Out of control racket prices in US?

kimguroo

Hall of Fame
#1
I used to change or tried new rackets frequently but I stopped doing it a few years ago and not much pay attention to racket prices.
I did not pay attention to Wilson Clash too much then yesterday, someone asked about demoing clash so I gave good info on the clash since I played briefly after making playtests video around Nov.
I thought clash will be same as usual racket price which is $219 nowadays but when I checked the price...... wow... it’s $250. With tax it will be close to $270......
I know babolat started to raise racket prices then Wilson followed in 2013-14 but Wilson is trying to raise racket prices higher and higher and too quickly. Racket prices were steady for $200 so I understand that gradual 5% increase might be understandable but increasing 25% within 5 years might be too much. I always thought Japanese racket prices are highest in the world (averaging $250-300) but US prices caught Japanese market prices very closely. Strangely Price of Clash is higher than Japanese market now (Latino sells around $230s).
I don’t understand why US racket prices are going higher and higher than any other countries. I am hearing that tennis Population is decreased and higher racket prices might not help at all especially US market.
 
#2
I used to change or tried new rackets frequently but I stopped doing it a few years ago and not much pay attention to racket prices.
I did not pay attention to Wilson Clash too much then yesterday, someone asked about demoing clash so I gave good info on the clash since I played briefly after making playtests video around Nov.
I thought clash will be same as usual racket price which is $219 nowadays but when I checked the price...... wow... it’s $250. With tax it will be close to $270......
I know babolat started to raise racket prices then Wilson followed in 2013-14 but Wilson is trying to raise racket prices higher and higher and too quickly. Racket prices were steady for $200 so I understand that gradual 5% increase might be understandable but increasing 25% within 5 years might be too much. I always thought Japanese racket prices are highest in the world (averaging $250-300) but US prices caught Japanese market prices very closely. Strangely Price of Clash is higher than Japanese market now (Latino sells around $230s).
I don’t understand why US racket prices are going higher and higher than any other countries. I am hearing that tennis Population is decreased and higher racket prices might not help at all especially US market.
In Brazil, a brand new racquet costs $350 to $400.
 
#4
I'm sure these companies have people crunching the numbers. To keep their revenue steady they need to increase the prices and sell to a diminishing customer base. If Wilson were to drop their highest priced racquets from $250 to $150 (40% drop) would the tennis population increase to compensate for the loss in revenue ?

I'm surprised someone hasn't released a Veblen tennis racquet for $999
 
#8
Problem is too many competitors for racket strings and balls which are the consummable. If racket manufacturers made rackets that only worked with their strings, they could sell the racket for cheap and recoup the costs on the strings.

So the pressure is to make money on a product that can last 20 years. Hence ludicrous technology claims by marketing, paintjobs with sponsored pros and escalating prices.
Most players really wouldn’t notice much difference in their game if the played with an old PD Roddick vs a new one.
 

kimguroo

Hall of Fame
#13
.......
Hockey sticks are $300-$400 and they break often. Just some perspective ;)
but you don’t play tennis with Hockey stick haha.
My original question was more to US market.
I already said tennis racket prices were steady for long period of time then suddenly prices are going higher and higher in US. I totally understand gradual increase so $220 level for another a few years might be reasonable.
European and Japanese markets are steady since prices hit $220 range but why US market started to see $250 range (except special limited rackets).
Glad I found rackets which will not change for a long time.
 
#14
If you’re outside the US it’s painful to watch local prices go up as the FX works against you, especially is Australia where we pay a premium even when the FX is at parity.

It’s pretty much just gouging though, it only cost them about $10 to manufacture each racket, that’s an exworks price for the majors out of China, won’t be much more for others and shipping would be negligible. In fact the cost of Yonex out of Japan would be higher given their higher labour costs, yet they don’t have higher prices.

Maybe if we all stopped buy new rackets all the time the prices would fall with lower demand? Anyone keen on that? :p
 
#15
If you’re outside the US it’s painful to watch local prices go up as the FX works against you, especially is Australia where we pay a premium even when the FX is at parity.

It’s pretty much just gouging though, it only cost them about $10 to manufacture each racket, that’s an exworks price for the majors out of China, won’t be much more for others and shipping would be negligible. In fact the cost of Yonex out of Japan would be higher given their higher labour costs, yet they don’t have higher prices.

Maybe if we all stopped buy new rackets all the time the prices would fall with lower demand? Anyone keen on that? :p
Too many racquetholics here. Not possible.
 
#18
I play both and tennis is a fraction of the cost of hockey. But I hear you, just funny because I think tennis is a fairy cheap sport :D
Fairly cheap? Its exceedingly cheap. You could buy one racket and it could last you 10 years. You could buy $4 synthetic gut strings. You could get Costco Penns for 2 dollars a can.

My Golf clubs cost $1500 and sure they'll last 10 years but that's far more than a $250 racket. Then balls at $5 for 3. Green fees at $50-$100 a pop. Snowboarding costs me $750 for board and bindings, $200 for boots and $100 a pop for lift access. Hockey costs $400 for skates, $100 for a stick, $250 for gear and $600 for ice time for 10 games. Mountain biking costs $3500 for the bike and $300 for gear and $50 for lift access to the bike park.

