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      October 15, 2019

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Walmart vs Dick's Sporting Goods

Best Air Hockey Tables

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

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!

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews

2019

Air Hockey Table Reviews

3.5 stars
Walmart

WALMART Visit Site

Walmart puts over 300 air hockey tables at your fingertips. Ranging in price from a $36 tabletop mini model to the Dynamo 8' Firestorm table for just under $6600, you're sure to find something that fits your game room and your budget.

With so many options, you'll probably want to use the filters on the left side of the page to narrow down the possibilities. Options include shopping by price range, brand, special offers, color, size, and more. You can also use the "Refine by" options at the top of the page, to further organize your matching results by price, brands, availability, and so forth.

Because Walmart is such a big-name retailer, most of the air hockey tables they sell come with customer reviews and ratings. That's a great shortcut to finding a model that works as well in real life as it looks on the site; you can choose to limit your results only to the tables that are 3- or 4-stars and up.

One factor to keep in mind: many of the air hockey tables sold on the Walmart site are offered by third-party "Marketplace" retailers - including several from our review. Each Marketplace seller determines their own return policies, but Walmart requires them to offer at least a 30-day return window and to charge no more than 20% in restocking fees. Compared with Walmart's return policy - 90 days, return in-store for free or by freight if you're willing to pay the shipping cost, no restocking fees - that could be a big disadvantage, so it's important to pay attention to whether you're buying directly from Walmart or from a Marketplace partner.

Shipping costs will also depend on whether you're buying from Walmart or through the Marketplace. Of course, if you're purchasing an air hockey table offered by Walmart, you'll probably have the option of choosing free pickup in-store (assuming you have a way to transport such a large item). Otherwise, expect to pay for freight shipping; on a table sold for $1300, for example, shipping fees are just under $100. That same table was offered by two Marketplace sellers for $10 more, but with free shipping.

Walmart gives shoppers a wide selection of air hockey tables from many well-known brands, and their own return policy is generous. On the other hand, customers can find it confusing to sort through the differences between Walmart and their Marketplace partners, to keep track of the different return policies and possible restocking fees. It may be worth shopping directly with those Marketplace partners, and we encourage you to consider their rankings in our reviews too.

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2.5 stars
Dick's Sporting Goods

DICK'S SPORTING GOODS Visit Site

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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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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