1st Stringing Machine - tabletop, $1K budget

Wes

Professional
I'll probably go check it out either today or tomorrow and see.
Go. Now. Run!
Don't wait.

If you don't buy it someone else will. I would not even try to dicker with the seller.
Irvin is correct on this.
However, I would disagree that it's not worth "dickering". It almost always pays trying to negotiate. Keep in mind that not everyone is aware of what they actually have - or certainly, what it's worth. There are many reasons why people will let things go at a fraction of the price that they should get for an item.
Time isn't always on their side. Sometimes, people just want to get rid of something NOW, especially if it's big and heavy.

If you immediately hand over the $500, you definitely aren't going to get it for less than that.
However, (assuming you are actually at the seller's house), you stand a reasonably good chance of getting it for less than $500
Once you are there, with cash in hand, the seller is highly unlikely to sell it to someone else - because you are standing there in front of him with money in your hand.

Do NOT make your sub $500 offer over the phone, text, email, etc. That is something you will attempt in person - after the test stringing.
You don't want to turn the seller off before you've even arrived. So, don't utter anything of the sort before you're there, standing shoulder to shoulder.

Obviously, be prepared to pay the full $500, but do not talk about price, or try to bargain, until after the test stringing.
Wait until he (or better yet, YOU) have put the machine through it's paces and strung up a test racquet on it.

During the "run through" do not exude any excitement on your part.
Once the test is complete, look the machine over - as if studying what you think it's actually worth.
Feign immense interest... casually mention it being "nearly 20 years old"... also mutter something about "the amount of rust on it" (especially that tensioner bar) as well as muttering something about the amount of "sweat equity" that you'll need to put into the machine for it to be back to tip-top shape.

Really look like your trying to think all this over. Basically, at this moment, you have the cash, so YOU have the upper hand.
THEN offer $400.
Watch (and wait) to see their reaction (again, you'll have the freedom at this point to up the amount as needed).
You never know what people will do (especially if they think you're about to walk away).
The seller might take your offer on the spot. They might counteroffer.

No matter how you look at it, you're leaving there with a very good machine for no more than $500. BUT, most importantly, YOU have to be the 1st person to get there!
Haste makes waste.
Now go. Git!
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
However, (assuming you are actually at the seller's house), you stand a reasonably good chance of getting it for less than $500
If I had a well priced item for sale and someone showed up to buy it I would assume they brought the cash with them. I had a boat for sale for $5,500 and it was below market value. 2 guys were coming to look at it. First buyer came and offered me $4,500 I told him someone else was coming and I was not going to sell it for $4,500. He offered $5,000 right as buyer 2 showed up. Buyer 2 looked at the boat and offered $5,500 and I took it. Buyer 1 reminded me he was there first as he left.
 

AceyMan

Semi-Pro
Buyer 1 reminded me he was there first as he left.
Which would be a perfect time to remind Buyer 1 "the boat was For Sale, not At auction :cool:

/AC

¹—though it's possible you could've started a bidding war and gotten more than your original asking price ... which likely would have made Buyer 1 blow a Gasquet.

[yes, my autocorrect changed 'gasket' and I felt it was fitting to let that stand <heh>.]
 

FedGR

Professional
I got it fellas!! :D :D :D :D :D Couldn't not get it. At the moment I am assembling a 224-piece outdoor set. When I am done I'll post here with details and pics.What I am not gonna say is what I paid for it because you guys will hate me! :-D:-D:-D
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I got it fellas!! :D :D :D :D :D Couldn't not get it. At the moment I am assembling a 224-piece outdoor set. When I am done I'll post here with details and pics.What I am not gonna say is what I paid for it because you guys will hate me! :-D:-D:-D
Doesn’t matter what you paid you got a good deal.
 

r2473

Talk Tennis Guru
Yes, not "dickering" is the height of stupidity. You would even do this when buying a brand new car.
That’s funny. Most guys are the same as you. It’s a lot about winning. If the seller offered the machine for $800 and you got him down to $600, most guys would “ego wise” think that was better than paying the asking price of $500.

I bought a used Neos from a local sports store for $100 when they got a new Babolat. I didn’t care for it (prefer my Alpha Axis), so I offered it to a playing partner for $300. He knew I had paid $100, so he refused it. His brother who was on a D3 college team told him what a great deal $300 was, so he came back and begged to buy it. I did sell it to him.
 

