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Thread: Bowls even where, no?

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    Default Bowls even where, no?


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    Bit stunned really. Sent a mail out to several bowls shops this weekend. This ones shop and another replied (thanks) but it seems even if you want and can afford a new set, they are hard to come by. I know shops find it difficult to keep stock, understand that really do, but what do you do if you want to see and handle a set before spending 300 notes?

    John and I were having a chat about bias on a specific bowl, I thought buying new would give me the best chance of what I want. But I just cannot find a pair any place, it makes me think we are at a crossroads with lawn/indoor bowls. Bowls have just gotten too expensive for anyone to stock, so whats the point of retail outlets, we may as well all buy direct. I know many industries give sale goods on a sale and return, maybe shops need to work together (even though it may not seem likely) and send wanted bowls to other shops they have in stock?

    I can try bowls in my club, but they maybe older models with a different bias. Difficult isn't it.

    Rich.

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    Very - although I have never personally tried new bowls! I find myself often quoting from prior golf experience, and whether it be club golf pros or commercial golf shops, for many years now they all have demo sets or clubs that one can try before committing - whether it's on simulators, in nets or actual use on the course. Often, it's the manufacturers who provide these demo clubs to the outlets, and, in the case of golf, you can often have 'personal fitting sessions' upfront to decide on the precise combination of shafts, grips, lie angle etc that suit you best. The more expensive items become, the more one needs to actually handle and use them in order to justify the considerable expenditure (although a set of golf clubs is of a different magnitude again). Many sports have just not come to grips with this, and bowls appears to be one.

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    It has to be the cost now-days surely? One shop spoke to Henselite on my behalf and they said December, bloody December what is going on. Are these bowl makers out of step, I'm not a little surprised that Aero have taken a big chunk of the market now, as if you have to wait for a standard bowl, you may as well have one made to your spec! But I want some Tiger 2s?

    Rich.

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    Clearly cost ... and demand. One suspects that relatively few new bowls are actually bought. Lower production inevitably means higher cost per unit and unwillingness to hold stock. The famous 'Just-in-time' mentality - but that comes at a potential cost to the manufacturer/retailer as 'impulse' buys are denied. In your case, such a long lead time seems silly - can they really have a large order book, or that bowls take that long to make/distribute? As I understand it, makers produce and hold stocks of 'blanks' and then machine the actual sets from these using pe-programmed automatic lathes etc- that stage can't take too long, surely!* There is of course, painting and testing etc to take into account.

    * see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVNmHD6aqcg re production of Aero bowls. In this they mention - at 7:50 - that they 'could make a set of bowls in a day'! However, as everyone wants their order quickly, they say 5-7days in practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by corptaxman View Post
    Very - although I have never personally tried new bowls! I find myself often quoting from prior golf experience, and whether it be club golf pros or commercial golf shops, for many years now they all have demo sets or clubs that one can try before committing - whether it's on simulators, in nets or actual use on the course. Often, it's the manufacturers who provide these demo clubs to the outlets, and, in the case of golf, you can often have 'personal fitting sessions' upfront to decide on the precise combination of shafts, grips, lie angle etc that suit you best. The more expensive items become, the more one needs to actually handle and use them in order to justify the considerable expenditure (although a set of golf clubs is of a different magnitude again). Many sports have just not come to grips with this, and bowls appears to be one.
    If you applied some of your suggestions to a set of bowlsthe stockist would be holding a lot of stockbecause as you know with most. Makers the bias of the same sets vary considerably,leading to higher prices, we have a roadshow visit the club with many models available and no problem trying them on the green.i think the comparison as to what happens in golf is of no consequence to bowls.and as you say the cost of golf equipment is very higb, and actually manufacturing costs are very low
    No Grey Areas

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    Mostly true. They weren't really suggestions, just an indication of what can, and is, done in another sport and how that can lead to more people changing equipment if they have been able to try at no obligation. Even in golf, a stockist will not have clubs to try in every make and model/size/weight (and there are probably more variables involved if you take shafts, loft/lie angles etc into account) - I narrowed down the selection through magazines and online info to Ping, then looked for a club pro in the area (not my own club at the time) who specialised in that make and did personal fitting with Ping-provided clubs etc and booked an 'assessment' session: it paid off for the Pro (he spent about an hour with me at no cost), as I ordered a customised set through him - and not the model either he or I thought would suit me at my level of play at the outset. Personal service and the ability to try things out can pay. Prior to that, we did actually have a 'roadshow' at my golf club with several makes available, inlcuding Ping - very interesting, but I really didn't get enough time to assess the available choices at that as a lot of members were vying to try the clubs!

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