Are stringing fees too cheap?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by dak95_00, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,500
    Not only are today's racquets a piece of cake, zero woodworking skills or tools are required.
     
    #51
  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,572
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    True dat! Do you remember, or did you ever have to "burn" string holes? That alone was worth $20....lmao
     
    #52
  3. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    12,087
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    How many times have you put a handle on a sander to cut down the grip? First time I did that on MY RACKET I had to buy a new racket. Wasn't quite symmetrical anymore, LOL. Then everyone thought I was good because I had a backup. Didn't take long before they figured it out.
     
    #53
  4. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    12,087
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    Rabbit you have my attention, I have never had to burn string holes tell me more I am all ears.
     
    #54
  5. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,572
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    This video explains it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOXp2gq5Ync&feature=related

    Mainly new racquets were done to ensure string life. As you will see, it involves a length of gut that is pulled in a sawing motion by the stringer to smooth out any sharp edges. For older racquets which had been strung (too) many times, grooves would form which also benefited from the process.

    I hope your ears are OK now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
    #55
  6. RiggensAuroraHO

    RiggensAuroraHO Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    249
    Yeah....if they complain, that is all that I NEED. They count; you're disbelief in regard to what competitive 6.0 and up players can or cannot feel, isn't the issue. If they are unhappy with their equipment, they won't play well, and if they lose because of it, we have major problems. 16-25 year old male players can get volatile, and I don't need to be smoothing out their bad reactions with stringers, tournament directors, or volunteers. My job is to keep everything out of their way so they can just play.
     
    #56
  7. RiggensAuroraHO

    RiggensAuroraHO Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    249
    I still have sandpaper string just for that purpose....lol!
     
    #57
  8. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,212
    Market forces at work

    Tennis balls have not kept track with inflation since the 1960's, neither has stringing fees.
    Off topic but RiggensAuroraHO did you race in the HOPRA series in the 1970's ?
     
    #58
  9. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,572
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    no you don't! i've never seen such!
     
    #59
  10. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,364
    I use to do that. Sometimes when the grooves in the wooden racquet were wearing thin because of the wood wearing down on the head of the frame, I would chisel the groove deeper and then take a scrap string and pull it back and forth fast to burn smooth the holes. I actually used a broken awl that I smoothed to a flat end and use like a chisel to deepen the grooves.
    Thats a thing of the past!
     
    #60
  11. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    AU, SG, MY
    the guys used to roll jute string in powdered glass... always wondered what it was for :???:
     
    #61
  12. RiggensAuroraHO

    RiggensAuroraHO Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    249
    It's gray, and was like they rolled string with glue on it in sand. I never liked using it, but the guy who taught me did. I preferred using gut to burn the string holes in my new frames. I can still remember the smell.
     
    #62
  13. RiggensAuroraHO

    RiggensAuroraHO Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    249
    I used to race at a big track in Glendale Queens on Union Turnpike which is basically the border of Queens and Nassau LI. I could only go there because in the 60's and 70's, father's didn't let mother's shlep their kids to every activity. I road my bike there from a town a few miles away. They held major races all the time. How about you?

    I was racing Riggen cars before most people were because they were too tied to Aurora T-Jets. They only sold for $4.95, and I used to think that that was a lot of money! I used to ride my bike with friends to the Aurora plant in West Hempstead, and as one of us looked out for the guards, the others grabbed as much as we could carry from the dumpster, which were always loaded with stock that didn't pass inspection. It took two-three cars to make one perfect car but as pre-teens, we were in heaven!
     
    #63
  14. RiggensAuroraHO

    RiggensAuroraHO Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    249
    I'm not going there. I can feel the difference just by hitting the string bed against my hand. Two of my players can as well as soon as they hit the ball, and one of them, was a real good junior who stopped playing at 18, and started up again ten years later. He is a serious artist and has had many shows in galleries, he is just ultra sensitive in all areas of his life. He can without a doubt feel the difference in a pound, so if you can't relate, don't.
     
