WHAT'S A VINTAGE COIN MACHINE WORTH?
by Dick Bueschel
SELLING VINTAGE COIN MACHINES
We have been talking about buying vintage coin machines, and took a look at the classic marketing and distribution stream and subsequent cost escalations faced by collectors. This time we'll cover the selling of vintage coin machines, including some tips on how to do well and get the fairest and fastest deal.
When you are selling machines, you use the marketing stream in reverse. Rather than work your way down the stream until you have a buyer (it is highly unlikely that an original owner or finder will know or be able to deal with an advanced collector as they can't offer the proper assurances and services), you work your way up until you have a deal. Forget about getting Top Retail. It just isn't in the cards. Your best bet is to consult a good price guide to get an idea of the retail value of your machine, and then look for about half of that.
One tip is that Specialized Dealers usually pay in cash. Green dollars! That way you don't have to worry about a check clearing, or wait to divvy up the money among the friends or family members that may have a share in the ownership of the machine. It's a clean deal.
In selling machines, the farther you go down the marketing stream the messier and more complicated it gets, with the more advanced buyers asking for assurances that everything is there, that the machine works, and that you will stand behind it and take it back if something seems wrong or they determine that the machine was "misrepresented". Let the dealers worry about those details.
When you're selling something your job is to get the money and get outta there. Track down the names of some dealers, ask for offers, and sell to the best deal. But don't drag it out. Get your offers and make then deal fast. If a group of dealers think that you are parlaying one against the other they'll all back off, and you'll be stuck with your machine with no immediate way out.
One last suggestion is to take your machine to one of the shows. But be warned, you'll soon feel like a hot dog in a tank full of Piranhas, and you'll never be able to figure out a good deal from the bad. Your best bet is to find a local dealer, call and describe your machine, have them visit, get an offer and take what seems reasonable. You'll be happier for it as opposed to trying to squeeze out the top dollar. You've probably got a lot better things to do with your time.
Copyright: Richard M. Bueschel, 1996
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