Renting Out Machines For Home Use

Talk about anything that you would like.
Post Reply
MAACA QuarterPounder
Posts: 293
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:13 pm
Location: Newfoundand

Renting Out Machines For Home Use

Post by Linkage »

So - my location sucks for Pinball. Both buying machines and location play. There's nothing out there.

The Movie Theatre five hours away just actually just put in a Ghostbusters and a Fish Tales which has me ecstatic. I'm curious how long they will last though if they don't pull enough coin. This got me thinking.

I would rent a machine for $200-$300 per month no questions asked if it came with the ability to occasionally switch machines. If I would do it, I bet those people who want one or two machines for their shed /basement / mancave would too.

A $4000 machine rented out at $200 per month is a 5% ROI - per month. That's not a horrible return, in fact that's a 60% ROI per year. That's stellar from an investment standpoint. 20 months to pay for itself, which is not great from that perspective, but seems like a better deal then routing a machine. And yes I know, that does not account for, wear and tear and time, but bear with me as this is rough napkin math. Plus the assumption is that home based use will be a lot less damaging then routing.

I obviously need to flesh the idea out more, but I'm wondering what everyone thinks about the concept? I've look for threads on the idea, but can find minimum. I do know one guy renting out new machines to office locations who does fairly well - different province.

- Rent out pinball month by month. Probably a minimum 2/3 month commitment, repairs covered by me. After the 2/3 months they have the option to switch to another machine.
- Pinball will have more interest than arcade machines, but maybe bundle a nice 60 in 1 with a machine as well, increase the perceived value. Minimal extra cost to me, I've got like 40-50 cabs in storage.
- Price probably 200-300 per month.
- I live in a somewhat smaller area. Everyone knows everyone. This greatly decreases the chance of someone stealing a machine. If you've lived here for 30+ years and own a thriving business, you're probably not bugging out and stealing a machine from me.
- I've sold machines to a lot of people that would be the target demo. I can see them and their friends being interested.
- Someone is going to bring liability up, I might look into it, but unless this scaled and I had like 10 machines out at a time, I wouldn't bother with it.

Anyways, thoughts?

User avatar
MAACA QuarterPounder
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:44 am
Location: Ottawa ON

Re: Renting Out Machines For Home Use

Post by tombiosis »

OK I'll play

let's say I go buy a woz for 10k...I rent it for 3 months for 900...I need to do that13 times just to get my initial investment I haven't made a dime yet, and I had to move the machine 26 times and pay for gas etc... :FP: wonder what the game would look like after all that? And how many times did I have to repair it ($) and replace parts ($$)
so lets say you have the machine for a week or two, then it breaks... who pays? If I am the guy renting it out, my time is money...yet you will say I rented you a bad machine, and want your money back...
Rentals might work for parties and short term, but long term there is too much maintenance. Plus, moving machines around is hard on them.
I could see a "rent to own" scenario though, like they do for TVs and appliances. Those usually cater to people with no money and no credit... fwiw
I would love to rent a different high end machine for 3 months of the year every year though...then get a different one the following year...
You start it and I will be your first customer! :mrgreen:
Pins: 8BDlx, Frontier, Big Buck Hunter, Fish Tales, Iron Maiden Pro, Deadpool Pro
Gone but not forgotten: 6M$M, Sorcerer, WPT, Elvis, Centaur II, Sure Shot, Firepower.

WTB: Fathom, TSPP, BSD, GOT.

Quit talking and start chalking!

User avatar
MAACA Half-ling
Posts: 762
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:08 pm
Location: Melbourne, ON

Re: Renting Out Machines For Home Use

Post by Hammerhead »

Linkage wrote:The Movie Theatre five hours away just actually just put in a Ghostbusters and a Fish Tales which has me ecstatic.
What location is that? Time to update the Canadian Public Pinball Tracker ;) It may help to draw in some coin, make the machine viable, and promote more locations.
I am François du Grimm, and I will get medieval on your derriere!

MAACA Half-ling
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:06 pm
Location: Hespeler, ON

Re: Renting Out Machines For Home Use

Post by Silverball »

I think you'd be better off routing a game as long as you get a favourable split with the location.

At least on location it is pay per use, if it gets heavy use you are getting compensated for it.

At someone's home with the game on free play, they could be playing a ton of games yet your profit is capped.

After you figure in the cost of moving the game and any potential repairs at $200-300 a month it doesn't make
much sense from a financial stand point unless the game cosmetically is a beater and was cheap to acquire.

