Table tennis equipment can be quite expensive. In fact, the worlds most expensive table tennis racket would cost around $1700 to build.
Even standard ESN rubbers from brands like Tibhar, Yasaka and XIOM can cost around $40-50 per sheet and they need replacing every few months.
If you play with Butterfly rubbers, then you need to spend even more, as Tenergy rubbers hover around the $70-80 mark and Dignics rubbers are nearly $100 each.
In addition to this, blades from the best manufacturers like Nittaku and Butterfly cost anywhere between $50-300.
These numbers sound very daunting, but what if I told you that you can purchase a professional-grade racket for less than $30?
Don’t believe me? What if I told you that you can get table tennis rubbers for free if you follow one of these tips. Scroll to the end to find my favorite money-saving hack.
In my high school years, I didn’t have any money to purchase table tennis equipment, and yet I always had new rubbers and a good racket. In this article, I’ll share my tips on everything you can do to save money when it comes to table tennis equipment.
Table of Contents
1) Use Website Promos
Most table tennis websites have lots of promotions.
Tabletennis11 and Dandoy Sports have a weekly selection of products with discounts ranging from 20 to 30%.
TableTennis11 Discounted Products
As of writing this article, the weekly selection of discounted products at Tabletennis11 looks like this:
The Donic Baracuda for €26 is an opportunity that I would pounce on if I was in need of a rubber change.
All-round players could also purchase the legendary Yasaka Mark V for just €23 a sheet.
It’s a good idea to start looking at the weekly specials section once you know your rubbers will need to be replaced soon.
Chances are that you’ll find your rubbers sooner or later and you’ll be able to purchase them at a much lower price.
TableTennis11 and Dandoy Sports 4×3 Promotion
Another offer by Dandoy Sports and Tabletennis11 is their 4×3 promo.
If you purchase 4 rubbers from the 4×3 selection, you’ll get the cheapest one for free. As of writing this article, these are the most popular rubbers in the 4×3 category at Tabletennis11.com:
As you can see, most of the popular ESN rubbers are on the list so it’s a good idea to purchase utilizing this promotion.
One thing I often do when purchasing rubbers is that instead of getting two, one for my forehand and one for my backhand, I get 4 for the price of 3.
I can either keep the 2 extra rubbers for the next rubber change or I can resell them.
If you get 4 rubbers for the price of 3 and you resell 2 at the original price, you will be able to change both of your rubbers for the price of just one.
If you utilize the 4×3 promotion and you resell 3 of the rubbers at the original price, you essentially got a free rubber. I have done this in the past and it helped me save hundreds of dollars on rubber changes.
Buying Clearance Products
The last thing I’d recommend you look out for is clearance products.
These goods are not manufactured anymore and they are sold at a huge discount. This is especially true for clothing items.
If we take a look at the clearance selection at Dandoy Sports, we’ll see that there are tons of different clothing items at very low prices.
These Stiga shirts cost just €12 and there are lots of other brands to choose from, such as Donic, Butterfly, Andro, etc.
You can also purchase other pieces of equipment on clearance but I wouldn’t advise purchasing discontinued rubbers because you will not be able to get them in the future, forcing you to switch to other rubbers.
2) Buy With Friends
It is often a good idea to purchase table tennis equipment together with your friends.
Most reputable websites offer free worldwide shipping for orders above a certain price.
Sometimes, it can be a bit difficult to get to this threshold by yourself. Many times, we’ll only need 1 or 2 rubbers.
If you place an order with a friend of yours, however, you can get free shipping pretty easily.
In addition to this, some websites like Tabletennis11 and Dandoy Sports offer volume discounts depending on how much you spend.
Both websites offer a 5% discount for orders above $50, 10% for orders above $100, 15% for orders above $150, 20% for orders above $200, 25% for orders above $250, and 30% for orders above $300.
If you purchase with one or two friends, you’ll get higher discount percentages, making each product a lot cheaper.
You should also pay attention to the total of your order. If your order subtotal is $145, then the total of the order will be $130.5 because of the 10% discount ($14.5).
However, if you add a box of 10 1-star balls for $5 extra, your order subtotal will be $150 and the total of your order will be $127.5 because the volume discount will be 15% instead of 10 ($22.5).
In this case, you got an additional pack of 10 1-star balls and the order total was even less than it would’ve been if you didn’t get it. You essentially got refunded $3 and a free box of 10 1-star balls.
Always pay attention if you’re close to crossing a volume discount threshold, especially if you’re in the upper tiers.
For example, if your order subtotal is $280, the total would be $210
If you add in a table tennis shirt for $20 extra, the subtotal would be $300 and the total would be $210, exactly the same.
