Advice on fair stringer compensation

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Tim Strawn 3 days, 1 hour ago.

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  • #12151

    Hi!

    New here, but USRSA Certified since 2010.

    I’m retired from my career and want to string at a local golf and tennis club. I currently string at a city owned facility that views stringing as a service and prices to break even– I know, a travesty, right?!?

    We charge $15 for installation of customer supplied strings and prices range from $28 to $35 for strings we stock (not many to choose from). I get $10 a frame but also work the front desk at $10/hour and can string while on the clock.

    Trouble is, they’ve hired a full time front desk clerk and admin and I won’t get hours any longer except as a fill in.

    The Country Club charges $30 for install of customer supplied strings and they have a variety of strings in stock at various prices. I spoke to the manager at the club and he seems interested in me. What’s the “going rate” for the stringer on a per frame basis?

    Thanks,

    Matt

    #12155

    Hey Matt, there are definitely others in this group who have much more experience in the industry than I do, but I’d say that “going rate” is subject to where you are and the demand for racquet services.

    But generally speaking, if the Country Club is charging clients $30 if they provide string (which, btw, I think is really high), then a very fair starting point for you would be $15/frame, perhaps even $17/frame give MRT cert. I would also offer up other services such as re-gripping, grommet replacement/repair, customization, matching, etc to bring in some add’l revenue. Look at the first couple years as an investment in building a solid business relationship with club management and expert reputation with the players. Then after a while, renegotiate your rate with the club.

    Just one opinion among many. Best of luck… I’m not too far behind on the post retirement stringing career :-).

    ~RO

    #12156

    Randy,
    I very much appreciate your advice.
    How do you price the other services you mention (regrip, grip size change, customization, grommets, etc.
    BTW, I was able to get the Tennis Center I’m at now to $12/ frame since I’m no longer getting font desk hourly pay.

    #12171

    John Gugel
    Member

    Matt, I would establish what you want to make per hour and base your prices on that for stringing. If you want $60.00 hour and can do two (2) good stringings and records in that hour the $30.00 price is just right.

    For other services I would consider a “fixed” charge per service but still based on what you want, i.e. a grommet replacement should be $15.00 and as you improve your productivity that can make a lot more than $60.00 per hour.

    Stringing and preparation is a lot more valuable than most people think, so make it work for you!

    John

    #12172

    Hi Matt, I would also add that researching local price points is important too, e.g what your competition is charging. Whatever you charge, I would keep it simple and specific. For example I charge $20 for grommet replacement. That includes the grommet set and doesn’t matter what make/model frame. A club I string for charges $12/grip replacement regardless of type of grip (they carry three different types). I think sometimes people get in trouble when they charge “$15 to $20 depending on type of frame/etc” for a service. Pricing then becomes inconsistent and burdensome to track across your customer set and breadth of services.

    ~RO

    #12176

    John Gugel
    Member

    Matt, do you offer anything that other local stringers do not. If you provide a better product make that part of your charging model.

    John

    #12182

    Tim Strawn
    Keymaster

    Matt – if the country club is interested in you I believe you should ask exactly what it is they want and then concentrate on fees for your services. For instance, who currently gets the revenue from the pro shop stringing services? Is it the head teaching professional or does all the money go to the club? Are the racquet services separated from the rest of the pro shop or is it all lumped together? If there’s a head teaching pro there has he/she been offered the opportunity to run the shop? These are all things I would want to know before I started talking about compensation.

    This can get pretty tricky when you’re dealing with clubs because in most cases, items and services are run through one corporate account. Players will typically drop off their racquet for service and then ask that the charges be run through their club membership. If that’s the case you’re going to have to wait for your money and won’t get paid when the racquet gets picked up.

    I had a club approach me with this same type of opportunity only to find out that the head pro was never even offered the job. As it turned out, he actually wanted it and was pretty PO’d that the club didn’t even ask him. I dodged a bullet just by asking the director one simple question. Have you asked your head pro if he wants to run your shop? When he said he’d have to get back to me I knew he hadn’t even bothered to ask.

    My point is this. If you come into an unfamiliar situation not knowing all the facts you can find yourself quickly ostracized and in a bad situation. That’s something that can carry over and influence other people within the tennis community and I don’t think you want anything to happen that would tarnish your name in your local area. I would do a little more research to find out what the exact arrangement is that the club is offering and see if there’s anyone currently on the staff there that perhaps should have been asked first. Once you clear that up then you can go back and start some serious negotiations.

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