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      February 24, 2020

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Dick's Sporting Goods vs Sears

Best Air Hockey Tables

To help you find the Best Air Hockey Tables, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Dick's Sporting Goods and Sears.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Air Hockey Tables, please Click Here

Where can you find the best Air Hockey Tables? If you're looking for the entertainment of an arcade with the convenience of home in your recroom, an air hockey table is a great choice for fun times with family and friends. However, many stores don't carry a large supply of air hockey tables for you to choose from.

One big reason for this is that air hockey tables take up a lot of floor space when they're displayed. Traditional stores would rather fill their aisles with racks of merchandise that you could buy off the shelf. That's one reason why many people have turned to the internet when buying their air hockey table. Of course, another reason is that you can save a lot of money by shopping online!

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Best Reviews

2020

Air Hockey Table Reviews

2.5 stars
Dick's Sporting Goods

DICK'S SPORTING GOODS

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Dick's Sporting Goods got its start in the late 1940s in New York and eventually expanded to more than 700 retail locations throughout the United States. Best known for sports equipment, footwear, apparel and accessories, Dick's carries approximately 20 air hockey tables for sale through their online storefront. You'll also find Rod Hockey options (also known as foosball) on the same page, so make sure you pay close attention as you browse through the choices.

Focusing on air hockey, you'll see models ranging from a mini tabletop version for $20, up to full-size tables comparable to what you'd find in an arcade. You can use the filters on the left side of the page if you want to narrow down the options, but with such a small selection you should be able to scroll quickly through the main page. Most of the tables don't have customer reviews, but you'll see a few that have a handful of ratings.

Dick's is much more expensive than other retailers of air hockey tables. At the time of our most recent review, they were offering free shipping on all orders of at least $25 - but only up to a credit of $100. What does that mean? For example, on their highest-priced model ($1099.99), the Viper Vancouver 7' Air Hockey Table, the estimated shipping and handling costs were $220; even with the discount, you'd still pay $120 for delivery. That's extremely steep, compared with many of the retailers we evaluated that offer shipping for free on nearly all of the models they carry.

It's true that you might be able to place your order online and pick it up at a retail location. But, naturally this only works if you have a store near you and if the table you're considering is available there. The table we mentioned above was only eligible for direct shipping, not in-store pick-up. So, even with Dick's Best Price Guarantee, you'll probably pay more for shipping even if they match a lower price at another retailer.

On the other hand, Dick's Sporting Goods has made some improvements since our last review. Their return policy is twice as long, with returns now possible up to 60 days after purchase (but you'll still be responsible for the cost of the return, unless you take it to a store near you). Also, as mentioned previously, a few of the air hockey tables they sell now have customer ratings and feedback; we recommend that you read them, because we found some very helpful comments about how the tables held up under actual use.

Dick's offers the convenience of being able to return your air hockey table in person, but in all other ways they fall short of the higher-ranked stores - especially with their high shipping charges.

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2 stars
Sears

SEARS

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In the days of mall shopping and big-box retail stores, Sears was one of the leaders. But, as the retailer goes through bankruptcy proceedings and continues to close over 200 of its brick-and-mortar locations, are they a good choice for buying an air hockey table?

Compared with other stores in our review, we'd probably say no. Their selection is very limited: Sears itself only has 8 air hockey tables for sale, ranging in price from $52 to $810. Included brands are Sportcraft, Atomic, and NHL.

You'll find an additional 140+ tables if you expand your shopping to the Sears Marketplace. Be aware that the Sears Marketplace means that you're buying from a third-party seller - including some of the higher-ranked stores in our review. We're not sure there'd be much of an advantage of buying through Sears instead of just going directly to that retailer's site. The Marketplace also includes eBay sellers, which may not appeal to some customers.

When it comes to returns, air hockey tables purchased directly from Sears can be returned within 30 days of purchase, or within 45 if you're a part of their Shop Your Way membership program. These returns can be made to any retail location, as long as you have your receipt/packing slip. On the other hand, if you buy your air hockey table through one of their Marketplace sellers, you'll have to find out what their particular return policy is. That's an extra hoop to jump through when shopping for a big-ticket item.

And, with Sears' uncertain future, there's no guarantee that you'll have access to their customer service after your purchase - or that your local store will still be open if you want to return your air hockey table in person. We encourage you to consider the higher-ranked retailers in our review.

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Continued from above

For those who don't know, air hockey is played by trying to hit a puck into the goal on the opposite side of a table using a handheld paddle (also known as a striker, mallet, or goalie). The table is typically smooth so that the puck slides freely; higher-end models use ventilation on the table's surface, so that the puck actually floats just above the table itself.

Players use the paddles to knock the puck across the table and into the goal slots on the other side; rails on the sides of the air hockey table keep the puck from sliding onto the floor. As a recreational sport, air hockey has been around since the late 1960s when a team of engineers at Brunswick - Bob Kenrick, Phil Crossman, and Brad Baldwin - tried to invent a new game on a frictionless surface.

Although it wasn't an instant hit, the project was taken up again by Bob Lemieux a few years later, leading to air hockey's popularity as a tournament sport from the mid-1970s onward. Today, you'll find serious competition with air hockey players based in Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Maryland, Houston, Denver, Sacramento, and New York - and even across the globe in Russia, the Czech Republic, and Spain.

When deciding where to buy an air hockey table, there are a number of factors to keep in mind as you consider the numerous online retailers that sell them. Some of those criteria are:

  • Selection/Availability. How many types of air hockey tables does the store carry? Is their inventory typically in stock, or do they sell out at high-volume shopping times like the holidays?
  • Price. Are the air hockey tables competitively priced? Are there any budget-friendly perks like free shipping or discounts when signing up for an email newsletter?
  • Return Policy. If the air hockey table doesn't meet your expectations, can you return it? If so, how many days do you have to send it back? Will you be charged a restocking fee?
  • Reputation. Does the retailer have a good track record of customer satisfaction? Are they rated by the Better Business Bureau? Does the company specialize in air hockey tables and other rec room equipment like ping-pong or foosball tables?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best air hockey table stores available today. We hope this information helps you find the perfect air hockey table for your game room today!

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