Best items you found at thrift stores (Goodwill)?

Prompted by the last couple of posts, I took a look at my master spreadsheet of racquets I've had, and currently have. Since 1982, I've had a total of 442 racquets. Currently have 88. Probably should sell off a few, but I like hanging on to 30-40 very special ones (my playable museum and regular users), and sometimes, the trouble of listing them on auction seems hardly worthwhile.
 
My collection is now approaching 100 racquets

I am at a point where I probably need to be more selective
I thought I was becoming more "selective" as well after my inventory passed the century mark some years back, but what happened instead was that I didn't buy fewer racquets, just a lot more of a particular type of racquet, and paid market price for most of them via the auction site and such, because I had come to realize that I wasn't going to live long enough to find what I was looking for by way of thrift-shopping alone. Before too long, it became necessary to build a nine-tiered rack just to organize all the "keepers"...

Being "selective" is definitely not a cure for this virulent disease! Once infected, you might as well let it run its full natural course, i.e., when you run out of room, interest, or when you look at your battalion-sized "collection" taking over your man-cave and murmur to yourself - Good Lord! What have I done?! :confused:

 
I like the pipe insulation you use on the racks. That's what I use also. I have an old aquarium stand with the pipe insulation on for about 15 rackets. No where near as many as you have. I should show my wife this picture. Maybe she'd be more understanding with the 50 or so rackets I have then.
 
I should show my wife this picture. Maybe she'd be more understanding with the 50 or so rackets I have then.
Happy to serve as your negative example, Steve! :) I think I have maxed out the load-bearing capacity of the cheap Home Depot lumber I used to make the rack. If I added any more tiers, the inner rows would no longer be accessible. So this is probably as 'bad' as things can be before it ceases to look like a 'collection', and takes on the worrisome tone of a hoarding problem.
 
Every time I say this to myself, I discover a new "hole" in my collection that needs filling. So instead of trying to quit, I quit trying. :)

Just to use this as a visual reference - What I have on the rack right now is numerically equivalent to the monthly output of an independent graphite racquet maker in SoCal during the late '70s, or about 1/4 of what Kunnan Lo was making on a single day in the early '80s!
 
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Just to use this as a visual reference - What I have on the rack right now is numerically equivalent to the monthly output of an independent graphite racquet maker in SoCal during the late '70s, or about 1/4 of what Kunnan Lo was making on a single day in the early '80s!
I'm not sure if that means your addiction is huge, equaling a commercial racket manufacturer or is a hit on the low volume of the racket manufacturers "where a "garage" collector can collect commercial production totals:)
 
I thought I was becoming more "selective" as well after my inventory passed the century mark some years back, but what happened instead was that I didn't buy fewer racquets, just a lot more of a particular type of racquet, and paid market price for most of them via the auction site and such, because I had come to realize that I wasn't going to live long enough to find what I was looking for by way of thrift-shopping alone. Before too long, it became necessary to build a nine-tiered rack just to organize all the "keepers"...

Being "selective" is definitely not a cure for this virulent disease! Once infected, you might as well let it run its full natural course, i.e., when you run out of room, interest, or when you look at your battalion-sized "collection" taking over your man-cave and murmur to yourself - Good Lord! What have I done?! :confused:

I’ll also show this to my wife. I have too many but nothing like this.
 
Would trade u for the Wilson ceramic :)
I fear the shipping costs from Australia might kill the deal.
I have noticed there is a supposed 9/10 condition Wilson Ceramic for a “buy it now” $20 price on the online auction site whose name shall not be mentioned which will be closer to you than where I am.
 
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BDAZ

Professional
Picked up a Wilson Graphite Agressor the other day for $5. Blue with orange accents. In great shape for it's age (early 90's by the looks of it). Heavy, fairly wide beam. Part of their "High Beam Series". It was a low end racquet at the time but surely feels more solid than comparable racquets today. Just needed a new grip, and will need new strings, as they look to be the originals.
 
I had to pay top top dollar for a Wilson NFury 100, $15.00. The Nfury 100 has a RA of 50, but it flexes along the axis and is not fluttery at the throat or in the hoop. Put a leather grip on it and it comes out HL at 10.7. A delight to hit.

 
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Picked up a Wilson Graphite Agressor the other day for $5. Blue with orange accents. In great shape for it's age (early 90's by the looks of it). Heavy, fairly wide beam. Part of their "High Beam Series". It was a low end racquet at the time but surely feels more solid than comparable racquets today. Just needed a new grip, and will need new strings, as they look to be the originals.
With PWS? If so, be careful with the stringing. I remember years ago on of the frames failing just below the PWS during only the second stringing of this particular frame. Was completely silent(no snap or dreaded crack!!!)...just crumbled(on a six point mount!).
 
