Price of tennis balls

SlowTiger

Semi-Pro
Just wondering how much everybody is paying for tennis balls now? I can't tell if ball prices are inflated because of the shortage or if they are now permanently higher :(
 

JEDI MASTER

Professional
they are higher...
previously the costco Penn balls were $39.99..
now up to $43.99 or higher...

balls at Tennis shops are up slightly as well...
 

ryushen21

Legend
Price has gone up and availability is limited. At around the same time in 2020, I was paying $65/case for top-tier balls. My most recent order (bulk order, wholesale pricing) costs me $87.50/case.
 

SlowTiger

Semi-Pro
Lol. Where is the dislike button!?!? I bought a case of diadem earlier during covid. They were in stock when most places were OUT so I didn't realize how out of hand ball prices have gotten till this week.
 

Chairman3

Professional
Pre-pandemic- $72-76/case for PRO PENNs
So $3 or a little more per can

Now- $84/case for PENN TOUR
So $3.50 per can

This is at my local shop, but consistent with online prices and I don't have to pay shipping.
I stopped using the Pro Penns when the price jumped, just not worth it anymore.
Penn Tours have been a great substitute, good bounce and longevity
I probably get four sets out of a can, toward the end there is some noticeable decline in bounce.
These are regular duty on clay, FYI
Have used on hard court and performance is similar
 

ryushen21

Legend
Pre-pandemic- $72-76/case for PRO PENNs
So $3 or a little more per can

Now- $84/case for PENN TOUR
So $3.50 per can

This is at my local shop, but consistent with online prices and I don't have to pay shipping.
I stopped using the Pro Penns when the price jumped, just not worth it anymore.
Penn Tours have been a great substitute, good bounce and longevity
I probably get four sets out of a can, toward the end there is some noticeable decline in bounce.
These are regular duty on clay, FYI
Have used on hard court and performance is similar
The Penn Tour has been a great ball in my experience. I was buying them for my program and at wholesale prices, they are an even better value. I haven't been able to get them since July of last year. The one time my supplier thought they could get them for me they had gone up to $75/case.

I had to get the ProPenn Marathon balls for my last order. Hopefully, this situation will get sorted out soon.
 

graycrait

Legend

I suspect prices of nearly all tennis supplies are going to continue to rise for the foreseeable future. Nearly everything made for tennis from rackets, balls, clothes to court paint, nets, etc. require direct petroleum products to both produce and move those items. Even natural gut requires petrol because you need to have power for production, including raising and feeding cows, and movement even though petrol isn't an integral part of natty gut.

.
 

Chairman3

Professional

I suspect prices of nearly all tennis supplies are going to continue to rise for the foreseeable future. Nearly everything made for tennis from rackets, balls, clothes to court paint, nets, etc. require direct petroleum products to both produce and move those items. Even natural gut requires petrol because you need to have power for production, including raising and feeding cows, and movement even though petrol isn't an integral part of natty gut.

.
The other aspect is precedent, once a company has raised the price have any of them ever been known to then lower it back.........

...cricket....

NOPE
 

StringGuruMRT

Semi-Pro
Speaking as someone who runs a pro shop, the cost of balls were increased by about $1 per can on us last year, and this year one of the companies told us they would not have balls for us for at least the first half of 2022...
 
I never otherwise shop at Walmart, but they almost always have balls in my metropolitan area. $2.20-2.50 a can, usually in multipacks. I'm stocked up for 2x a week play with fresh balls for the next year. Obviously you want to patronize your local pro shop (or you'll be stringing your own racquets and buying them sight unseen before long) but it's a solution to a pretty pressing problem. Playing with dead balls is for 2.0s and broke teenagers, not enthusiasts.

I also highly encourage getting a 3 gallon corny keg and repressurizing your used balls. They are about 90% of a new ball, and you can keep rejuvenating them until the felt is bad or the ball won't hold pressure.

Cost me about $20 to make one and it takes 2-3 weeks to bring totally dead balls back. I don't play league matches with the repressurized balls, but they beat the hell out of non-pressurized balls as far as comfort and feel. I learned my lesson the hard way, hitting 200-300 groundstrokes and 80-100 serves in a session with practice balls from a ball machine. My wrist did not like me very much.
 

ryushen21

Legend
I never otherwise shop at Walmart, but they almost always have balls in my metropolitan area. $2.20-2.50 a can, usually in multipacks. I'm stocked up for 2x a week play with fresh balls for the next year. Obviously you want to patronize your local pro shop (or you'll be stringing your own racquets and buying them sight unseen before long) but it's a solution to a pretty pressing problem. Playing with dead balls is for 2.0s and broke teenagers, not enthusiasts.

