Where do you all get your balls from?

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by VeeSe, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. VeeSe

    VeeSe Rookie

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    Hi all,

    It's pretty expensive buying individual cans, and I'm sure a lot of you buy in bulk (like in 50+ can packs). What is the cheapest way to get normal quality tennis balls that you have used?
     
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  2. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Depends on what outlets you have around you. I don't know anyone who offers a significant break on a case (48 cans) or 'half' case as most are packed nowadays.

    Back in the old days, the companies didn't offer significant discounts until 12 cases were purchased for one shipment. For an individual or small facility, that's just way too many at one time.

    If you're buying retail, I used to buy a 'case' a week for round robins, using coupons at the local big box store(usually 20-25% off total purchase).

    In the 40 years I've been around tennis, there has never been a reasonable sized 'bulk' purchase deal that meant much to the final consumer. For a pro running tournaments, free freight and 8% off wholesale is a big deal. For an individual, the numbers just don't mean a whole lot UNLESS you are paying say...over $3/can for Championship balls. THEN, you might be able to find some savings in a bulk purchase. If you're an individual paying $2.25 per can at retail, I don't think you'll find significant savings in a quantity that makes sense.

    Heck, it's an election year here in the States...gonna be hard to get a straight answer to ANY question. :)
     
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  3. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Costco is cheap
     
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  4. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    I wasn't going to mention any names ;) . A few years back, 'they' had the plastic tub with 15 cans for $30(Penn). Darned nifty re-usable tub with handles...great for collecting the round robin balls at the end, icing a few Powerades for courtside, storing stringing 'stuff', etc. I miss those tubs :( .
     
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  5. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    So cheap our District bought them for League matches.
     
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  6. VeeSe

    VeeSe Rookie

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    I currently get them for $2.18 a can at Wal-mart. This is just the standard Penn or Wilson balls.
     
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  7. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Normally, find them under $2 at Wallyworld
     
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  8. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    Out on the courts after our college's team finishes their practices. Or buy them online in 24 can boxes.

    It makes me mad when I see perfectly playable balls being left there on court. Oh well, one man's trash is another's treasure. :)
     
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  9. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Oh yes. Girl's High School match, walked away from 20 once used balls. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxp4cW0_a3s
     
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  10. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    Costco, $13 for 4 can of US open is not bad at all. OK, I still need to pay tax...
     
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  11. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    From what I've seen recently, the $2 benchmark for legit balls is slowly fading into the sunset. It's looking closer to $2.25 as a standard; but $3.25 for US Open from Costco??? Am I reading that right??? You on Maui or sumthin'? :)

    Speaking of collecting used balls, there was a tour player in Atlanta(ca 1990) who would hit at our public facility when he was in town. He and his hitting coach would buy 6 cans of balls from the shop, work out on the clay for a couple of hours and drop the balls into the Pros' collection basket on the way out. They would also sweep the courts and the lines when they finished...nearly unheard of on public courts 'back then'. Pretty cool, I reckon. ;)
     
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  12. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    I am in Canada, the only tennis gear we don't get ripped off is on frames, string prices are ridiculous, balls are not too bad.

    Even in US there are very few place sells USO for less than 3.
     
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  13. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    Yeah at Wal-Mart or Target you can usually get cans of Wilson Champs for 2 bucks a can. Sweet to walk out with like 5-6 cans for like 11-13 bucks.
     
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  14. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    buying cases of balls for some reason never seems to be a better deal than just buying single cans at a local store, especially when you add shipping.

    Academy Sports here in SC has balls for $1.99 and you have a choice of prince (when they have them in) dunlop, wilson, or penn.
     
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  15. Dreamcastin

    Dreamcastin Rookie

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    meijer. 3 bucks a can us opens.
     
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  16. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Btw, what happened to Prince Tour balls?
     
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  17. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    I have heard that retailers don't really make that much money on tennis balls. There's really no mark up. Perhaps that's why buying a 24 bulk box isn't cheaper per can than individually.

    And btw, if memory serves I think balls were around 2 bucks back in the 80's. Thirty years later still around the same. What's that say..??
     
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  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Bankruptcy
     
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  19. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    You're right about the lack of margin at the retail level. To get shelf space and volume, some of the ball suppliers would 'throw in' hard goods as a way for the dealer to 'make some money' even though they were selling balls at or below their delivered cost. As a sales rep back in the '80s, I'd say my commission on some ball orders was higher than the margins made by the manufacturer OR the retailer.

    Felt and rubber prices were all over the place and I'm sure the buyers at the manufacturing level were going nuts trying to keep costs down. When the Dunlop balls were made in Georgia, the felt came from the carpet mills just 'down the road'. Now, everything gets shipped halfway around the world!(Sorry if I'm speaking provincially about life in the States)

    Switching to the plastic tubes away from the metal cans was a big reason the costs were held down back in the '80s. I never weighed a case of balls in metal cans, but I can assure you it was considerable(I carried hundreds over the years!)...quite a change going to plastic.

    Two to three bucks for a can of balls is a BARGAIN! I guess it evens out when 'we' pay $70 for a polyester shirt or over a hundred for a bicycle jersey !!! :) The universe likes balance ;) .
     
