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-   -   Where do you all get your balls from? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=441371)

VeeSe 09-27-2012 06:08 PM

Where do you all get your balls from?
 
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?

coachrick 09-27-2012 06:25 PM

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. :)

Ronaldo 09-27-2012 06:26 PM

Costco is cheap

coachrick 09-27-2012 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronaldo (Post 6923376)
Costco is cheap

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 :( .

Ronaldo 09-27-2012 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coachrick (Post 6923384)
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 :( .

So cheap our District bought them for League matches.

VeeSe 09-27-2012 06:48 PM

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

Ronaldo 09-27-2012 06:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VeeSe (Post 6923418)
I currently get them for $2.18 a can at Wal-mart. This is just the standard Penn or Wilson balls.

Normally, find them under $2 at Wallyworld

The Meat 09-27-2012 07:13 PM

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. :)

Ronaldo 09-27-2012 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Meat (Post 6923481)
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. :)

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

Readers 09-27-2012 07:55 PM

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

coachrick 09-27-2012 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronaldo (Post 6923428)
Normally, find them under $2 at Wallyworld

Quote:

Originally Posted by Readers (Post 6923567)
Costco, $13 for 4 can of US open is not bad at all. OK, I still need to pay tax...

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. ;)

Readers 09-28-2012 06:32 PM

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.

Big_Dangerous 09-28-2012 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Readers (Post 6923567)
Costco, $13 for 4 can of US open is not bad at all. OK, I still need to pay tax...

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.

gmatheis 09-28-2012 09:32 PM

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.

Dreamcastin 09-28-2012 11:33 PM

meijer. 3 bucks a can us opens.

Ronaldo 09-29-2012 05:34 AM

Btw, what happened to Prince Tour balls?

slowfox 09-30-2012 04:59 PM

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..??

mikeler 10-01-2012 04:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronaldo (Post 6925894)
Btw, what happened to Prince Tour balls?


Bankruptcy

coachrick 10-01-2012 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowfox (Post 6928443)
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..??

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 ;) .

slowfox 10-01-2012 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coachrick (Post 6929244)
Two to three bucks for a can of balls is a BARGAIN!

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


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