I also highly encourage getting a 3 gallon corny keg and repressurizing your used balls. They are about 90% of a new ball, and you can keep rejuvenating them until the felt is bad or the ball won't hold pressure.

Cost me about $20 to make one and it takes 2-3 weeks to bring totally dead balls back. I don't play league matches with the repressurized balls, but they beat the hell out of non-pressurized balls as far as comfort and feel. I learned my lesson the hard way, hitting 200-300 groundstrokes and 80-100 serves in a session with practice balls from a ball machine. My wrist did not like me very much.
For most players, the cheap balls are going to wear out after a few sessions. Even if you repressurize them, the surface wear is going to diminish the playability.
 
For most players, the cheap balls are going to wear out after a few sessions. Even if you repressurize them, the surface wear is going to diminish the playability.
I play a very heavy ball with full bed of polyester, often on awful blacktop courts. You're right that the felt does wear, especially with rough poly and cheese-grater courts, but I can get at least 4 sessions out of each can. And when the felt is wrecked, they're done -- recycled.
 

SlowTiger

Semi-Pro
I never otherwise shop at Walmart, but they almost always have balls in my metropolitan area. $2.20-2.50 a can, usually in multipacks. I'm stocked up for 2x a week play with fresh balls for the next year. Obviously you want to patronize your local pro shop (or you'll be stringing your own racquets and buying them sight unseen before long) but it's a solution to a pretty pressing problem. Playing with dead balls is for 2.0s and broke teenagers, not enthusiasts.

I also highly encourage getting a 3 gallon corny keg and repressurizing your used balls. They are about 90% of a new ball, and you can keep rejuvenating them until the felt is bad or the ball won't hold pressure.

Cost me about $20 to make one and it takes 2-3 weeks to bring totally dead balls back. I don't play league matches with the repressurized balls, but they beat the hell out of non-pressurized balls as far as comfort and feel. I learned my lesson the hard way, hitting 200-300 groundstrokes and 80-100 serves in a session with practice balls from a ball machine. My wrist did not like me very much.
I saw the keg thing that you were talking about and a premade one is too expensive. How did you get everything for $20? I can't even get a corn get for that much.
 
I saw the keg thing that you were talking about and a premade one is too expensive. How did you get everything for $20? I can't even get a corn get for that much.
Free on Craigslist from a guy who ruined the keg for beer by brewing soda in it, $25 should get you a used one.
 

smg

New User
I also highly encourage getting a 3 gallon corny keg and repressurizing your used balls. They are about 90% of a new ball, and you can keep rejuvenating them until the felt is bad or the ball won't hold pressure.
How many balls fit in a 3 gallon keg?
 

smg

New User
I only have a 5 gallon, but I’m guessing about 40 in that. A 3 gallon seems more appropriate for private use. I would like to have 4 or 5 3-gallon kegs on rotation, ideally. They work very, very well.
This is really interesting. I may build a couple of 5 gallon ones for my sons high school team. They keep old match balls for practice and this seems like it might really help them last longer.
 
This is really interesting. I may build a couple of 5 gallon ones for my sons high school team. They keep old match balls for practice and this seems like it might really help them last longer.
It’s a no-brainer for a team. I use an electric air pump that gives me a precise 32 psi. Just remember that the balls do take some time to come back from the dead.
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
My friend swears he sells his used tennis balls on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace at $0.50/ball and he sells them at 20 for $10 and they sell right away. I figure that's a great way to bring the cost of new tennis balls down greatly. My problem is I just donate them to dog shelters and I have various shelters fighting for them; figuratively speaking.
 

SlowTiger

Semi-Pro
My friend swears he sells his used tennis balls on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace at $0.50/ball and he sells them at 20 for $10 and they sell right away. I figure that's a great way to bring the cost of new tennis balls down greatly. My problem is I just donate them to dog shelters and I have various shelters fighting for them; figuratively speaking.
Lol. I wonder whose buying 20 dead balls?
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
Lol. I wonder whose buying 20 dead balls?
I’ve asked that question as well. The answer is recreational (very low level) tennis players, teachers, and dog people.

