Auction Preview Period
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Things to look for when you preview a game
- Check out the cosmetic condition of the item.
- Check the operational condition: buttons and controls work, monitor and picture quality, LED lights on pinball scores, etc.
- Open the coin doors (if not locked) and take a good look inside. A flashlight is useful for looking around. Check for existance of all necessary parts, manuals, coins, dead mice, water damage, etc.
- Power up the machine. For video games, look for toggle switches on top, in back, or on the lower sides of the machines. For pinball games, look underneath or on top of the back portion of the game, or on the lower right side for some older machines. Rarely are power switches inside the coin doors.
- If a game powers up, play the game. To do this, you'll have to coin up (credit) the machine. If the coin doors are not locked,look inside for a credit switch. Otherwise, you can trigger a credit by triggering the coin detecting mechanism. It's difficult to explain here in text, so if you don't know how to do this, ask around. Someone should be able to help. You'll also find out if the coin mechanisms work at all. If you care about the coin mechs, try triggering them by inserting a quarter (which you'll be able to take back if the coin doors are open).
- You are usually asked not to open the backs of video games. Even if you are not asked, it's best to avoid doing this! It's too easy for the back panel to fall and break the neck of the monitor. With many people moving around the games, mistakes will happen. Also, you may be mistaken for sabotaging the machine and be kicked out of the auction (it's happened). Once you purchase a game, then you can do whatever you want with it.
- Many 3+ player videogames have oversized control panels which are wider than the body of the game. These can usually be removed for easier transport, and for fitting the game through your door. Make sure you check for this unless you have plenty of room in your vehicle, and the game's destination has a large enough entranceway. If you disconnect the panel, be sure to mark the connectors for easy reassembly.
- Monitors that appear to be missing a color (Red, Blue, Green) Could indicate that a single wire may have come loose. This may be as easy to fix as re-seating the main color connection to the monitor and from the board. I have had a monitor that had no red turn out to be a totally beautiful monitor because of this. Then again it could be a deeper issue.
- If the game has a 25 inch monitor and it seems to be on it's way out, replacements may be hard to find. Less manufacturers are making 25 in. monitors.
- Many games are conversions. A conversion came from the factory as one game, and was later converted into another game by an operator. If you are interested in originals only, make sure you check if the game is a conversion. For example, a Mortal Kombat may have been created from a Centipede cabinet (oh, the pain!). Some games look like nothing more than a combination of spare parts. Go to the KLOV site (see below) for info on video games and pics of originals. Also be aware that if a game is a conversion, it may be a different size than you first thought. So don't forget to measure it.
- For pinball machines, make sure you check if the back of the machine folds down or disconnects (not all do, or are troublesome to disconnect). Otherwise, you may have a tough time fitting the machine in your vehicle (if the back doesn't come down, it may not even fit into a full-sized van). On most pinballs, the legs can be removed for easier transport. Bring tools to undo any bolts (wrench, screwdrivers, etc.)
- Check the condition of the plastics on pinball machine playfields, especially the ramps. Broken parts can be very expensive to replace. If the game has an LED dot matrix display, be sure to check this as these are very expensive as well.
- For dart machines, power up the machine and start a game. Hit dartboard segments to see if they register. Some may be dead, or the whole dartboard may be dead. Some don't play cricket (a very popular dart game), so check this if you want it.
- For jukeboxes, check if it plays records (45s) or CDs. Check if the 45s or CDs are included. Often, boxes of records or CDs are auctioned separately. Since 45s are no longer made, the jukeboxes that play them tend to be cheaper, but the 45s themselves tend to be more expensive and tougher to find.