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  1. #1
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    Default where to learn how to string in toronto, canada

    hi, i am thinking of opening a badminton equipment store in toronto. before that, i'd like to learn how to do stringing. where can i get some lessons or some kind of certificate in toronto area. thank you.

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    Hey James

    Before opening your store I would highly recommend you become an accomplished stringer as that will be the backbone of your store. Toronto has a few badminton stores that cover a large portion of the market. I've met with some reps from BK and Yonex and they all suggested this concept to me as I am also looking to do the same.

    However, the best place to get certified is through the USRSA http://www.racquettech.com/

    PM me if you want to talk about your store concept, I've got a solid foundation in business and have my business plan ready to roll.

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    Hi PopsiclePete,
    I am new to stringing and have got quite interested in getting into it totally as a professional. I have no stringing experience and am considering getting certified from USRSA. You seem to have gathered some good information on that. If you don't mind sharing could I ask you for your contact to connect with you.
    Thanks,
    Bhupinder

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    pm sent..........

  5. #5
    Regular Member Lordofthefart's Avatar
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    See I think almost everyone that has started stringing has had this idea cross their mind no? See, in my experience, badminton strings alone won't cut it unless you have a huge reputation as a badminton store. Even then the store also strings squash and tennis. I would suggest that you get your master racquet technician certification. It's recognized in all of North America and also covers all the racquet sports. Granted it's not easy since you have to take the certification test which is extremely hard from what I hear and you need to renew it yearly.

    But I've also heard that some people get the certification for stringing by the same place and get the master racquet techinican for the first year and then let it go since it means nothing to keep renewing it after you got it once.

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    Hmmm...not sure I fully agree with that statement. While certification certainly does have it's uses, before making the decision to certify you should look at the following:

    1) demographics - do your clients care whether or not you're certified? If they don't, are they willing to pay extra for your certification?
    2) Does a certified stringer actually do a better job than a non-certified one? I would argue not necessarily

    While this is a decision that you can make for yourself, I don't think it's a necessity unless you plan on working for a club where being certified MAY provide you with a competitive advantage.

    Also, I don't agree with having needing to "have a huge reputation" being the only thing that will make you profitable. Unless you have the financial capabilities to break into a market that is not that large in most cities (Toronto, Calgary and to some degree Vancouver) are the exceptions, being a locally known stringer will actually allow you to build your client base. Once that is steady and you can depend on them coming back, offering other goods is the way to go. If you plan on selling JUST goods without stringing, open an online store and save yourself the hassles of leasing space for the location and operate out of your house.

    Anyways, just my thoughts...I would love to see more competition as this would most certainly drive down prices and HOPEFULLY provide Yonex, Victor, BK and other brands the desire to lower their margins on products sold in Canada.

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    Thanks Pete and Lord for your input. I am planning on keeping the certification thing in my mind for future and focus on acquiring the skill for now on a decent machine and educating myself and practicing as much as I can before I step into market.

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    Good luck my man! Let me know if you ever open up, I'd love to stop on by

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    Good advice.

    I string for two clubs and my clients don't care if I have a certification or not - no one has ever asked me at least.
    They're more concerned with how good and consistent the workmanship is (and the price, of course).

    That being said, it's probably a good idea to get certification if you're planning to open a store. Something to attract new customers. Also, if you intend to string at some of the bigger tournaments - they probably expect the certification before they even consider you.

    Good luck on your venture! Post here if you do open your store - would love to check it out (if it's not too far).


    Quote Originally Posted by PopsiclePete View Post
    Hmmm...not sure I fully agree with that statement. While certification certainly does have it's uses, before making the decision to certify you should look at the following:

    1) demographics - do your clients care whether or not you're certified? If they don't, are they willing to pay extra for your certification?
    2) Does a certified stringer actually do a better job than a non-certified one? I would argue not necessarily

    While this is a decision that you can make for yourself, I don't think it's a necessity unless you plan on working for a club where being certified MAY provide you with a competitive advantage.

    Also, I don't agree with having needing to "have a huge reputation" being the only thing that will make you profitable. Unless you have the financial capabilities to break into a market that is not that large in most cities (Toronto, Calgary and to some degree Vancouver) are the exceptions, being a locally known stringer will actually allow you to build your client base. Once that is steady and you can depend on them coming back, offering other goods is the way to go. If you plan on selling JUST goods without stringing, open an online store and save yourself the hassles of leasing space for the location and operate out of your house.

