Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by cluckcluck, Dec 13, 2012.
Good point, a lot of tennis shops do teams and it;s a big part of their business.
I've always wanted to open a shop but it would be in my own club. Since I don't have a club I wouldn't want to open a shop. I've run a shop before and I was glad I wasn't the owner.
Highest margin would be stringing. Not the string but the stringing service
Lowest margin would be tennis balls. I found that buying the balls at Costco were cheaper than buying those balls from the vendor
Highest selling items would be string and grip
Lowest selling item would have to be apparel. You have to carry it but it moves so slow
If you really want to be successful, you need to be part of the community. Hold and/or sponsor tennis tournaments and camps. Make sure that all the schools, clubs, and teams go through you for uniforms. A good racquet demo program is also very important but you need to set it up so that customers don't end up buying the racquet online. I set it up so that customers would have to pay a monthly fee but would get it all back once they purchase a racquet. Again, I wouldn't do it but good luck if you do.
Wow a lot of negativism. So there isnt any shops within 35 mins of here and people, older ones anyway, do prefer to shop locally. So I'm confident of getting local business, whether that will be enough tho as rent is quite high. I've considered a pro shop but the biggest club here is only 400 members and 5 courts so probably not big enough. I'm looking to compete online as well, the local distributors will only provide to bricks and mortar stores so pricing within the country should be ok, its competing with shops sourcing from overseas. Also should point out shipping in oz is a lot worse than the us, you would be lucky to get your parcel within 3-4days here. This is where Amazon will kill it. That and no taxes of course.
For me I just dont know if there's enough volume. I guess I won't know unless i do it...
Thanks for all the info guys too
Hi keendog, not sure what part of Australia your in? One of the well known Tennis retailers(2-3 shops in different parts of Melbourne) that I used to buy my racquets/restrings/clothing from years ago went bust a year to two ago. They had a court at the back of the shop that you could demo racquets on etc, a big range of clothing, shoes, string etc. Everything that a tennis player could want. Online and overseas competition killed them.
The last racquets I bought were ordered from the UK with free postage. They cost me $140 each, RRP in Australia would be $250+. I've bought a stringing machine and strings so now I'm self sufficient as far as my tennis needs go.
I don't think a bricks and mortar shop is viable in today's world.
There are several in the Bay Area. Most will match prices from a competitor. Biggest remaining ones are in Foster City and Mountain View, Calif. It use to be that you could only obtain demos locally. But with that hook gone, It is extremely hard for a local tennis shop to compete. Not that I really care since I was using toll free way before online, and now online for strings. Not in the market for frames at the moment.
get the major player rackets and let them demo, because Australians seem to complain alot about lack of demo.
I think thats a good idea
Prelli Tennis in Collingwood have a demo program, you pay $50 deposit and they give you 2 racquets at a time to try out. When you've made your choice they take the deposit off the price of your selected racquet.
So is the $50.00 refunded if you decide not to purchase a racquet? If not, that is a terrible policy. Pay to demo? My local shops will take a credit card as a security deposit in case a racquet ss not returned, but do not charge for the demo itself.
Most demo programs are free around me. Some charge $3-$4 per demo but all demo fees are taken off the purchase of a racket.
I imagine not. There's a shop near me that has a similar policy - £10 per racquet, only refunded if you purchase. They introduced it because too many people would use their demo service, then go and buy the racquet online.
I don't know how it is in the UK, but unless a racquet is officially discounted, online stores must adhere to manufacturers MAP policy. Where I am located in the USA, our local brick and mortar stores offer significant discounts on current racquet models. So, racquets with a MAP of $190-$200 go for $140-$150. It is less expensive to buy locally, especially for the usual Wilson, Babolat, Head and Prince that are ubiquitous. I didn't realize it was so prevalent for shops hold customers' money hostage.
I'm sure that there are MAP policies, but the only observation I can make on that is that as a consumer, racquets are significantly cheaper online here. A new flagship model might be £140 online, versus £160-180 in a local shop.
