless a better example somehow ends up in my collection Rudy is not going anywhere, and I'm sure you will feel the same way when you do end up finding one.

So my advice would be to network with fellow pin hobbyists and be patient. There certainly are plenty of them out there, and Rudy somehow creeps out enough wives and kids that they do get forced out of collections...

#25 8 years ago

I had either good timing or good luck in getting my first pin that was a specific title.

I placed a wanted ad on local CL, and within 24 hours had a response from a local vendor.

Some people get really lucky, others don't and the waiting is the hardest part.

Good Luck dude!

#26 8 years ago

Nice deal cpu-slave! Patience will be the key I guess. What you found was perfect and what I'm looking for too.

#27 8 years ago

Keep at it, Nutty. Make sure to have the cash ready to grab something that comes up quick. And look for some Pinsiders, using the Map, that are close to you. Then look at their collections and start a conversation. You never know what some members are thinking, and sometimes the right offer will give them the push they need.

#28 8 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

Just Pony up the cash

That has been my experience. Oh and being VERY nice. I put Whirlwind on my wishlist. Casually looked for it. Found one in Houston. Jumped on the CL ad right away, within 14 hours of listing. Offered full asking price, but also friendly conversation. Found that seller and I had some things in common. Anyway someone came up and outbid me by $350 ! Seller sold to me. "Nice" works.

#30 8 years ago

Yes, ready to pay here! Good call on the nice although I follow that rule of thumb. I don't get where being rude and ignorant ever gets you anywhere but many are like that.

And thanks JK. I sent him an email. Like everything else, no response yet. That's the hard part; getting people who want to actually sell and answer you lol!

#31 8 years ago

I posted a want ad to Craigslist. Within a week I had 5 different leads. I purchased one within 2 weeks.

Now... the want ad was a bit of a chore. People kept flagging it (I posted it in the right area, only my city, nothing wrong with my ad) and I kept reposting. I sort of understand people flagging ads for people looking to buy tons of machines... but I was specifically and only looking for a FT.

It worked for me though. Eventually whoever was flagging the ad let it go and I found a nice project pin I was looking for. I also got a few e-mails for fully restored ones and another that was in the process of being shopped that would've been a reasonable price.

#32 8 years ago

OK I don't feel so bad now. I've been looking for a Allied Leisure Night Moves and can't seem to find one. And no...I don't consider the one on Ebay for 4x the value one that is available. Ugh!

#33 8 years ago

There was a FH listed in Los Angeles CL a couple days ago for 2800. Just tried to find it and it's gone...

#34 8 years ago

It's even worse when you don't have a lot of money and you want that one machine so you have to pass up those machines that are 2nd and 3rd on your list that keep popping up and tempting you. I just know if I bought it the machine I actually wanted would pop up for cheap and it'd take me another year to save up enough money for it.

I'm having problems finding a STTNG of all things. I mean, they are pretty rare, only about 12,000 made /sarcasm

#35 8 years ago

Patience and persistence and casting a wide net. What else can you do? I kept missing out on AFMs and found one while on vacation from an operator for $2800. You just never know.

I appreciate your search for the FH. I have had two beautiful ones and am also keeping an eye out. I have a real love/hate relationship with the game.

Dan

#36 8 years ago
Quoted from PNBLWZD:

There was a FH listed in Los Angeles CL a couple days ago for 2800. Just tried to find it and it's gone...

That's what keeps happening to me!

Quoted from btrip:

It's even worse when you don't have a lot of money and you want that one machine so you have to pass up those machines that are 2nd and 3rd on your list that keep popping up and tempting you. I just know if I bought it the machine I actually wanted would pop up for cheap and it'd take me another year to save up enough money for it.

I'm having problems finding a STTNG of all things. I mean, they are pretty rare, only about 12,000 made /sarcasm

Dead on about the 2nd and 3rd! Problem is I like ones that everyone else does too which isn't helping. Good luck on your search for STNNG. I really want to play one eventually.