FedGR

Professional
I ended up meeting the seller yesterday and bought the machine. He accepted my offer of $400 and he also gave me for free some prince synthetic gut. The machine came with everything you see in the pics + the cover. It seems to be in great condition for its age. There is some surface rust here and there and it definitely needs to be calibrated (easy) but that's it. Needless to say I got an amazing deal and couldn't be happier about it. :D :D :D

Now I need to get the calibrator and the toolset and learn how to string rackets!



Thanks again all for the valuable info and insight!
 

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
Great deal. Do a search on this board and you will find some tips on how to clean and restore it. If you need a copy of the manual, let me know and I can send you one to your email address. Good luck.
 

Wes

Professional
I would disagree that it's not worth "dickering". It almost always pays trying to negotiate.
However, (assuming you are actually at the seller's house), you stand a reasonably good chance of getting it for less than $500
Once you are there, with cash in hand, the seller is highly unlikely to sell it to someone else - because you are standing there in front of him with money in your hand.
...
THEN offer $400.
Watch (and wait) to see their reaction (again, you'll have the freedom at this point to up the amount as needed).
You never know what people will do (especially if they think you're about to walk away).
The seller might take your offer on the spot. They might counteroffer.
I ended up meeting the seller yesterday and bought the machine. He accepted my offer of $400 and he also gave me for free some prince synthetic gut. The machine came with everything you see in the pics + the cover.
Needless to say I got an amazing deal and couldn't be happier about it. :D :D :D

Thanks again all for the valuable info and insight!
Holy Cannoli! What a great deal!
To all the "nay sayers" regarding the merits of negotiating... I rest my case. :rolleyes:
 
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zinzan8

Rookie
To all the "nay sayers" regarding the merits of negotiating... I rest my case. :rolleyes:
I see your point.

But I kinda see @Irvin 's point, too.

Great find and great deal, @FedGR . I am happy with the refurbished Alpha 6-point crank machine I picked up from TennisMachines, but no doubt would have leaned towards the Neos 1000 if it had been available at the same price (which would have been a lot more than you paid).
 

FedGR

Professional
Holy Cannoli! What a great deal! You won't feel so bad after you hit the $1000.00 mark in buying string to experiment with!
I think I am gonna take it easy on the string department. I really wasn't looking to buy a machine in the middle of the coronavirus craziness due to economic uncertainty but the deal was too good to pass. I'll buy some a reel of the Yonex PTP in yellow and be happy with it for a while!

Great deal. Do a search on this board and you will find some tips on how to clean and restore it. If you need a copy of the manual, let me know and I can send you one to your email address. Good luck.
I will definitely do some reading on the machine and maintainance and I will also definitely need that manual! I'll DM you with my e-mail address. Also extra Kudos to you because I think you are the first that suggested the Neos in this topic!

I see your point.

But I kinda see @Irvin 's point, too.

Great find and great deal, @FedGR . I am happy with the refurbished Alpha 6-point crank machine I picked up from TennisMachines, but no doubt would have leaned towards the Neos 1000 if it had been available at the same price (which would have been a lot more than you paid).
Thank you Sir. Which Alpha machine did you pick up?

--
All, what are some basic tools I need? I saw these https://www.tennismachines.com/product/6-piece-stringers-tool-kit/ .
Is this the best tool kit out there?
 

jim e

Legend
I would get a starting clamp, bent nose pliers, a good pair snippers (flush cutters) , and a string bed cutter.and if you are going to replace grommet sets or individual grommets I would get grommet grinder and an awl.
 

Wes

Professional
All, what are some basic tools I need? I saw these https://www.tennismachines.com/product/6-piece-stringers-tool-kit/ .
Is this the best tool kit out there?
Skip that tool kit. That's simply a generic tool kit - it's not even specifically for stringing.
You would never even touch half of what's in that kit.

The only tools you really need are the following:

1 good pair of needle nose pliers for pushing/pulling string through shared/blocked holes (many, including myself, prefer bent nose pliers over the straight kind)
1 good pair of cutters (for obvious reasons) I prefer using "flush cutters".
1 regular awl (seldom used, but helpful for certain occasions - most notably removing/installing grommet sets)
1 Starting clamp (not absolutely necessary, but makes many things much easier/more enjoyable if you have one). A 2nd starting clamp is a nice luxury, but is only slightly more useful if you already own 1 starting clamp.

Even stringers, who have a pile of tools, tend to keep these 3 or 4 key tools in their tool tray.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
IF you do fan patterned frames, then also get one floating clamp. If that item is included with the rest of the stuff, then you're good to go. If you never plan to do a fan pattern, then you will not need the floating clamp. Unfortunately, I can't id the floating clamp in the image.
 

