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If you have not noticed already, all that is retro is the new craze. Last year they saw a rise in sales for retro items that had not been seen since the 90s, which makes the pinball machine a valuable piece.
Despite pinball’s popularity once again spiking among enthusiasts along with new upgrades to fit the new era, I’m sure you would like to know where you can purchase your own, whether new, restored, or upgraded.
Some of the best places to buy a pinball machine are:
- M & P Amusement Company
- Facebook Marketplace
I will go into detail about each of these and other important things to consider about each option in the rest of this article.
Ordering a pinball machine online is your best bet if you are buying a new machine and don’t have an arcade store near you. If you are looking to buy a used machine you can often find them on Craigslist, Facebook, and other sites that allow individuals to sell items.
Even though you can scroll through various new and used machines online, there are some stores that carry them as well. Some stores may refer you to their online selection while others will actually carry them in-store.
It will depend on the size of the machine and how popular they are in your area. Most stores can’t afford the space to have every single possible model in the showroom store.
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Best Places To Buy New & Used Pinball Machines
For the prices, I’m going to give you the most expensive as well as the cheapest prices that they have to offer just so that you can get a feel for the ranges of each place individually. If the pinball machine is high quality will always vary (especially when the price range is a few hundred to a few thousand dollars) but most of these machines are manufactured and sold by well-known companies.
1. M & P Amusement Company
This would seem like the most obvious answer considering they have an entire section dedicated to new and restored pinball machines. However, while these machines were once bought for recreational-type buildings such as the sports emporium, the coliseum, or a roller rink, you can now purchase them for your own home.
Website: M&P Amusement
The new pinball machines in their online catalog are all the same price except for the few they require you to call in to receive the price. The prices are currently $5,895 before tax and shipping. If you would like the cost of shipping before placing it in your cart, you will have to call in for that too.
The refurbished pinball machines range from their highest price being $6,995 for the Simpsons Pinball Party Pinball Machine to their lowest price of $3,195 for the Slugfest Pinball Machine.
Where I’m from, I would consider Walmart a hit-or-miss store. Either they have what you’re looking for, or they don’t.
In this case, it seems that Walmart does carry pinball machines. They have vintage, arcade, and toy versions. Walmart allows third-party sellers to sell on their website so the pinball machines that you find on their site will mostly be purchased through those secondary companies but you will get Walmart’s return policy and promises.
The highest-priced pinball machine they have is a Stern Pinball Aerosmith Arcade Pinball Machine, Pro Edition for $7,199, but it’s currently out of stock. However, you can set up an in-stock alert to let you know when they will have more if you’re interested in this model.
Next to that is a Games People Play 80034 Black Prize Pinball for $148.48 with $14.74 shipping. The lowest price for a machine that they are offering is a Vintage Baseball Pinball Game for $16.99 including free shipping.
They have another Vintage Baseball-themed game, but it is currently $29.99.
Amazon has just about anything you can imagine even down to the most specific and bizarre details. Often times their selection is larger than the other sites. Plus, they offer free shipping on most orders (if you have Amazon Prime) and select items may qualify for one-day to two-day delivery if you have Amazon Prime as well.
Amazon is also known for its competitively cheaper prices, especially when it comes to larger or harder-to-find merchandise. Their most expensive is the Stern Pinball Batman ’66 Premium Arcade Pinball Machine for almost $10,000 and it qualifies for free shipping. You can add a 3-year protection plan for an extra $57.99 or a 2-year plan for $42.99. With an approved Amazon store card, you can receive a $60 discount.
The cheapest machine they have to offer is a Nagina International Wooden Bagatelle Table Game Pinball for under $50 with free shipping. It’s far from a recognizable pinball game, but it’s played in a similar style to traditional arcade pinball.
You can include a 3-year protection plan for $7.99 or a 2-year plan for an extra $5.99.
eBay is the hub for all things retro, and by retro, I mean mostly used and kept since way back in the day. Although they do have a large selection of new and unused merchandise that you can look through.
eBay is good for those who are looking specifically for a more traditional style real pinball machine.
