Using budget string. Do club players notice?

#1
Hi guys.

Just getting into stringing.

I'm based in Wales, UK.

In your experience, can most club players tell the difference between a budget string ie Pros Pro and a branded string?

I'm currently charging £10 per racquet.

Is it worth offering a premium string for club players?

Any advice, welcomed.

Cheers, Paul
 
#2
That would depend on the player, string, racket, and tension. I could tell the difference between many strings BUT I did like some very inexpensive string and their were many high priced string I didn’t like.

EDIT: Also just just because you like / dislike a string does not mean others will.
 
#3
If you are just getting starting stringing, you may wish to stick to brand recognition strings until you get established and they then know that you know your strings.
Many budget strings may hit very well, but just like buying a shirt many like a particular brand, so in beginning you may want to stick with brand names, and later you can offer off brand names that hit well, once you are established and they know that you know your strings.
I always keep premium strings on hand especially the ones that players ask for. You do not need to have reels of such string unless you know that you will go through it,
and that you will find out soon once you string more, what string really goes. Otherwise you may get a large inventory of strings that do not move.
My thought on this to you since you asked.
 
#4
I only have one customer (out of a couple thousand) for whom I have considered purchasing a reel of Pro's Pro. That's because I am nearing the end of the reel of Wilson Enduro Pro that I have been using to string his racquets the last few years. He only has one criteria for string: "Cheap as possible". He is of course, a doctor.

BTW, the Enduro Pro 16 is my go to string for plastic awls since I stopped carrying Super Smash.
 
#5
Budget strings are < $5 for SG and < $12 for multis. SG is all I carry [POSG] and if the client wants something else, they give me their string. They get the caveat from me about storage, but most do store their strings correctly since I can recall fewer than a handful of time, the string broke. I get no complaints about my lack of string inventory. My repeat customers let me store their reels so they don't get the spiel from me all the time.
 
#7
I do things different than most others on here. I charge a labor fee plus a string cost. I give itemized invoices. I do not have a set price of say $20 for a multi. I sell the string at current market value rounded to nearest dollar. Example: Sensation I charge $10 for the stringing plus $10 for the string, RPM Blast $10 for stringing and $18 for the string. That way I am competitive on my string prices with everyone else in town and online and the customers know what they are getting. Also, I only sell name brand strings. Customers know for the most part what they want, and there is a higher profit margin than the budget strings. I can sell Kirschbaum, Pros Pro, etc and make a $1 or $2 per racquet. I can sell Wilson, Babolat, Solinco and make $5 to $10 per racquet.
 
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#8
I do things different that most others on here. I charge a labor fee plus a string cost. I give itemized invoices. I do not have a set price of say $20 for a multi. I sell the string at current market value rounded to nearest dollar. Example: Sensation I charge $10 for the stringing plus $10 for the string, RPM Blast $10 for stringing and $18 for the string. That way I am competitive on my string prices with everyone else in town and online and the customers know what they are getting. Also, I only sell name brand strings. Customers know for the most part what they want, and there is a higher profit margin than the budget strings. I can sell Kirschbaum, Pros Pro, etc and make a $1 or $2 per racquet. I can sell Wilson, Babolat, Solinco and make $5 to $10 per racquet.
I second this also,
set your price for stringing and add the cost of what ever they want onit
if they supply string, you just charge your stringing fee
 
#9
I do advise ppl of different choices out there
I do carry/use.myself prospro reels and sell for $5/set, and promote it as a feelgood generic string
I carry a few more expensive options, but not many since keeping that much inventory would get expensive
 
#10
I carry a few more expensive options, but not many since keeping that much inventory would get expensive
Over the years I have increased my inventory. I do not have as much as some, but I do have about $3000 in string inventory. When I started I invested in 5 or 6 strings, now I have 22 for people to choose from. It adds up, but I do sell a few sets of each every year. My goal is to get down to around 17 or 18.

 
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#11
Nice stand,
I got 3 boxes of reels myself: polys, synguts, multis,,
I have 3 more smaller boxes for the 3 types of strings in packs,
stuff I collected over the years and stuff I enjoy playing with,,
eventually I'd like to set a place at home for just stringing, where I can display it all like your pictures,, im still smalltime local stringer so its not a pressing need yet,,
I do have access to a big tennis club in my srea, so I could get a few brands right away if needed to,
my inventory at home i keep small, but even then I cataloged and inventoried it recenttly and it adds up..
and thats just strings,, rakets, bags and other stuff is another beast all together,,
Gotta love the sport..
 
