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View Full Version : Used Table Decision Help... (Pics Included)



pittpanther
11-21-2004, 07:27 AM
Hello everyone... I finally have gotten a chance to go and check out some used tables. Just a little background - my wife and I would be considered beginners, and are not sure how "serious" we will be with regard to learning and playing.

With that said, over the last year or so, I have researched many of the brands (thanks to many of you here), and was initially settled on a Diamond.

After checking out some of the prices on used tables, I was really drawn to the value they offer. Since used Diamond tables are few and far between, my choices narrowed to Vitalie and Brunswick. The wife loves the Vitalie's for their appearance, as do I actually. We have space in our basement for any size, but a 7' would fit the best (i.e.: no need to move existing furniture, etc.)

I went to look at two (2) tables yesterday, both of which I really like on their own merits. The 1st is a 7' Brunswick Brookstone with Queen Anne legs:

http://www.datability.biz/images/Brunswick.jpg

It is an near perfect shape and includes a set of Centennials, along with a pool table light, floor stand cue holder and two (2) chairs. The seller and I decided on a price of $1,000 for it. It is only a couple of years old, and saw limited action by adults only.

The next is a 9' Peter Vitalie Chippendale. Amazing looking table - great shape (not quite as good as the Brunswick). It really was stunning. It comes with a pool table light, a cue rack and a set of balls. The guy is asking $6500 for it - but I know I will only be able to offer around $4000 for it. He may just laugh at me...! Anyway, here it is:

http://www.datability.biz/images/Vitalie.jpg

Ok - I know that these two tables are very different in a number of ways - mostly size and price. I think we would be very happy with the Brunswick, but may regret passing on the Vitalie (which according to the seller lists at close to $20K new...?) If my wife and I do get serious with playing and start looking at league play - which would be better for us? Which is the better value/deal?

Any/all comments would be appreciated. Thanks!

Doug

ragin1
11-21-2004, 08:30 AM
The 7' Brunswick looks like my 8' Vitalie, but mine has 6 legs. The new Brunswick was made in China. The Vitalie was made in good ol North Carolina and has all hardwood construction. If you really don't have room for a 9' table it will frustrate you repeatedly. The price of the Vitalie seems high. I would think you could get a 9' ornate one of them used for about 4.

When I first came on this site I researched the archives on every subject that interested me. Not trying to blow you off, but there is gobs of info on opines of used and new tables of all kinds. Not to mention cloth wars, how to set up, even what type of chalk. Another great site for info is AZBilliards.

Regards

Popcorn
11-21-2004, 08:31 AM
You don't have to take the sellers word for anything about the tables it can be easily researched. I would get a 9 foot table if you have the room. A pool table will last you a life time it is not something you just replace so easily so get what you really want. The cost of a table can easily be justified over time if only by what you save on table time at a pool room gas going back and forth and so on. Not to mention the connivance of having a table right in your home where you can just walk into the other room and play when ever you like. I can often be found playing in my underwear in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. Your table will become a part of the family. Do some research make the best deal you can on the table you choose. Also like anything, you don't have to buy the table, walk away from the deal if you don't like it. Another one will come along maybe better, there are good deals on tables out there. The worst deal will be from an original owner since they paid full retail, but tables lose a lot of value and it is common to buy them for 20 cents on the dollar or less. I have a Gold crown I paid $400. for and a Sanuer Willham (sp?) in storage I paid $500. for that is worth around $4000.00. Personally though based on what you are saying, I would order a new Diamond before I would pay $6500. for the Vitalie.

ragin1
11-21-2004, 08:33 AM
I just notice this. Are they coasters under the legs of the Vitalie, or are they levelers. I did not know you could put levelers under those types of legs. If they are levelers does it affect the highth of the table?

pittpanther
11-21-2004, 08:59 AM
Thanks a bunch for the input. I have searched the forum here for feedback/info on Vitalie - not a whole lot. I will check out AZBilliards.com - thanks for the heads up!

I think we are leaning towards the Vitalie - just because I hate the idea of regretting passing on it. Like I said, we will have re-arrange a few things in our basement to accommodate a 9 footer - but not a huge deal.

I would still like to find out what a good offering price would be for it. There have been a couple of threads on here regarding other high end Vitalie tables that have sold around 20% of their retail.

Popcorn
11-21-2004, 09:10 AM
Although you can ask for advice, you yourself have to crawl around under the table and see what you think. Look at it real close, if you see a bunch particle wood and those fancy sides are just some cheap pressed wood, There may be no real value there. Not to say some sucker may not buy the table for the asking price, you just don't want to be the one. A lot of junk can be made to look like it has value. In the end the value is a willing seller and a willing buyer.

ragin1
11-21-2004, 09:22 AM
Every peice of wood from the sidecaps to the sideboard to the frame to the rails is made of hardwood.

From their site

"At Vitalie, this age-old process begins with the basics. Only the finest materials will do. 100% American hardwood inside and out. Thick, heavy lumber and plenty of it. Then a structure big and strong enough to support the generations of players who will put their full trust and weight upon it.

For maximum strength and rigidity the cabinet must be broken down into the shortest, strongest cross-sections possible. Just as dowels, dovetails and tongue and groove have been the hallmark of fine furniture for centuries, Vitalie uses a unique fine joinery system and interlocking structure of wood supporting wood to assure a lasting strength and stability to their tables"


Vatalie doesn't cut corners on their tale construction. The only wood I question is the wood that is glued to the slates.

Any opinion about whats under the legs in the picture above?

