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Home > Master Selection Guide > Game FAQ's > Pinball Machine Buyers Guide

Pinball Machine Buyers Guide  |  FAQ                                                         New and Used Pinball Machines For Sale From BMI Gaming !

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions in regards to purchasing a brand new or refurbished pinball game. If you have a question that isn't answered here, please contact us and we
would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have about purchasing a brand new or refurbished machine, or if you have a specific game in mind, please use our sales inquiry form 

What type or kind of pinball machine should I buy?

Although we provide our customers with guidance in this area when asked (which is quite
often; we frequently are requested to suggest 3 to 5 game titles to fully stock a home or
office gameroom), sometimes this question is best answered by you!

As far as the style of game, we suggest that you buy the one that you like the best, judged
on the game's looks, theme, colors, rules, playfield "toys"  (devices on the game playfield
such as motorcycles, revolving heads, magnets, trap doors, etc) and by what kind of people
(kids, adults, both) will be using the machine. Some people buy games based on a "theme"
(movies, sports, celebrities, etc) and others for the amount of cool "toys" on a game. Some
people buy a game strictly because it is brand new or highly-collectable (a game that grows
in value), or because the game closely matches a certain color or decor in a given room. 

When looking for a pinball game, consider the following:

  • How much money are you willing to spend on your pinball machine purchase?

  • Will your game be used by family and children or just adults? Will it be in situated
    in a business or retail establishment or just be used by yourself and friends? 

  • If for family and children, what are the ages of the children who will be using it?
    Will the game be easy enough to play? We have many game titles specifically
    geared to, and appealing to, most kids (and usually to most adults as well!)

  • Where will the game be located? A centerpiece for your home or your garage?

  • Would you prefer a brand new pinball machine with little worries or a older,
    (but completely refurbished) pin that may at times have minor problems to fix?

What is the cost of a typical modern pinball game or how much is my pinball game worth?

Most pinball machines can vary considerably in price depending on a number of factors like:

  • New or Preowned

  • Current market value (for preowned games)

  • The cosmetic and mechanical condition of the machine (for preowned games)

  • Current machine popularity, machine rarity and / or collectability

  • Current supply and demand of the specific machine you are looking to purchase

  • Machine game rules plus machine game complexity (easy/hard play, simple or
    complex playfield or rules)

The majority of games range from a few hundred to about ten thousand dollars, depending on
the game title and its condition. Prices within the same game title may vary by several hundred
dollars from dealer to dealer or through auctions on the web of less-desirable machines.

If you have a current game and wondering what the current value of it is, a great resource for
researching and obtaining current market values is the Mr. Pinball Pinball List and Price Guide

The current market price of the game and most importantly the machine condition affect the
actual price of a game. You may obtain a lower price by purchasing a less expensive unit, but
then the chance that it is a sub-standard game that will fail to operate, breakdown or not play
will increase dramatically. And what happens when your machine need service? Who will you
turn to? Make sure you know exactly who you are dealing with before buying your machine.

Who or where should I buy my pinball machine from?

When you first start looking to purchase a pinball machine, the thing you do is to see if there is
a reputable national gaming distributor firm that is willing to sell you a top-quality machine, and
here is what to look for: First, do they have a physical address and branch offices? How about a
toll-free or even a regular phone number? Are they an actual business dealing in quality games
or just some part-timer looking to unload substandard machines on the web or eBay quickly ?

Are they registered with the local or national Better Business Bureau ?

Do they provide in-home / business repair if your game breaks down? Do they offer in-home
in-office delivery? What about a Free (1) Year Warranty ? Do they offer a return policy
if you
are not happy with your purchase? If you live out of state, can they find someone qualified
to fix your  game in your home, or help you with the repair over the phone free of charge?

About 35% of our service calls are from non-customers who used eBay or other "dealers" to buy their game

I don't live near you, so how much will it cost to pack and ship a pinball machine?

Please consult our shipping page for more information about game shipments. 

Do I need to use coins or tokens to play my pinball machine?

No. All modern pinball machines have a "free play" function that allows the game to be played
without the use of any coins or tokens! Almost all of our machines have this function. For games
we sell that come with fully functional coin doors, you can set your machine to play either for free
or you may charge for playing, in varying amounts (0.25, 0.75, 3 games for $1.00, etc) Some of
our more "enterprising" customers have actually paid for their game in just a year or so by
friends and family members to play it!

How often will I need to have my pinball machine serviced or repaired ?

That depends if the game is new or refurbished, and on how often you use plan to use your
game. A pinball game has many moving parts and the more you use your game, the more it
may need some minor maintenance or repair. It is best to have your game checked out every
couple of years or more, and perhaps every 3 - 4 months or more if it is being used in a pay (commercial) environment. This type of maintenance includes interior and exterior cleaning
and polishing, replacing worn light bulbs and rubber rings, replacing batteries that keep track
of high scores (they should be replaced every year to prevent possible battery leakage that
will cause major damage to your machine) and making any other necessary adjustments or
repairs as needed. Generally speaking, most "home-use" pinball games in good condition
that are played a few times per week can go years without needing any sort of major service.

Just how big is pinball machine? Will it fit through a my doorway?

Pinball machines were designed to fit through most modern "standard" width doorways.
Here are the measurements you need to consider in your door width is less than 32":

Most pinballs we ship either come fully assembled (With Legs On, Head Folded Down)
or come brand new in-the-box from the factory. Pinball heads can be taken off to reduce
the width from 29" to 23", but this process can take from 15 mins to 1 hour to complete.

"Standard" Pinball Machines:

With Legs On, Head Up  Height :76", Width : 29", Length : 55"
With Legs On, Head Folded Down  Height :55", Width : 29", Length : 55"
No Legs, Head Folded Down   Height :32", Width : 29", Length : 55"
With Legs On, Head Taken Off  Height :55", Width : 23", Length : 55"
Full Weight (Unboxed)  Approx 250 - 300 Lbs

"Wide Body" Pinball Machines:  (Does not apply to Atari Widebody Pins which are wider )

With Legs On, Head Up

  Height :77", Width : 29", Length : 52"

With Legs On, Head Folded Down     

  Height :55", Width : 29", Length : 52"

No Legs, Head Folded Down              

  Height :32", Width : 29", Length : 52"

With Legs On, Head Taken Off            

  Height :55", Width : 23", Length : 52"

Full Weight                                             

  Approx 285 - 350 Lbs


Want to learn more about the history of pinball ?
  |  Click Here For Our History Of Pinball Page

For more detailed info about buying any arcade game
  |  Buying Your First Arcade Game FAQ


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