Andrew Payne’s shop has more than 100 different electronic dartboards, racing games, hunting games, CD jukeboxes and other arcade machines, just waiting to be fixed up.
He has it all.
“It really just depends on what somebody wants and needs,” Payne said.
Payne runs AJ’s Music & Arcade, selling, renting and even repairing the devices. He’ll do service calls, but would rather that everything works well right away.
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With the help of three others and his wife, Payne maintains his shop right outside of his Kennewick home.
Inside, his shelves and counters are filled with circuit boards and disassembled monitors waiting for repairs.
“When somebody buys something, it’s new to them,” he said. “You don’t want to buy a used car and it breaks down a month later.”
After serving more than nine years as a Marine and running a bar in his hometown of Moses Lake, Payne played around with the idea of studying law at Gonzaga University. But he wanted an occupation that allows him to set his own schedule.
So he focused on starting a vending business, while also working in local real estate.
He started with dart boards, since he’s played for more than 25 years. Another friend of his, Steve Sawdey, helped him learn how to fix and repair the machines.
“He took a chance on me and gave me one of those countertop games,” Payne said.
When somebody buys something, it’s new to them. You don’t want to buy a used car and it breaks down a month later.
Andrew Payne, AJ’s Music & Arcade
Sawdey, who owns Sure Shot Billiards and Darts, said he’s known Payne for about 15 years.
“He has quite an extensive route,” Sawdey said. “He’s a busy guy.”
When Payne finishes work on one of his machines, Sawdey will sometimes display them in his shop to help get the word out. Sure Shot primarily sells classic pool tables, dart boards, air hockey tables and other games.
“We have a little more exposure than he does,” Sawdey said. “He’s more behind the scenes with his repairs and his route.”
Payne services more than 90 different businesses throughout Eastern Washington, including machines at a small arcade in a Sunnyside mall, and other stops in Wenatchee and Leavenworth. In Kennewick, he has some newer-model dart machines at Espo’s Sports Bar.
He also installed a few older CD jukeboxes in local Mexican restaurants.
“You set one in one location and then all the restaurants want it,” he said.
Payne also lists personal ads on Craigslist for anyone who may be interested in purchasing units for their home. The jukeboxes run anywhere from $300 to $400, while old arcade video games could be around $500.
“People seem to like them,” Payne said of the jukeboxes. “They put them in their garage.”
Though he’s found some customers, Payne plans to phase out the arcade video games. The machines, which often have older TV monitors, usually cost more to repair than they bring in.
“They do just take a lot of time,” he said.
Today’s electronic dartboards let players across the world compete in different locations, while many video game fans may prefer to stay at home and play on a PlayStation or Xbox console.
“You don’t have that (community) anymore,” Payne said. “They don’t have that meeting place.”
Meanwhile, Payne will continue his regular routes through Eastern Washington.
“It’s turned into a decent, profitable business,” he said.
For more information, call Payne at 509-430-8373.