I've been registered and reading the forums for a long while but kept hidden in the background till now. I thought it was about time to finally say hello. The forums on here have been great and certainly an invaluable tool for those less experienced with regards to badminton, namely myself.
I played a little badminton during my early teens... unfortunately many other factors then proceded to interfere and badminton took a back seat, hence I developed little prowess or proficiency in the game as some other members on here (you guys really are hardcore when it comes to badminton); my education had to take precidence, along with the beginnings of a career... no doubt finding time and other players to play badminton was not easy. I only came back to playing badminton in the last year and a half on a weekly but casual basis after a 12 year absence, but have enjoyed every minute - my other sporting love is tennis.
With the help of members on here, I used their knowledge and finally decided to buy my own racquet whilst hopefully avoiding the pitfalls of fakes. After years of borrowing spare racquets from others, I plucked for the Armortec 800 DE when a friend visited Hong Kong. Surprisingly, it's not as hard to play with as I thought it would be for someone of my limited skills, and I love it.
A few weeks after my purchase I went to a general sports store in the centre of town to buy some overgrips, to my surprise I glimpsed a racquet with a high end colour scheme not normally seen in such a general sports store. It was the MP99 and even more of a shock it was priced at £30!!! At first I thought this was a fake but decided to look the racquet over, it seemed genuine enough. Putting it aside I continued to look over the other racquets available, no more MP99s but I found a MP88 with the silver and red (2003) colour scheme, again for £30!!! I asked one of the store assistants if the price was correct and pointed out that is was less expensive compared to the MP23 and MP44. He duly went to ask his manager and confirmed it was the correct price. Without thinking, I asked for them to hold these items as I needed to phone a friend to see if he needed a new badminton racquet, the manager gave me an hour to return.
Well that was the excuse I gave, I really I went to an internet cafe to search over the threads here about what to look out for, especially the serial numbers. I then went to another racquet specialist store to check over their legitimate collections of MP99 and MP88 racquets to confirm what an original one looked like. Armed with this information I went back to the original store and looked over the racquets once more to confirm that what I saw was in fact both genuine. It was the most frantic one hour deadline I'd been given!
In short I bought both the the racquets and am now the proud owner of the MP99, I passed the MP88 on to a friend who is absolutely pleased with it, well he gave me £40 for it even though I told him I paid only £30. Talk about the proverbial "waiting ages for a bus to arrive, then 3 come along at once..." though.
Anyway, without the insightful help of members on here, I would have passed up on the bargain. Hopefully I can pass on some of my knowledge in the future to old and new members alike.
The funny thing was when I bought the AT800 DE, it was shortlisted along with the MP99, MP88, MP66 and the Cab20MS. My intention was to only buy one racquet, and I went for the AT800DE as it would be better suited to my game (it however was such a close call between it and the MP99). Had I had foresight (don't we all wish we had this ability ) then I probably would have not bought the AT800 and waited a few weeks. Oh well, I shouldn't complain about it, many people would love to have been in my predicament.
The shop was JJB on Oxford Street, London. Not a place where you would usually see a high end racquet, let alone two. I got them last November/December. I went back there several weeks later, and once again last weekend to check if it was a one off and I am sad to say I have not come across another bargain like this since. Perhaps I do have some fate with badminton, perhaps not, but I think I was just extremely lucky more than anything... it didn't carry over to the lottery that night though.
I wonder if the luck will carry over while I am in Asia next week? Maybe I can pick up some more deals.
(P.S. If anyone finds my nickname offensive in any way, let me know and I will change it if the admin/mods allow)
Welcome to BadmintonForum, SuicideBob! How did you get to choose the nick? Do you play mostly singles, doubles, mix?
Thank you for the warm welcome.
I got the nick kind of by accident after I played various online games, it wasn't my first nick though nor is my name Bob. As from the name SuicideBob, you can tell I wasn't exactly a great player but I tried my best; usually head down, charge in, and.... well you get the picture. From then on, I thought it was a rather apt name and I guess I stuck with it. I don't play badminton with the same style though, because smashes at the body hurt a lot more than virtual bullets do.
Generally I play doubles as my fitness or lack thereof prevents me from playing a full match of singles; the opponents would make me run around like a headless chicken, so I took a defeatist approach for now - there would be no point taking singles more seriously until I can improve my general fitness, speed, stamina and technique. I usually play once a week for about 3 hours, imagine if that was purely singles games though, I'd be exhausted.
Thanks for the info. It is common to see a booboo on high st chain stores, especially on badminton goods where the staff are less knowledgable. I picked up a few bargains like this years ago on some Prince and carlton racquets
It is rare to see a high end racquet in JJBs! I did see some bargain Carltons the other day (priced £17.9-£29.99) in Lillywhites, Piccadilly Circus. After contemplating for a whole day, I went back and they were gone!
I think I saw some of those racquets at Lillywhites too, in fact there were quite a few. I do believe it was a Carlton Powerblade Superlite selling for £29.99 and I was very tempted myself - but then do I really need to buy yet another racquet?. I do need to get myself some other gear though, like proper shoes.
Lillywhites have since removed the entire stock of Carlton badminton racquets which I think is a shame, and they are only stocking various mid-range and low-end Yonex and Wilson brands. Oh they seem to have a barrel load of AT500s though, apparently the only consignment of the AT range they will stock so I have been told. I do wonder what they did with all those Carltons though.