Still pretty sparse returns on charity shop trawling for me over the past couple of months, although we are now coming back into the happy hunting grounds of a London summer.

After a rather dispiriting hike around Streatham and Tulse Hill, I picked up a couple of original Arthur Ashe Competitions for £12. By the way, if anyone is in the market for an Adidas NTP 90C, there’s one in good condition in the All Aboard in Streatham.



I picked up a couple of yonexes at the bottom of the King’s Road. The RD7 cost half as much as the 7500, which came in at a princely £9. I regret to say I was starting to work up a rather undignified hissy fit about the price of the latter before realising that this might not necessarily be the done thing in a charity shop and swiftly winding my neck in.





Last but certainly not least, I popped up to Edgware and found this Dunlop Revelation 200G Pro Mid Plus in excellent condition for £7 (though I’m always distrustful of anything with head tape swathed across it). From the collective wisdom of this forum (and the 20mm beam width), it looks like this is a customisable goodie.




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An eclectic collection this week...

Yamaha Hi-Flex Special for £3 in East Finchley. Not the most exotic find but it was this or the hoard of thundersticks, at which, as a wannabe purist, I cocked a snook.


From Borehamwood, three near new pieces for £15 in all: a Wilson Pro Comp, an Emrik Power Graph (with Kim Warwick getting crammed in alongside Evonne Goolagong’s highlights reel on the throat) and a Head Pro Lite Tour Midplus (found the green and black one about 50 yards away last year):






Finally, a bit of a curate’s egg for £4 just beside Paddington station - a Prince “Benetton Formula 1 Racing Team”. I knew about Benetton’s erstwhile ownership of Prince but, still, it’s quite the mash-up...





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An eclectic collection this week...

Yamaha Hi-Flex Special for £3 in East Finchley. Not the most exotic find but it was this or the hoard of thundersticks, at which, as a wannabe purist, I cocked a snook.


From Borehamwood, three near new pieces for £15 in all: a Wilson Pro Comp, an Emrik Power Graph (with Kim Warwick getting crammed in alongside Evonne Goolagong’s highlights reel on the throat) and a Head Pro Lite Tour Midplus (found the green and black one about 50 yards away last year):






Finally, a bit of a curate’s egg for £4 just beside Paddington station - a Prince “Benetton Formula 1 Racing Team”. I knew about Benetton’s erstwhile ownership of Prince but, still, it’s quite the mash-up...





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That's impressive!!! One heck of a week!!!
 
Gained a Wilson Avenger from my mother-in-law last week. Saw it for £1.95 in Uttoxeter!
Its a mid 85, white frame, with PWS, oh, and a shredded Tournagrip.
 
Gained a Wilson Avenger from my mother-in-law last week. Saw it for £1.95 in Uttoxeter!
Its a mid 85, white frame, with PWS, oh, and a shredded Tournagrip.
If you want a couple more of these and you’re London-based, there’s one in the North London Hospice in Golders Green and another in the BHF on North End Rd near West Brompton tube. The BHF also has a couple of 90s pro kennexes and a 26” Dunlop 200g hotmelt (the latter is in pretty ragged condition).
 
My find wasn't that unique as some of you listed here. I cound Babolat Pure Drive+ Andy Roddick for 5 bucks. I had to replace the grommets...other than that, it was clean as a whistle.
 
If you want a couple more of these and you’re London-based, there’s one in the North London Hospice in Golders Green and another in the BHF on North End Rd near West Brompton tube. The BHF also has a couple of 90s pro kennexes and a 26” Dunlop 200g hotmelt (the latter is in pretty ragged condition).
About a good 2hrs away from London but thanks anyway! The Pro Kennexes sound interesting!
 
A couple of obscure ones I got for cheap recently.
Dunlop Max 4000 Pro Boron (the twin of the Slazenger Jimmy Connors Pro Comp Boron).
Slazenger Silver Phantom Boron (the twin of the Dunlop Black Max Pro I think).
Both 85 in2 heads (camera lens distortion makes them appear to be larger/different) and both 350g plus in weight.
 
I definitely do not need more racquets.
To need things that we don't need might kill the planet one day, but it is also what makes life worth living for some of us.

I skip a meal whenever I buy a racquet, to balance things out. :)

This guy should be sitting behind a desk by now, or working for Delta, and yet...

 
Finally, a bit of a curate’s egg for £4 just beside Paddington station - a Prince “Benetton Formula 1 Racing Team”. I knew about Benetton’s erstwhile ownership of Prince but, still, it’s quite the mash-up...

