Best items you found at thrift stores (Goodwill)?

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Traveling on business in Northern California this week. Popped in to a couple Goodwill shops; bought a decent Wilson Hammer 6.2 95 (the “Skunk”), and a minty Pro Kennex Bronze Dominator. One of the shops also had a 1987 Head Graphite Master—the turquoise one— but its white grommets were mostly absent (and sadly NLA), so it was left behind.
 
It's been slow going recently in my acquisition efforts, but found these two frames within the last couple of months for about $7 a piece - a Wilson Kobra Team and a Head Microgel Extreme Mid Plus.
Both have been cleaned up and re-gripped as shown now.
 

Henry Hub

Rookie
Picked up a mixed bag in Tooting today, one of which is a bit of a mystery:

Donnay Pro 25 that looks every one of its 35 years (£2).



Pro Staff Classic 6.1 si (Chinese UJZ code) - looking a bit ragged at the top of the hoop but a steal for £2.



The mystery racket - I know I should know the manufacturer but I’m drawing a blank. It doesn’t sport the catchiest of names - “Pro Mid MG 929”. There is a stringers’ sticker in the throat that bears the same logo as the buttcap and suggests it’s a mid-90s number (it does have a touch of the widebody about it but it’s pretty restrained). There are short weighted strips added at 3&9. Any ideas?







 

Henry Hub

Rookie
Look at you go, mr. smart shopper!
Thanks - think I pulled the same expression as Robin Soderling when I saw the racket...

I also found a beautiful Prince Woodie in Pimlico - like gold dust in the UK but £20 seemed a little steep so left it. I also passed up a lovely old wooden Donnay in Hampstead as they were looking for the guts of £40 for it. It was a “Top Executive” - the quality of the wood and the detail work was pretty remarkable.
 

Saul Goode

Semi-Pro
Thanks - think I pulled the same expression as Robin Soderling when I saw the racket...

I also found a beautiful Prince Woodie in Pimlico - like gold dust in the UK but £20 seemed a little steep so left it. I also passed up a lovely old wooden Donnay in Hampstead as they were looking for the guts of £40 for it. It was a “Top Executive” - the quality of the wood and the detail work was pretty remarkable.
The treasure is great, but so is the hunt!
 

Crocodile

Hall of Fame
Probably not best but picked up
A Techmann 3400 Tour ( chocolate and orange ) graphite frame. Plays OK and it's quite a chunky bean.
 

Racket Crazy

New User
Picked up 3 rackets today in my lunch break from the thrift store across the street. Each racket was an astounding €2,95! Have found some real treasures there over the last two years... need to post more of them to be honest :)

First up a pair of Wilson N-Pro rackets...I only took pics of one of them.as they are in identical condition (8+) These are NOT the "Open" or "Surge" models, this one was the stiffer version to the N-Blade. Both were 98 sq inches and around 300 grams (Blade at 304 & this one at an even 300). The Pro was 7 pts. HL & the blade 6 pts. HL. Pro had an s.i. of 5.0 & the Blade 6.0. String pattern of the Pro is 18 x 18 while the Blade 18 x 20.

Second racket is a Head Prestige (Graphite Midplus), made in Austria and probably from somewhere in the mid 1980's. Racket also in very good shape and paint job was very clean considering the age of the racket!



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bjk

Hall of Fame
I found an old Dunlop Max 200g at a Goodwill which was cool because it was the racquet I used as a kid. It was $5 and I forgot & left it on the court not long after, that's why there are no photos.
 
Hard call to make. Best one day/one stop Goodwill haul had to have been last year’s:

Wilson Blade 104 (current model) $3.99
Blade 98 (older ~2015 model? Black/met. grn) $3.99
Older Wilson Blade 98S - $3.99
2 Wilson 15 racquet bags $7.99 ea. One was full of practice balls. The other had $8 cash in one of the pockets making it essentially free. One had a couple autographs, which were identified by people here on the forums, but I forget the names again. Looks like an up and coming junior probably got a new shipment from her sponsor, and unloaded these older gems at the local Goodwill.

Side note - The Blade 98’s turned out to have hairline cracks, but I might try a repair on one with some carbon fiber and epoxy as an experiment.

The other day I found a Wilson BLX Six.One 95 for $2.99 and an Ncode NTour2 for $3.99.

Still haven’t found one of those super-rare old gems, but I once found a cover for a Wilson 6.0 Pro Staff mid with no racquet inside. You better believe I spent the next half-hour tearing the store apart trying to find the racquet. Spoiler alert. Didn’t find it.