If you wanted to save even more money, you could later re-sell the free shirt you got.
3) Purchase Used Equipment
A good tip to save money while buying table tennis equipment is to purchase used items. The three pieces of equipment I’d recommend buying in used condition are tables, robots, and blades.
Lots of people will purchase a table tennis table and then have to sell them for various reasons.
This means that there are tons of tables in very good condition in the used market. These tables will be sold anywhere between 10-40% cheaper.
The same thing happens with robots, people will use them for a while and then have to sell them because they don’t suit their needs, they don’t need them anymore, they didn’t like them, etc.
Because table tennis tables and robots are the most expensive table tennis pieces of equipment (unless you own Ma Long’s blade), there’s $50-200 to be saved by purchasing a used table or robot instead of a brand new one.
The experience is virtually the same, as a used table will probably only have a few scratches at most that won’t affect play. Robots will usually be as good as new.
It’s also a good idea to purchase used blades if the condition of the blade is fine and the price is right.
Some players like to test new blades frequently, in hopes of finding the perfect blade for their style of play. These players are known as EJs (Equipment Junkies)
These players will sell blades they didn’t like at a discount and in perfect condition, so if you find the blade you were looking for in this condition, I’d recommend purchasing it used instead of new.
Other players will sell their blades because they want to move to something faster, and the blade they’re selling is 1-4 years old and in good condition.
It’s also OK to purchase these blades, and you can get them for even cheaper.
I wouldn’t recommend buying used rubbers until they have less than 10 hours of playing time.
If you want to save money on rubbers, I recommend you follow this next tip:
4) Purchase Chinese Equipment
The last tip I have for you if you want to save money on table tennis equipment is to purchase items from Chinese brands such as Yinhe.
Comparing Chinese rubbers vs European and Japanese rubbers, Chinese brands have much lower manufacturing costs than European and Japanese brands. Hence, the price of Chinese equipment is a lot lower than European equipment.
If you want to save money on rackets, I’d recommend getting Chinese blades and rubbers.
Chinese blades are usually high-quality since they mimic the designs of European blades.
Don’t want to spend $165 on a Butterfly Viscaria? You can get a Yinhe V-14 Pro, which is a high-quality Viscaria clone for just $45.
Want a high-quality offensive all-wood blade? You can get a Yinhe MC2 for just $17.
Need to change your rubbers? There are countless Chinese rubber alternatives you can go for at various price points.
Starting from the more expensive ones, the DHS Hurricane 3 NEO is the rubber of choice for most Chinese players, and it’s just $25 a sheet.
The Yinhe Big Dipper is a more modern take on Chinese rubbers, pairing a dynamic sponge with a sticky topsheet to generate even more power. It costs $ a sheet
The Friendship 729 Super FX is a legendary Chinese rubber that has been in the market for more than half a century. It’s hard, spinny, and controllable, and it costs just $15 a sheet.
My personal favorite of the bunch, the Yinhe Mercury 2, combines a very spinny, tacky topsheet with a medium elastic sponge. It’s good for looping, chopping, blocking, and driving, and it costs just $5-10 a sheet.
Free Table Tennis Equipment
If you want to take things a step further, you could get the $0.01 rubber, the Huieson Thunder.
The Huieson Thunder costs just one cent for new Aliexpress users as long as you pay for shipping costs which are $2-3. We tested it and it’s perfectly usable for every play style.
Saving Money on Table Tennis Equipment
As you can see, there are tons of ways to save money while buying table tennis equipment.
I have used all of these tricks myself and saved more than a thousand dollars in the process if we take into account all of the volume discounts, 4×3 promotions, Chinese pieces of equipment, and used items I bought.
Table tennis can be an expensive sport if you want the very best out there.
However, there’s very affordable equipment out there that’s just as good or maybe even better for your style and level of play than most expensive pieces of equipment.
Many players purchase the best high-end composite blades with top-of-the-line tensor rubbers, spending hundreds of dollars on their racket, only to find out that they can’t control it well and it doesn’t suit their style.
I can assure you that a beginner and even an intermediate-level player is capable of playing a lot better with a Yinhe MC2 blade and two Mercury 2 rubbers at just $27 for the whole racket.
Alvaro’s been playing Table Tennis since he was 15 and is now ranked within the top 100 in his native Argentina. He loves to compete in provincial tournaments and is always looking for ways to improve. Alvaro made his favourite memories with a racket in hand, and he joined the RacketInsight team to share his passion with other players!
Blade: Butterfly Fan Zhendong ALC | Forehand: Butterfly Dignics 05 | Backhand: Butterfly Rozena
Playstyle: The Controller