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  20. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Another reason to always play with new tennis balls..! :)
     
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  21. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Funny, spending more than $2/can for three balls just seems like a letdown. Especially when a 4-ball can was $2.49 or less for Wilson or Dunlops. Lucky?
     
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  22. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Exactly! I bought dozens and dozens of the 4-ball 4-can Dunlops over the years. Four-ball can is the way to go! 'Might' make it through a match without one or more balls going bald AND, if one goes over the fence, you're still good to go.

    Can't TELL you how I enjoyed serving with four balls in my hand and not having to pick up a ball until the game was over! ;) A bit of gamesmanship, perhaps? First time a mixed team sees (you) serve with four balls, it's good for a snicker. Serve out the game without taking another ball and watch the guy get steamed! I miss those days!
     
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  23. goober

    goober Legend

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    the tubs are gone but last time I bought some at Costco it was 16 cans for $29 in a cardboard box. Still a good deal.
     
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  24. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    BITD when AA had hair, even if he bought it. Cotton shirts, when shorts were short. Green gauze wrap and no shoe warranty.
     
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  25. babyhagrid

    babyhagrid Rookie

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    I head straight for a certain UK based discount outlet, £6 for 2 tubes of Slazenger Wimbledon Ultra Hi-Viz. Cant complain about the price of those, no need to look elsewhere, even if the retailer is a bit 'odd'.
     
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  26. Def

    Def Semi-Pro

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    Nowadays you can get a set or 16 cans for $29.99 at Costco
     
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  27. bigmalik76

    bigmalik76 Rookie

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    That's the one I usually go for. Just the best deal economically. Maybe for a match I will grab a better ball.
     
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  28. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Local rich kid high school courts you can get there early and pluck yesterday's used for 2 hours balls out of the trash can.

    Dead serious.
     
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  29. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    hate to buy 50+ cans. if you don't use them right away, then they will just die in the box
     
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  30. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Bought a case of Tretorns, back in the 70s, still just like new.
     
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  31. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    THAT is unfortunate! :)
     
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  32. RMadeira

    RMadeira New User

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    Hey guys! Consider yourselves lucky! Here, in Portugal, you get a 4 Ball Can (which is the most common), for about 5Euros wich is round about 6.5USD. You still can get some good deals buying packs, but even that way and buying at tennis clubs, it's not easy. Relatively to brands, they're sold at very similar prices. Most Common here are Head ATP and Champ. and Wilson Champ. In relation to Price/Duty id go for Head ATP. Even in hard courts they hold for a while in terms of felt and pressure.

    Cheers;)
     
    #32
  33. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    only problem, it will make your arm and shoulders fall off
     
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  34. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Got two of both, now my off shoulder is in a bag.
     
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  35. 3fees

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    walmart usually.
     
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  36. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Prince made balls?! :shock:
     
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  37. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Prince tour balls were amazing, haven't seen em in a couple years, have a couple in my ball hopper I think....I thought they were similar to Dunlop Grand Prix.
     
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  38. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Bought a case of ATP Tour balls from TW....all set for quite a while!
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
    #38
  39. jjaded

    jjaded New User

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    I bought some Wilson Titanium tennis balls because they were $1.99 a pack. They are horrific with a large visible seem. Dunlops are the best I have used, I was expecting the Wilsons to be like comparable Penns, but they were much worse.
     
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  40. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I buy them by the case at Costco
     
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  41. Wilsonbro11

    Wilsonbro11 New User

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    I wanna order some on the Internet but the best place to get balls is mc sports and that is far away but ***** sporting goods doesn't have a good selection and neither does wal Mart the ones at wal Mart are the Wilson titaniums and they are horrible
     
    #41
  42. PhotoBlue

    PhotoBlue Professional

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    How about sports authority? If you live near one
     
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  43. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    Usually here or sports authority
     
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  44. kimguroo

    kimguroo Hall of Fame

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    They are one of the best place for buying balls in my opinion because they always have coupons ^_^
    Also they often have sales. During Black Friday Sales, SA sold a case (12 cans) for $19.99. Bought 4 cases with $5 coupon.
     
    #44
  45. tennisnj

    tennisnj Professional

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    Kimguroo was right---SA here had 12 cans of Penn for $20 on Black Friday, except the SA's by me won't let you use coupons on tennis balls. $1.67 compared to $2.19 minimum was worth me buying the equivalent of 3 cases worth.
     
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  46. tyu1314

    tyu1314 Semi-Pro

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    Always buy single can, its cheaper than buying whole case online.I buy most of my ball from walmart, modells, and some other big stores.
     
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  47. TennisCoachIN

    TennisCoachIN Rookie

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    ******* Sports. Great Customer service and they price match.
     
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  48. recreationalplayer

    recreationalplayer Rookie

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    I'm not saying this b/c this is a TW thread; but w/a shipping charge at just under $6.00 per case I now buy them by the case from TW. With the cost of gas and the time saved it is well worth it. And I don't have to listen to the cashier ask if I wouldn't like to apply for the store credit card, and then ask two more times after I've said NO THANKS !!!
     
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  49. retrograde

    retrograde Rookie

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    I usually buy the TW 20% off gift cards at Thanksgiving, then use them to buy boxes of Dunlop Grand Prix's. I live less than 2 hours from TW so shipping is modest.

    But with TW's recent "Free Shipping on Everything" which included balls, I just ordered a box of Penn ATP's to try for fun.
     
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