Even if I go elite in tennis with a 2 high end rackets, gut strings and Wilson US Open balls each match and a fancy club membership, I'm paying $700 for gear and $1200 a year for unlimited access to the club. That's comparable to a yearly ski pass or a summer golf pass and I can play indoors and outdoors all year round with a nice locker room, hot tub, pub, swimming pool, gym thrown in.
 
#19
I agree that the pricing of tennis racquet is gone crazy. I miss the day when XX speed pro was discounted to $170 when Djokovic won a slam.
Official reason is inflation. This is why fed insist to hike interest rate in us and looks for more. If they done this sooner, the price won’t go so high. Think about a shirt cost $70-100 now. The inflation is like 215% compared to price before ‘08.
The shoes are msrp 160-130. Back years ago premium shoes are all under $100.

Nonetheless, the price of racquet is out of control. The manufacturer are greedy but the government monitory policy do make matters worse. This is why our stock index goes from 1400 highest in ‘08 to 2800. The only thing that goes up is stock price. Everything else is eaten by inflation.
 
#20
At least you can be grateful for the 2-3 year racquet cycle. Horribly expensive racquets now will be much cheaper in a year or two.

If i want to get a newish racquet i wait for the occasional sale where you might get 25% or so off, so when prices go back up you can always sell it for a decent price and might only lose a little on it.

Dont remember the last time i paid full price $300ish AUD on a racquet.......... yes i do. It was the original PD cortex. What a piece of rubbish!
 
#25
Latest model Prince, ProKennex or Tecnifibre racquets are selling for $169 to $199. Not out of control at all.
Maybe Wilson and Babalot pro endorsements are out of control.
That’s probably not a bad observation, the big three have large player endorsement portfolios that they need to recover the cost of.
 

kimguroo

Hall of Fame
#26
Latest model Prince, ProKennex or Tecnifibre racquets are selling for $169 to $199. Not out of control at all.
Maybe Wilson and Babalot pro endorsements are out of control.
Anyone plays with those rackets nowadays??? Hahaha just joke ^_^
Unfortunately, I’ve seen fewer and fewer people playing with those companies rackets nowadays. Especially have not seen any women plays with latest model from those companies for a while.

Yonex spend huge money on sponsorship but they keep the price range in $220.
Wilson went up $250 range so I expect babolat and head will follow.
That’s probably not a bad observation, the big three have large player endorsement portfolios that they need to recover the cost of.
It’s very true but why only US market has to pay more and rest of world prices are steady and most of those sponsored players are European hahaha.
 
#27
Hockey sticks are $300-$400 and they break often. Just some perspective ;)
Or£100+ for field hockey sticks that only last a season before splintering - yes Adidas I'm talking about yours - compared to the wooden ones of my university days that lasted years and were a third of the price and hit just as hard!


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#28
Anyone plays with those rackets nowadays??? Hahaha just joke ^_^
Unfortunately, I’ve seen fewer and fewer people playing with those companies rackets nowadays. Especially have not seen any women plays with latest model from those companies for a while.

Yonex spend huge money on sponsorship but they keep the price range in $220.
Wilson went up $250 range so I expect babolat and head will follow.


It’s very true but why only US market has to pay more and rest of world prices are steady and most of those sponsored players are European hahaha.
Pricey here as well. Wilson Clash is £200 retail in UK, though have seen it as low as £180. Pro staff 97 is £240!

I generally avoid the issue by buying a good quality outgoing model at half the price.

However Custom made Angells are just £150, as are their standardised K7 and ASL models, and the come without Wilson's erratic QA. Or babolat's general flimsiness. (seriously, my son's APDs and pure strikes are the only frames that actually wore out to the point of fracturing, usually within two years. Didn't happen with Wilson, head, Fischer, yonex or Dunlop I / we have had over the last 35 years! )




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kimguroo

Hall of Fame
#29
Pricey here as well. Wilson Clash is £200 retail in UK, though have seen it as low as £180. Pro staff 97 is £240!

I generally avoid the issue by buying a good quality outgoing model at half the price.

However Custom made Angells are just £150, as are their standardised K7 and ASL models, and the come without Wilson's erratic QA. Or babolat's general flimsiness. (seriously, my son's APDs and pure strikes are the only frames that actually wore out to the point of fracturing, usually within two years. Didn't happen with Wilson, head, Fischer, yonex or Dunlop I / we have had over the last 35 years! )

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What is general racket prices in U.K.?
Do you see rapid price increase in recent year?

I thought Japanese market price is one of expensive racket prices but looks like they are steady now but majority market prices were gone up. I totally understand but prices are went up too quickly and looks like it will not stop.
 
#30
Back in the 60's, i bought a T2000 for 50.00 making $2 an hour. So that is 25 hours of work. Now the Clash is 250 and i make around $10 per hour. It works out to 25 hours of work again. The more things change, the more they stay the same...
 
