It is always difficult for parents to separate the marketing speak with reality. At DSB we are a different kind of company in how we manufacture, market and service.
It seems now a days that most manufacturers have turned into marketing companies focusing their attention to branding. Somewhere along the way they forget about the reason of what brought them to the dance. They seem to be more interested in putting their name on a variety of objects and maybe not as focused on producing the most competitive product on the field. A lot of this has to do with who owns the company or more importantly how many people own the company. Some of these companies are publicly traded companies that have to perform on a quarterly basis. In doing so they have to manage their business with a short-term mentality which may not be best for the company in the long run (imagine if car companies discounted their product 50% every June!). Some are owned by private equity firms who require an exorbitant return on investment so they focus more on the marketing of the product and less on the performance.
At DSB we are passionate about making cylindrical shaped objects that are used to strike a ball the longest distance within the confine of the rules. Our second objective is figuring out how to make it durable enough so that customers feel that their investment is worthwhile and their wallet (vs the ball) is not taken for a ride. There has always be an inverse relationship between pop and durability. Get more of one and you would have less of the other. At DSB we have figured out how to get both. It is not easy and it is not cheap. It is what separates us from our competitors. Bean-counters do not run our company nor do they get to tell us that if you make a bat that hot it will lead to more warranties (this is why we do not have a CFO at the company).
Well what makes you so different and why should we believe this is not just more of the marketing speak?
Good question. Do your research and read the independent reviews of individual customers. You will find a common theme as follows: 1) The sound of the bat is completely unique and unlike anything we have heard; 2) The taper from the barrel to the handle decreases dramatically; 3) It sounds like a gun shot when you really connect with the ball; 4) I saw a kid hitting it and he was hitting bombs but I figured he was just a good hitter…. Demo our bat and prove us and these reviews wrong. When you order from us we have a box that asks who referred you? Over 50% of our sales choose “Saw it action, Wow”. Every time we get an order with that reason we beam with pride. Independent customer reviews are the best source. Going to websites that claim to be independent review sites are not such and are conflicted. We tried a few of them and they knew nothing about bats. Some do video and show an 8yr old kid swinging a 12yr old bat. Others would request a certain amount of sizes and then we would see them selling on Ebay 2 weeks later. Word of mouth, individual reviews and eye-witness accounts is all you should be paying attention to.
How many bats do you make a year?
DSB: We make around 5,000 bats a year. In theory one county in California could absorb our complete production.
Where do you make your bats?
DSB: We make them in Winder, Georgia which is an hour north of Atlanta. Our corporate office is in Braselton, GA just off of I-85
Who designs your bats?
DSB: We design and R+D all of our bats in-house. We do not use any contractors or outside parties. All of our equipment was made by our employees and we continue to perfect our processes striving for improvement and efficiencies.
Do you make all of the parts of the bat?
Do you sell your bats anywhere else other than your website?
DSB: Not really. We do have a handful of end retailers who do carry our product, but we do not focus on this part of the sales process. We understand that we will not grow as fast a company, but that is ok, as it is a marathon for us and not a sprint. Plus we do not have to manage our business on a quarterly basis. By eliminating a middle man, we are able to keep the price of the bat lower. We realize that our bats are not inexpensive and if we had to rely on traditional means for resale, our bat would be priced closer to $500 (and worth every penny!). So we pass this savings on to our customers.
Don’t you think it is risky for a customer to purchase a bat they have never seen or touched?
DSB: Yes we do think it is risky in theory. First, you are purchasing on the internet and we all worry about that don’t we? This is why we use 3rd-party vendors who will process your transactions in a safe and secure environment. We do not get access to your credit card #, which is great, as that information remains private to you (but if you forget something on your order you will have to do a separate order as we cannot adjust the amount due). We are also listed with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). As far as not touching our bat, we do offer two ways to make you comfortable. 1) You can demo our bat for the cost of shipping both ways. 2) We have a 30 day return policy provided that the bat has not been used nor has the wrapper been removed.
