Words to Watch Out For When Buying Arcade Games or Pinball Machines

I have learned through many years of posts, sales, people, auctions, and similar experiences that there are certain words and phrases that you need to watch out for when buying games, boards, etc.

Untested

The first one, and it is a biggie – UNTESTED.  Here is the truth: if dealing with a whole game, and it has an intact power cord, it is never “untested” – somebody tried to plug it in and power it on, guaranteed.  When dealing with intact games, presume “untested” means “I plugged it in, it did not work” – in other words, “broken.”

Now, sometimes “untested” really does mean untested.  For example, if someone just got a great bulk deal on a bunch of boards, and want to move them quickly, they may not want to go through the time and effort of testing each one.  For example, it is not worth building an adapter for a board that sells for $50 working when I can sell it for $30 untested – I would spend more than $20 of my time and materials building that adapter.

Things like power supplies may legitimately be untested because they might not want to risk damaging a board because of a bad power supply (not everyone has a rig to properly test supplies under load).  Same goes for controls, coin mechs, etc.  Might not be worth the time to connect and try out each one.

In general, just presume that Untested means the same as Broken.  That way, you are never disappointed.

Worked [time] ago when I put it into storage, on the shelf, etc.

This is another one.  “It worked 6 months ago when I put it into storage,” or “it last worked two years ago before I put it on the shelf.” Same as above – play it safe and consider that to mean untested or just broken.

It Just Needs This One Inexpensive Part…

This is another favorite of mine.  “It is broken and I am selling it for $100.  It just needs this one little inexpensive $30 part and then it will be worth $400, so this is a great deal!” Continue reading “Words to Watch Out For When Buying Arcade Games or Pinball Machines”