    #64
  15. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    12,087
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    Interesting article jmnk but I find some of the results hard to believe. I can't imagine a player not being able to detect a 17 lb tension difference. But then again stranger things have happened.

    EDIT: I have been in one of those blind taste test done by Pepsi. It is amazing how they can make a Coca Cola taste so bad.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
    #65
  16. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    AU, SG, MY
    Stats, lies or politicians... which would you chose to believe?

    meh, they never do those double blind taste tests when I'm actually THIRSTY... :(
     
    #66
  17. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    12,087
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    Politicians and the Internet.

    If you ever do the blind taste test when you're thirsty only one will be satisfying. LOL
     
    #67
  18. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    AU, SG, MY
    I'd still drink both :p can go Coke or Pepsi depending on mood.

    But my true love is Root Beer, especially A&W :D

    I'm kinda a super-sensory taster though, can easily tell between HFCS
    & real cane sugar. Nearly everything with HFCS tastes vile, even US A&W.
     
    #68
  19. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    984
    I too do find these results surprising. However this is a research paper, done by very respected names in the field of tennis science. I doubt they have any agenda.

    All i'm saying is that on one hand we have folks that --say-- than can feel the difference. On the other we have a real experiment actually determining if players can tell the difference. Until those that just merely -say- provide any objective test results I'll remain unconvinced.

    As a side note. I've done similar tests among friends I play with. They have all been playing for many years, and even though they are no pros, they are pretty decent players. I've asked them to let me string their rackets this time for free, but with the tension I think would be the best for them. I've been stringing for them already, and knew their normal tension/string, and told them many times they string too high. So basically I told them 'I'll string at lower than your usual tension - try it, let's see if you like it'.

    But what I have really done is strung at the exact tension/strings they have always played with. The results? 2 out of 3 said they really did not like it after first match (accidentally -or not? - they both lost their matches). The third one said it is OK, but felt different (he won his match). But even the third one said he did not like it after the second match - which, you probably can guess, he lost. They had the usual excuse - balls flying too long, can't control, etc....

    the moral of the story? It's all in your head.
     
    #69
  20. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    6.0 tennis players represent less than 0.1% of the tennis playing population. If that who you are stringing for, then fine. But your proclamations have little to do with 99.9% of players who play tennis and string. Personally I use to pay $30-40 for professional stringing and now that I string on my own and string my same set of racquets over and over I doubt that any other person can match my consistency for my racquets that I get. Even if they could I would take free over $30-40.
     
    #70
  21. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    12,087
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    I agree with you jmnk. One interesting point is the rackets' were all attenuated with vibration rings so there was nothing but feel and sight and they only hit 4 balls with each racket. But still, a 17 lb difference? That should go in Ripley's book for sure.
     
    #71
  22. RiggensAuroraHO

    RiggensAuroraHO Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    249
    Totally agree.
     
    #72
  23. RiggensAuroraHO

    RiggensAuroraHO Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    249
    "Eat me, Dean"

    "Suck-it, Shawn"
     
    #73
  24. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    361
    Well Babolat sure isnt shy when it comes to raising the price of their string, especially VS Natural Gut. Several Multifilament strings are around 20 dollars and even more just for the string. I guess it comes down to the fact that the money is being made by the companies that make and sell string rather than the stringers.
     
    #74
  25. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    984
    Is that your last argument in this discussion? is it fair to assume that you have nothing more to add?
     
    #75
  26. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    expanding my Ignore List
    I'm still trying to figure out who Shawn and Dean are, much less what the comment added to the discussion.
     
    #76
  27. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    AU, SG, MY
    hasn't the french franc (FRF) risen a lot against USD in recent years?

    also the kiwi $$ NZD is pretty high vs USD compared to 10y ago,
    i'm told a lot of the raw materials come from cattle there
     
    #77
  28. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    I agree prices are VERY hig for natural guts and other strings. That said, in regards to natural guts, the processs of making one set is very tedious. Lot of people, machines, chemicals, inspections, etc, etc, etc go into just one set.
     