Herb

Semi-Pro
Adding to the negotiation portion of this topic. As a seller of items I always expect people to try and negotiate, and because of this when I sell something I add a buffer. I never advertise what I want for it. If I want $500 for something I will ask $600-$650. If they offer $500 they feel they got a good deal, and I got what I wanted. Case in point, I sold a roofing nailer and case of nails this past weekend. I paid $110 after coupons and sale price from Harbor freight for both items. Advertised it for $110 but was only wanting $70. Guy showed up and gave me the $110.
 

zinzan8

Rookie
Fellas, how does that look to you for a starting clamp? Any brands I should look into or avoid completely?

You should really search the forum, and check out the sticky at the top of this forum. Slightly out of date, but does tell you things you’ve asked in this thread.

As far as Gamma starting clamp, I don’t have one, but believe I’ve read on here that it’s okay, but not the best. I think it has a glued on gripping pad?

Babolat is considered the best by many. There’s also the Kimony, but it’s a luxury.

I bought an Alpha. It works fine, but have no personal comparison experience.
 

brownbearfalling

Hall of Fame
All great suggestions here. Looks like the machine you have was very well kept. Props to the original owner for caring for the machine and selling for a more than reasonable price.


I would say get the alpha clamp. I remember reading it holds up longer than the gamma. I had used a RAB one that tennis warehouse used to sell and I believe it is the same.

also you mentioned that the stringer needs calibration. You could add a calibrator either digital or spring to your tool set.

best of luck in learning the skills of stringing. The forum is also helpful for learning and critiquing stringing technique.
 
To all the "nay sayers" regarding the merits of negotiating... I rest my case. :rolleyes:
Unless you know exactly what price the Seller was prepared to sell it for, all we can say is that the Buyer paid $400 and the Seller received $400.

If the Seller was prepared to sell it for $300 then the negotiation process benefited them more than it did the Buyer.

The simple rule for negotiation is to know your number (either buyer or seller) and to stick to it. Anything other than that will always be a compromise.

And that is why @Irvin's approach is just as valid, if not more valid than any other one. Remember Irvin got exactly what he wanted for his Boat. And the Buyer paid exactly what he wanted to pay to get it.
 
I would stay away from the Pro’s Pro starting clamp.
I've mentioned prev. I have used a Pro's Pro Starting clamp for several years now and never had a problem. I purchased a Babolat Starting clamp a couple of years ago thinking that I would need it sooner rather than later. It is still in its clear plastic bag ready for duty. Fortunately, I got it for an excellent price at the time.
 

struggle

Legend
I have a Gamma, an Eagnas (Pro's Pro) and a Babolat starting clamp.

They all work equally as well, with varying degrees of "niceness".
 

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
I suspect the Gamma clamp will suit your needs, FedGR. I have had one for years with no problems (full confession, it's not my best clamp (that would be my GSS clamp (no longer available), but I use it often with no issues whatsoever--it's also at a good price point, leaving you a little extra to buy a calibrator). Good luck.
 

zinzan8

Rookie
I bought the Alpha starting clamp for about the same price as the Gamma one goes for from Alpha’s retail outlet, and picked up their calibrator at the same time.

I had a personal bias towards Alpha, I suppose, because I was buying supplies for my DC-Blu Plus, but I do remember some people talking down the Gamma (while also often admitting that they had one and used it as a backup, or to tighten knots, etc). But on this thread, seems like maybe they aren’t too bad.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I've mentioned prev. I have used a Pro's Pro Starting clamp for several years now and never had a problem. I purchased a Babolat Starting clamp a couple of years ago thinking that I would need it sooner rather than later. It is still in its clear plastic bag ready for duty. Fortunately, I got it for an excellent price at the time.
I have a Babolat I bought back in the early 80s, an old Gamma I wore out, a new Gamma, and a Pro's Pro. The babolat is a work horse but the Gamma is great. The PP is a POS.
 
The PP is a POS.
As I see it, a Starting Clamp either works or it doesn't. If it doesn't work, then it is either broken, or it is a "user problem".

Given you have strung thousands of racquets, in your case it is probably broken in which case I suggest you chuck it in the bin.
 

jim e

Legend
Some starting clamps are better than others.
I have 3 different ones. The gamma has history of the coated plates falling off, as they are glued on, although mine has held up okay. The alpha is a little on the larger size, but works fine, the one I bought from gss a long time ago, that is my favorite. All three do work, but most importantly you need to keep them clean or anyone can slip.
I keep one with a string through it just for a bridge, when the few times I am just short of tension head. Many many used for a starting clamp.
 