#14
I got the stand at Gander Mountain going out of business. It was a shoelace display. With Sears going under I may go see what they are getting rid of.
Haaa thats how I got my stringing machine, prince 5000,, "sports store going out of business", I plugged It in, checked the pull counter, it had about 300rkts worth in 12yrs,, soo pretty freaking new,,, :)
 

Dags

Professional
#15
I found Pros Pro string very hard to shift. It's cheap, but if someone's paying for labour then the savings don't appear so great. If you're stringing yourself, then a £1 string is ten times cheaper than a £10 alternative. Add on a tenner for labour, and suddenly it becomes £11 vs £20. Chuck in a £5 string, and the choice is even more blurred.

Main advice for a new stringer, don't get carried away with your inventory, and let the clients dictate what you buy. Almost all of mine use poly, synthetic gut, or a mix of the two. Rarely get asked for multi, natural gut is even rarer. You can get hold of string pretty much next day delivery if required, so until you've established your user base, there's little need to stock up.
 
#17
Hi guys.

Just getting into stringing.

I'm based in Wales, UK.

In your experience, can most club players tell the difference between a budget string ie Pros Pro and a branded string?

I'm currently charging £10 per racquet.

Is it worth offering a premium string for club players?

Any advice, welcomed.

Cheers, Paul
Never used Pros pro but I use a good amount of Ytex which many consider a sort of off brand. All of the people I have moved from RPM to SquareX or Quattrotwist like them both and really like the pricing more. For me to do RPM for someone I play with would be $28 usd ($10 labor/ $18 RPM cost). For me to do Ytex for some one I play with its $22 usd($10 labor/ $12 string cost). This also typically leads to tipping from the players that use it. I use cheaper string (cost isn't actually $12 it's just easier for uniformity), that I get at a better price and make more money because it's easier for them to just pay with a 20 and a 5. Basically with branded stuff I only make labor which means I'm basically just doing my friends a favor. With Ytex I get labor plus about $6 in overage on string cost versus what they pay. Similarly with synguts I use Dunlop which is $5 but for the sake of ease, I charge $20 to string in a syngut.
 
#18
I guess I am what you call a "club player." And yes, I can tell the difference between poly I like and poly I don't. Same with synthetic gut and multi. Nat gut not so much, leastways I can't tell the difference between Luxilon and Wilson. Klip feels stiffer to me. I string rackets for the fun of it using a Prince Neos so I suspect that gives me a different perspective.
 
#19
I assumed this was the norm!

Most of the clubs I have been to, and most of the home stringers that I know just have flat rates. For example: If you bring your own string they charge $10 labor. If they supply the string the price of labor varies depending on string so they can round the total up. For syn gut they will quote $15, Multi $25, Poly $30. They sell the syn gut for $5, Sensation for $10, and RPM for $18. So, depending on the string they change a different labor charge. Most people do not pay attention as most of the clubs and stringers have a small selection. So their labor charge for synt gut is $10, multi is $15, and poly is $12. Either their labor charge is fluctuating, or the price of their string is fluctuating. I caught this at a club in Dallas at a tournament. I forgot string and my daughter needed a racquet strung. She was using Solinco Tour Bite at the time. The guy told me it was $10 if I had my string, or $25 if I used theirs. They sold sets for $11.95. So I bought a set from the guy then handed it to him to string the racquet, saved $3.

Basically with branded stuff I only make labor which means I'm basically just doing my friends a favor..
Your getting your string from the wrong place.
 
#21
Hi guys.

Just getting into stringing.

I'm based in Wales, UK.

In your experience, can most club players tell the difference between a budget string ie Pros Pro and a branded string?

I'm currently charging £10 per racquet.

Is it worth offering a premium string for club players?

Any advice, welcomed.

Cheers, Paul
I agree that you'll probably find some folks who don't really care and a few who are rather picky. I tell those picky folks that I can do something similar to what they generally use for string because I have several basics on hand aside from natural gut. But I also encourage them to buy a few or their own sets or even their own reels so that they know I can get them restrung without any holdup.

I have mostly reels of cheap stuff and use syn. gut in my own racquets all the time. The only premium strings I have on hand either came from one of my tennis pals who bartered with me or had a surplus of something and offered it to me at a really nice price.

I've been disappointed with ultra cheap and fragile multifiber in the past, so I recently picked up a reel of Prince Premier Control 16 through TW, which was affordable enough to work fine for me - I generally charge $20 per racquet and often pick up/drop off if it's not out of my way. No demand for 17 ga. multifiber, so I don't buy it.

