Ok. I write this as a pool table supplier for over 20 years.
A full size uk pub table is 7ft by 4ft overall.
smaller tables also used and allowed in league play are 6ft by 3ft 6 overall.
Firstly, price! Ok, Your going to get what you pay for! (usually)
If your looking for something cheap and cheerfull you have a choice. Either buy an ex pub table or a new cheap imported piece of rubbish, plenty of these available on ebay!
An ex pub table can be a good buy or a total pig in a poke. Things to look out for.
it must have a slate bed, it must have a sound cloth and it must have responsive cushions.
the best way is to buy from a reputable dealer, but beware knowledge comes from experience only! choose a supplier that knows his trade. i have been called to sort out hundreds of tables that wont play correctly and seen some horrors. ie. Cloth has been put on face down, usually looks more like a shag pile carpet than a pool cloth within a month! Cushions with fittings missing or totally loose rubbers etc giving you a dull thud instead of a nice rebound (can be caused by numerous other things too)
check with the seller and hope you can trust them when they tell you its all good. otherwise be prepared to compromise on how it will play or be prepared to call in a good fitter to sort it out at a cost. take into account a table takes a day to get right so be prepared to pay!
Chinese etc imports. Hmmm. try to find a good one! brand names are just that, trade names put onto imports. riley and bce are 2 you will find lots of on ebay. They are made of the cheapest materials, chipboard and mdf, quite often covered in paper to give the appearance of wood. Cheap knotty cloth and polyester ball set. Ok if its something for your 4 year old to smash balls together and throw away next year.
Ok. prepared to pay a bit more?
Advice needed? give me a call.or ask seller a question etc.see my ebay items etc.
Basically you wont go far wrong with a Uk manufactured new table.(SLATE BED ONLY)
avoid anything with an mdf or composite bed. sellers will tell you these are fantastic. Thats sellers hype. Companies like bce pay people like jimmy white to endorse their products. hey jimmy, take this sponsorship money and say this is good.. what would you say?
There are now approx 10 uk manufacturers,(of which i own 1) we supply and distribute products from all who we rate only. if the product is good you will find it on my website and il be happy to supply you. if its not on my website then there is a good reason for it.
Ebay buying. Ok do a bit of research first. There is good and bad in every community. Be especially wary that if you get a second chance offer from a Yahoo email address, you will probably find its a scam.
watch out also for companies who drop ship. ie you buy, they then order from manufacturers who will send out on a courier. a slate table can weigh from 170 to 240 kg. you may find you have to get this from the kerb into your house. not easy!
a reputable dealer will offer a personal delivery service, set the table up for you and make sure your happy before leaving you to enjoy.We offer only items from actual physical stock and wont keep you waiting around for ages for your delivery. at present over 300 tables in our warehouse
(my company has a fleet of 4 vehicles covering everywhere in uk every week so you get the service you require and we keep our reputation as one of the best)
buying a pool table is usually a one off purchase . Make sure you get what you want. when you want it!