Popcorn
11-21-2004, 09:33 AM
I wasn't attacking that table just talking in general terms. I have seen some really bad tables. The things under the legs may have pins that go through the carpet so the table is not resting on the carpet but on the solid floor below. When you level a table one leg always sits on the floor at (The higest point,) and you bring the rest of the table up to it. There is not usually a shim under all four legs.

pittpanther
11-21-2004, 09:51 AM
What discussion I have found on Vitalie tables has been very positive. The table definitely appears to be very well made. Because of its outrageous retail price, I am just not sure what is a fair offer. Even with a retail of $20K, which I am sure I will invalidate when I call some dealers, an 80% depreciation would take it to $4K.

Popcorn
11-21-2004, 09:52 AM
I have to add this
Vitalie does make some bad tables. A friend who was opening a room bought (15) Vitalie tables. The tables would not go together as they should, they even had to drill some of the slates to add screws to add more integrity to them they were so poorly built. The mechanics said they were some of the worst tables he had ever seen as far as quality went, None of the ball returns worked right and in the end they were discarded and drop pockets used. Vitalie when contacted took no responsibility. My friend was so mad he wanted to go to the BCA show with a sign not to buy their tables. After the room was up and running over the next year he sold all the tables one at a time and replaced them with better tables. I have no second thoughts about writing this, since I was there through the whole fiasco and know first hand what the tables were like and how he was treated by Vitalie

pittpanther
11-21-2004, 10:17 AM
Wow. Do you remember what model Vitalie tables he purchased?

ragin1
11-21-2004, 10:28 AM
That is absolutely the first negative thing I have heard on Vitalie tables. I'll take your word for it though, and fall back on this. My Vitalie is well built, solid, and plays very well.

pittpanther
11-21-2004, 10:35 AM
What model do you have ragin1?

Popcorn
11-21-2004, 10:41 AM
Not what you are looking at, but a commercial type more suited for a pool room. These are usually a company's the best built tables but not in this case.

ragin1
11-21-2004, 10:41 AM
Virtu 8'. Almost identical to the Brunswick pictured above. No plate on the end rail of course, and has 6legs. We really do enjoy this table. We put championship 30/30 and championship rails on it. Plays smooth as silk. Bought in Md for $306 off of Ebay. I really am astounded that Vitalie supplied mercandise of the stated condition. Guess we learn something every day.

SnakebyteXX
11-21-2004, 01:16 PM
I'm not a big fan of the 'furniture look'. Although it is VERY popular with wives. However I am a huge fan of fifty plus year old Brunswick Centennial and Anniversary models. They have an enduring reputation for first rate playability, beauty, and very high resale value (if and when the time ever comes to sell).

Here's a nine foot Anniversary just posted for sale in Boston. At $2850 the price isn't out of the ballpark. However, I'm guessing that if you're half way good at bargaining it might be had for 2K or less.


Brunswick Anniversary table in Boston (http://boston.craigslist.org/spo/49676539.html)

Here's one for an eight foot Centennial model on EBay. Price is 3K and rising:

Brunwsick Centennial (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7114661934)

Snake <-- Loves old Brunswicks - owns one - does not plan to sell it - ever.

DialUp
11-21-2004, 01:49 PM
No table is worth $20K... The only way I would ever pay retail for that is if it had 180 $100 bills stuffed in one of the legs /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I know what it takes to make quality furniture and how much it costs (including the billiard components) and 20k is WAY over priced... $4k is still a very healthy profit for a piece of furniture...

First off, get a nine foot table if you have room. I would never consider less, if I were you, since you have the room.

Second, if you can spend 4k on a table, you have, virtually, unlimited choices. Why not buy a new table? There are several manufacturers that sell a quality table for less than that price and you can have any look you desire...

9' is much harder to find used but I would wait until you find one for $2k, or less. I bought my 9' Gold Crown for $700. After new cushions, Simonis cloth, pockets, sights, I was in it about $1100 for a table that was in good condition and had a perfect playing surface. It took me a couple months to find it but it was worth the wait. If I was looking for furniture styles, I could have found on much quicker.


Good Luck

pittpanther
11-21-2004, 06:26 PM
I am primarily avoiding a new table due to their depreciation. Since I am not sure how serious we will be taking playing - I may be looking to sell it and would rather someone else absorb that loss - just hegding my bets.

Angel_R
11-21-2004, 08:49 PM
I guess it all depends on how you two plan on playing. If you want a table for the occassional games and when friends are over, the seven foot will do, but If you want to increase your skill, play in tournaments, etc... IMO go for the 9 ft.

I bought a nine foot Vitalie about four months ago and love it. I don't have high regards for who set it up for me, which is another point to consider, but the table is absolutely beautiful with brass trimming, brass rails connecting all the legs together. The catch was I got it with everything, balls, cues, oak racks, leather cover,straight pool beads in oak rack, pick up and set up for $2000. The deals are out there.

On a side note, I had a Brunswick 7 ft table for the past 12 years and it played great. New table was due to remodeling in rec room and I wanted my game to go to the next level. Good Luck! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

pittpanther
11-22-2004, 05:31 AM
Thanks for the response Angel.

I think we will be making an offer of $2,500.00 for the Vitalie table - the seller may just laugh at me, but then again, he may accept if he really needs to get rid of it. If it doesn't pan out with him, then we will go with the Brunswick. With the Brunswick, if we wound up getting serious, I can always sell it without too much of a loss, and then seek a 9 footer.

pittpanther
11-22-2004, 12:38 PM
Just an update - made the offer on the Vitalie ($2,500), and the seller said he could only go as low as $4,500, so I told him best of luck and thanks for his time.

With that said, we are going forward with the 7' Brunswick. I received a quote from used-pooltable.com to transport it from PA to MD for around $400 (includes disasembly and reassembly). Has anyone had any experience with them?

Thanks again for all of the help.