Buying Equipment online – Good Deal or Not?

Consider this: A man who had thrown a plastic ball for years, bought a Cell Pearl online and had their proshop drill the ball for a large hand. The ball didn’t fit correctly. Whose fault?

I find it hard to assign blame to any one party.  The Pro Shop drilled the ball for a large hand, the bowler did not give specific specifications.  One cannot expect to have a perfect fit when they have not even been fitted by the driller.  Fitting a ball to a persons hand is not an easy process and takes years of practice.

Should the ball seller have drilled the ball or told the buyer to have a local pro shop fit his hand and drill the ball?

The ball driller was only giving the person what they paid for, a ball drilled for a large hand.

Another aspect – a lot of older balls (new in box) are showing up on eBay. Is it a good idea to buy them?

There are many good deals on e-bay, however, be careful how much you spend on a ball from e-bay.  Keep in  mind that you still need to pay to get the ball drilled.  I have seen some instances where a bowler could have purchased a brand new ball from the Pro Shop for the same money as they paid for an older ball.

What if they are on the USBC non-conforming ball list?

I would suggest checking this list, you don’t want to throw an honor score and have it get denied because the ball does not conform to the USBC ball list.  (See “Equipment Check” on pg 17 of Fall 08 US BOWLER).

     All that being said, let me finish by saying; Go to your local Pro Shop.  Communicate with your Pro Shop operator, let him/her know what you are looking for, and what you are trying to accomplish.  Believe me when I tell you, your Pro Shop operator wants you to be succesful, and they want you to return to get more equipment.  It is crucial to the process that you communicate, it is very hard for the Ball Driller to know how your hand feels in the ball.  If you are having issues with fit, tell them.  Also, keep this in mind, the Pro Shop is there to service you, THE BOWLER.  If bowlers do not support there local Pro Shops they will all be getting balls drilled for small, medium, or large hands, because there will be no Pro Shops left to correctly fit hands if everyone keeps buying equipment on the internet. 

     Lastly, keep in mind that when you pay for drilling services at your local Pro Shop, you are not just paying for the drilling, you are also paying for the knowledge of the person laying out and drilling the ball, the equipment necessary to fit and drill a bowling ball, and also the rent that goes along with operating a Pro Shop in a bowling center. 

     I welcome all comments and questions.  Have A Safe and Happy New Year!

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