Demos are a different story. There's nothing really like what TW offers. Some of the online shops do have demo programmes, but you have to pay a credit card deposit for the full retail price of the racquet (refundable upon return whether you make a purchase or not), plus postage both ways. If you wanted to demo four racquets, you'd either need to put around £5-600 deposit on your card, or split it up and pay for postage multiple times. If you have a local shop offering demos, it is far more convenient and the cost more or less works out the same - the inflated cost of buying the racquet isn't that far off the postage you would have paid to get the service from an online retailer. The owner of the shop felt that those who would demo from him and then buy online were abusing the service, hence introducing the charge.
$50.00 is a little much, shops around here, and we charged $25.00.
It did 2 things, weeded out people who were not serious, or just wanted a racquet cause their racquet is being strung else where. and 2.. see 1
Got it. Given the very different environment than here, it makes sense to charge for demos. Seems like the online vs brick and mortar situation is flipped.
They all have MAP polocies and what that means is that they cannot advertise any less than what the MAP price is.. TW sells all their stuff at MAP pricing. If a store has it higher, it's because they are selling it above MAP pricing. Of course they can't sell it above MSRP, well if they even are selling it at MSRP, they would never last. That said, stores can sell their stuff at any price below MAP pricing, they just can't advertise it.
Perfectly reasonable and as it should be.
I bought my Wilson racquets from the UK about 2 years ago, paid half the retail price with free postage. It's interesting to note that they have stopped selling Wilson racquets to foreign buyers. A manufacturer crackdown perhaps?
That is a new low.
The issue is that for stringing services you're going to be competing with the $10 Craigslist string-while-you-wait guys. Which are essentially illegal businesses (not registered, pay no sales tax, etc...). If it hasn't happened already... someone will slip on the entry sidewalk to their house dropping a racquet off, break something and sue them for every penny they got... when insurance finds out that they were running an illegal business, they'll have to pay out of pocket. But in the meantime, they'll just scavenge extra beer money at the bottom and make it hard for any legit business.
You'll have to form a LLC, get insurance, etc, etc...
While I agree with the $10 craigslist killer, your breaking a hip and suing is a bit of a slippery slope fallacy.
As an ex teaching pro / owner of a pro shop, I wouldn't do it. Your margins aren't going to even get close to providing for your family on a normal basis. Unless you are in a very secluded, exclusive market.
I worked at a country club that was very ignorant to the online world. Country Clubbers with money to burn. And I mean burn. Even then I found it hard to make what I would call "good money" at the end. Stringing is a good mark up, as is clothing, but it's so hard to turn profit. Most people look in your shop, see tournagrip for $7 and think "I can get that on Amazon for $4" ....and boom. your'e done.
Gotta be a sales man huh? Guy I worked with would just give him the over grip, then sell him a new grip and while he's at it, get you a new string job and convince you that you needed new shoes.. and the customer would go home happy as a lark on a sunny day. .. lol
LOL I can get that online for $4, I don't pay tax, and I don't have to drive and shop all around town. The manufacturers are killing the little guys, you have to have a brick and mortar store to get an account and then you have to compete with the online distributors. Just does not seem fair IMO.
Haha! I know that ol' give em something free trick. There has to be a little bit of salesmanship going on to make anything work---even if it goes against your tennis common sense.
It's hard selling the new Wilson K-Nano-Babo-Woofer-Aero-Microgel-Flex-Liquidmetal-Pro Staff to a 2.5 man, but hey, I got bills to pay!
Exactly right. Even at the old club I worked at which had a great clientele that could spend the money, it still hurt. What really hurt was the new / old models (inventory) that came out every 6-9 months on shoes. Online retailers would be selling the old stuff at 60% off and I haven't even sold 3 pairs of them yet. Online the shoes would be $40 and I haven't even broke even! Another reason why it's so hard to keep up with inventory.
This sounds like my business plan!
I"m not kidding, he is total service, he made you feel really good about yourself, he appreciated your business and went out of his way. People don't go shopping at tennis stores to compare prices. They are there to purchase.
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