Golf News for Tuesday, September 5, 2006 | Marketing

PGA Trade-In Network leads online customers to local PGA Pro

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Starting in August, the PGA Trade-In Network began sending new online customers, who are ready to buy clubs, lessons, rounds of golf and more, to their local PGA Professionals. This new service allows consumers to trade-in their used clubs online, in exchange for PGA Trade-In Network Credit Certificates that are redeemable only at participating PGA Trade-In Network facilities.

This initiative came in response to recent consumer studies that reveal a tremendous opportunity to tap consumer interest in trading-in their golf equipment online, in order to drive new sales at local golf shops.

“To say that interest in trading-in online is high would be an understatement,” said Leigh Bader, PGA Professional and President of 3balls.com, who manages the PGA Trade-In Network & PGA.com Value Guide. Bader is referring to the results of recent consumer studies conducted through the PGA.com Value Guide. The Guide is the National Standard for used-club values and is utilized by millions of golfers through sites such as PGA.com, eBay, Golf Online, AOL and playgolfamerica.com.

Of the active golfers surveyed on the PGA.com Value Guide:
* 82 percent said they currently have golf equipment worth $100 or more they would like to trade-in
* 67 percent report they have never traded-in clubs before (either in-person or online)
* 85 percent said they would be interested in trading-in online, if it were quick, easy and available

“This survey tells us there are a significant number of people who have clubs to trade, but for one reason or another have not taken them into a shop to trade them in -- yet still are very likely to do so online,” Bader states. “Getting that process started online is a great way to draw this new, untapped segment of potential customers to their local PGA Professional.”

The PGA Trade-In Network’s plan to turn dormant, potential traders into active new customers for local PGA Professionals starts with the widely distributed and heavily trafficked PGA.com Value Guide, which reaches millions of golfers every year. Any time a visitor looks up the value of their clubs, they are presented with an opportunity to find a PGA Professional nearby who accepts trade-ins. In addition, those who prefer online trade-ins will now have the option to ship their own clubs directly to the PGA Trade-In Network for reimbursement.

These new online customer will then arrive at the shop with Credit Certificate in-hand and ready to buy. The PGA Professional validates and redeems the Credit Certificate at the PGA Trade-In Network Member Web site (http://tradein.pgalinks.com) or by phone. An in-store credit for the full amount is then issued in its place. The PGA Professional’s PGA Trade-In Network member account is automatically credited as soon as the Certificate is redeemed, and he or she is reimbursed by the PGA Trade-In Network according to the same payment timelines used for golf-club liquidations (generally within 2 weeks).

“This new service of the PGA Trade-In Network really is the best of both worlds for the PGA Professional and the golfer,” said Jeff Jordan, PGA head instructor at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.). “On the trade-in side, trading-in clubs online allows for a quick, easy, frictionless trade-in process and eliminates any potential haggling over value, club condition, etc. On the buying side the golfer wins, as they get to take the credit they received from trading-in online and go to their local PGA Professional, where they can get expert equipment advice; get properly fitted; demo clubs, etc. -- and then use this credit towards the purchase of new equipment.

“And finally, the PGA Professional also wins, as they have now tapped into a new segment of golfers -- those who prefer to trade-in online -- and have them in their shop with money in-hand to purchase new equipment.”

Any PGA Professional, or facility that employs one, can benefit from this new service of the PGA Trade-In Network, simply by activating their free PGA Trade-In Network Member Account and opting-in to accept PGA Trade-In Network Credit Certificates at http://tradein.pgalinks.com.

The PGA Trade-In Network...at Work for You!
The PGA Trade-In Network is part of a PGA of America initiative aimed at making the golf-club market more efficient for all the stakeholders in the game, including PGA Professionals, retailers, consumers and manufacturers. This is accomplished through endeavors such as the PGA.com Value Guide, which is the National Standard for Golf Club Values; and the PGA Trade-In Network Membership of 10,000 PGA Professionals and growing, who are employed at more than 4,500 facilities nationwide and use the tools and services of the PGA Trade-In Network to take trades, sell more new equipment to more golfers, provide better customer service and build customer loyalty. All of these endeavors serve to elevate the awareness, relevance and competence of the PGA Professional as equipment fitting and technology experts in the eyes of consumers.

Contact: Adam Bradshaw
PGA Trade-In Network
888-777-3540
info@pgatradein.com