What if my kid doesn’t like your bat after using it?
DSB: Unfortunately due to liability reasons we cannot take back a used bat, a bat where the wrapper has been removed or refund the purchase. This is why we go to great lengths in providing our demo program. We are not aware of any manufacturer doing this direct.
Can I demo your bat anywhere else:
DSB: No we do not have other locations for you to demo, but have done team demos in the past if reasonably close to Georgia or we can accomplish it by shipping demo bats of all sizes to a facility. We do ask the person who is spearheading the demo to be responsible for the safe return of the bats. Such person organizing the demo would receive a discount on a purchase for their efforts.
What if I crack the bat when I am demoing the bat?
DSB: Our bat doesn’t crack. Ok just kidding, but our bat is very durable. Provided that is normal wear and tear you would not be responsible.
Can other kids on my team demo the bat when I receive the demo?
Do you ever go to tournaments?
DSB: Yes and we love going. We have a 32×8.5 merchandise trailer which has a stage when you flip down the side. We prefer going to larger events where we can set-up for 3-5 day tournament where most of the kids will be passing through the vendor setup area. We always bring demos with us where kids can use our bat during the games at no charge. If the event is large enough we also like to sponsor a HR derby with our bats and provide a free bat to the winner.
Do you ever discount your bats?
DSB: No. We realize a lot of retailers will discount last year’s model by 50% in June when the existing bat is no longer subject to the MAP (minimum advertised price) policies from the manufacturer. They are playing a game of volume. We do not play that game.
Do you have team pricing?
DSB: Yes. Team purchases of bats can received a discount for 5+ purchases that get purchased at the same time and shipped to one address. The discount can range between 10-15% depending on the quantity and models chosen. You can mix and match.
Do you sponsor teams or can you make a donation?
DSB: This is always the most asked question and most difficult to answer. It is probably easier to say no to all of the above. But we do sponsor one or two teams out there, but they have to be playing at the major level, travel to different states and be ranked within the top 10 on a national level. Unfortunately due to the size of our company we are not able to help with donating product to individuals or teams to help them offset their costs. We realize baseball is expensive, but we are unable to help in that respect and do apologize upfront for it.
Why do you have a homerun club?
DSB: Because we are proud of the fact that a lot of kids hit their very first homerun over the fence with a DSB bat. The performance of our bat could add the distance necessary to clear the fence (of course every kid is different so we cannot guarantee that), but to a parent, that feeling of your son’s first HR is absolutely priceless. We feel that DSB inspires confidence in kids to want to do better. We all know there are different levels of ability on the playing field and most of our kids will never see the pros. As parent’s it is our responsibility to inspire our kids and make them confident in the abilities that they have. Hitting the ball a little further never hurt any batter’s feelings. When you think of all the time and money we spend on this sport, the price of our bat pales to that overall investment.
Is there a Dirty South Mom Club?
DSB: No comment.
What is continuous compression barrel?
You may recall from your math days about a bell curve. This is what most manufacturer’s compression (or pop) curve looks like. It is hottest in the middle and drops down at the taper and at the end-cap.
DSB has a Sweet Barrel as opposed to a Sweet Spot. There is no bell curve. It actually is a line that continues to increase as it gets to the end-cap i.e. the barrel maintains compression and is continuous. When you see big hits with a DSB it is because of two reasons 1) Our bat has excellent trampoline effect where the barrel will give (not the taper) which then in turn puts the trampoline (pop) at the impact of the ball to send it further. 2) Kids can mishit and still get the same effect as hitting on the sweet spot of other manufacturers. So our sweet barrel allows for a lot more room to hit the ball anywhere along the barrel. A good analogy is golf. The normal diameter of a putting cup is 4.25”. Having a DSB barrel is like putting towards an 8” cup. It is much wider so you do not have to be as precise when you putt the ball to the cup. What would 8” cup due to your golf handicap?