So you’re looking for a new bowling ball.
You’ve done your research, and you’ve decided that you want to buy a used ball.
But how much should you expect to pay? What are the best ways to find a used ball? Keep reading to find out.
How much are used bowling balls?
Used balls can cost anywhere from $5 to a few hundred bucks.
The difference is in the name and the condition of the ball.
A no-name, off-the-rack house shot you find at your local Bowl Mart probably won’t be much more than $10 (then again, it might be a world champion ball that’s worth hundreds of dollars).
On the other hand, a custom-named ball with custom colors will cost you more than $100.
What’s the difference?
Custom-named bowling balls usually have color schemes that are unique to the individual ball.
While many companies produce similar colors for their equipment (RPM and Storm, for example), no two companies offer exactly the same options.
Each manufacturer (and sometimes even different models by the same company) may have unique colors.
This makes it easy to identify how much someone spent on their equipment.
As you can see, bowling balls are like anything else: if you want custom names and art, expect to pay more.
Bowling ball prices increase quickly when their condition is taken into account.
If you want a ball that looks new, expect to pay more than someone who doesn’t mind that their ball shows some use.
Similarly, if the color scheme is unique (like metallic pink with custom art), you can expect to pay a premium for a good-looking ball.
Where can you find them?
The best place to find used bowling balls is at your local pro shop.
You can also buy them online through eBay, Amazon, or specialty sales sites like Bowlingball.com.
Benefits and drawbacks of using a used bowling ball
First, you get the benefit of paying far less than you would for a new ball.
The top-of-the-line balls can cost $200, but you can find high-quality used ones for under $30.
Second, your options are better.
You can often choose from multiple colors and manufacturers when buying used balls.
It’s not uncommon to find used balls with unique colors and names.
There are also drawbacks to buying a used bowling ball.
The biggest is that you can never be sure how it will perform.
New balls often have the manufacturer’s shiny logo on them, which comes off after a few games.
You can take advantage of this by taking a new-looking ball and getting it re-drilled to fit your style.
If you buy a used ball, you don’t have this option.
Another drawback is the lack of warranties and guarantees.
You can return a new bowling ball if you find that it doesn’t work for you, but no such option exists with a used ball.
The best way to get around this is to find a ball with the same specs as your favorite one, then have it drilled by that pro shop.
How to choose the right used bowling ball for you?
There are four major components to consider when choosing a used ball.
The first is the size of your hands.
You need to make sure that you choose a ball with the right grip size in order to maximize your control over it.
If you have small hands, get a smaller grip size.
If you have larger hands, get a larger grip size.
You can choose a ball with a standard grip, or you can choose a fingertip grip (where the thumb and pointer fingers aren’t covered by the gripping holes).
The second is your throwing style.
You should select a ball that matches your body type and desired approach/ release.
For example, if you have short fingers, get a ball that will match your release.
If you have a wrist-dominant forward approach, get a ball with less flare potential.
The third is your hand position.
You can choose from several different types of holes to put your fingers in.
For instance, if you have bent fingers, you might want to go with a palm-hole or even the fingertip grip.
Next, you should consider your ball speed.
Choose a lighter ball if you want more hook potential and a faster lane reaction.
Choose a heavier ball if you want more skid and a slower lane reaction.
The fourth component is always the weight of the bowling ball itself.
Your ideal used bowling ball will be the heaviest one for your preferred lane condition.
If you find that the ball is too heavy or light, consider getting it drilled again.
How to care for your used bowling ball?
After every game, wipe the ball with a damp cloth.
You can also use special cleaners to remove dirt and oil, but make sure that you dry your ball immediately after cleaning it.
Never leave your used bowling ball in direct sunlight for long periods of time.
Sunlight can damage the paint job on the outside of the bowling ball.
Also, consider getting your used bowling ball reconditioned after a few games.
How much can you sell your old bowling balls for?
The answer varies depending on several factors, including the type of ball and its condition.
You can expect to get a few dollars for a used 16-pound bowling ball that has a standard grip size.
Meanwhile, you’ll probably get around $100 for a good condition 12-pounder with a fingertip grip.
You can also sell your bowling ball for scrap (assuming that it is made of plastic, rubber, or urethane).
You’ll get about $1 for a pound.
It’s best to take your used bowling balls to the pro shop, where they will be able to offer you an estimate on how much your ball(s) are worth.
Some shops simply buy back used bowling balls, while others will give you a percentage of the sale value.
Be sure to clean your used bowling ball before taking it in for an estimate.
What are the best brands and models of used balls?
There are so many manufacturers of used balls that it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few brands.
If you need some good suggestions for ball types, here are a few: Storm – The Roto Grip Cell, Roto Grip Hustle, Roto Grip HaRD core are all great for beginners.
If you have some more spare cash, the Ebonite Maxim might be a good choice.
High Performance – Storm Hyroad is always popular with experienced professionals like Chris Barnes and Tom Daugherty.
Beginners can also do well with the Brunswick Ebonite Edge and Columbia 300 Perfect Game.
High performance/low – If you’re a new bowler with small hands, get a low-performance ball that’s easy to control.
The Storm FX1, Dynamic Idlewilde, and DV8 Obsession are all good bets for this.
The best thing about used balls is that they are available in almost every price range.
You can find ones that are only a few months old for under $20, or you might be lucky enough to find one that’s 10 years old for under $30.
With some careful shopping around, you should have no trouble finding the right used bowling ball for your game.
Just beware of scammers or people looking to make a quick buck.
Here’s an article on how to avoid getting ripped off when buying used bowling equipment, including balls.