4 Expert Tips to Help You Buy the Perfect Pinball Machine

Many collectors that are now adults started their collection early on while they were still kids. It’s where some of your fondest memories are formed and how you get to like the things that you love today. As an adult, you’ve either outgrown your collection or have since learned to expand it. If before you were collecting board games, now you may be targeting pinball machines or those coin-operated games that remind you a lot of your childhood.


Starting your own pinball machine collection isn’t a cheap hobby to have. But it’s definitely a rewarding experience. Being able to play all of your favorite games in your local arcade is undoubtedly a mesmerizing trip down memory lane. But if you want to make sure you make a great investment, you should know just what kind of machine to get. Well, you’re in luck as this guide can help you buy a pinball machine that’s worth your time and money.


  1. Check Your Budget


A pinball machine isn’t exactly like buying a tabletop game or a comic book. It’s actually similar to buying a car since you’ll be shelling out quite a considerable amount of money. So if you’re going to shop around for a machine that you like, you must first establish a budget and stick with it. If you want to be on the safe side, it’s best to start with a budget of around $2,500 to $3,000. This should be enough to get you some great machines that hold their value well. While you can easily buy multiple machines at a cheaper price point, they are, for the most part, cheap for a reason. As much as possible, go all out with your budget but don’t go over it.


  1. Spend Time Playing


Before choosing which machines to buy, it would be better for you to first try out as many different machines as you can find first. Just spend some time playing and see which ones you enjoy a lot. The last thing you want is to regret what you bought because you didn’t like playing with it. A great way to try out different machines is to attend a pinball show or a gaming convention. Many manufacturers and sellers bring their machines there and allow the public to enjoy them firsthand. If you’re lucky, you may run into others who live close to you that are into pinball as well. 


  1. Decide Whether to Buy New or Used


One of the biggest factors that could influence the price of a pinball machine is whether it’s brand new or used. It’s a pretty simple choice, but will greatly affect what you buy. If you want a brand new machine, you need to consider the out-of-box issues that many owners encounter. The good news is that the manufacturer’s warranty mostly covers them.


On the other hand, a used pinball machine can save you a lot of money and can still work almost as well as a brand new one. However, you need to be really meticulous about choosing the machines you buy. Either way, you need to find a seller or distributor you can trust, just like Game Exchange.


  1. Research Pricing


Of course, like any big purchase, you need to spend hours of research to find only the best machines at the right price. Thankfully, the internet is here to help you do all your research online.


Typically, with a pinball machine, the really underpriced ones sell so fast that it’s hard to keep up. You’re not the only collector on the lookout for a cheap machine that’s in excellent condition. If you want to stay updated on the price of a potential machine, try doing a quick search on online selling platforms like eBay and Amazon to see how much these things sell for.




Buying a pinball machine is an investment in the joys of life. To own one and include it in your collection of memorabilia from your childhood is such a great honor that every money you spend on it is worth it.


Game Exchange is a full-line distributor of new and used coin-operated games and equipment. We carry an array of products designed for commercial and residential customers. If you’re looking to buy air hockey tables or pinball machines, we have everything a collector or even an arcade owner would need. Visit our showroom today to see some of our games and equipment.