Tennisopolis : Tennis Social Network

Do you want to make a little side cash while you are watching TV? The Passive Dad blog posted this great article about stringing rackets for dough.

If you play tennis weekly or enjoy hitting hard top spin shots, you have probably had to have your rackets restrung several times. Tired of paying a club or someone else for a tennis restring? Instead of paying $20-40 to have someone string your tennis racket next time, now you can do it yourself. Want to learn how to string tennis racquets and earn some income too? It’s much easier than you realize and you can teach yourself in a few hours time. Stringing tennis rackets can be a fantastic alternative income idea for tennis fans. How much can you make an hour? $20 and more.

I started playing tennis when I was 8 and it took me 5 years to break my first string. Once I started high school and began hitting the ball harder and with more topspin, the strings started to pop frequently. My high school racket was a Pro Kennex that cost $49.99 in 1990. The cost of stringing the racket with 16 gauge synthetic gut was $35. The true cost of the synthetic gut was actually closer to $3 or $4 and the rest was labor.

In 1990 I was not fortunate to have the internet or tools to research tennis string machines. The local pro shop at the country club was my only alternative for our high school team. In prior years, they had a student who would string rackets and offer a substantial savings for the team. Here’s where the business idea started. I subscribed to Tennis magazine and saw ads for several expensive string machines that would cost in excess of $1,000. At 14 years old, I was not about to have the $1,000 needed for a state of the art pro shop quality machine like a gamma stringer or prince stringer. I did see an ad for a Klippermate that cost less than $200 and was advertised as an easy to use, drop weight machine. A few days later I opened my package from Klipper and got to work stringing rackets for our high school team.

In 1990 I was not able to utilize YouTube videos teaching tennis stringing techniques, so I had to rely on the manual that came with the Klippermate. It took me 2 hours to string my first racket, as I had to learn about the string pattern and knot tie off points, tension, and the art of tying a knot. Tying knots is really not difficult, it just appears to be a little intimidating at first. My second racket took 45 minutes, and my fastest time is around 25 minutes using the Klippermate. I used to travel with my stringer in my car and take it down to the tennis courts to work on my friends rackets. What did I charge them? I was a nice guy, and covered my expense for the string and some of my time and charged $5. I know, the local pro shop charged $35, but these were my buddies.

Today I still have a Klippermate and love it. Tennis stringers like the Klippermate can be easy to use, doesn’t require a stand, it’s portable, inexpensive, and fun. It’s a blast saving money, and you can actually make a business out of your tennis stringer. I currently still string for friends and only charge for the string. Current rates for stringing are still $20+ at your local pro shop or retail store, so the opportunity to build a tennis stringing business is huge.

Where would I advertise if I wanted to create alternative income from stringing tennis rackets?

1. Craigslist You can advertise for your local area or if you commute to work, like San Francisco, you can offer to pickup rackets.

2. Business cards Create a business card and hand it out next time you play tennis. Leave some at you local park tennis courts or even Starbucks. Vista Print is a great resource for inexpensive business cards. Be creative and add some graphics to make your business stand out.

3. Word of mouth Offer to string some rackets at your local high school for free. This could be a great community outreach opportunity and gain some business from parents. Offer each student a free tennis stringing and show off your new talent.

Stringing tennis rackets might sound interesting, but are you still unsure of your ability? Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science. I have friends that come over and look at me stringing tennis rackets like I’m undergoing brain surgery. Yes, you do have a few parts like clamps, stringer awl, and pliers, but they are really easy to use. The hardest part about stringing tennis rackets can be reading the directions. You get so excited that you want to dive in and start stringing right away. Just take a few minutes to read the directions and you will save a lot of time.

Stringing tennis rackets can be a wonderful alternative income for yourself and your family. You can make $20+ an hour and your income potential is unlimited. If you attend college, you could string rackets in your dorm room for extra income. High school students can bring the stringer to the tennis courts and string after school for money. My favorite multitasking tip for tennis stringers is to watch tv and string at the same time. You can watch your favorite tv program and make money stringing tennis rackets. Lot’s of people are looking for the perfect work at home business and this could certainly allow you to start one for very little money. My total cost for the Klippermate and string was under $200. Add some business cards from Vista Print and a listing on Craigslist and you’re set. Remember to hand out those cards the next time you play singles or doubles tennis. If you currently string rackets, I would love to hear what your fastest time is and how much you charge your customers? Do you have a tennis business or stringing business already? How are you doing?

Join the Racket Stringers Unite group here on Tennisopolis to meet some other stringers and get some tips.

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Comment by Nicholas Clawson Stiver I on June 24, 2009 at 4:57pm
Wow Mark, you convinced me to start stringing! I am going to start looking for an inexpensive stringer now!!
Comment by ken sein on May 26, 2009 at 4:55pm
As I Mentioned before in my profile, I do string my own racquet. My machine is a floor stand Gamma 6003.
It has served me well and for my immediate friends as well. I have yet to make any money off the machine, as it is used for personal stringing and for friends.
Comment by Mark / The Mayor on January 1, 2009 at 7:06pm
Yeah, exactly. You should buy the Klipper BEFORE your string breaks so you don't have to wait around for it to ship to you. I know many stringers who started with a Klipper. A nice little machine.
Comment by phongl1 on January 1, 2009 at 6:57pm
Seem every tempting, Mark. I look at the klippermate and its very affordable ( they have a holiday special for $135.00). I'm just waiting for my string to break, so i have a definite reason to get one. Well, i better get cracking before that string break.
Comment by Darrick Siagan on January 1, 2009 at 5:50pm
I've only strung twice, and don't have my own stringer. Any advice on a good cheep model/ where you get your string reels?
Comment by Mark / The Mayor on December 30, 2008 at 12:05am
Thanks Phong, are you going to try it out?
Comment by phongl1 on December 29, 2008 at 12:11am
That's sound like a Great idea! Even if you not in it for the business, its always good to learn how to string your own Racquet. Another experience and knowledge to improve your love for tennis!

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