Please Read These Frequently Asked Questions Before Contacting Us. Thanks.
Here is a list of the most common questions that customers ask. You will probably find answers to your questions below.
1. Does the ball bowler come apart into several pieces or is it one piece?
All ball bowlers come apart in pieces. Depending on which model, most come apart in three or four pieces.
2. Do you deliver and setup the games?
Yes, We offer delivery and setup for an additional fee for any of our games.
You can also have any shipping company you want ship the games to you or you can pick them up here at our shop. These two are often the cheapest.
3. How many different types of bowlers are there?
There are about 135 different models made among the three major manufacturers.
4. Do you ship bowlers worldwide?
5. How heavy are the bowlers?
Depending upon the model and length, bowlers average 600 to 700 pounds.
6. How long are the ball bowlers?
Most bowlers were made at standard lengths of 13 ft or 16 ft. long. Additional lane sections can be added to increase the length to as much as 32 ft. There are a few bowlers that are made to different lengths.
7. Where are you located?
We are in St. Louis, MO, about thirty miles west of downtown.
8. Will a bowler fit into my house?
Yes, Ball Bowlers were designed to fit into most homes. If you have a older home or difficult stairways, please contact us to see if the bowler model you have chosen will fit.
9. Do you have replacement parts for the ball bowlers?
Yes, we have replacement parts and we also do custom parts as well.
10. How long does it take to fully restore a ball bowler?
Typical restoration for a 13 ft. or 16 ft. is six to eight weeks from start to finish.
11. Do you work on other types of games?
No, we only work on ball bowlers made from 1956-1973. We are the only Full Time Restoration Company of the Ball Bowlers in the world.
12. Do you work on Shuffle Bowling Machines?
We do not typically work on them since the value of the machine is so low compared to the cost of the work.
13. Are these games digital?
No, these are all original electronics called EM (Electro Mechanical).
14. How do the repair/maintenance costs compare to other games?
Since EM games work off of a spark on a switch. Maintenance is cleaning and adjusting these switches; so no out of pocket cost.
15. How wide are the games?
Most games are thirty-six inches wide. The earlier titles were slightly smaller between 29-32 inches wide.
16. How do I choose the right bowler for me?
First, start by measuring how much room you have. Then decide on a budget. Next, go to our “Bowlers For Sale” page on our website to see what works best for you.
17. When were the first ball bowlers made?
Ball Bowlers were first manufactured in 1956 and the production ended in 1973. There have been many attempts over the years to duplicate the ball bowler, most have failed.
18. Are these bowlers fun for kids and adults?
Yes, the bowlers are great for the entire family.
19. Can I put a bowler back out into service on location?
Yes, we sell to a lot of vendors who use these on their routes still today.
20. How long have you been in business?
We have been restoring bowler machines and finding homes for them for over a decade. October, 2020 was our eleventh year anniversary
21. Do you buy machines?
Yes, we try to save as many of these ‘pieces of history’ that we can.
22. How many balls come with the machine?
The machines were made with a standard count of three balls. Some of the earlier titles did have four balls.
23. Do the bowlers still take coins?
Yes, we can set them up to accept coins or install a “Free Play” button.
24. How do you clean the lanes?
The lanes are made of Formica, just like kitchen countertops. A mild soap and water mixture works great, no abrasives.
25. Do you wax the lanes?
No need to wax the lanes, but if you throw the ball with a hook, waxing may help.
26. Are certain games more desirable than others?
Yes, just like any other collectible, certain games are more sought after than others.
27. What happens if I move?
We can assist you with moving a bowler to your new location.
28. How often do you have new inventory?
There is no real time frame when new inventory arrives. We recommend checking the website weekly or follow us on Facebook.
29. What are the differences between the various bowlers?
Two things; styling of the cabinet and game play. The earlier bowlers had 50% stain and 50% paint on the cabinets. The later games were mostly all paint with a little stain trim. The earlier games just had “Regulation” Bowling. The later bowlers offered up to six different games on the machine.
30. How hard are the game to move once they are installed?
We offer custom wheels for the games so that moving them around in the room is much easier for one person to do on a hard surface.
31. I found a bowler for sale for $2,500 on the internet, is that a good deal?
Unless you have knowledge about the bowlers, it is not recommended to “Just take someone’s word for it”. Almost all bowlers that come available for sale in the general market are not one hundred percent complete or correct. This means that you do not know if all of the pieces for that game are correct or if they work.
32. Do you sell unrestored bowlers ?
Yes, we sell bowlers in all conditions depending on what each customer is looking for.
33. I am ready to buy a ball bowler, what’s next?
Give Chris a call at 314-581-2488 and we will discuss all of your options and take your order.
34. I have a family member in a wheelchair, can they play the game?
Yes, since the bowler sits lower to the ground it is a great game to have right at home for all family members, including wheelchair participants.
35. Has anyone famous ever bought a game from you?
Yes, we have a growing list of ‘celebrities’ that buy from us.
36. Did I see you on TV?
Yes, that was us on A&E Shipping Wars!
37. Can we come to your shop to try a game first before we buy it?
Yes, We are open by appointment only due to the Covid19, so just give us a call at 314-581-2488 to set up a time.
38. I would like to pick up the game myself, what the best way to transport these games?
A enclosed trailer with plenty of straps and tie downs is highly recommended.
39. What is more popular, 13 ft. or 16 ft.?
It really all depends upon how much space you have. If you have the space, the longer the better. Generally the 13 ft. games are better for the younger kids and the 16 ft. is better for the adults.
40. Is there anything I need to do at home to prepare for a bowling machine?
We do recommend that you buy a good Surge Protector. The EM games did not have any surge protection for them, so this will save you time and money instead of frequently replacing fuses and coils.
41. How much room do I need for a 13′ or a 16′ game?
Most games will require about 2′ in the front of the machine to play.