    Anyways, just my thoughts...I would love to see more competition as this would most certainly drive down prices and HOPEFULLY provide Yonex, Victor, BK and other brands the desire to lower their margins on products sold in Canada.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Lordofthefart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PopsiclePete View Post
    Hmmm...not sure I fully agree with that statement. While certification certainly does have it's uses, before making the decision to certify you should look at the following:

    1) demographics - do your clients care whether or not you're certified? If they don't, are they willing to pay extra for your certification?
    2) Does a certified stringer actually do a better job than a non-certified one? I would argue not necessarily

    While this is a decision that you can make for yourself, I don't think it's a necessity unless you plan on working for a club where being certified MAY provide you with a competitive advantage.

    Also, I don't agree with having needing to "have a huge reputation" being the only thing that will make you profitable. Unless you have the financial capabilities to break into a market that is not that large in most cities (Toronto, Calgary and to some degree Vancouver) are the exceptions, being a locally known stringer will actually allow you to build your client base. Once that is steady and you can depend on them coming back, offering other goods is the way to go. If you plan on selling JUST goods without stringing, open an online store and save yourself the hassles of leasing space for the location and operate out of your house.

    Anyways, just my thoughts...I would love to see more competition as this would most certainly drive down prices and HOPEFULLY provide Yonex, Victor, BK and other brands the desire to lower their margins on products sold in Canada.
    I don't know of anyone that pays more for the certification. And the certification is just a sign of competence which is the exact reason I took a risk with several smaller stringers and won't ever go back to them. As Adam Smith puts it, effective marketing cannot happen without trust; therefore a governing body must then act as the arbiter of honesty so to ensure trust for effective trade to occur.
    I didn't say that "have a huge reputation" was the only way to succeed, but it is the best way to enter a market that is quite well represented. I mean if you think about it, there are already a few stores in Toronto that satisfy whatever angle you're coming from. You got your standard pro-shops like Yo's, Max, Brown's, the one on Yonge st that I can never remember. You have your importers like MJ, and even Yo's. Then you have your clubs like Manderin, Lee's, Flying Dragon, Everyday Badminton to name just a few. To top it off there are a lot of respectable people selling new racquets privately. And don't forget that Sportchek and National Sport eat up a lot of the casual badminton players. Almost everyone from the lowest badminton player to higher level players have a source for their equipment. Isn't it fair to say that every edge you can gain makes you that much better?

    I mean I've played tennis and if you're talking about professional tennis shops that are more of those than badminton. It's not easy to compete with these well-established stores. I'm not saying it's impossible, by no means, what I am saying is that if you can get an edge why not?

    To qualify I said to keep a store afloat with nothing more than badminton stringing need a reputation so that people will bring their racquets in. Don’t forget, if you have a store then you need to keep track of rent, your own pay, and the overhead for what you’re going to sell. I’m not going to make assumptions on taxes and etc. but it’s a lot of work eh.

    And to meet your second point, I wasn't saying that one that is certified is better but you need to look at the business side of the equation. Who are you more willing to trust, two guys have a small store. One has a certification for stringing hanging on his wall, the other guy doesn't. Which will make you more willing to give this guy your business?

  11. #11
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    Hey Lord, great response and some very valid points! Love the Adam Smith quote too haha I'm guessing you've studied economics or politics at one point in time.

    I just want to make one point...there are many ways to enter a market from a business perspective, and the one you describe is a greenfield where the costs and the risks are the highest. While what you say is 100% correct insofar as entering the Toronto market, I think for someone with perhaps little financial backing providing quality stringing is the way to go. As you say, there are reasons we all go to our stringer for one, we trust them with our racquets so why wouldn't we trust them with products? However, to be trusted you need to build a solid reputation as a stringer. The business world is very fickle and most business do one thing extremely well, and do other things just enough to meet market demand.

    Yes, to keep a store afloat you'll need more than stringing...I agree with you 100%. However, to get to that stage, I think starting small is the way to go. Invest in a good machine, perhaps some string, grommets, grips and other smaller accessories and work your way up.

    Lastly, you make a valid point with the certification.

    Do you have your own business in stringing/sales or just an avid lover of the game?

    Thanks mr.fart man

    Edit:
    IF you do have the money, and need a partner, call on me!
    Last edited by PopsiclePete; 11-11-2010 at 11:59 PM.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Lordofthefart's Avatar
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    I actually help coach some of the highschool varsity players and sell equipment. I also string and grip for them. As for business I have considered a lot of options and have done market research for it. After consulting a lot of sources I've concluded recently with some of my friends that were interested that it will take quiet a bit of effort to break into the market. Need to get out of school first or at least find a bit more support from the bank. lol

  13. #13
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    Yeah I'm looking to do the same. Finish school, get some cash set aside and then take the Toronto area by storm!

    Keep a look out for me, I'm coming :P

    Are you at UoT?

  14. #14
    Regular Member Lordofthefart's Avatar
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    nah york lol you uoft?

  15. #15
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    Nope, Western...

    Obviously we are better ahahaha jk

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