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Plainsman83

New User
What Snauwaert is that, I can't say I have seen that model before. The only Snauwaert I actually used was the Gottfried in the early 80's which had the most gorgeous woodwork and suede head cover. My junior doubles partner was a sponsored player and he used the Gerulaitis which was a nice frame but seemed a bit bulky to me at the time. The Gottfried is one of the last frames I want to get to complete my "personal tennis history" collection but they seem to go for stupid money these days.
 

PBODY99

Legend
@Plainsman83
Early 1990's frame. Several different versions, if there is a slot in the but cap, if you turn it it will separate into the shaft and head section. I have a ruby red model.
 

Racket Crazy

New User
This one js from the Ellipse series of racketts... the Ellipse Touch- F. I also own several other of the Ellipse Touch rackets including the "C", "G" and the "H". Each one has a different color paintjob and degree of stiffness, and each one also purchased at a thrift store for 5 euros or less. Also I have a large variety of other Snauwaert rackets.

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Racket Crazy

New User
I simply have found too many rackets bargain hunting to post them all here, but I will start posting some of my "Holy Grail" finds which I've accumulated from thrift stores, dump stores, 2nd hand shops and the like. A sampling of them:
1. 4 Wilson Pro Staff 85 St. Vincents with original covers (one of them being about 1/3 inch longer than a normal St. Vincent 85s and plays like a DREAM)
2. Babolat Pure Drive & Pure Control(both are the "swirly" versions),
3. Dunlop Revelation Select Pro... pure buttery goodness!
4. Fischer Vaccuum Elliptic Pro Nicole Durr Design (made in Austria!!!!). I must thank Retrowagen for all his info on the Fischer rackets or I would have never amassed such a fantastic collection of Fischer rackets. This particular one I got in great shape with the original cover as well ;-)
5. Head PT630 & LT630 both made in Austria
6.Puma BB Super,
7. SOOOOOO many more.

Oh yeah... probably my two greatest finds up until this point; a custom paint job & custom composition Wilson Pro Staff 6.6 85 Stars & Stripes... far and away the BEST playing pro staff EVER made in my opinion... and I own at least 25+ different types of pro staff players frames ! It is NOT the same as the normal 85 stars and stripes which I also own several of. This version does things not even Wilson rackets with a larger head size can do in terms of feel, placement, stability... you name it!

My other top find was a pro stock racket... a custom built Yonex RD 90 super with an 18x20 string pattern weighing in at almost 370 grams used by Richard Krajicek himself from his Wimbeldon triumph era (confirmed to me by a Yonex rep a few weeks back). How those things ended up being given away to any store is truly beyond me!

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Racket Crazy

New User
I really have to stop doing this.
Yamaha Secret EX-110. I couldn’t pass it up.
Only stop if you can't pay your bills RDM ;-)

In the last two days I picked up around 10 rackets at the thrift store... including a Yonex RD-7, Prince CTS Lightning 90, a Prince Precision Longbody DB26 mid plus, Dunlop 200G Pro & a Volkl CX 10 Pro... to name a few. All of them for about €1!!! Only the Prince DB was €3 (but I can still JUST afford that!)

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teachingprotx

Hall of Fame
This week I've picked up a Javelin Midsize (not the split throat sadly but still a good looker) from Finchley for a fiver. Grip is original, strings likewise, weighs a ton.

Also went for a stroll from Fulham Broadway up to West Brompton and picked up this Head Microgel Radical Team 102 for £20 (few scrapes on the throat but unmarked around the bumper once the muck was wiped off) and a Wilson Hyper Pro Staff 6.1 Silver W for £15 (manky overgrip and a couple of nicks but otherwise perfect). I know my Heads but have never played Wilsons - this one any good? I considered a Prince Thunder 820 which they had for £15 but I wouldn't play with it and don't care about resale value so if you're interested, it should still be at the back of the British Heart Foundation on North End Rd.


And just for the twaron fans, this was the club pro I picked up for a fiver down in Wimbledon and regripped a while back. Still yet to hit with it.
Is this a HEAD CLUB PRO?!!
 

teachingprotx

Hall of Fame
This one has me stumped. It looks to be injection molded and made of Nylon and fiberglass? It's made with materials from DuPont according to the sticker on the butt. Unpainted, unfinished still has seams from the mold. Leather grip. $5.00
Any ideas?

I didn't pick it up but may tomorrow just for curiosity sake.


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Never have I seen a racket like this a NYLON FRAME .? Wow anyone know about this thing I bet it’s crazy flexible in a wonderful way ? Who was the manufacturer again ?
 

