Over the years of buying performance baseball and softball bats we gathered a number of tricks along the way. We share with you three general categories that can save you several thousands of dollars over the years. Consider this the how-to of best bang for your buck on a bat.
You may also find our weekly best bat deal page worthwhile.
One obvious idea is to save some dough is to buy a previously used bat. Sites, like ebay, often have used bats up for auction at remarkable discounts. But those discounts come with a cost in the name of no warranty, damaged goods and dealing with novice sellers. Despite these and other legit reasons to not buy used, here are a few insights to consider when pulling the trigger on a ‘used’ bat.
No matter if you’re buying new or used, the market prices for bats fluctuate. The price curve almost always bottoms out a few days and weeks before manufacturers release their new version of the bat. For baseball this is the last few weeks of July through August. Fastpitch is closer to June.
Often, vendors looking to produce some shelf space dramatically reduce their prices to move some boxes. It is not uncommon to get bats at 50% of their ‘in season’ price during this short window. During this frenzy, check a place like justbats.com old inventory, closeoutbats or amazon’s bat section to monitor. If you are real clever, you’ll find these vendors also have eBay accounts where they really unload prices.
We are often asked what the difference is between last year’s model and this year’s model. Is it worth the difference in price? We have a few thoughts on that subject.
Generally speaking, buy used if the barrel is composite and make sure the grip condition is lining up with the claim of how often the bat was used. Also be aware that a “NIW” claim doesn’t also mean it has a warranty. Make sure, as well, you buy at the right time and, as long as you can confirm the bat is what you want, go with last year’s model. These are the keys to getting the best bang for your buck in a bat.
In an attempt to be pragmatic (although this list will be quickly outdated as they sale) here are a couple of bats I found with a few basic searches in a matter of minutes. Buying these three bats today would be a legitimate $400 in savings.