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Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
As I see it, a Starting Clamp either works or it doesn't. If it doesn't work, then it is either broken, or it is a "user problem".

Given you have strung thousands of racquets, in your case it is probably broken in which case I suggest you chuck it in the bin.
Not real broken just poor QC. There is a gap between the 2 places near the hinge when the clamp closes.
 

FedGR

Professional
Sooooo, last night I finally got to string my first two rackets and I couldn't be happier!! :):)

Even though I've watched a hundred different tutorials I was too scared to try it by myself. I had a good friend come over, had a couple beers and strung three rackets total (2 mine +1 of his). Overall the process ended up easier than I thought. Weaving the crosses with a slippery poly like Poly Tour Pro was a pita but besides that it wasn't too bad.

It took us a bit to calibrate the machine but after that it was a "breeze". 1st racquet took 2 hours, 2nd about 1 hour, 3rd about 50 mins.

Thanks everybody for all the advice in here, it is appreciated! And now we go down the stringing rabbit hole.... :-D:-D:-D

 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
Go. Now. Run!
Don't wait.


Irvin is correct on this.
However, I would disagree that it's not worth "dickering". It almost always pays trying to negotiate. Keep in mind that not everyone is aware of what they actually have - or certainly, what it's worth. There are many reasons why people will let things go at a fraction of the price that they should get for an item.
Time isn't always on their side. Sometimes, people just want to get rid of something NOW, especially if it's big and heavy.

If you immediately hand over the $500, you definitely aren't going to get it for less than that.
However, (assuming you are actually at the seller's house), you stand a reasonably good chance of getting it for less than $500
Once you are there, with cash in hand, the seller is highly unlikely to sell it to someone else - because you are standing there in front of him with money in your hand.

Do NOT make your sub $500 offer over the phone, text, email, etc. That is something you will attempt in person - after the test stringing.
You don't want to turn the seller off before you've even arrived. So, don't utter anything of the sort before you're there, standing shoulder to shoulder.

Obviously, be prepared to pay the full $500, but do not talk about price, or try to bargain, until after the test stringing.
Wait until he (or better yet, YOU) have put the machine through it's paces and strung up a test racquet on it.

During the "run through" do not exude any excitement on your part.
Once the test is complete, look the machine over - as if studying what you think it's actually worth.
Feign immense interest... casually mention it being "nearly 20 years old"... also mutter something about "the amount of rust on it" (especially that tensioner bar) as well as muttering something about the amount of "sweat equity" that you'll need to put into the machine for it to be back to tip-top shape.

Really look like your trying to think all this over. Basically, at this moment, you have the cash, so YOU have the upper hand.
THEN offer $400.
Watch (and wait) to see their reaction (again, you'll have the freedom at this point to up the amount as needed).
You never know what people will do (especially if they think you're about to walk away).
The seller might take your offer on the spot. They might counteroffer.

No matter how you look at it, you're leaving there with a very good machine for no more than $500. BUT, most importantly, YOU have to be the 1st person to get there!
Haste makes waste.
Now go. Git!
I hate when people employ this method. I suppose it often works and in this case did but it bothers me as a seller. I’ve told buyers in advance that I’m firm in my price and they still try this. I take the opposite approach as a seller. I figure you’ve already gone out of your way so you have the money and aren’t leaving empty handed. I’m a difficult person to bargain with; especially, when I’ve already set a nice price.

Here are two examples:

1) I was selling a 1996 BMW Z3 for $3000. It wasn’t perfect but it was good and every flaw was disclosed. I was getting calls every 30 minutes about it since I’d advertised online. I wasn’t accepting any joy riders. The eventual buyer begs me to wait for him to drive from 3 hours away so he can see it. I comply. He shows. Takes it for a ride. Kicks the tires. Tries to downgrade it. Offers me $2000. He’s not an idiot. He knows cars and works for NASCAR. I looked at him and laughed. He then asks what’s the lowest I’ll take and I answer with $3000. He counters to $2400. I counter with $3000. He asks me if I’d let him leave and I said yes. I said you’re the one who drove 2-3 hours. I’m not out anything. I’ll sell to someone else. He offers $2800. I say firmly $3000 and my phone rings. It’s another potential buyer asking to come see it so I told them to call me back in 15 minutes as there is someone who might buy it. The guy finally pays the $3000. I’m not nice when it comes to this stuff. I almost raised the price to $3500 and might’ve gotten it. I haggle in advance.