Sanglier

Semi-Pro
Never have I seen a racket like this a NYLON FRAME .? Wow anyone know about this thing I bet it’s crazy flexible in a wonderful way ? Who was the manufacturer again ?
Whenever you see "thermoplastic" mentioned in a racquet's composition, odds are it's in reference to nylon or one of its homologs (e.g., the Max 200G is mostly nylon). So there is nothing extraordinary about a nylon frame per se.

This particular racquet was injection-molded using fiber-reinforced Zytel ST, which is a composite of nylon plus some other polymers. Zytel is tougher and more thermostable than ordinary nylon. It's the same material used to make many lightweight and corrosion resistant auto parts. The racquet weighs 400 g strung and has a measured flex of 28 RA, but static flex measurements are not really meaningful in the case of injection molded frames, because they just keep bending more and more so long as you apply weight to them. Like the Max 200G, this frame plays stiffer than its RA reading in comparison to a hand-laid thermoset frame of the same rating (i.e., it has a much higher dynamic stiffness than a comparably flexible thermoset frame).

Given that this racquet is completely 'nude', and its butt cap decal is basically an ad for Zytel ST, I lean towards it being a specifically commissioned sample product used in Dupont's marketing activities (there are other examples of this practice around, although those frames tend to be normal production models dressed in marketing graphics, but Zytel is specifically suited for injection molding, so there was no getting around making a racquet from scratch in this case). I have not been able to identify its actual maker, but the size and layout of its string bed appear to be modeled after those of the Slazenger Phantom Gold. My best guess is that it was made in the US (probably in southern California, where it was later found by our lucky colleague), circa 1982-1984.
 

teachingprotx

Hall of Fame
Whenever you see "thermoplastic" mentioned in a racquet's composition, odds are it's in reference to nylon or one of its homologs (e.g., the Max 200G is mostly nylon). So there is nothing extraordinary about a nylon frame per se.

This particular racquet was injection-molded using fiber-reinforced Zytel ST, which is a composite of nylon plus some other polymers. Zytel is tougher and more thermostable than ordinary nylon. It's the same material used to make many lightweight and corrosion resistant auto parts. The racquet weighs 400 g strung and has a measured flex of 28 RA, but static flex measurements are not really meaningful in the case of injection molded frames, because they just keep bending more and more so long as you apply weight to them. Like the Max 200G, this frame plays stiffer than its RA reading in comparison to a hand-laid thermoset frame of the same rating (i.e., it has a much higher dynamic stiffness than a comparably flexible thermoset frame).

Given that this racquet is completely 'nude', and its butt cap decal is basically an ad for Zytel ST, I lean towards it being a specifically commissioned sample product used in Dupont's marketing activities (there are other examples of this practice around, although those frames tend to be normal production models dressed in marketing graphics, but Zytel is specifically suited for injection molding, so there was no getting around making a racquet from scratch in this case). I have not been able to identify its actual maker, but the size and layout of its string bed appear to be modeled after those of the Slazenger Phantom Gold. My best guess is that it was made in the US (probably in southern California, where it was later found by our lucky colleague), circa 1982-1984.
WOW!! Thank you sir ! You have exceeded all expectations of well..., EVERYTHING. Mind blown . That was incredibly informative and time spent typing this out was from the heart . Thank you friend . Thank you .
 

Sarcastic

Rookie
Whenever you see "thermoplastic" mentioned in a racquet's composition, odds are it's in reference to nylon or one of its homologs (e.g., the Max 200G is mostly nylon). So there is nothing extraordinary about a nylon frame per se.

This particular racquet was injection-molded using fiber-reinforced Zytel ST, which is a composite of nylon plus some other polymers. Zytel is tougher and more thermostable than ordinary nylon. It's the same material used to make many lightweight and corrosion resistant auto parts. The racquet weighs 400 g strung and has a measured flex of 28 RA, but static flex measurements are not really meaningful in the case of injection molded frames, because they just keep bending more and more so long as you apply weight to them. Like the Max 200G, this frame plays stiffer than its RA reading in comparison to a hand-laid thermoset frame of the same rating (i.e., it has a much higher dynamic stiffness than a comparably flexible thermoset frame).

Given that this racquet is completely 'nude', and its butt cap decal is basically an ad for Zytel ST, I lean towards it being a specifically commissioned sample product used in Dupont's marketing activities (there are other examples of this practice around, although those frames tend to be normal production models dressed in marketing graphics, but Zytel is specifically suited for injection molding, so there was no getting around making a racquet from scratch in this case). I have not been able to identify its actual maker, but the size and layout of its string bed appear to be modeled after those of the Slazenger Phantom Gold. My best guess is that it was made in the US (probably in southern California, where it was later found by our lucky colleague), circa 1982-1984.
I’m glad I was able to get that racquet into the hands of an expert. It is where it should be.


