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Overpriced My Ping Pong Buddy Ball Picker

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    Posted: 03/13/2019 at 3:06pm
https://www.megaspin.net/store/default.asp?pid=mppb-ball-picker

I had one and forgot it at a student's house, I never asked it back since they gave me a table free of charge when they upgraded theirs to a 2k one and I did not want to reach as a cheapo when the kid's training time with me came to an end and I remembered about the ball picker.

I kind of miss it but at $45 + shipping, I see the item overpriced. I would buy it at $30 including shipping and the owner would still clear a more than decent profit at that price so I do not understand the rationale behind the pricing scheme.

I am a very average guy, not too smart but not stupid either; not rich but not poor either; not super educated but not vastly ignorant either (OK I might be if we count everything there is to know...). If I think that way about the item, I expect a lot of people to think the exact same in the TT community. 

What's your take?


Edited by fatt - 03/13/2019 at 3:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote piligrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2019 at 3:15pm
when I needed something like this I bought butterfly net at dollarama
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote anubhav1984 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2019 at 3:17pm
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:

https://www.megaspin.net/store/default.asp?pid=mppb-ball-picker

I had one and forgot it at a student's house, I never asked it back since they gave me a table free of charge when they upgraded theirs to a 2k one and I did not want to reach as a cheapo when the kid's training time with me came to an end and I remembered about the ball picker.

I kind of miss it but at $45 + shipping, I see the item overpriced. I would buy it at $30 including shipping and the owner would still clear a more than decent profit at that price so I do not understand the rationale behind the pricing scheme.

I am a very average guy, not too smart but not stupid either; not rich but not poor either; not super educated but not vastly ignorant either (OK I might be if we count everything there is to know...). If I think that way about the item, I expect a lot of people to think the exact same in the TT community. 

What's your take?

I think we can try making this at home for much less by using a badminton racket TongueTongueTongue. This is definitely ridiculously high pricing for something like this. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote racquetsforsale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2019 at 3:19pm
Man, at that price, might as well buy the dry/wet shop vac at costco for $36. Especially useful for retrieving balls in hard to reach places.

Way over priced as are many other items in this sport.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote qpskfec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2019 at 3:27pm
I have seen DIY versions of this at various clubs.

The grate part on the bottom is simply some fishing line spaced properly. Attach to a frame like a cardboard box and a handle like an old broomstick/golf club shaft/paint roller extension.

Easily made for under $10 in parts

A swiffer broom handle that has a pivoting head would allow the thing to move around easier.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2019 at 4:05pm
Originally posted by racquetsforsale racquetsforsale wrote:

Man, at that price, might as well buy the dry/wet shop vac at costco for $36. Especially useful for retrieving balls in hard to reach places.

Way over priced as are many other items in this sport.
 LOL wow YOU are my pp buddy, picking up any smoking sense around topics and making it more of a low hanging fruit! 
I have a home depot shop vac and used it with the extender to reach balls behind the dryer but I did not go further than a ball as the end of the extender is smaller than 40mm so it's one at a time and it's got to be quick because the motor goes bezerk with no air coming in Dead. A bit brutal a method, I expect the sound of balls making their way in to be funny, vraoum-slurp-slurp-bang-bang! with a wide enough extender piece
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2019 at 4:13pm
Originally posted by qpskfec qpskfec wrote:

I have seen DIY versions of this at various clubs.

The grate part on the bottom is simply some fishing line spaced properly. Attach to a frame like a cardboard box and a handle like an old broomstick/golf club shaft/paint roller extension.

Easily made for under $10 in parts

A swiffer broom handle that has a pivoting head would allow the thing to move around easier.

I had a home made pong pal with a long and hard cardboard tube with 2 thick and wide rubber band. It worked well. I imagine the same hack can be done with the MPPB. As anubhav1984 mentioned, a badminton racket and solid rubber bands would do the exact same, that's how Joe started his endeavor before mass producing after all.
My ping pong buddy idea is kind of superior, especially the fact that the head of the device is flat while we stand, so it's worth promoting it but the price thing is such a barrier.
Now the idea of a swiffer broom handle that has a pivoting head definitely has my attention, thank you so much for that. We are maybe onto something even better. En route towards automation!


Edited by fatt - 03/13/2019 at 4:16pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote bes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2019 at 6:54pm
I think ~$50 for a clever device that lasts many years under regular use and saves massive amount of time when picking up balls is fair.  We have 5 or 6 at the club and they are MUCH appreciated.  Without them multiball training quickly becomes tiresome.  A few MPPB's can pick up a couple gross of balls in a couple minutes.  I've used all sorts of different nets and tubes, and none work anywhere near as well.  I've seen some clever creations that look like they should work well, but designing them, rounding up the parts, then putting them together takes time, and time is valuable to me.  I like that you can easily get ball out from under the table.  I like the fact than they will pick up several balls at a time and do it while the balls are in the middle of the floor or against a barrier - no need to chase them to a wall so you can use a net. I know nets can pick up balls in the middle of the floor too, but it takes touch and a bit of practice.  Nets are much slower - at least in the hands of beginners.  Also, back in the day our nets used to get bent and broken all the time (again, by students and beginners.  Our MPPB are much tougher.

This thread reminds me of a recent (few months ago) event at the club.  A very enthusiastic player bought a very nice (not cheap!) robot, then found that picking up stray balls could be a PITA.  I suggested he get an MPPB - to save time and aggravation.  He "looked into it" and immediately started complaining about the ~$50 price.  This individual doesn't bat an eye when buying an over $1,500 robot, an over $400 blade, and a pair of $80 sheets of rubber - plus an identical backup blade "just in case".  But the thought of spending ~$50 for something that will save him a lot of time, energy, and aggravation is just crazy!  

