We take great pride in what we do here at CloseoutBats. Our customers and their satisfaction are our top priority, and we want our customers to have a positive and educational experience.
Since 1999 when I started CloseoutBats we have strived to bring you competitive prices, the latest and greatest products, closeouts and exclusive deals, and many new features so you can get the most from your experience.
Business Prior to CloseoutBats
In 1988, I started my working career as an Easton rep handling sales to independent sporting goods stores in New York and New Jersey. My job included introducing the new product line, bringing sales associates up to speed with new product technology, managing the inventory, and making sure the retailers sold through the product. At that time the most expensive youth baseball bat was $49.95. I was also required to visit high schools and colleges. This was a 7-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day job. I couldn’t have been happier.
Unfortunately back then, there were no cell phones but gas was much cheaper. I was the traveling bat salesman. Crazy concept! I actually got paid to do it. This is where I learned the grassroots about the products, the retailers I sold to, and the consumer.
My oldest son Max was born in 1992 and by 1995 he was in tow going to every baseball or softball tournament in the NY/NJ area, as well as visiting retailers with me. No one passed out a catalog better than Max. Of course, the product line wasn’t what it is today. We showed up at a high school baseball game with three bats, and that covered all the bases.
In 1999, I left Easton to start CloseoutBats. Working out of the garage for the first year, I did a lot of business-to-business and tinkered around on this new invention called eBay, grabbing anything I could that was being discontinued by Easton, Louisville, DeMarini, and anyone else who would sell to me.
It was at that time I said to myself, "Hey this Internet thing may be around for a while," and CloseoutBats.com was born.
The Beginnings of CloseoutBats
We moved out of the house and into a 3000 square foot no-heat, no-air conditioning warehouse, but we had electricity! The price was right, and that enabled us to put our money into products rather than chasing our rent every month.
As each manufacturer's product line grew, so did our business. We really started to crank up the business in 2001 when I hired my first employee. By 2014 we still only had three employees including myself. Favorite word: multitask!
We moved to our present warehouse in Westwood, New Jersey, in 2002. In this bigger facility, we were able to have people come in and try out bats. This was great for instant feedback, and more importantly, helped the customer make a buying decision. We could then educate the player on bat differences and price levels. In the present world of the big-box stores and NO customer service, we were doing it better than the GIANTS and bringing customer service back at a level that hasn’t been seen in ages!
When Max was a toddler he wouldn't listen to anyone. He would run around the house like an absolute crazy person and there was no off button. So "Mad Max" was appropriate.
Max graduated high school in 2010 and started working full-time at COB right away, and for us, that can be a 75- to 100-hour workweek! Max had been working a 24-hour workweek since 6th grade, so he was used to the grind. This allowed me to hand several of my day-to-day responsibilities off to him.
I no longer had to do some of the daily tasks of running the business, which included reviewing new products, searching for closeouts, the logistics of getting orders out the door, helping walk-in customers, unloading trucks, and maintaining our website.
I am ready to give up my last two job responsibilities of order processing and accounting -- Max, please take those, too.
Max's latest calls to duty include Twitter, Instagram, Mad Max TV, round table discussions, and Facebook. And if that's not enough, Max does all the glove break-ins by hand. He's usually doing 24 gloves a week but hasn't started relacing gloves -- not in his skill set as of yet.
If it weren’t for Max we would still be in the stone age. Things are looking good in this ever-changing retail, e-tail, and Amazon world. We still compete with dealers that have 100,000 square-foot warehouses (CloseoutBats is 6000 square feet) and a staff of over 50 -- there's still only four of us.
But seriously, I am still looking for that off button, or at least a slowdown button!
Our Demo Area and Glove Break-in Service
We’ve had the demo area since the inception of CloseoutBats because of my experience as an Easton rep. I would observe players at the bat racks and watch them practice swinging. I could see them thinking, "I wish I could hit a few balls with this bat to see if I like it." So it was important to me to make sure our customers have that opportunity.
We let our customers hit real balls and help them figure out what options are best. You can come in and try out every bat in every size from any manufacturer without obligation. And with our touchscreen TVs and Rapsodo device, we can measure your exit velocity and see what bat is giving you the best performance!
We also have two touchscreen computers in the demo area that, in a blink of an eye, can analyze your needs and give you a customized list of all the possible options on one page. If you want to be in a certain price range, a certain brand, or certain material we can give you all your options in a click.
If you come into CloseoutBats to demo a bat, you will see why this is the only place to buy a bat. If you can't find it here, they don't make it!
The glove break-in service started out of pure demand. Families would come in and the common statement would be, "This is going to take forever to break in." After hearing that 10,000 times we finally caught on and said, "We can break it in for you," and that was the birth of this new service.
Our Purpose is to Serve Our Customers
Customer service is a lost art, but it has never left us since the day we started. We pride ourselves on that and make it our No. 1 priority that the consumer has a positive experience.
I take great pride as a business owner in answering the phones, talking to consumers, picking/packing orders, unloading trucks, and doing the day-to-day stuff that CEOs would never do. This helps me keep my fingers on the pulse of the business.
Max creates video reviews of our products as well as demo videos so our customers can know all the details of their prospective purchases. We want the batter in the video to chat about what they liked and even what they didn't like.
In less than five minutes Max or myself can diagnose what exactly you’re looking for by utilizing our shop-by-drop section on the website.
We want customers to know they are talking to the owner. We want them to know that we care if they are happy.
I feel as if I have never worked a day in my life and hope to see this business into the second generation. What’s better than swinging a bat and trying on ball gloves hundreds of times a day? Nothing!
I just turned 61 and will work as long as Max will have me here.
At Closeout Bats we stock what we sell! We have a huge warehouse and are NOT drop shipping bats like many web sites. We update inventory and availability on the Web site several times a day as inventory positions change shipping hundreds and hundeds of bats. We also sell bats out of our physical store, so sometimes things sell out before we can get them off the Web site.
Limited quantities available. Prices subject to change without notice. Like we say, if it's on the site, it's in the warehouse -- just SOMETIMES it might have some other player's name on it! If you snooze, you lose, so ORDER YOURS NOW!