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ron schaap

Professional
No picture, but you have to believe me that for 2.50 euro i bought a nearly in new condition Yonex widebody oversize model in matt black, that i remember Seles played during some time in her career. Not her own i suspect. At a healthy 350gr unstrung! too heavy for me, but in case she drops by, i m happy to lend it to her ;) :love:
 

chrisberchris

Semi-Pro
I found a pair of Head Pro Tour 280's at PlayItAgain this weekend. Didn't buy cause they were asking $100 per racquet. They were in great shape but strangely did not have cap grommets.
 

Henry Hub

Rookie
Today’s finds were an old 10 racket Yonex bag for a tenner and eventually a couple of rackets to go in it:

GTX Pro for £15

It wears its numerous scars and lesions with pride.

And an RQ-180 for the same amount

From spending rather too much time on here than is healthy, I already knew about the white and gray versions of this racket. As a result, I initially thought I’d stumbled on a hyper-rare blue version. It was only upon a (marginally) closer look that I realised I had instead happened upon the even rarer POFOF (“previous owner’s flight of fancy”) limited edition of this racket.

There are reams of sage advice enshrined in the pages of this website on how to create a striking professional paint job for your prized frames. Behold Exhibit A for the counterfactual:



The owner seems to have violently taken against the original pearl colour of the racket and applied a dog rough blue spray job to one side of the racket, practically obscuring the decals entirely. At this point, he (come on, it has to be a he) has had a quite understandable change of heart but has now literally painted himself into a corner. He has ingeniously decided to mask out the decals on the other side of the frame before spraying away happily on that side too. Net effect being that, while the decals keep their pearl background, they contrast with gear-grinding subtlety with the rest of the besmurfed frame.

Both rackets were from the same shop and both originally sported the same faded green gauze grips, so I suspect they came from the same owner. I shudder to think what Frankenstein number he could have done on the Adidas...!

I passed up on a few others, including a Volkl Lady, with a truly bonkers paisley paint job, Dunlop Max 200G (I can’t justify getting yet another, humblebrag, humblebrag), Muscleweave Light and Black Max II, Head Elite Master and Ti Fire Comfort Zone, Babolat Drive Z Tour, Rossignol Series 2 and various wide bodies from the same stable, Yonex RQ Comp and RQ220, and more Thundersticks and Hammers than would fit within the walls of Asgard. The aforementioned Volkl paint job:

 

Henry Hub

Rookie
Continuing a good little run of lucky finds this week, I stumbled across these today:

Babolat Pure Drive


Slazenger Panther Pro Ceramic


2 x Pro Staff 90, one of which is absolutely mint.


Passed up on a Kneissl White Star Pro 25 for £30. I also got guilt-tripped into picking up a Wilson Hammer 6.2 for £1. Think I overpaid...
 
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I feel like I've got to do this again now that I've finally come back from my work trip. Went looking today while helping my girlfriend move but I came up short. I have another place though and hopefully a green Max 200G secured tomorrow from another place! Just hope she doesn't get mad that I'm thinking about restarting my collection though...
 
So I finally got a teal Max 200G for the princely sum of 8€! It's strung incorrectly but that's an easy fix. Showed it to my girlfriend and she exclaimed "You don't even play tennis anymore! Why are you still buying racquets!?" and it was at that point I admitted to my collection hidden away in my basement. Though I will restring my Maxes and play with them because they are just about the only racquets my shoulder can take without exploding...
 

Racket Crazy

New User
Picked up this Yamaha Secret 07RS with racket cover for less than €2 yesterday :)

I immediately ook it out for a spin last night and it can really hold its own in rapid, heavy forehand baseline exchanges!

It is a stiff frame though, as are pretty much all Secret frames, but hitting with the 25 year-old synthetic gut the racket came with didn't do my shoulder any favors at all either :-(

By the way, anyone who may have any info on this racket then that would be most welcomed!


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Plainsman83

New User
I had a very weird experience at the Goodwill next to my barber that I stop into once in a while after a haircut. I was wearing a tennis t-shirt from my old University and as I approached the rack with the racquets some random guy who certainly did not look like a tennis player looked at me and immediately grabbed the few racquets on the rack and walked away with them. It was almost like he saw someone who was a tennis player who might be interested in the racquets and he thought that they must be valuable. From my quick glance there was nothing interesting to me (a wide body big headed Head of some sort in a full case and a weird Dunlop I could not identify). It was a thin beam open throat composite of some sort, and I think it said "McEnroe Pro" on the cover. The racquet itself was a rather unattractive hearing aid beige color. Any idea what it was? I hope the guy made his dollar profit on them...
 
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