Yesterday, Geoff Woodcock from The Racket Shop, Reading, UK, tweeted about an annoying customer. I asked what had happened and he said that somebody had come in to try on a pair of shoes and was then going to buy them online. Fortunately, they were out of stock on the website this customer wanted to buy them from and bought them from Geoff.
Before I go any further, I want to say I have no commercial or financial agreement with Geoff. This is not an article about his shop. Be became web acquaintances since I recorded on a video about strings and stringing.
The action of visiting a physical shop, often called “bricks and mortar”, to view, test, hold, play with, a product, but then buy it online is called “showrooming”. It’s a huge problem for many smaller retailers who can’t compete in price with online retailers.
It’s Not Just About The price
Getting the best price is just one aspect of buying something, for many the most important – until something goes wrong or they need advice. By visiting your local racket specialist shop, you can benefit from years of experience. Owners of these shops invariably play racket sports, get to try almost all the rackets, shoes and bags etc and can help you choose the right piece of equipment for you.
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Some Even Have Test Rackets
Did you know that some racket specialist shops have test rackets? Not all, but some. Being able to play with a racket before purchase is so useful. It can save you a lot of time and money. Take advantage of that buy purchasing a racket from them.
In addition, they nearly always restring rackets and can advise you which string and what tension will work best for your game. Stringing is often overlooked in squash and having a great frame with the wrong strings and the wrong tension is like having a sports car with the wrong tyres at the wrong pressure.
But Phillip, I Don’t Have A Local Racket Specialist!
Me neither, but many retailers do post equipment you buy from them. Yes, it won’t be as quick as well-known online retailers and they might not always have what you want in stock, but you can call them or email them and ask. My point is, if you do have a shop near you that sells racket sports equipment, go visit them. If they are not too busy, chat with them about the latest rackets and shoes – you’ll definitely learn something.
Specialist racket retailers are like coaches – finding the cheapest is false economy. You might save 10 pounds on the racket of your choice, but if it’s the wrong racket then the rest of the money you spent has been wasted. If you visit a shop and get their advice or try some shoes on, don’t buy it online. That’s just rude and unfair.How To Watch A Squash Match
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