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Selling Your Own Game
Have a game that you want to sell? Not sure how to sell it, or what it's worth?
We get asked questions like these quite a bit, so have put together a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) below that might be helpful.
Q: "Do you buy games?"
Yes we do. We also take trade-ins towards other games. If you are in/around our local area (Salt Lake City, Utah), we may be able to come out and look at your game and tell you if we're interested and what we could give you for it. Or you are welcome to bring the game by our shop as well.
If you are located outside our area, packaging and shipping of the game may be required. Often times we cannot buy games that are located outside our area, unless we are planning a trip in your direction, or unless you are able to package the game for shipping, and possibly arrange for shipping, too. Pictures/images of the game are a must, as we are very selective about the condition of games we bring in to sell to our customers. E-mail us if you'd like further info.
Q: "What is my game worth?"
The value of any game depends primarily on several factors:
There are several methods you can use to estimate a game's value. Here are some suggestions:
- The game itself (name/model)
- Condition (cosmetic, electrical/electronic, and mechanical)
Q: "How can I sell my game on my own?"
- Mr. Pinball Price Guide: This is an annually-published guide containing a listing of all pinball machines from 1947 to date with production numbers, dates, and other information and specifics, and includes a current price guide which gives values of most games in average working condition. Over 2,000 machines are listed in this guide! Please note that the actual value of your particular game may vary from values published in this guide, depending on your game's actual condition. If your game is below-average, it would be worth less than value shown in this guide. If your game is above-average, it would be worth more.
- We sell annual editions of the Mr. Pinball Price Guide- click here for more information.
- "Can you give me a price out of the Mr. Pinball Guide?" No. We sell these guides as one of the ways to try to keep our business going, and to make a living, so we cannot give away free information from them. You must purchase a guide to get the information inside it.
- eBay and Other Online Auctions: Many pinball games are often sold by auction through eBay or other similar online sites. When looking at these sources for pricing info, it's best to search on items that have already sold- to see what they went for- rather than looking at items that are still taking bids, as many items often do not get bid on or meet the seller's reserve price.
Condition should be taken into account as well. If you find a game like your's that has sold, you should compare it's condition to your's, to help determine a more accurate value- your's may be worth more, or less, depending on whether it's in better, or worse shape, than the one you're looking at. It's also best to take an average value from many different 'sold' games, to best determine a fair market value- just because one may sell for $500 does not mean they are all worth $500. Used pinball machines are much like used cars, in the sense that some have high mileage, some have low mileage, some have been kept up well, others have been neglected, and prices will vary according to condition.
- Mr. Pinball "Games for Sale" Classifieds: These are free online classified ads listing games for sale, and can be a good reference for finding out what people are asking (or hoping to get) for games they have for sale. Again, these are just "asking prices" and not necessarily what they may actually sell for.
- Other Internet Sources or Publications: There may be other sources (web sites) on the internet with pricing information or comparable games for sale. Some searching may reveal some additional information on these sources. Or some of the periodical publications such as "PinGame Journal", or "Gameroom Magazine" often have classified ads with games for sale or listings of more recent games and their current market, or trade-in values.
There are many ways to go about selling a game on your own- we've listed a few below:
Run an Ad in Local Newspaper or Local Online Service: The best and easiest way to sell your game is to start locally- list it for sale in your local newspaper- classified ads section- or on a local internet site that has classified ads- something similar to "craigslist", or a popular city/town web site that gets a lot of local traffic.
There are some good benefits to this method of selling. Local buyers can see/play/inspect the game in person, before deciding to buy. This way they can be sure they'll be happy with the game and it's condition if they do buy it, and you can be more assured that you won't have an "unhappy customer" or have to take the game back if the customer isn't happy with it. And most local buyers can usually pay cash and should be able to pick the game up and take it away with them. This saves you having to move it or package/ship it, which usually takes a tremendous amount of additional work and time.
List on a Non-Local Website: You can also sell your game over the internet via several other methods (see Mr. Pinball and eBay above), however most non-local sites will likely draw 99% of interested customers from out-of-state or even around the world, so we would only recommend this method if you are willing/able to package and ship the game to an out-of-town buyer. Most out-of-town buyers also expect honest, accurate, thorough details of game condition, right down to every nick and scratch, and will expect photographs or images of the game as well. This can be a very time-consuming and frustrating way to sell something.
Check with Local Dealers: You can also check around in your local area to see if any pinball dealers may be interested in buying it or taking it on consignment or as a trade-in towards something else. You can usually find pinball companies in your area by checking your local phone directory under "Pinball", "Amusement Devices", or "Coin-Operated Machines", or doing a search on the internet.
Q: "How can I find out more information about my game?"
For pinball games, one of the best current and up-to-date references is the Mr. Pinball Flipper Pinball List. This is an annually-published guide that contains information on all pinball games made from 1947 to date, including current "average condition" values (prices), dates of manufacture, production numbers, game features, and more. Click here for more information.
You can also visit the Internet Pinball Database at www.ipdb.org which has a large online listing of pinball machines, old and new, along with other helpful info.
For video games, visit the KLOV site. This is another database site containing information on most commercial coin-operated arcade video games.
If you have a question that isn't answered here, feel free to e-mail us and we'll try to answer as best we can, and may even add your question to our FAQ here.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!