Where do you buy tennis racquets, and why?
I wrote this post a long time ago but I recently saw where a tennis store was closing after many years of service to the community. I have NO idea if what I am writing about had anything to do with the closing but here it is:
Making a tennis racquet selection, and actually purchasing that racquet, has changed quite a bit in the last 15-20 years. Is that a good or bad thing? Well, I suppose it depends on who you ask, but from a tennis racquet specialist, it is a serious question.
It is no secret or great revelation that racquet manufacturers want to maximize their income and bottom line and what better way to do that than reduce the number of channels they need to manage!
Pretend for a moment that I am the CEO of XYZ Racquet Company and I can sell 75 to 85 percent of all my racquets to two or three online operations. Why wouldn’t I do that? These chosen outlets would be “house” accounts, so there is a minimal cost of sales, so no need for outside representatives, or all these in-house CSR’s!
I want you, the customer, to go to a local shop. You can see several racquets and discuss each in detail and get recommendations as to which racquet may be best for you. Great! Now the CEO wants you to hurry home jump online and order this racquet!
It sounds great to the CEO but what about you the customer?
Specialty racquet shops like Racquet Quest, LLC is in business to make this racquet the best purchase you can make! Here’s how.
A good shop will have knowledgeable tennis people there to help you.
A good shop will have a demo program.
A good shop will set up the demo as you will be using it. Yes, string and tension!
A good shop will take the time to help you make a good decision.
A good shop will be there for you if you need after -the -sale help.
A good shop will be able to correctly string the racquet of your choice.
And, all of this will probably be done at a reasonable price, which includes “sales tax”! Sales tax is the 800-pound gorilla in the room, and this gorilla has convinced some buyers that they can save big bucks by not paying sales tax. Sales tax is an amount you can see, so it is easily quantified. However, it is difficult to quantify the assistance you get from your local shop, that is until you take time to think about it.
There are many reasons to buy from a local source, but some areas of the country don’t have a “local” source. So here is what I would do.
Search for a qualified racquet technician as close to you as possible. Talk to them, and if you are satisfied, have the racquet you buy online drop shipped to them for preparation. They will be committed to a good job because they know you will send the racquet back to them if it is not done well!
The IART has a listing of qualified racquet technician…check it out here: IART