    #78
  29. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    2,257
    Location:
    Between the baseline and netcord.
    Except for the Franc was replaced by the Euro in 1999.
     
    #79
  30. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    San Jose, California
    You can go back a lot further than that. Tennis ball prices (on sale) are about the same as some advertised prices from the 1930s. About $1.99 per container of 3
     
    #80
  31. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    984
    I think neither you nor I are cool enough to understand the reference....
     
    #81
  32. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    867
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Now that we've got the prices are too cheap but not changing thing out of the way......

    How can a person afford an expensive stringer? Why would they buy it? I suppose it isn't about function as much as it is about status? IDK? It has got to be like owning a really expensive sports car. I'll probably never 'get' it.


    Is that true about tennis balls costing nearly $2/can since the 1930s? $2 had to be a large amount of money back then compared to now!
     
    #82
  33. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,267
    Location:
    Western North Carolina
    sit yer ass behind the wheel of a 911. you'll get it.

    and yes, the honda civic will get you there also.
     
    #83
  34. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    San Jose, California
    I know a few things about this.
    Here's a current Internet auction showing an ad from 1938 showing Wilson tennis balls in cans of 3 for $2.60

    (edited, my link didn't work. Here's the item number, you know the well known auction site name)

    150915251282

    I used to (for about 25 years) collect old tennis ball cans. Open or not. My collection went back to the 1920s. I also had dozens of ads from the 1920s to the 1980s some showing prices, some not. Yes, tennis balls (in USA only) are about the same price today as they were in the 1930s. It's my understanding that they are much more expensive in non U.S. countries. I've heard they are about $10.00 per can in England. Can anyone here confirm that?
    You can see my collection of cans in youtube if you search under Larrytennisfan
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
    #84
  35. Arthuro

    Arthuro Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Messages:
    581
    I charge 13.00 labor plus cost of string (1.00 mark for shipping). If they bring their own string, labor is 15.00.

    Given that I have strung for college and challenger players for 13 years, I find this reasonable.
     
    #85
  36. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,480
    Location:
    Arkansas
    According to the inflation calculator:

    What cost $2.00 in 1938 would cost $32.17 in 2012.
    Also, if you were to buy exactly the same products in 2012 and 1938,
    they would cost you $2.00 and $0.13 respectively.

    -SF
     
    #86
  37. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    San Jose, California

    There's nothing wrong with making profit on the string. I think you should.
    Also, there's nothing wrong witrh charging extra when they bring their own string. It's like a "corking fee" if someone brings their own wine to a restaurant.

    BUT: since you provide string at cost, then why do you charge $2.00 when they bring their own?
     
    #87
  38. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    San Jose, California
    That explains why in so many of my opened cans from that period, you'd often see two unused balls and one severely worn out ball. They might use one until it's totally unusable and only then go to the second ball. Or 3 very worn out balls. They made them last. Or in a 12 ball container, there would be 11 new balls and the 12th ball missing.

    The $2.60 example I provided above and the $2.00 I quoted before that are only the advertised prices I've seen. I'd bet that balls could be obtained cheaper sometimes at a "dime store" or something.
    Here's my collection (that I sold last year, it's gone) I hope the link works.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUHwkK3Aszo
     
    #88
  39. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    San Jose, California
    I string my own with an Alpha Pioneer III (drop weight) that I bought new in 1990 for a few hundred dollars. I'm very slow. It takes me about 50 minutes. Longer with gut. I don't string for other people, except once every few years. I do it for free as a friend. I wouldn't want to do it for a living unless I was stringing for pros and getting very well paid.
    Even for those of you who are much faster, I think $13.00 is way too cheap.
    I think you should charge $20.00
     
    #89
  40. RiggensAuroraHO

    RiggensAuroraHO Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    249
    You want to start in with personal attacks and engage in a rank-out contest, I'm game. I would just rather not derail the thread just because you have some emotional issues.
     
    #90
  41. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    984
    could you kindly point out where I have made any personal attacks? Or engaged in a rank-out contest?

