Are Old Pool Balls Worth Anything?


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Pool balls are not designed to last forever. In fact, in comparison to the rest of the pool equipment (e.g. your cues and table), the lifespan of a pool ball is relatively short lived. So, what happens when the balls have outlived thier usefulness? Read on, and our experts will explain everything.

So, are old pool balls worth anything? Probably not! Outside of a few exceptions, pool balls carry little in the way of value. Modern pool balls are designed to be disposable, to an extent. This means that once they have worn out, you can recycle them. It is unlikely anybody will pay money for old pool balls.

If you read on, we do have a bit more information to share. This includes information on the ‘exceptions’ to this rule (some pool balls will have value), as well as giving you a rough idea on how you can sell these pool balls. Our experts will even let you know just how long pool balls are designed to last.

Are Old Pool Balls Worth Anything?

This depends.

Generally speaking, pool balls that have been produced in the last few decades will hold very little value. Once they are worn out, then they are ‘done for’. You can dispose of them, unless they have some sort of nostalgic value to you.

There may be some more modern pool balls that boast cool patterns, or part of a limited edition set. These may be worth something but, for the most part, modern pool balls have no value.

It is when you start getting into the more vintage balls that there may be some value to collectors. If the ball is made from clay, then this is often the case. Obviously, they are not going to be playing pool with them, but these clay balls look fantastic on display.

While it is unlikely that you will own a set, mostly because they stopped producing them in the 19th Century, if you do have ivory pool balls, then these carry a lot of value. Collectors love them. Although, you will need to look into local laws here. There may be restrictions on the buying and selling of ivory-based products.

If you do have an old ‘modern’ set of pool balls, then it may be worth keeping them. While it is unlikely that they will get much use again, it is always recommended to have a backup set of balls just in case something goes wrong with the set that you are currently using. This is especially true of cue balls, which are especially prone to wear and tear.

You may also wish to donate old ‘modern’ pool balls to thrift stores or charity shops. While they are probably not going to be of much use to a more-experienced player, there will always be families looking to pick up some cheap pool balls for use with their table.

Where Can You Sell Old Pool Balls?

While old pool balls may be worth something, we can’t guarantee that you will be able to sell them. The only interested people will be collectors and they can be tricky to track down.

If you believe that you have some old pool balls that hold value, then your best bet is to hang around forums dedicated to billiards. Many of these will have a buying and selling forum. Some people may also find success selling on auction sites like eBay. 

If you have incredibly old pool balls, and we are talking 19th Century and prior, then it may be worth talking to an antique dealer. They can point you in the right direction.

How Long Do Pool Balls Last?

It is difficult to provide an estimate on how long pool balls last. This is because there are several factors at play. This includes:

  • The quality of the pool balls
  • How often you play
  • Which ball it is

The cue ball is going to wear down faster than any of the other balls on the table. This is the one coming into frequent contact with the cue and the chalk. This will very quickly wear the ball down. As a result, a lot of people will have some ‘backup’ cue balls that they can use.

If you are playing a couple of times per week, then you can expect to replace your pool balls at least once per year. If you are playing pool to a competitive standard, then you may want to replace them every few months.

It is incredibly tough to see when a pool ball has worn down to the point that it needs to be replaced. This is because modern pool balls have been made from sturdier materials that don’t really crack. In the past, to see if a ball had worn down, you would look at the paint. If that had started to chip, then it was high time to replace the balls.

Your safest bet is to take a look at the balls closely. If you see numerous ‘pits’ in them, then it probably means that the ball has worn out and needs to be replaced. 

See Also: 4 Best Amarith Pool Balls Reviews

Related Questions

What happens if you use old pool balls?

Once a pool ball starts to wear out, it won’t roll correctly on the table. Your shots become a lot more unpredictable. While early-stage wear on a pool ball is unlikely to be spotted by an amateur player, it will be very apparent to somebody that has been playing the sport for a good while.

How can you slow down the speed at which pool balls wear out?

While you will not be able to eliminate ball wear completely, there may be ways to slow down the speed at which it happens. One method is to ensure that you clean the table after every play session. Dust and chalk will wear down the balls. You may also wish to use a ball cleaner regularly to ensure that the balls are nice and clean and, thus, less prone to wear.

See Also: How Much Does a Pool Ball Weigh

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