Sunday, 1 June 2008

Where to Buy Your Badminton Racket

Let's face it, it is getting more and more difficult to buy a badminton racket from the high street. The specialist racket stores are decreasing by the day, and there are not many left now. Your choices are very limited from the high street. Why? Because the advent of the internet has changed everything, and this is a good thing for all us badminton players. We now have more choice, and easy access to any badminton raquet we desire, at the touch of a button. Delivery is super fast and efficient, and it has to be, or else we will just shop elsewhere, and the online badminton equipment retailers do not want to lose our custom. We are the winners.

If you go to any search engine and type in "badminton racket" you will be presented with a huge list of stores who sell them. In the left hand side of the search results you will see the sponsored listings. This is where the retailers have paid to be placed on the first page of google, yahoo, ask etc. If you click on these adverts, it will cost the company whose ad you click money, even if you don't actually buy anything from them.

The most established online sites are central sports, sport discount, millets,uk rackets and a host of others. Ebay is also worth a look at believe me. I get most of my rackets from ebay, you just need to know where to look. The best ebay store for badminton rackets is Racketworld. They sell out of season bats, such as last years models, and they specialise in Carlton and Browning. At the time of writng, i have not seen Yonex rackets in their store. The more popular online stores are your best bet for Yonex. You can nuy Yonex from ebay, but don't buy anything that has come from China, they will be fake. How do you know this? Just look at the price. A brand new top end Yonex racquet usually retails for around £100-£120, most of the listings from China sell them for about £20. This is too good to be true, and it usually is. There has been a lot of fake Yonex products on ebay, and if you look very closely you can spot a fake. I will cover this in a future post as there is a good website that tells you what to look for.

Back to Racketworld on ebay. The guy who runs this store has connections with Carlton i am sure. I currently use the Carlton Airblade Tour and i get them for about £30. I have seen this same badminton racket from an online store priced at £80, so you do the maths. If you don't mind having last years model, with different paint on it, then you can save a lot of money. Just another thing here, i have seen racket reviews that go on about how good the graphics are on such and such a racket, and this does influence people's decisions when they come to buying. People are swayed by the looks. What a load of crap. I don't give a damn how my badminton racket looks, i just want it to do the job. Can you honestly tell me that the way a racquet looks will make you play better? No chance, only you can make you play better.

Of course the big problem with buying from the internet is that you can only look at the pictures and the marketing hype, you can't physically feel the racket. Do what i do, and borrow someone else's if you can. Some stores let you take one for a trial before you buy, which is good. But bear in mind that if you don't like it you will have to post it back. Still, it's better than buying it outright and then finding out you don't like it, your stuck with it then, unless you can sell it on.

While Racketworld still sell my Carlton Airblade Tour i will continue to buy it from them. The problem is that Carlton have stopped making this badminton racket, so eventually there will be no more, and then i will have to find another replacement. I do not buy expensive Yonex rackets, i do not believe in spending that much money. The difference between the Carlton i use and a Yonex is virtually nothing to me, i know this because i have used most of the top Yonex rackets, i do have access to them, i just choose not to buy them. Of course it does help if you are good friends with your local Yonex distributor!

You may also find that your local racket specialist (if you can find one) will match internet prices. Just ask them, most will want your custom, and will match the price. Just don't bother going to JJB's or a large retailer like that, they do not have a clue about badminton rackets. It is worth checking them out once in a while though, because it is not unheard of for them to incorrectly price rackets, especially Yonex. A bit sly you may say, but this is their own ignorance, so if they do it then it's their own fault.

I do have to laugh at the amount of security you will find if you try to pick up an expensive racket from these places. You are faced with chains, tags and god knows what else. It is impossible to tell what anything really feels like, so there is little point in trying.

Another point to bear in mind is that online stores often have a price match guarantee, so if you find a racket cheaper elsewhere they will match that price to get your custom. Although remember the example i have seen with the top Yonex models, they are the same price wherever you look. If this is the case, look to see if you get free delivery, you can save money on your badminton racket this way.

1 comment:

midhu said...

Where I can but Linex shuttle Rocket?Can Some one can suggest me?