Quoted from MrWizzo:

Patience and persistence and casting a wide net. What else can you do? I kept missing out on AFMs and found one while on vacation from an operator for $2800. You just never know.

I appreciate your search for the FH. I have had two beautiful ones and am also keeping an eye out. I have a real love/hate relationship with the game.

Dan

That was an awesome score Dan. I'm trying to be patient. Jealous that you've had two!

Thanks to a Pinsider, I've been contacting someone who's looking to see what he wants for his nice FH. Fingers crossed! I just hope I don't hear, "I'm not happy with you now"!

#37 8 years ago

THE OLD, time is money! I spent about a year looking for a totan once. A company had it miss marked! Marked online for the price of a totem (the em). JACKPOT!

I have gotten into the habit of just buying as many pins that come my way. If, time, money and space are there. I've learned a lot, and made some money on the side doing it.

That big fish sooner or later shows up. Not only that, but I kinda enjoy "the hunt" anyways!

-Aaron

#38 8 years ago
Quoted from dmacy:

I just hope I don't hear, "I'm not happy with you now"!

NuttyBuddy:

That is one of the things I love about FH - how Rudy's personality changes.

Dan

#39 8 years ago

I remember when I wanted TFTC, I ran into jk2171, and it was a trade-only machine. I politely asked him if he would consider a cash offer, and well - the rest is history .

Using the words/phrases "Cash in hand, ready to drive" has incredible effects. I rented a cargo van and drove 12 hours (6 hours each way)/ or 680 miles in one day and picked up a DM for jk along the way. Needless to say, I wanted TFTC very much, and I sure haven't been disappointed !

He even told me he had other offers before he chose me; he didn't like the idea of shipping pins of his collection or pins from other people making offers. The fact that I was willing to make the drive sealed it .

I sure hope your FH heads your way. I know it can be a bit frustrating and taxing on the nerves. Rest-assured, when it happens, it was worth waiting for!

#40 8 years ago
Quoted from btrip:

I'm having problems finding a STTNG of all things. I mean, they are pretty rare, only about 12,000 made /sarcasm

I wonder how many of those were parted though.

Seriously, STTNG had a bunch of trouble staying up on route, and so a lot of them got parted. When I started collecting, people were buying a lot of games just to part them and make money on them, and believe it or not it was done with STTNG a lot.

The Williams widebody line up is generally considered awesome in home use, but for the most part either fell apart or sucked on route. Exceptions are IJ and (oddly) DM.

#41 8 years ago

You have to be ready to go in a heartbeat with cash in hand. Also state that you'll make a deposit to paypal before you go if you have to wait a few days. I've gotten luckly lately doing just that. I also was in the market for a FH, and waited and waited. Finally someone contacted me with a project game. Wasn't exactly what I was after, but I took it knowing it would be a learning experience and it was cheap. I'll be posting a thread on my (lack of) progress.

Still waiting for a Taxi and Xenon to show up, but I know someday they will. The hard part is when other games show up that were not high on your list - and letting them go.

#42 8 years ago

As long as it takes.

#43 8 years ago

Hey,

I live in an area where pinball machines are kind of few and far between, and I have been trying to track down a TSPP for a pretty long time. Not a life-changing amount of time, but I'd say it's been over a year. Long enough.

My criteria for it were this:

1) Very good shape. Nice is relative, but I meant HUO or exceptionally well cared for if it had been on route. No wear around the cabinet buttons, which from what I've seen is pretty common on this machine. No wear on the playfield. Plays strong. That sort of thing. I don't know if any new era Sterns have attained the status of "collector's quality" quite yet, but to make a comparison, if the machine I was buying was a Twilight Zone, I would like it to toe that line between really freakin' nice and collector's quality.