I've also been buying reels of Isospeed Baseline poly from TW for a few years and this has been very well received. More than one or two sluggers have switched into that poly from RPM Blast because it's more affordable and also more comfortable for them. Their lightest gauge - 1.20mm - is easily my most popular, but I have the heavier gauges, too. The 1.25mm is also in the racquets of several locals.

So my basics include syn. gut (16 and 17 ga.), multifiber in 16 ga., and poly in a gauges.

I actually also string for a couple of guys who run programs at clubs in my area. They usually have string from their brand rep that they hand off to me along with the racquet and then they pay me for my labor. Since I don't have any affiliation with any suppliers, I'm buying my own string for my own "customers" at retail, but the cheap stuff keeps just about everybody happy.
 
#22
@fuzz nation
I find that older players dont need as much durability on their strings,, they favor softer better feeling strings instead,, so the cheaper polys and multis fit that bill,, also the price is something most dont mind,,
I am shocked at the number of older players who have been given luxilon.4g.soft,, or solinco strings,, lots of them,,
However, the premium strings are better at durability., so the younger crowd favor them,,
I advise ppl of the choices and I always prefer if they bring their string to me,, with so many options, they get to choose something they wanna try,, I say my peace based on my expertise, and they make the final choice,,
 
#23
I find that older players ...
I resemble that remark. LOL I do think your point is valid though. I used to hate all poly strings until I started dropping the tension from mid+2 recommended to min-10 for poly. I still do not like all poly string and I think that may be associated with string and tension. I have players that string poly in some of there rackets and multi in the others using the same rackets and tensions. Some days they like one some days the other. I can not understand that.

EDIT: I used to be a multi only player. In my Tec 320 XTC I play with Black Code 4S as opposed to Tec X-One at 57. I can definitely tell the difference but they are both great. Maybe as the weather gets colder I’ll go back to X-One.
 
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#25
My experience has been that it is very hard to discontinue a string unless it is out of production.

Case in point: Leoina 66. No longer popular. I took it off my wall years ago but had a couple sets sitting in a drawer. Customer with a Wilson Spin Effect racquet complaining of durability issues tells me he can't play with poly. So I figure, what's the heaviest nylon I can give him? Out comes the Leoina 66 and now I have to
reorder a string I was all set to eliminate.

BTW, I have over 100 strings to choose from on my wall (and above is how you end up with 100 strings on your wall).
 
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#26
Most of the clubs I have been to, and most of the home stringers that I know just have flat rates. For example: If you bring your own string they charge $10 labor. If they supply the string the price of labor varies depending on string so they can round the total up. For syn gut they will quote $15, Multi $25, Poly $30. They sell the syn gut for $5, Sensation for $10, and RPM for $18. So, depending on the string they change a different labor charge. Most people do not pay attention as most of the clubs and stringers have a small selection. So their labor charge for synt gut is $10, multi is $15, and poly is $12. Either their labor charge is fluctuating, or the price of their string is fluctuating. I caught this at a club in Dallas at a tournament. I forgot string and my daughter needed a racquet strung. She was using Solinco Tour Bite at the time. The guy told me it was $10 if I had my string, or $25 if I used theirs. They sold sets for $11.95. So I bought a set from the guy then handed it to him to string the racquet, saved $3.



Your getting your string from the wrong place.
You are correct. I don't have wholesale account/ contract with anyone but Ytex and Solinco. I usually buy the remainder from TW. I try to catch stuff on sale then charge standard price but that still doesn't build in much margin.
 
#27
I only have one customer (out of a couple thousand) for whom I have considered purchasing a reel of Pro's Pro. That's because I am nearing the end of the reel of Wilson Enduro Pro that I have been using to string his racquets the last few years. He only has one criteria for string: "Cheap as possible". He is of course, a doctor.

BTW, the Enduro Pro 16 is my go to string for plastic awls since I stopped carrying Super Smash.
This doc only comes to you when he snap the strings?
 
#29
Is it worth offering a premium string for club players?/QUOTE]

I have been working with testing rackets. Always did string the test rackets with premium strings. Customer base from just a club player to pretty good tennis players. Top player have their own stuff that is a different category.

So after testing mostly multiple rackets, and a selection was made, always the questen was, what string to use. Clearly the premium was more expensive so quickly a cheaper string was selected. About 80% did find out and stated that the racket played less then the testing and when the string was broken or even before the premium was selected.

Peter
 
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