#34
Each company's aim is to sell its product as much pricey as it can.
The only way we can achieve better prices in the future is to stop buy them...

There are too many very good used racquets out there.
Imho, some old ones are even better from any new.
My "newest" racquet these days is over a decade old!
That's don't mean that I'm not racquetholic.
I sell and buy racquets all the time!

Do you remeber few years ago when Babolat offered the Strike series with "pay one - take two" ?
When they see their stock in their warehouses unsold, they will be more nagotiable...
 
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#35
It all starts with Wilson. A different paint job costs us 20 bucks more and a RF printed autograph costs 50 bucks more? That’s BS


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#36
Best way to solve this issue is to stop buying brands that are charging too much. For example there is nothing wrong with what Pro Kennex is making right now, in fact the Q series stuff has the best dampening technology of all the brands and they play well.
Second thing everyone can do is to look at buying the specials. Only just recently you could still pick up a Volkl SG 10 mid 330 ( RF alternative ) for $139.
If everyone did this prices would have to drop. With Wilson and their U.S. Prices It slways surprised me why they wanted $249 US for the Ultra Tour, whereas in Other markets they were cheaper.
At the end of the day one just needs to shop smart.
 

kimguroo

Hall of Fame
#40
It all starts with Wilson. A different paint job costs us 20 bucks more and a RF printed autograph costs 50 bucks more? That’s BS


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I remember that Babolat started first. They are the first company to break $199 price then Wilson followed and raised prices more and more and as quickly as they can.
Now Babolat and head will follow soon in my opinion.
 
#42
I remember that Babolat started first. They are the first company to break $199 price then Wilson followed and raised prices more and more and as quickly as they can.
Now Babolat and head will follow soon in my opinion.
Remember the Babolat Play at $350? I wonder why we don't see them anymore. LOL
 

kimguroo

Hall of Fame
#43
The only way we can achieve better prices in the future is to stop buy them...
That’s possible like new iPhone. Time will tell....Racket companies are out of idea nowadays like cellphone companies.
Now Wilson (or other companies) is heading to lower RA rackets but not sure it can be good for everyone since less number of pros will use lower RA rackets. If anyone does not have arm problem 62-65 RA rating might be totally okay.

I am seeing several people who always buy two rackets before but they tend to buy one racket and buy another later since price went up.
 

kimguroo

Hall of Fame
#44
Remember the Babolat Play at $350? I wonder why we don't see them anymore. LOL
That’s experimental racket and sensor technology was involved so should not count.
Also sensor technology is dead.
You don’t want to see same data every time you play. Those data does not give enough info which helps to develop tennis skills.
It might be super exciting technology but only for a month or two. After that you use less and less then stop using it.
Nadal used for promotional purpose and most of time, he did not even turn on the sensor when he changed his rackets during matches. Often time TV camera men zoomed in his buttcap but no blinking which means he did not turn on the sensor.
 
#45
I remember that Babolat started first. They are the first company to break $199 price then Wilson followed and raised prices more and more and as quickly as they can.
Now Babolat and head will follow soon in my opinion.
That’s true. But Babolat still renew their racket in the three years circle and they only lunch one special paint job every year for each racquet line but Wilson is launching new paint jobs almost every season.


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#46
Where I live there's not much market for fancy new technologies, almost every one has an old cheap racquet with 3 years old string jobs, its not a huge market.
 
#47
The price for new racquets is insanely high because the companies need to recoup the high marketing expenses and probably cost of sponsoring all those pro players. Who knows how many millions Wilson pays Federer and the cost to maintain pro stocks and do all that tweaking and experimenting with the pro stock frames. The pro shop for pro players cost money to employ. They aren't factory workers in Asia.

The MAP collusion is also another reason. That's mainly to protect small shops since they don't move as many racquets as a big retailer like TW. TW could certainly sell with minimal margins and make up for it in volume, but then no one would ever buy from the small shops anymore. The industry forces everyone to sell at MAP. There are some stores that don't follow that rule like Narnia.
 
#48
Where I live there's not much market for fancy new technologies, almost every one has an old cheap racquet with 3 years old string jobs, its not a huge market.
On Sundays, I play with a group of ~20 players. I don't know about their strings but the newest racquet in the group are a pair of IG Youtek Prestiges bought used.
 

max

Hall of Fame
#50
The price for new racquets is insanely high because the companies need to recoup the high marketing expenses and probably cost of sponsoring all those pro players. Who knows how many millions Wilson pays Federer and the cost to maintain pro stocks and do all that tweaking and experimenting with the pro stock frames. The pro shop for pro players cost money to employ. They aren't factory workers in Asia.

The MAP collusion is also another reason. That's mainly to protect small shops since they don't move as many racquets as a big retailer like TW. TW could certainly sell with minimal margins and make up for it in volume, but then no one would ever buy from the small shops anymore. The industry forces everyone to sell at MAP. There are some stores that don't follow that rule like Narnia.
MAP methods help spread out distribution and encourage competition. Otherwise, heck buy everything on Amazon.
 
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