Q. What is meant when people say a pinball is "Shopped"?
A. This means the machine was checked out, and fixed up to prepare it for the home user or route operator. Although this term
does not have a specific definition, shopping generally includes the changing of all of the rubber rings on the machine, the
replacement of all of the lamps on the machine, a complete machine cleaning, and of course the verification of the machine's
operating state. Depending on the vendor/operator you are purchasing from, your mileage may vary. Some operators don't do all
of this to their machines before selling them. Your best move is to ask what their particular idea of shopping is before you buy.
Q. Where can I buy a pinball machine?
A. This is a very common question. Unfortunately, the answer can be quite complicated. The easiest way to purchase a machine
is to locate a vendor in your area that deals specifically with the home buyer. These vendors typically offer warranties on
the machines. They also typically shop the machines they sell, so the machine will generally require less repair work and maintenance when
you first get it. These vendors usually offer delivery, which is a big plus. Each pinball machine typically weighs over 300 pounds.
They aren't the type of thing you want to move by yourself, especially if there are stairs involved.
There are quite a few people who are looking for a machine that is cheaper than what the direct-to-home sellers charge. These
same people might be the ones who are looking for a machine to begin their pinball collection. Usually, these buyers are at
least partially handy with tools, and don't mind getting under the hood of their pinball machine. For these types of buyers,
there are many places to buy pins. Arcade Auctions are very good places to buy if you know what you are looking for, and
you also know what it is worth. You can also try calling different places to see if they sell machines directly. Check your
local yellow pages for places that deal with Billiards Equipment, Bowling Equipment, Amusement Devices, Vending Machines,
Gaming Devices (Casino Equipment), Arcade Equipment, Game Room Equipment, Pinball Machines and Video Games. Call all of the
places listed under these headings, asking if they sell machines. You will probably run into a few places that are very gruff
on the phone, and don't want to be bothered with the home buyer. I can't stress enough, BE PERSISTENT! You will eventually
find a vendor that will be more than happy to sell his machines to you. The good part for collectors is that most of the vendors
are getting out of the pinball business. This makes them WANT to sell their machines, it also is bringing more and more machines
into the markets that collectors buy from. This is good for the people that are buying, but bad for the people that are looking
for machines to play.
Because I don't know where you live, and even if I did, I'm probably not familiar with your area of the planet, I can not help
you by recommending specific vendors in your area. However, if you live in the Philadelphia/Allentown, PA area, I might be able to help.
E-Mail me for more info. If I get enough demand, I might post information on vendors that I am familiar with in the Philly area.
Q. Where can I play pinball?
A. Good question. An even better question would be "Where can I play pinballs that work?". Unfortunately, places to play
pinball are becoming harder and harder to find. What I do is, call all of the places I can find in the phone book that might
have pinball machines and ask if they have pinball machines. Then I go there, and see what they have. Look in your local phone
book under the headings of Bowling Alleys, Amusement Centers, Family Entertainment/Amusement Centers, Pizza Places, Golf Courses
(Especially Miniature Golf), Billiards Centers/Pool Halls, Arcades, Video Game Rooms, and Pinball Arcades. Eventually, you
should be able to find a place to play that actually maintains their machines. Good Luck!
Again, if you're in the Philly/Allentown area, I can recommend some great places to play. E-Mail Me.