The Experts Speak
ARE PRICING GUIDES ANY GOOD?
The Experts for this Issue:
Dick Bueschel Speaks:Absolutely. They're the best. But not for their prices.
A price guide without pictures is virtually useless. What collector really knows all the machines just by name? Say you want to know the value of a GEM. What GEM? Over thirty were made by as many makers. With pictures you learn mchines, and the value relationships from one to another. And that's the true value.
Prices fluctuate, but the relationships between machines rarely do, except for fad jumps. Good price guides with color pictures will make you smart in a hurry. Then you can pay whatever you feel you can afford to get what you want.
Ken Durham Speaks:I believe you should take pricing guide with a grain of salt. Not all people do.
I've seen some people purchase a machine just because it was lower than the pricing guide. (In that specific case, I believe they overpaid.) I've also seen other people refuse to buy a machine that they were dying to own because it was more expensive than the pricing guide. (In that case, I believe they may have passed up a bargain.) There is a slot machine pricing guide that came out at the peak of the slot machine craze. Now everyone uses it to show customers how reasonable their high prices are.
A machine priced higher than a pricing guide may just reflect a rising market. If you pass the machine now, it may be even higher in six months time. You also have to assess the rarity of the machine. If you pass a machine now, you may not see it again for several years.
Well. . . how then should you use a pricing guide? Use it primarily for comparative purposes. Is one machine more valuable than another machine. How much more valuable is it. Then use this information to help you determine whether or not the machine is properly priced in today's market place.
Do I use pricing guides? Yes, all the time. I get them all, compare them to each other, and use them to refine my own estimates of what an item should cost. I even use my ten year old price guides if that is the only place the machine I'm interested in is located.
Bernie Nagel Speaks:I read your opinion on price guides and I agree with you mostly it seems to depend on if your a buyer or seller ; the seller wants the high price from the guide and the buyers wants the low one. now what about auction prices these prices are actual amounts that items have changed hands for these prices are more realistic because unless you know what the piece actually sold for not the price they were asking you can be mislead
Dave Burritt Speaks:Price guides are an interesting beast and almost always a controversial issue. It takes someone with a thick hide to produce one because they will always get a lot of negative feedback. People who own machines that are in the guide will usually think the prices are too low. However, the prices for machines that they do not own (but are looking for) are thought to be too high. In addition, prices can vary a lot from one area of the country to the next and it is not uncommon to see variances in prices between price guides by as much as 50%.
Now, you may think that I am against price guides. Nothing could be further from the truth. I own almost all the price guides published. However, I use them as guides and that's it! Also, all price guides show relative value pretty well. I have yet to see one that has a Mills Hi Top priced above a Watling Rol-A-Top. I think a new collector would be foolish NOT to have a price guide to assist them while they are trying to build their collection.
Marshall Fey Speaks:I would say they are, but only for a relative value. I have a number of people asking me what their machine is worth. I tell them it is like used cars. if you sell it to a dealer it is a quick sale, but will recieve a lower wholesale price. You can advertise it for sale to the general public and you may get your asking price, but your market is limited. If you sell it to a collector they may want a good deal, although if they want it bad you will receive a premium price.
Let's Have Your ViewpointDo you have some thoughts?
Please share your views with us. Here's the process:
Keep your comments to less than 100 words. We'll pick a few, excerpt some of the thoughts and post them here in a few weeks.
Send your comments to durham@GameRoomAntiques.com
Go back to Sales Lists, Wanted Lists and Trade Lists menu.
Go back to GameRoomAntiques