I believe that Prince Benetton is a Vortex SB under the (beautiful) paint. If I'm right about that, hang on to it in case your elbow goes medieval on you some day: it'll make a Pro Kennex seem like a Pure Drive!
 
Awesome find Atatu!

Just got this yesterday from a thrift store - Wimbledon Boron Pro for $4.98. I'd say about a 6/10 in shape.
It will go nicely along with a Wimbledon Graphite All Pro I have somewhere tucked away in storage.





Got this racket on craigslist, the Wimbledon Super Boron, 118 head size, paid $10 but I couldn't resist it. Compare to the Prince Boron in the second picture.



 
I believe that Prince Benetton is a Vortex SB under the (beautiful) paint. If I'm right about that, hang on to it in case your elbow goes medieval on you some day: it'll make a Pro Kennex seem like a Pure Drive!
And once my arm can no longer cope with the stiffness of the Indian rubber Vortex, I’ll move onto this elastic little number that I snagged for a pound in Clapham this afternoon!




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max

Hall of Fame
I gave it up. I don't buy everything I see or think I like; I ask mysself if I'm really likely to be using a frame before I buy it. I've passed up some reasonably good stuff using this criteria, but I only have one hand and modest amounts of time for playing tennis!

The thing I hate is hearing of people who don't play tennis who buy racquets in order to resell them on thebay. that's just wrong. There's a place in this world for cheap used frames: I once had a nice conversation with a woman who bought a bunch because she wanted her kids to have them for starting learning tennis this summer.
 
The thing I hate is hearing of people who don't play tennis who buy racquets in order to resell them on thebay. that's just wrong.
That may be a little too harsh, I think. Without the flippers, I'd have to drive from city to city, fly from country to country, and visit thousands of thrift shops, day in and day out, just to have the opportunity to find all the racquets I am interested in. What I am paying for on the bay is the time and effort these people had spent scouring all the shops and yard sales that I could never visit. By my estimate, for every racquet I found at a local thrift shop, I must have put in at least a dozen hours of fruitless search, especially after taking into account the time I spent in traffic while making the rounds.

It is certainly true that half of the fun in collecting is the chase itself, but there is also no question that buying something on the bay at market value is a massive bargain compared to the cost of one's time hunting for that same item in thrift shops. This is definitely the case when one is looking for something rare and specific, where the odds of finding the item locally thru luck alone are effectively zero (for people who are not blessed with infinite spare time and unlimited life span).

Tennis playing is a hobby (outside of those who do it for a living); thrifting is a hobby; collecting is a hobby; so is flipping (at least for those that I've bought from). As long as the buyer and seller are both having fun and nothing unethical or illegal took place, where is the harm?

The only time I can imagine hating a flipper is if that person got to a one-of-a-kind racquet (that I absolutely can't live without) at a thrift shop just before I got there, and if they extorted me for it. So far this has never happened, and odds are it never will, because my local thrift shops never had anything remotely like that.

I wish there are more flippers, just not in my own town!! :D
 
OK this is just getting silly now.

Another 200G for £3 in Barnes



Yamaha Secret 10 for £3 in Stroud Green



Yonex Super RQ 500 SP for £10 in Islington



And then I stumbled across an outrageous haul on the Holloway Rd. On asking whether there were any rackets out back, I was presented with a pristine Head Radical 9 racket bag. I opened it like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction.

Graphene XT Speed MP



Graphene Radical MP



Graphene XT Radical MPA



All in 9/10 or unused condition. £50 for the lot, including the bag and 2 cans of balls that were in the bag. Now I have been around these here parts long enough to know that the MPA is a bit of a dog’s dinner and that the Graphene MP is about as easy on the arm as a half nelson. However I’m always keen to explore new and interesting ways to give myself tennis elbow and the key point is: there were more rackets that I left behind.

You will now tell me that I picked the runts of the litter but there was another Graphene Speed MP (different version - think it may have been the original graphene one), an XT Instinct Lite, a graphene extreme and a yonex ultimum rq ti 2000. So if you are in London and want a cheap, new racket, get yourself down to the Holloway Rd pronto.

One of the loose balls in the racket bag gave a clue as to the origin of this bounty:



I reckon this racket bag was filled to the brim with the new XT and Graphene models that Head were hawking back in November 2015 at a shindig at the Pro:Direct shop in London (I’ve never heard of it but there’s a spectacularly wanky video of the event on YouTube) and it found its way out the back door with one of the guests.

I am, needless to say, starting to run out of room in my place...


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