I often get asked when discussing appraisals "Should I sell this game on Craigslist"?

Unfortunately it's not an easy answer. There are a few things which I tell sellers about craigslist which they should consider before selling their game:

  1. There is no guarantee that you will obtain a higher selling price. I have been doing this for years and when I sell a game, I get the highest price when selling to a collector. Why? Because collectors understand the market and what the pinball machine value is currently. Pinball Machine prices fluctuate like the stock market. One month a pinball machine can be hot and selling for top dollar whereas the next month it will slow down. Collectors understand this volatility more so than anyone else and tend to pay the best.

  2. Flakes. if you have ever sold on Craigslist, you know that people low ball you, commit to buying, then don't show up. Excuse after excuse. Do you want to deal with that?

  3. Random people in your home. Do you want random people showing up and trampling through your home to look at an old pinball machine? How do you know these people are even going to buy it? Are they wasting my time?

  4. Danger. I could only imagine the millions of sales that take place thanks to Craigslist all over this country every day. Most take place in a parking lot or well populated location for a reason - safety. I personally don't like anyone coming to my home so when I sell good on CL, I meet in a parking lot. Again, do you want strangers in your home?

  5. Experience moving the machine. Many buyers on CL have no clue how to move and disassemble a machine without damaging the machine and/or your property. Collectors come prepared with the tools and muscle needed to get it out.

So, the above are my reasons for NOT selling on Craigslist. Can you be successful at selling through Craigslist? Yes! However, why chance it?

Pinballvalue puts you into contact with actual pinball machine collectors who want your machine. They are not flakes and will pay a fair market value for your game. Plus, we know how to move your machine out safely and quickly.

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  • JRL

"I see these selling for more money from online retailers like "pinball palace.com, or pinball surgeon.com or Dino-mite Amusements.com. So, why is your offer is less? Are you low balling me?"

This is a very valid question and if I were a buyer, I would ask this, too. So let me give you some answers. When retailers like brick and mortar establishments sell a game, they have to sell it at a higher price in order to cover costs. Unfortunately, these costs do not equate to the pinball machine value. The best way to illustrate this is to consider an actual pinball machine - the Williams F14.

The Williams F14 was a widely produced model and there are many in existence today. In the collector market, this game ranges from $450 up to $2,000 for the nicest examples. However, when I look on websites like Dino-mite pinball.com, it's listed for $3,495 and up. Why? Well, let's consider what Dino-mite has to do the following:

  1. They typically buy the machine for the collector value or less;

  2. They refurbish or restore the machine. Shop rates for pinball typically run $65-90 per hour. This involves stripping the playfield, cleaning all mechanisms, going over the circuit boards, replacing components and essentially, making the game bullet proof for the end consumer;

  3. They have to pay employees to do this work;

  4. They have over head such as the building, parts, employees, insurance, and advertising; and,

  5. They almost always provide a warranty.

All of these reasons costs money. Retail establishments cater to buyers who want reliable machines that have been completely refurbished; they do not sell un-refurbished machines, because if they did, the service calls would be unimaginable.

Now, when I or other collectors go looking at games, 90% of the time, they have not been refurbished. They have been in your basement for years being played and taken care of. Most of the time, they are very dirty from flipper dust, there are broken plastic pieces or components, bad rubber bands, etc, All of this needs to be addressed.

So when I offer $800 for an F14, keep in mind I am offering the value based on condition. If the game was completely refurbished then I wouldn't be offering 800, I would be offering more. So the lesson here is just because a retailer has it listed for a higher price, doesn't mean yours is worth that amount.

Think of all the time and money they put into that game.

One of the things we pride ourselves on is offering more than the local pinball business. If you aren't convinced of this, call them and then call us after you speak with them - we are confident that we will offer you more for your machine!

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  • MCL

So in this post, we will discuss Rarity when it comes to pinball machines and how rarity affects price. The simple answer to this question? It all depends.

Rarity goes hand in hand with whether or not the game is popular. For a pinball to be considered rare, there would typically be less than 2000 games made. One way to figure out the game count is to look at www.ipdb.org/search.pl, which is a web page that lists the actual production units of most games. The only exception is that Stern Pinball does not release numbers.

In my opinion, any game over 2000 units and up is not very rare. They can be readily found on the collector market in no time. However, there are some outliers to this theory and one of them is the Addams Family Pinball. The Addams Family Pinball was produced in 1992 and over 20,000 units were produced. So, you are probably thinking, not very rare, not worth a lot of money - WRONG. Addams family are still one of the most sought after games with collectors. Why? It's a fantastic game that is just simply fun for all levels of player. Because of its popularity, the game runs anywhere from $3500 to close to $8000 depending on the condition.

What about older games? It all depends on the game. The good old ones are worth money if in nice condition. The problem with old games are that the condition is sometimes very rough. However, there is always an outlier and older EM games are no exception. For example, Joker Poker always commands some good money, Fathom, Sea witch, Kiss, and Eight Ball Deluxe. You just never know so its always best to ask.

If you have an Addams Family Pinball Machine or any others which you want to sell, please contact us today!

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