Category Archives: Pinball

I saw the same pinball machine listed on eBay/craigslist for hundreds or thousands of dollars more!

I can’t believe how often I get the “I saw the same pinball machine (or arcade game) that I own, listed on eBay for… $$$ (Insert incredibly insane price here). So the current owner is thinking they should get the exact same price for there coin operated machine. Unfortunately, it’s never that simple! In fact, often it’s one of these instances listed below.

Instance number ONE: Fully restored on eBay.

The game that they saw on eBay is fully restored, fully working and completely refurbished! The bad news is… yours is NOT! Your game may light up when it is turned on, but it doesn’t even play. Unfortunately, condition is everything in pinball (Please read the article, What is my pinball machine worth?). I rarely pick up an arcade game that doesn’t need some sort of board/electronic work. The most common causes I’ve found range from burt connectors, to acid damage from batteries (how the game remembers the scores). These types of fixes take lots of time, and often cost lots of money to fix! So that $250 dead game often take $300 just to get it going again! Plus you still have to do the physically restoration to the game!

Instance number TWO: Over priced on eBay.

The ebay seller put some crazy number on his auction, and it never sold (Truth is, it wasn’t even supposed to sell!). A good sign of this is when the pictures intentionally show multiple games in the main image like the eBay ad listed below. You’ll notice several machines for sale in that image. Just as an FYI, there is a “blue book” for pinball machines called. Mr. Pinball’s price guide.

intentionally overpriced games for sale on ebay

A sign off an intentionally overpriced games for sale on ebay is when you see MORE THAN ONE game in the main picture. Its like saying, look we have all of these for sale too. So if you see something that you like, contact us.

I’ve gotten to a point where I ask… “Please send me the URL, because I’d like to see that ebay auction, and it’s sale price”. This is when people usually back peddle quickly and realize that it never did sell. They realize that eBay auction was simply excessively overpriced!

Pinball reseller

There is also another reason why the seller put the price really high on eBay. They weren’t expecting it to sell at all. Quite often, its used as a inexpensive way to advertise by local pinball resellers.

Instance number THREE: “Mine is a Limited Edition”

My game is a “Limited edition”. Technically, all pinball machines are “limited editions”. After all, they were on the production line and ran for only so long. Does that make your game that much more valuable than others? NO, not at all!

Higher production runs tend to be more valuable

In fact, I’ve actually found that the games that had a limited productions run, typically are not at all fun to play! The game never sold well, plus never did well on location, and the game was taken out of production rather quickly. So games with higher production runs, usually have a higher value!

This does NOT always hold true! For example there were only 400 joust, 100 vakrons, and 10 krull pinball machines ever produced and the price tags on those are incredibly high. Big Bang Bar is another I can think of that has a low production run, yet a huge price tag on it. However, Big Bang Bar is gets dull and boring after playing it for a bit (thus it’s low production run). Also, Williams Flash pinball machine is in the top 5 highest production runs ever, yet it priced typically a $500-$1000.

Stern Pinball Whitestar & modified MPU Cows and Easter Eggs

Did you know by hitting the flipper buttons in the order below, you’ll see this “secret message” displayed on the pinball machine’s DMD (dot matrix display).

It’s easy, simply press: Left, Left, Right, Left, Left, Right, Left, Left, Right and look up at the DMD! You have to press the buttoms relitivly fast on a Whitestar MPU game.

This trick will work on all of these games listed below.

  • Elvis
  • Grand Prix
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The Sopranos
Nascar and indiana jones pinball and indiana jones pinball machines

Did you know there is an easter egg or “Cow” for your pinball Nascar pinball machine? Yet the indiana jones pinball pinball right next to it, it doesn’t work on.


Secret message on a pinball machine

By hitting the flipper buttons in this order, you’ll see this “secret message” displayed on the DMD.
Press: Left, Left, Right, Left, Left, Right, Left, Left, Right and look up at the DMD


overpayment certified bank check scams for pinball machines

Just today I received an overpayment for a pinball machine! It was a “certified bank check” from “Wells Fargo Bank”.

