Five Questions With Racqueteers.co.uk Managing Director Richard Lawrence

racqueteers

Photo courtesy of Richard Lawrence

Ever wondered how to find beloved older model tennis rackets at a great price? Richard Lawrence, managing director of racqueteers.co.uk, is here to help. The Tennis Review asked Richard five question about what inspires him, his tennis game, and buying and selling used tennis rackets.

What inspired you to start racqueteers.co.uk?

I have been playing tennis for over 15 years and quickly learnt of the importance of finding the right racket to suit my style of play. I tried a number of rackets from a range of manufacturers until I eventually found the right one for me. After several years of using the same rackets, one broke and I spent weeks looking for a replacement online and in sports shops but I found it was virtually impossible to find the same one.

I did some research and found that manufacturers tend to change racket models and specifications frequently meaning my only options were to either buy a new, expensive upgrade which was not an exact match or to buy a completely different racket. My concern was the time and effort required to adjust to playing with a different racket and I have previously had rackets which I was never able to get used to.

I spoke with other tennis players and found that I was not alone with my frustrations. It was these conversations which gave me the idea to create a website that allowed free racket listings with just a £1 administration fee on the sale of any racket, no matter what price. We went live with http://www.racqueteers.co.uk/ in March 2016 and decided on the mission statement: “The aim of racqueteers.co.uk is to make the playing of racket sports more affordable”.

How does buying and selling rackets on the site work? 

Buying and selling rackets can be done by following these simple steps: First, create an account by registering your details. We only ask for your name, address, contact numbers and an email address which is linked to paypal for payments.

To Sell a Racket – Select the manufacturer and enter the information you have about the racket and its price. You then hit the button to list your racket which will be listed on the homepage of racqueteers.co.uk. When your racket has been sold you will receive a confirmation email containing contact details of the buyer and your payment will be immediately transferred to your paypal account (minus a £1 administration fee).

To Buy a Racket – You have the following two options: 1) Search for a Racket – You can enter specific racket details including the manufacturer, make, head size, grip size, price etc, to find rackets which match your requirements; 2) Click on Manufacturer Icon – This will display the rackets for sale produced by that manufacturer.

Once you have found the racket you want, click the PayPal button to start the payment process. You will be transferred to PayPal’s secure website where you will be asked to authorise the payment to the seller. When the payment has been authorised, the supplier receives the payment to their PayPal account (minus a £1 administration fee). The seller will then receive notification that their racket has been sold and will send the racket directly to you.

Do you play and if so which tennis racket do you use?

I currently play in the LTA tournaments in the North West and my rating is 8.1. I play as part of a group of friends made up of club players and park players who tour the same circuit each year. Although we are usually knocked out of tournaments during the early rounds, we enjoy our time there, with the sport helping us to form new friendships and to keep fit. We play all year round regardless of the weather despite many of our partners thinking we are mad!

I play with a Wilson juice as I tend to play as a base liner and the racket generates a lot of top spin and has great touch for drop shots. I have 3 Wilson juice rackets all strung to 58lbs with Wilson sensation strings.

Wilson Juice

Wilson Juice racket (Photo courtesy of articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar)

What satisfies you the most about your role at racqueteers.co.uk

What has really been satisfying is seeing people use the site. We are trying to build up an alternative site to eBay and Gumtree by offering a site that is cheaper than eBay (i.e. we charge £1 admin on any price of racket sold) and more private then gumtree (i.e. your personal details are not visible to the world). Also the site is built by tennis players who know the needs of our customers.

Where do you see rackets heading in the next few years? 

I think that the future of rackets looks very exciting. The arrival of intelligent tennis rackets will start to give tennis players a high-tech edge. I like the thought of future rackets helping me to improve my technique and have read about Lavie Sak developing small devices which look similar to tennis dampeners and which snap onto the strings by the base of a racket. This device then gathers information such as racket speed, time on the court, the number and type of shots taken and the amount and type of spin applied to the ball. This information could also be used to enable rackets to be tailor made for individual players. As the cost of production decreases and technology becomes prominent it could mean we could walk into a sport shop and walk out hours later with a custom built racket.

Looking for that racket that is just right for you but is an old model? Have an old racket you would like to see go to a good home? Check out the following link to racqueeters.co.uk and happy racketeering!

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Christian Deverille

Christian Deverille is a tennis writer with a diploma in Freelance Sports Writing from the London School of Journalism. He loves all things tennis, most of all the Federer and del Potro forehands.
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