Am I crazy or are music stores trying to rip me off?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Andrew_S., Nov 13, 2002.

  1. Andrew_S.


    Jul 24, 2001
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Someone please explain this to me. There are two main music stores in Flagstaff. I often go into them and just browse around and price check things. One thing that astounds me is whenever I inquire about strings, they are priced waaaaaaayyyy over any online sight. I mean, this place tried to sell me a set of Labella Supernyls for $120.00 (plus tax). I informed the gentleman that I could get them fro $65.00 from Lemur and he said that they might recoup that cost in shipping!!! (hmmm, $55.00 shipping?).
    Yesterday, a place tried to sell me a set of Heliocore Hybrids for $185.00 (Lemure prices them at $94.00). What the F**K?!
    Is this common practice? I can see the music stores trying to pull a profit and all abut charging over twice what I can get them online for is just ridiculous.

    Am I Crazy??? :confused:
  2. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    If it's not a store that deals in a lot of DBs and accessories, they're probably just trying to get as much $$$ as possible out of the one or two sets they have in the store. I once had Spiros priced out at over $200 at a music store here (I passed).Lemur, Quinn, Ham-Ash, etc. all sell LOTS of strings, so the price is right. My spiros arrived from Lemur in 2 days, so I prefer to shop there.
  3. Are you talking list price from these stores? I've never bought a set of strings, for electric or upright, at list.

    But even at the discount, the markup must be pretty appreciable. At one store, the routine deal for strings is two sets for the retail price of one set. That means at least a 50% markup.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    You're lucky - I haven't even found a shop that stocks DB strings. The place I bought my EUB said they weren't planning on ever stocking any !

    Online or mail order, is the only way I can buy strings!
  5. Andrew_S.


    Jul 24, 2001
    Flagstaff, AZ
    The thing is, they would show me their catalog (hell, if I can remember the name) and the list price was way up there as well.
    Granted, they were all saying things like "I could cut you a deal on the Heliocores for $175.00" and I would reply: "well I could just order them online for $75.00 cheaper than that. Really, shopping for stings is not like shopping for clothes. if you string your bass with 'em it's not like you can take them off and return them if you don't like them. So there's really no benefit to buying them at a store rather than online (other than getting them a few days earlier.
    I'm just wondering if this is a trend in ALL music stores or just in Flagstaff.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I do agree - and this is probably why shops around here aren't stocking them. :( Don't get me wrong - I'm happy to buy online, but am just worried that music shops as we know them, will cease to exist?
  7. Andrew_S.


    Jul 24, 2001
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I agree! There's nothing like walking into music stores and grapping instruments of the wall and fiddling with 'em.

    Fortunately, with the advent of message boards like this, and online shopping, I no longer need to go into the stores and ask the guitar playing clerk his "expert" advice on upright basses. :rolleyes:
  8. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Double Bass strings are very low profit items for dealers-- and when you're buying just a couple sets at a time, local music stores will be buying from one of the wholesale distributors in most cases, since they can't buy direct. In fact, you will find that there are hardly any strings that you can obtain directly from the manufacturer. Frankly, I found that some of the main distributors' wholesale prices for strings are actually higher than the retail prices from the high volume buyers. The local guy simply can't compete.
  9. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I used to run a music store, and luckily this was befoe the days of Guitar Center, but there are big differences in costs between stores and mail order operations. A local store might sell a set of bass strings every other day. They still had to stock them, and inventory them, and order them. A place like Lemur is probably buying them by the gross and shipping them out to web orders that required no salesman's time. If you're paying the rent on a store, and paying a salesman, you can't make enough if you're only getting $5 profit per set. My local luthier charges more for strings than does Lemur, but I buy fom him, if he has them in stock. Lemur doesn't do seasonal adjustments for me, or restring my bass, or reset a fallen soundpost when I screw up ;-)
  10. Snakebyte


    Nov 12, 2002
    Yeah I've got about 4 music stores available to me in the immediate area, and this is a fairly large city, but i find their prices are ourtrageous, they all have the same merchandise which is generally available anywhere but in order to pay a reasonable price i need to drive an hour and a half to the nations capital to get a decent price.
  11. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    I've stopped selling strings in my shop. The occasional bad string that I had to deal with ate up all profit. I tried to keep the most common types in stock as a service to my clients, but whenever there was a problem, the time I'd normally spend at my bench making a living was tied up trying to remedy silly string problems. Some clients thought nothing of asking me to take back strings they decided they didn't like. And many manufacturers will not replace a bad string if you've installed it! (read: Thomastic). How are you supposed to know it's bad?!?!?! However, those prices you quoted are definately super-atomic!
  12. Me too. Same Reasons.