Walk into any Play It Again Sports and ask. They do the same. There are always those people at the courts near me that come out once or twice per year to “play” tennis. They hit the ball and gggle and run around for 30 minutes to an hour. I’m sometimes jealous of their pure joy and lack of care.
 

louis netman

Hall of Fame
I never otherwise shop at Walmart, but they almost always have balls in my metropolitan area. $2.20-2.50 a can, usually in multipacks. I'm stocked up for 2x a week play with fresh balls for the next year. Obviously you want to patronize your local pro shop (or you'll be stringing your own racquets and buying them sight unseen before long) but it's a solution to a pretty pressing problem. Playing with dead balls is for 2.0s and broke teenagers, not enthusiasts.

I also highly encourage getting a 3 gallon corny keg and repressurizing your used balls. They are about 90% of a new ball, and you can keep rejuvenating them until the felt is bad or the ball won't hold pressure.

Cost me about $20 to make one and it takes 2-3 weeks to bring totally dead balls back. I don't play league matches with the repressurized balls, but they beat the hell out of non-pressurized balls as far as comfort and feel. I learned my lesson the hard way, hitting 200-300 groundstrokes and 80-100 serves in a session with practice balls from a ball machine. My wrist did not like me very much.
Wallyworld online had a limit of 12 Cans of Wilson yesterday. Got on there today and the limit was 10. Tried to get back for more and the price went from 2.47 to over 7.00 a can. Also, the prices are all over the place for multi-can packs...some sort of gouging algorithm? Can of Wilson balls on Amazon for 7.99? I've never seen such insanity!

I asked a question on this Amazon page: "How do they charge 7.99 for a can of balls?" One answer said," I bought a can for my kids and they're still playing with them a year later..." WTF?

I invested in a couple of corny kegs, but the transfer of balls in and especially out is SUCH A PITA!!!
 
It hasn't gotten better. I just bought a case of Dunlops at a high price. Target, Walmart, Dunhams were all out (although you can get all the pistols, revolvers, ammo and assault rifles you want). I plan on buying a case biweekly, I anticipate the shortage getting worse.

So my questions is will getting cases shipped in the cold weather hurt the balls permanently? My favorite Penn Marathon are unavailable until January.
 

tennis4me

Hall of Fame
Some historical prices at Costco:
  • Sep 2022 $45.99/20pk. (+15% from 2020)
  • Jan 2020 (around the start of pandemic) $39.99/20pk
  • Sep 2017 $38.99/20pk
  • April 2015 $38.99/20pk
Year 2022 is the first time price per can passes the $2.00 mark.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Some historical prices at Costco:
  • Sep 2022 $45.99/20pk. (+15% from 2020)
  • Jan 2020 (around the start of pandemic) $39.99/20pk
  • Sep 2017 $38.99/20pk
  • April 2015 $38.99/20pk
Year 2022 is the first time price per can passes the $2.00 mark.
Actually, I wonder if some of the older players recall but I recall during the 1970s tennis balls were pretty dang expensive. They were for sure more than $2.00/can and by can I mean metal can.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Actually, I wonder if some of the older players recall but I recall during the 1970s tennis balls were pretty dang expensive. They were for sure more than $2.00/can and by can I mean metal can.
In fact, I think that is why we had these gizmos back then.... Which I am not sure worked. I still have one:

 

louis netman

Hall of Fame
Some historical prices at Costco:
  • Sep 2022 $45.99/20pk. (+15% from 2020)
  • Jan 2020 (around the start of pandemic) $39.99/20pk
  • Sep 2017 $38.99/20pk
  • April 2015 $38.99/20pk
Year 2022 is the first time price per can passes the $2.00 mark.
Does anyone know when the standard 24-can case of balls transformed into the 20-pack? It appears to be a Penn-only thing...
 

USMC-615

Hall of Fame
Actually, I wonder if some of the older players recall but I recall during the 1970s tennis balls were pretty dang expensive. They were for sure more than $2.00/can and by can I mean metal can.
I remember those days in the late 70's...buying cans of balls used to eat into my hard-earned, push mowing yards' funds as a kid. And yard cutting didn't command a whole lotta money back in those days.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I remember those days in the late 70's...buying cans of balls used to eat into my hard-earned, push mowing yards' funds as a kid. And yard cutting didn't command a whole lotta money back in those days.
See that is what I recall too. We weren't opening a new can of balls each time we played that is for sure.
 
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