2) Sold a Neos for $800 a handful of years ago. Same thing. Guy comes over, kicks the machine, etc. Offers $500. Beat it punk! Guy pays $800 and leaves with machine.

I do figure most people set their price 10-25% above what they’re willing to take. It never hurts to ask, “What do you want to sell it for? What’s the lowest you’ll take?”

If the seller came to you or met you somewhere, you’re likely to get a nice deal because they’re a motivated seller. If you’re going to the seller, there’s less of a chance.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
@dak95_00 I've hung up on people that didn’t bother to come by and just asked me how low I could go. Then there are people selling garbage with very high prices IMO. If I would not buy it I won’t sell it. If my sale doesn’t sell I would rather donate it.
 
I hate when people employ this method. I suppose it often works and in this case did but it bothers me as a seller. I’ve told buyers in advance that I’m firm in my price and they still try this. I take the opposite approach as a seller. I figure you’ve already gone out of your way so you have the money and aren’t leaving empty handed. I’m a difficult person to bargain with; especially, when I’ve already set a nice price.

Here are two examples:

1) I was selling a 1996 BMW Z3 for $3000. It wasn’t perfect but it was good and every flaw was disclosed. I was getting calls every 30 minutes about it since I’d advertised online. I wasn’t accepting any joy riders. The eventual buyer begs me to wait for him to drive from 3 hours away so he can see it. I comply. He shows. Takes it for a ride. Kicks the tires. Tries to downgrade it. Offers me $2000. He’s not an idiot. He knows cars and works for NASCAR. I looked at him and laughed. He then asks what’s the lowest I’ll take and I answer with $3000. He counters to $2400. I counter with $3000. He asks me if I’d let him leave and I said yes. I said you’re the one who drove 2-3 hours. I’m not out anything. I’ll sell to someone else. He offers $2800. I say firmly $3000 and my phone rings. It’s another potential buyer asking to come see it so I told them to call me back in 15 minutes as there is someone who might buy it. The guy finally pays the $3000. I’m not nice when it comes to this stuff. I almost raised the price to $3500 and might’ve gotten it. I haggle in advance.

2) Sold a Neos for $800 a handful of years ago. Same thing. Guy comes over, kicks the machine, etc. Offers $500. Beat it punk! Guy pays $800 and leaves with machine.

I do figure most people set their price 10-25% above what they’re willing to take. It never hurts to ask, “What do you want to sell it for? What’s the lowest you’ll take?”

If the seller came to you or met you somewhere, you’re likely to get a nice deal because they’re a motivated seller. If you’re going to the seller, there’s less of a chance.
Yes to this!!! If I didn't mean that price, I wouldn't have said it. I can understand a person might think I'm deluded once, but once I say no, leave me to my "delusion."

I have a friend, a big BS-er who buys and sells a lot and will tell me, "So I said to the guy, 'I'll give you $450, cash.' " (for a $600 object) I have to wonder what he expects. For the seller to say, "CASH!! Wow, that's great!! Everyone else is offering Lowe's gift cards, or uncut diamonds, which are such a hassle!"

I mean, no one is taking a check, right, so why does he hope this is persuasive?

Maybe I'm too literal. End of rant. (And on to Irvin's comment)
 
@dak95_00 I've hung up on people that didn’t bother to come by and just asked me how low I could go. Then there are people selling garbage with very high prices IMO. If I would not buy it I won’t sell it. If my sale doesn’t sell I would rather donate it.
Cheers to you, Irvin! I don't want to be connected to a bad item!

The same friend that I mentioned in a comment scrounges and finds old racquets. He knows I like to recondition and resell, with zero thought to "labor costs, just trying to recoup string and grip cost. Often I come out with $1 profit, or $3 loss, but I enjoy it. So if he has something worthwhile I will split my take with him, after my supplies. (make that $0.50 profit, now!)

But I want to sell someone something that brings someone joy. Zero buyer's remorse. And sometimes he will have sticks that look like the dog's dinner, and he can't understand why I don't want to be associated with them and "make some money." Shake my head.

I have a large quantity of prototype string from a manufacturer that was free to me, so I restring and give them to a thrift store.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I remember a day when I string a Wilson Rose colored women’s racket for a girl and she commented how she would love to find another one. I went out and seen a garage sale and stopped to check it out. They had a racket like the one this client used in the same grip size 1/4” with the plastic still on the handle for $5. Even had a marked down price still on it for $159. Needles to say I got it. I gave the lady a $20 and she didn’t want to give away all her change. I told her to keep it. I called my client and she was glad to give me my $20 back plus the cost of strings.
 
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