I guess the only way to really know how it would work out would be to give it a try.
Gone - Split Second, Cyclone, DM, WH20, SWEP1, Skill Pool, MSF, JM, I500, NF, WPT, Tron, TZ, Cyclone #2, Astro
Currently Playing - TOMMY, SM, TSPP, BSD, DH, KING PIN, Soccer, Taxi, Gamatron, DILE


User avatar
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:20 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ont

Re: Renting Out Machines For Home Use

Post by Slacker »

Ok I'll bite. We have a operator in my area and they rent Pins, for party's, Movie Props and Plays stuff like that and operate pins on location. The company has been in business for years and also sells Pins and coin op.
Most collectors do not buy from them because they say the cost is too high. But they offer on phone or e-mail support to the members of the Pinball Exchange club, they have to pay Heat, Hydro and have a Brick and mortar location so it not just some Joe in his basement. So the cost should be expected to be high. So in my mind for the guy or person that wants a pin or 2 and the option to swap it out or trade up over time with a per determined trade in value its perfect. I don't recall all the details but if you buy a pin from them they give you a guaranteed trade in value so if you want you can go back and trade up you can.
They carry parts and are a one stop shop for all your pinball and coin op needs. They have always treated me well but like most one here I have not bought a pin but have had many great dealings for parts and placed a in home
service called at least twice in the past 8 years for issues I could not figure out and Bill was able to get me going again. Here is the website you can look for yourself.
P.S I pretty sure they will not deliver to NFLD :-( But then again everyone has a price.
Playing.... SST, Buccaneer, Bally PB, Data East PB, Stern PB, TFTC, ACDC Pro, Hook, EATPM
Gone. Magnotron, Bally Ticker Tape Bingo, Haunted House, Totem..... My Money and sanity

Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:49 pm
Location: Montreal, Quebec

Re: Renting Out Machines For Home Use

Post by talesofthearabiannights »

At OP, waste of time for a lot of reasons that tombiosis already mentioned plus hundreds of more. Avoid the idea, don't even give it a "try".
Looking For HUO or Restored:

User avatar
MAACA Silent Type
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Renting Out Machines For Home Use

Post by Sepinballgirl »

If you are in the Ottawa/Gatineau area, please let me know. My work rents à pinball every year to raise funds for United Way. We would happily pay you $200-$300 a month as a rental fee. Mind you, we keep whatever 's in the machine at the end of the month and donate that to our Campaign.

MAACA Silent Type
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:19 am
Location: Montreal

Re: Renting Out Machines For Home Use

Post by JBoom »

Here are my two cents for what they are worth.

Overall I do not recommend but if you were to give it a go it cannot be a flat fee. As others have pointed out, some titles are worth much more than others and it is the higher end ones that people would probably want to rent since they can't afford them. Wear and Tear to an Medieval Madness is obviously more costly than to a Firepower as an example. Furthermore, your gas and moving the pins will prob eat up a good portion of your suggested fee. With a higher fee though you're going to lose a portion of the target audience as now you are getting into car payment territory.

Next is where will these pins be coming from. If you need to purchase them whether new or used costs money. So now you have financing fees (whether a line of credit) or if from your personal savings you need to account for the opportunity cost of capital (you can invest in blue chip stocks with a dividend yield relatively safely at 3% or more... if you're comparing the risk apples to apples think equity returns of 8-15%).

While I can go on for much longer, the only way that this potentially "works" is if you have a large array of games stashed away already and a lot of free time on your hands. This would let you earn more than an outright sale on them potentially but with all things considered it won't be much more and the effort is probably not worth it. Also if any of them suffer real damage you will be in the red.

Sorry for rambling on.


User avatar
MAACA Half-ling
Posts: 867
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:32 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Renting Out Machines For Home Use

Post by semicolin »

I wouldn't even consider this for a second for a cash deposit less than what the game is worth. People disappear. So will games.

Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:10 am

Re: Renting Out Machines For Home Use

Post by TheChurchofTheSilverBall »

back in the late 70's there was aguy who rented games. i met him 10 yrs later and asked how i went. he said insurance was a huge burden since the games would not be covered by the homeowner's insurance. Also when a house has a fire, they look for non-ul or non-csa items. it will nullify the homeowners insurance coverage. keep your iso transformers in games and hydro stickers.

Post Reply

Return to “MAACA Forum and Chat”