This is NOTHING NEW for someone who has been buying and sometimes selling pinball machines for as long as I have been! I’ve seen this trick in the pinball industry, for well over, 14 years! The asking price for the pinball machine was $650. Below is an actual screen shot from the Craig’s List ad that is currently running in Iowa (Washington area).

Picture of my Aztec pinball for sale

Actual screen shot / picture of my Aztec pinball for sale on Craig’s list in Iowa.

I had LOTS of clues why this was a scam!

Everything from; He only wanted to communicate via Text message. To never mentioning the game by it’s real name. This person was is using Google Voice and was too dumb to know how to set it up correctly (after all, you don’t have to be too intelligent to be a criminal). The phone numbers they were using are/were… 312-445-0680, 609-316-2055 & 571-305-2710. I basically texted him saying “This sounds like a scam”. Yet s/he insisted that they were “real” and this wasn’t a “scam”. Well, I can’t turn down a “real” sale, and at the very least I’d get a scammer’s check for my wall (it will be framed). I’ll admit, the person behind this made it look good! It showed up in a trackable FedEx envelope. It’s tracking number was 796063583938. So there was an add.ess that it “came from”. Please note the phone number on the FedEx envelope, it’s (244) 444-4445. Yet, another tip off. I called that number too, and it wasn’t a real number.

FedEx package

Fake bank check came in a FedEx express envelope

The Fake certified bank check it self.

Picture of a The fake/SCAM certified bank check from Wells Fargo Bank.

The fake/SCAM certified bank check from Wells Fargo Bank.

Check is made out for $2,850.00 or $2,200 over the asking price of arcade game

You’ll notice that the fraudulent check is made out to $2,850.00. That is $2,200 over the asking price of the arcade game! I’m assuming that, he would have wanted me to reimburse him the difference. That is, if I didn’t send him this website address, where I was documenting this entire process. Lets just say I haven’t heard back from him yet.

I called the cops:

Seeing that the address was:

Hoff Dave Trillium Industries 24 Point Mountain Rd. Lebanon Twp, NJ 07882

I decided to call the Lebanon Township (Non-Emergency) Police office number and talked to a helpful COP! I gave him the tracking number, the address, my name and much more. He said he would look into in, and get back to me if anything comes up.

Officer “Steve Speed” Calls back.

The officer calls me back and informs me that the address that was listed on the FedEx envelope is actually a vacant home and is currently listed for sale (See the listing)! I’m sure this is where it will end. So that is why I’m posting this for all of you pinball people. Don’t get scammed!

Here is a picture of Aaron Van Noy with the Aztec pinball machine

Aaron Van Noy and Aztec pinball

Picture of Aaron Van Noy with my Aztec pinball machine for sale and the Fake, overpayment check that I got for it.

Please leave your comments! I’m glad that I’ve already saved one person from a scam! Post your comments below.

Also, Just as a trivia thing… “Officer Steve Speed” is a quote from the game High Speed pinball referring to the game designer Steve Richie.

UPDATE: September 27th 2013. I was just contacted by 636-686-0187 who also has a google voice number. This person was trying to scam me as well. I see through it instantly!

UPDATE: July 13th 2014. I was just contacted by 928-923-3507. This person was trying to scam me as well. This is what this Scammer texted me… “Here is the CEO of shipping company info for the Money gram transfer. Name-Cassandra McNeill, Add-801 College Ave, City- Arlington, State- TX Zip code 76011. (Money gram is available at Walmart stores). u’ll deduct the transfer charge and then $40 for your gas & running around. then text me back with the ref # for the money sent so the shipper can pickup the funds and co-ordinate shipping with their branch office in CA tomorrow morning. thanks 10:52 AM going to back and also save your time you can just go to any Walmart store close to you with your bank card and get the transaction done.”


Notice that s/he is trying to get people to RUSH! Do NOT fall for this trick!!! If you have any questions call me directly on my mobile, visit the contact page on this website.

Sell pinball in North Carolina for the most cash! Charlotte, Concord, Mount Pleasant, Harrisburg

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Also, be sure to read this informative article about “What is my pinball machine’s worth (Cash value)?”.