The most expensive pinball machine that you will probably find on eBay is the Supreme Stern Pinball Machine SS-2018 for $60,000 before the $900 shipping. I don’t know if it would help to say that it’s brand new, but I’m 100% certain that you can get a brand-new pinball machine for way cheaper.
The cheapest full-size pinball machine is a Williams 1957 Hi Hand Pinball Machine that is for sale for $350. This one’s pre-owned so depending on the quality you’re looking for (especially since it’s not a traditional flipper machine) it may or may not be worth it to you.
There are a ton of pinball-style tabletop games and toys but most of those are made of plastic and won’t last long at all. If looking for a cheap plastic one you will be better off buying a new one than taking a chance with a used one on eBay.
Of course, the items available on eBay change quite often so you will have to check and see what is available when you read this article. Most of the pinball machines only have local pickup allowed so make sure to check the location of the machine before you buy.
It is also to pay attention to whether the item is an auction or buy it now. For the buy-it-now items you are actually purchasing the item for that price. For the auctions, you will bid against other people to try and win the machine.
The Craigslist site is determined by your area so if you live in a small town away from all major cities there might not be many pinball machines at all there. Not everyone is a fan of Craigslist and understandably so, but it doesn’t hurt to look and see what someone may have to offer if you are a pinball enthusiast.
You never know how good of a deal you will get on a pinball machine but there will also be other collectors competing for their favorite machine. However, with Craigslist you also don’t know what quality you might be getting.
It is always a good idea to arrange a meeting with the seller so that you can look at the exact pinball machine you’re purchasing before you take it home. Make sure to keep an eye out for any repairs that the machine might need as well as possible damaged hardware or software.
If the artwork on the exterior of the pinball machine is damaged that will also lower its value. Just be sure that you know exactly what you are buying even if you are only looking at modern machines.
When buying a pinball machine on Craigslist you might have to travel a couple of miles away for it, others are tens of miles away, and some might just be around the corner. You never know, but it doesn’t cost you anything to check it out before you totally scrap the idea.
The pricing isn’t as consistent as a company site since it’s usually people selling something they’d already bought, it’ll be up to the seller to either post it with their offer or bring it up once they’ve been contacted by someone with an interest in buying it.
Most of the time the prices listed are negotiable. That is especially true if the item has been for sale for a while.
You do have to be careful not to get scammed on Craigslist so it’s important to never send a payment and only pay with cash and don’t take the money with you on the first meeting. There are many different complex scams when making purchases online so anyone who wants you to send payment before actually picking it up or to “hold it” could be a scammer.
Since this is a larger purchase you will most likely be meeting at a person’s house so it’s a good idea to take someone along with you and test the item thoroughly. If you like it just tell them you have to run to the ATM and will be right back and most honest sellers won’t have an issue with that.
Be sure and test the pinball machine thoroughly though since once you pay them the item is your’s faults and all.
6. Facebook Marketplace
This is one that has absolutely exploded in recent years. Facebook, of course, began as a social network but many people started setting up local for-sale groups and those were similar to yard sales in many places.
In the last few years Facebook set up its marketplace and you can now search for a variety of items in your local area and find many of them.
Just like Craigslist your success with finding a pinball machine on Facebook will be determined by your local area and how big it is as well as how many people have pinball machines near you.
Just like Craigslist prices will vary depending on the seller and your area so spend some time looking and don’t just buy the first one you find at the asking price. In my area, the prices currently range from $900 up to $6,000 for a pinball machine.
Remember, most people build in some wiggle room to their price so making an offer is always ok on for-sale sites.
Pinball Buyers Guide
No matter where you buy your machine from you should plan ahead and make sure that you know as much as possible so you can make as good of a decision as possible.
The video below is from Home Leisure and they give tons of great tips for buying a new machine.
There are certainly more places to buy a pinball machine as there will always be new local for-sale sites and new stores coming on the scene. Ultimately it is best for you to take your time and do some searching before making a decision.
There are tons of machines available and the demand for them isn’t what it used to be so you should have plenty of time to make up your mind before you decide which one is for you.