We’ve been asked more than a few times as to why we don’t sell bats. Our traffic would make us the 4th or 5th largest bat sell site on the internet. For starters, we think it would ruin the objectivity of the reviews. Inventory and manufacturer relationships would take precedence over just giving the facts as we’ve seen and measured them.
As important, the major reason we don’t sell bats is because so many places already do. By our last count 26 places sell, basically, the same set of bats for just about the same price. And, honestly, every couple of weeks there appears to be another.
Here is a working list of baseball and softball online bat vendors. (We only include what we consider vendor sites below. We do not include the manufacturer’s site although they are often very legitimate places to check bat prices. For example, you won’t find Easton.com below.)
Online Baseball And Softball Bat Vendors
If you don’t live in the south then you’ve likely never heard of Academy. But these folks are real big and do a lot of business in store and online.
You know Amazon. Most of the performance bats they sell on this site via their Prime umbrella are fufilled by companies on this list. However, more and more, Amazon is fulfilling their own performance bat orders. They are the an absolute must check.
Bat Club USA is trying to put a new spin on the bat model by offering payment plans and short term leases on bats. Not sure yet that it is a viable model, but it’s interesting.
Huge company with massive distribution selling baseball bats and all types of gear.
Baseball Monkey’s most impressive site is their Hockey Monkey site. If you are into Hockey you know Hockey Monkey—and their baseball bat section at Baseball Monkey is big too.
When we first started going this Baseball Rampage was huge. They still sell a lot but we are not sure why they don’t seem as big to us anymore.
Another huge outlet that sells a bunch of stuff baseball related including bats.
Out of Ohio, these folks have a bats, balls, gloves and the works.
Yet another place with a ton of selection, good prices and free shipping.
Another place more known for their brick and mortar stores than their online stuff, but they have an online presence and usually have most bats in stock.
Hard to tell who is #2 in the online bat space behind Just Bats, but Cheapbats might be it.
How can you not love these guys? Hard working family business that knows the market as well as anyone.
eBasesLoaded is an online only store that has a lot of bats for sell. Most have never heard of these folks, but they do a good job of offering a lot of bats for legit prices.
EastBay has everything ever in the baseball space. We like them for their cleat selection and batting gloves. They also have a huge amount of bats that are worth checking out.
eBay, like Amazon, is another must check site. Many vendors on this list have eBay stores too where they often unload older models for prices they’d rather not show on their site.
These folks sell new modified bats. As in, illegally modified bats.
Another site most have never heard of but actually do a considerable amount of baseball related items including, of course. bats.
Bat Warehouse should probably not be considered another bat site because it is JustBats.com other bat site. But that interface does a lot of business and is a legit place to shop.
Yes, KMart sells bats too. And, every once in a while, has a good deal on a legit performance type bat.
More commonly found on the East Coast and a brick and mortar store, Modells has a sizeable online offering and, every so often, a killer deal on a bat.
We struggle to get this site to work on desktop. Mobile it seems to work fine. Thes are another small market vendor with lots of option & some good marketing and insight on bats.
Another single spot brick and mortar store with an online presence.
Scheels is more known for their huge brick and mortar stores then they are for their online presense. Their stores have a sort of Cabelas feel for sporting goods.
Another big seller most have never heard of. Good prices on a number of bats and worth checking out.
Seriously, this list just keeps going. There are so many outlets selling online. These folks are in Ohio.
Of course these guys sell bats too.
Of course these folks sell bats online. Not very many performance bats here, but they do have them online and they can ship to store for free.
(Missed one? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
What’s the Difference Between These Vendors?
There are a few major factors to consider, aside from price, when buying a bat. They include the return policy and the shipping rates. Most places we link above offer free shipping as long as your bat’s price is over a certain amount. And many offer free returns too as long as the bat has not been opened.
- Free Shipping?
- Restocking Fee?
A few require a restocking fee and/or require you pay for return shipping. So, be mindful before you pull the trigger.
Amazon’s Effect on the Bat Market
Amazon is it’s own monster. Most of the above major vendors have an Amazon outlet. Not because they want to but because they have to. Selling as a 3rd party vendor under the Amazon Prime umbrella makes for an easy consumer experience, but it eats into vendor margins considerably. Amazon’s pick, pack and ship fee for bats could be more than 15% if you use their storage facility. And at a 40% wholesale margin that bat vendors currently enjoy it is a considerable price to pay.
Major Market Players in the Bat Market
For starters, like most markets, the top dogs make up the vast majority of the market. Dicks Sporting Goods and JustBats derive, we’d guess, 50 to 70% of all performance online bat sales. If you throw in the next echelon like baseballexpress.com, closeoutbats.com, cheapbats.com, homerunmoney.com and baseballsavings.com then you’ve likely accounted for near 90% of the online bat market.
Fighting for the scraps are a number of smaller bat sellers you’ve likely never heard of. Yet, due to pricing that manufacturers require they are often offering the same bat for the same price. And when those bats come off of required pricing (called MAP) these are the places to usually get a good deal if you act fast. Please feel free to make a comment if you know of one we did not mention. There are so very many.