Have you ever walked into a badminton equipment store only to be shocked by the price of a racket? I have. Whether you went through with the purchase or not, you’ll probably have wondered what makes a badminton racket so darn pricey.
Badminton rackets are expensive because of the careful design that goes into making each one. Manufacturers engineer badminton rackets for maximum control and tactile feedback. Right off the bat, this means paying workers, materials, and machines to produce high-quality rackets. Also, let’s not forget the expensive process of quality control where manufacturers painstakingly evaluate the specifications of a badminton racket. Other things that contribute to the price tag of your racket are the brand and the profit that badminton racket makers wish to make from each sale.
Find out more about what goes into the expensive price tag of the best badminton rackets on the market!
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Badminton rackets have gone a long way from being elongated and stiff shafts made of wood. Now, they have evolved into isometric or oval-headed rackets that are built to meet the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) standards.
Badminton rackets are well-designed to suit the playing styles and strengths of badminton players. Racket manufacturers like Yonex, Victor, Li-Ning, and Wilson go to great lengths to produce rackets with varying balances and control levels. These companies also fine-tune the materials that go into the racket to make them BWF tournament-grade . All of this requires high-precision machinery and the labor of employees on the assembly line — all of which cost money.
The design of a badminton racket requires meticulous attention to the requirements of both the player and the game. This is why some rackets are designed for beginners while others are better suited for intermediate players.
Valuable Materials Used
Badminton racket makers use a lot of machining and human resources to tweak the weights of rackets. On top of this, very specific materials go into the manufacturing of a racket. These materials account for a large chunk of what you see on the price tag.
Badminton rackets are also expensive due, at least in part, to the valuable materials used in each one. Some examples of these include carbon, graphite, and aluminum. Unlike the early days of the sport, where wood was the material of choice, more materials are now available to manufacturers. A lot of these materials, particularly the three just mentioned, come with a hefty price tag.
Sure, aluminum — which is common in many rackets — is cheap and easy to come by. Graphite and carbon, however, are a different story. Graphite and carbon prices are largely based on the methods by which their sources come up with commercial-grade materials. Without getting into the weeds, manufacturers of these metals purify and synthesize raw materials to produce more valuable metals.
Needless to say, the manufacturing princess for these materials can be intensive on several fronts. The purification process takes up a lot of energy, meaning that graphite and carbon suppliers need to pay through the nose for energy costs.
Let’s not forget logistics. Badminton racket manufacturers also pay their share in the supply chain to get materials to their facilities. Will these costs add up and be reflected on the price tag of a racket? You bet!
Multiple Steps to Manufacture
The badminton racket manufacturing process involves several steps, from material selection and sourcing to taping the grip or handle. If you want to learn more about the fascinating manufacturing process of a high-quality racket, check out my article detailing the steps to making a badminton racket.
Every step in the manufacturing process requires a certain level of input. This input can come in the form of electricity, materials (which costs money, as I’ve mentioned), machines, and manpower. All of the above are crucial to the manufacturing process, and most importantly, all of the above cost money.
For the most part, factories that produce badminton rackets aren’t fully automated. For example, consider Yonex, one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of badminton supplies. If you watch the BWF’s video featuring the Yonex facility, you’ll notice that each step involves an employee.
Each employee ensures that every single Yonex racket is designed and made to fit product specifications. Most importantly, the employee to whom quality assurance is delegated must ensure the racket’s performance and compliance with the racket standards of the BWF.
In short, a badminton racket’s price can largely be attributed to the steps that go into making it. Of course, even with a similar number of steps, no two manufacturers will price their badminton rackets the same.
This is where branding comes in.
Badminton racket pricing also largely depends on the company setting the price.
The brand profile gives a company full legitimacy to set prices — at least, in the eyes of consumers. The more well-known companies are for delivering quality products, the more reasonable their prices will seem. This is even the case if these companies jack up the prices for their badminton rackets!
To see how branding affects pricing, let’s look at two similar rackets — the Victor K Thruster Falcon Claw and the Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ.
Both rackets have oval heads, feature carbon graphite frames, and are excellent for smash-oriented players. Yes, they’re similar in many ways. But can you guess which one costs more?
If you guessed that the Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ costs more, you’re spot on! In fact, it costs around $25 more than the Victor K Thruster Falcon Claw.
Why? It’s simple: Yonex has more brand visibility than Victor. Victor may be in the racket bags of many badminton greats, but let’s face it. Yonex’s brand name is all over the place, and the company has quality products to back its reputation.
The company even has a championship bearing its name — the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championship!
Margin of Profit
At the end of the day, badminton racket manufacturers need to turn a profit.
Badminton racket manufacturers will want to make a profit for every racket that they sell. This would be impossible if they priced their rackets too close to manufacturing and production costs. Hence, manufacturers will set prices several percentage points above the amount of money they spent making each racket.
The exact amount will vary from one manufacturer to another. Of course, other factors like design, manufacturing, and the company’s brand will influence the margin of profit for badminton racket prices.
It’s No “Racket!”
Beneath the three-digit price tags of many of the best badminton rackets is a process. It’s a process filled with the effort and toil of employees. Manufacturing companies work tirelessly to optimize carbon and graphite into rackets that bring out the best in players worldwide. Market forces and branding also play into the costs of the high-quality rackets in the bags of recreational and professional shuttlers alike.
The next time you’re in the store ogling an expensive badminton racket, remember that it’s pricey for a reason — several, in fact!
Treat yourself to a well-designed racket, and get your return in investment in the form of better balance and control on the court!
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