In case there is any doubt, I think MPPB's are great and I'd hate to go back to running group or any multiball lessons without them.

bes
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FruitLoop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2019 at 8:10pm
Nothing wrong with a normal little fishing net type one. $5.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patrickhrdlicka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2019 at 1:01am
We have three ball pickers at the club. The least expensive one, is my favorite: https://www.megaspin.net/store/default.asp?pid=ipong-tele-pickup-net ;
Feedback: http://mytabletennis.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=69419&title=feedback-patrickhrdlicka

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2019 at 1:48am
Originally posted by bes bes wrote:

I think ~$50 for a clever device that lasts many years under regular use and saves massive amount of time when picking up balls is fair.  We have 5 or 6 at the club and they are MUCH appreciated.  Without them multiball training quickly becomes tiresome.  A few MPPB's can pick up a couple gross of balls in a couple minutes.  I've used all sorts of different nets and tubes, and none work anywhere near as well.  I've seen some clever creations that look like they should work well, but designing them, rounding up the parts, then putting them together takes time, and time is valuable to me.  I like that you can easily get ball out from under the table.  I like the fact than they will pick up several balls at a time and do it while the balls are in the middle of the floor or against a barrier - no need to chase them to a wall so you can use a net. I know nets can pick up balls in the middle of the floor too, but it takes touch and a bit of practice.  Nets are much slower - at least in the hands of beginners.  Also, back in the day our nets used to get bent and broken all the time (again, by students and beginners.  Our MPPB are much tougher.

This thread reminds me of a recent (few months ago) event at the club.  A very enthusiastic player bought a very nice (not cheap!) robot, then found that picking up stray balls could be a PITA.  I suggested he get an MPPB - to save time and aggravation.  He "looked into it" and immediately started complaining about the ~$50 price.  This individual doesn't bat an eye when buying an over $1,500 robot, an over $400 blade, and a pair of $80 sheets of rubber - plus an identical backup blade "just in case".  But the thought of spending ~$50 for something that will save him a lot of time, energy, and aggravation is just crazy!  

In case there is any doubt, I think MPPB's are great and I'd hate to go back to running group or any multiball lessons without them.

bes

LEt's just say that if this device hadn't been invented, I would never have bothered to train as much as I did.  I don't understand the griping about the price either - we over pay for rubbers as well.  Something that actually keeps us from breaking our backs, we complain.  Well just as you can buy cheaper rubbers, you can buy cheaper alternatives.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeaverMD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2019 at 11:31am
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:

Originally posted by qpskfec qpskfec wrote:

I have seen DIY versions of this at various clubs.

The grate part on the bottom is simply some fishing line spaced properly. Attach to a frame like a cardboard box and a handle like an old broomstick/golf club shaft/paint roller extension.

Easily made for under $10 in parts

A swiffer broom handle that has a pivoting head would allow the thing to move around easier.

I had a home made pong pal with a long and hard cardboard tube with 2 thick and wide rubber band. It worked well. I imagine the same hack can be done with the MPPB. As anubhav1984 mentioned, a badminton racket and solid rubber bands would do the exact same, that's how Joe started his endeavor before mass producing after all.
My ping pong buddy idea is kind of superior, especially the fact that the head of the device is flat while we stand, so it's worth promoting it but the price thing is such a barrier.
Now the idea of a swiffer broom handle that has a pivoting head definitely has my attention, thank you so much for that. We are maybe onto something even better. En route towards automation!

Here's what I use for a DIY ball picker upper.

Take a plastic clothes hanger.  I tape the hook to a stick about 3 feet in length.  I then take a mesh bag and wrap it around the clothes hanger.  You can use safety pins or duct tape.  It's similar to other DIY ones out there but the flat part of the hanger makes it easier to scoop balls from the floor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slowhand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2019 at 2:20pm
Originally posted by bes bes wrote:

I think ~$50 for a clever device that lasts many years under regular use and saves massive amount of time when picking up balls is fair.  We have 5 or 6 at the club and they are MUCH appreciated.
Absolutely. Fair price for a well-designed, durable, highly useful device. If you enjoy tinkering around with do it yourself projects then have fun trying to make something that works as well as this thing. Not as easy as it looks or the competition would already have done it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2019 at 2:36pm
It's a great product, if I calculate all the bending over and cramping under the tables that I save, it pays for itself in no time. Even at $100 it would still be a good deal if we think that way. So why don't I buy it at $50+? Because without being an actuary, I believe pricing things correctly is a science. If the goal is to create profit and it costs me $10 to produce and sell one including all costs, do I prefer to sell 10 at $50 and make a $400 profit or 100 at $30 and take $2000 home? Only a retired person who does not care about the money will choose the former and that blurr things.

Edited by fatt - 03/14/2019 at 2:37pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sunny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2019 at 3:18pm
go to www.aliexpress.com and search for table tennis ball picker and you will get lots of them at cheap price plus free shipping

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote racquetsforsale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2019 at 3:23pm
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:

It's a great product, if I calculate all the bending over and cramping under the tables that I save, it pays for itself in no time. Even at $100 it would still be a good deal if we think that way. So why don't I buy it at $50+? Because without being an actuary, I believe pricing things correctly is a science. If the goal is to create profit and it costs me $10 to produce and sell one including all costs, do I prefer to sell 10 at $50 and make a $400 profit or 100 at $30 and take $2000 home? Only a retired person who does not care about the money will choose the former and that blurr things.

"How we gonna turn a profit? Volume!" LOL

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