2) A reasonable price. I couldn't say, "I am willing to spend $3,500 on this machine, and that's it", because prices move, and I knew this was going to be a long search. When I first started kicking tires and wasn't overly serious about the thing, I found a HUO for sale for that price. I know that I'll likely never find one in that shape for that price again, and that's fine. The price moved. Such is life.

3) Within a reasonable travelling distance. I have relatives in the Minneapolis area, and am there on average two or three times a year. So, for me, that 750 mile drive one way isn't unreasonable.

The point of this exercise is that within the past week, I found one an hour outside of Minneapolis in the shape I want for a price I was willing to pay. I didn't do it on paper, but in my head, I had said, "I want a really nice TSPP for somewhere in the ballpark of the going rate, and I'm willing to drive 750 miles for it; maybe a bit more." By having a definite "this is what I want" plan laid out, I knew it was what I wanted when I saw it.

Getting to the point (and I think I'll actually do this on paper for the next pins): everyone has criteria. From what I gather, yours might look something like this:

1) I want a Funhouse. It doesn't have to be immaculate, but I don't want the life beaten out of it on route (I don't know this, but I'm making a reasonable guess because you didn't specify).
2) I'm willing to pay the going rate. I'm not going to pay $1,000 over just to get one, but I don't expect to find one for $1,000, either.
3) I won't do trades.
4) I'm willing to drive at least four hours (this is based upon you saying one sold before you made the four hour drive).
5) No shipping.

If that's accurate, cool; if not, tweak it until it is. VERY long story short? If you know exactly what you're looking for, it'll make you happier in the long run. If might take longer, it might not be cheaper, but when you get that game, you'll have exactly what you want. Just my two cents.

Luke

#44 8 years ago

My two cents in pin hunting.

1) search local CL every 30 min.
Good deals go in min so if you look twice a day it will come and go and you will never know it was there. If you have a smart phone get the app.
2) keep cash on hand at all times.
There are so many flakes in CL sellers seldom hold things till the bank opens or till you get off work,etc.
3) estatesales.org. Search the keyword pinball, any distance. When you find one call the seller don't wait till sale day
4) wanted ads on ALL the pin classifieds.
5) go to the pin shows.
6) get involved in leagues and tourneys.
It's a great way to meet people.
7) Dealers often sell unshopped pins. Ask them if they have any.
Sure if a dealer can shop a pin and make a grand that's great but if he can make 3-4 hundred without touching it, he will.
8) allofcraigslist.com. Nationwide CL searches.
9) search while traveling or in parts of the country you have friends and family to help pick it up.
Maybe they can hold it till you come visit.
10) Forums of course.
11) EBay
12) Auctionzip.com or other auction listings. They often let you search by keyword. "pinball"
13) most importantly, be a good guy and help others. People like to help good guys and never help douche bags.
These all have worked for me. You might have tried them all I just figured there might be a new idea in there for you.
Good luck.

#45 8 years ago

The_Pin_Family... So true about helping out the good guy!

-Aaron

#46 8 years ago

All great stuff guys! I actually even have the CL and eBay apps and use them.

But to update, thanks to a Pinsider, I pick up a FH this Saturday. Its a few hours away but unless someone snags it under me (trying to leave a deposit) it will be mine. Thank you Pinsider; you know who you are and couldn't have made this happen without you thinking of me.

Dave

#47 8 years ago

Great news, Nutty!

I came up with a really cool mod for Rudy's head. if you are interested after you get the game, PM me.

Dan

#48 8 years ago

Make friend's with someone who Hunt's down Pin's on a Daily Basis...

#49 8 years ago
Quoted from BLACK_ROSE:

Make friend's with someone who Hunt's down Pin's on a Daily Basis...

I wonder if we know anybody like that on here???

#50 8 years ago

Trick for more common games like FH is to post what you are willing to pay.

Wanted: FH (People who have the game will think you are fishing for a cheap one)
vs
Wanted: FH - will pay up to $3500 for nice example (People will realize you are serious and will pay fair)

Parker

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