We all would just love to be able to go out and buy the newest model Demarini or Louisville Sluggers fastpitch softball bat, but good Lord have you seen the prices? It’s a car note for some of these hot sticks! Here at SoftballGalaxy.com we understand your pain and can give you some tips and tricks on how to get one of the best quality bats and not break the bank in the process. Next time you’re in the market for another softball bat make sure you consider using some of these ideas and save yourself a few bucks (and also avoid having to spend a few weeks regretting dropping the big bucks for a brand new model).
Buy the last years model
If you don’t want to buy used then this is the best way to get a great deal on a new bat. When a new model of a bat comes out just wait a bit before you jump on it and instead look for the previous years models to take a big drop in price. Go ahead and join the email newsletters for some of these bat companies (Demarini, Louisville Slugger, Worth etc) and you can usually be one of the first to know about these great deals before or as they are happening. As an example, in a recent event Louisville Slugger and Demarini both dropped many of their previous models by up to 50% in a one day only sale when their newest models came out. Some people got some amazing deals from this! Another useful tip is to join these bat companies social media accounts like Facebook and watch for these deals to pop up as well. There are only limited quantities on these bats so you have to act fast because they move quick.
Join mailing lists and social media accounts for bat companies
As mentioned in the last tip, you can come across some good deals by just being informed of the latest news from these companies. It’s doubtful that you will get as good of a deal as buying the last years models, but you can still get in on sales or special discounts just by keeping in touch with these companies.
Don’t be scared to buy used
Many players just have to have the newest model of a bat out and end up getting rid of their current bat that still ends up having lots of life left in it. There are many places where these bats end up and I could go on and on listing places to search these out but for the sake of time I will only list the top places to look first.
- Softball Bat Websites – When you’re in the market for a softball bat, a good spot to hit up are websites specific to selling bats at a discount. A few that come to mind are JustBats.com, Sidelineswap.com, CheapBats.com, and CloseoutBats.com. Many of these sites also contain some good nuggets of information on how to pick just the right bat for you so that’s a plus as well. These sites also have mailing lists and sometimes do specials and sales that can even get you a few more dollars off on your purchase so it’s a good idea to join up to these lists. I also always make sure to search google for the name of the site and add “coupon code” to it and you can sometimes snag an extra discount code by doing this. Chrome extensions like Honey will also help you with this by automatically inserting coupon codes at checkout to see if anything works.
- Ebay – The last bat I purchased for my daughter came off of Ebay and I was very happy with what we got and the price we paid. I feel comfortable buying from Ebay due to the fact that out of every issue I’ve ever had (and I buy a lot for my personal business), I have basically never had a real problem if I didn’t get the exact product I was expecting and returning and refunding has usually been a pretty simple process. Make sure to study the pictures well and look for sellers with good ratings that accept returns (although if the product doesn’t match the description you can still return under Ebay’s money back guarantee). When searching for a bat on Ebay, if you are wanting a used bat make sure to filter out the new bats. It makes going through the results so much quicker. Remember, you can also put alerts for certain keywords and Ebay will notify you when a new listing comes up for that specific keyword. If you decide to purchase a bat off of Ebay make sure to join up at Topcashback.com to get a little bit of cashback rewards as well when you click through their link!
- Facebook Marketplace/Groups – If you haven’t used Facebook Marketplace yet, you really should try it out. You can search locally for a softball bat and filter down to specific distances away from you or prices. You can also get Facebook Marketplace to notify you when certain listings match keywords that you have saved. As of now (10/2018) I still feel their marketplace has some issues that need to be worked out, however don’t let it stop you from searching here. Also on Facebook, look for fastpitch softball buy and sell groups that may or may not be near you. It doesn’t necessarily have to be near you as many people are willing to ship for a bit extra, but nothing beats being able to put the bat in your hands before you buy it vs having a bat shipped to you from an unknown person.
- Buy/Sell Phone Apps – It seems like every time I turn around there is a new app for buying and selling on your phone. They don’t seem to get quite as much traffic as Ebay, but many sellers are willing to sell on these apps due to the low fees as opposed to Ebay’s higher fees. I personally like Mercari the most out of all of these apps, but I think there’s a chance to find a bat on any of these to be honest. Here are a few of the more popular ones to consider. Mercari, Offer Up, Letgo, Varage Sale, Oodle, Craigslist and 5miles.
- Play It Again Sports – Play It Again Sports is a great store for finding gently used sporting equipment. If you don’t have one near you, you can still go to Facebook and search for “Play It Again Sports” and you will get many results of their stores from all around the U.S. I have actually instant messaged many of these stores separately looking for a specific fastpitch softball bat. Even though no one had it, it’s still a great place to look when you’re wanting a specific model and most Play It Again Sports told me they are willing to ship.
- Word Of Mouth – Every player at some point is most likely going to outgrow their current bat. Some players or parents just set the bat in the closet and forget about it. It never hurts to ask the coaches, parents and players if they have any bats they want to get rid of at a deal. You would be surprised at the low price someone may give you on a good bat that they basically forgot they even owned til you mentioned it. You can also post on your personal Facebook page that you’re in need of a specific bat to get the word out to your friends.
- Thrift Stores/Goodwill/Salvation Army – This is a very hit or miss (no pun intended) place to look for fastpitch softball bats. Most bats that you find in these types of stores are ancient, cheap aluminum bats that you couldn’t pay someone to take, HOWEVER I have heard tales of very high quality bats being purchased for as little as $5.00! It’s a gamble, but you never know what you may find once inside these stores so it’s worth a shot. Your best bet to find these types of stores is to pull up Google Maps and type in “thrift store” and you should get all the results near you.
Tip – When buying used make sure to ask if the bat has been modified in any way as that would make the bat illegal. Most often it’s not, but it’s always safest to ask first.
Now that we have given you a few ideas on places to search for bats, go ahead and give one…or all a try! You may be surprised at what you end up finding. Oh, and don’t forget that if you have a bat (or any equipment for that matter) that is no longer in use then list it on one of the marketplaces mentioned above and use that money toward your next bat purchase! Good luck!
One last tip. We do not recommend using credit cards for everyone so if you’re not comfortable with the thought of having a credit card please avoid using them. IF (and only if) you are a credit card user already and understand the risks associated with them then don’t forget to use a cashback credit card if you make an online purchase. Our favorite one is the Citi Double Cash Back card that gives us 2% on purchases, however there are many other cards that do cashback as well. This paired with promo codes, coupons, and sites like TopCashback.com can help pull the price down when you go to purchase that next fastpitch softball bat.
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