    I have kindly asked you if you happen to have any objective proof of your ability to detect 1 pound of tension difference. As a counterargument I have provided a link to a scientific research where it was showed (in a somewhat limited data sample of recreational and advanced payers) that players, in general, are not able to detect the difference of as much as 11pounds.

    You on the other hand provided no objective data whatsoever that would back up your claims. that's cool too.
     
    #91
  42. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,509
    Seriously? :rolleyes:

    So you charge less for labor because you can upcharge the string? Nice... (not really, I'm being sarcastic.)

    If you're going to charge $13 for labor, then charge $13 for labor regardless of if you supply the string or your customer does.

    I can't stand the places that charge $25 for stringing a certain type of string which costs basically $5-10 online or if you buy it outright and then say that labor if you bring your own string is $20.

    Have a set labor rate and then sell the string for what it should be sold for. Chances are good that if you're a volume shop, you already got your discount for the string anyway, so your MSRP markup gives you your profit on the product. The labor charge is for your work/time spent and it shouldn't be any different. If you're going to ask people to buy string from you to get a lower labor rate, then make sure the string is discounted from what they could buy it themselves at... at least then you can argue that you're helping the customer out while they're helping you out by buying your stock so you can move it and look good to your suppliers.
     
    #92
  43. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,619
    He can charge whatever he wants. He doesn't need your approval.

    If people bring their own string, he loses out in a string sale. If his mark up is only $2, that's not a huge expense for his clients.

    Personally, I would keep the labor rate at $15. I think it's more than fair given the amount of experience he has (13 years).
     
    #93
  44. emilyhex

    emilyhex Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    209
    Back to OP... no, I don't believe they are too cheap.

    Supply and demand my friend. There is so much competition in the stringing business, this is the price the market has settled on. If you don't like someone's prices, you can take your racquets elsewhere and the stringer knows this. Not having done a study, I would hypothesize in the last 30 years, the price of strings has gone up (certain ones) and the price of stringing has gone down.

    What I find fascinating is that tennis balls are approximately the same price as what I paid for them 20 years ago, maybe even a little cheaper.
     
    #94
  45. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,364
    Wilson Championship balls are now made in Thailand, where I would assume the labor rate is a little cheaper than USA, where Wilson Championship balls were once made in the USA, like 40 years ago when they were in metal cans.
    This should explain why balls are so cheap .
     
    #95
  46. nalvarado

    nalvarado Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    573
    Just curious what you would value labor at for a college student at a top 10 NAIA school with approx. 2k racquets experience. I charged 10 a frame back when I started. Do you think this added experience justifies a increase in what I charge for labor?
     
    #96
  47. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    Depends on who is paying for the stringing. Most rec players I would say no, because they wouldn't know the difference. Higher level players and rec players who are more demanding might be willing to pay more.
     
    #97
  48. drgchen

    drgchen Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Messages:
    341
    Location:
    Ohio/Michigan, USA
    Charges for stringing have not changed much in the last 20 years that I played. Used to pay 10-15 dollars for stringing labor. Now It is about 10-15 dollars where i live.

    For the same amount of time/labor i could get at least 30 dollars mowing a lawn or shoveling a snow filled driveway. It is too bad for stringers that they cant command more money for their time.
     
    #98
  49. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,144
    Location:
    The Desert
    I think that one of the factors that keep stringing prices down is the big box stores that charge only $12 labor.
    They don't care. It's a minor sideline for them. They make their money on the shoes and clothes and the players bringing in their kids for football cleats.
    The stringers get paid hourly and have to stop what they're doing to wheel out a treadmill which is far more important.
    If Sports Authority/Chalet and ***** raised their prices, maybe we could too.
     
    #99
  50. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,157
    Location:
    Austin, hook 'em, Texas
    I was wondering if the stringing contractor at the big boxes was different from a couple of decades ago when I managed 'team sports' in Sports Au th or ity. When I was offered a stringing 'position' at Dick's a couple of years back, it was a 'per racket' contract position, not an hourly one. It may vary per location and volume.
     

Share This Page