Hi all, more newb questions here. I just got my "student bass", it's a Milano brand (Chinese), and it was the best one I could find for 500 bucks. Actually a tad more, I paid an extra hundred for a setup and a few accessories. It doesn't sound half bad, nowhere near a Kay of course, but not bad for a cheap bass. It came with generic steel (I think) strings, they have blue thread on the bottom and they're pretty noisy (when I slide up and down the fingerboard). They're clearly not the best strings, but I'm wondering whether they're worth replacing. They're not "unplayable", but neither are they completely comfortable. And, they sound a little funny when bowed. So, a couple of questions. First off (here's the newb part), how long do strings typically last? Should I use the current ones till they break, or should I replace them immediately, or is there some reasonable middle ground? Would D'Addario helicores be an "upgrade", or would the incremental difference be noticeable? Or, some other brand? I don't intend on doing any gigging or recording with this bass, at least not for the time being. For now, it's exclusively for practice at home. The intent is to sell this bass in six months to a year, once I've had a chance to bootstrap on technique, and get a feel for what to look for when I go for the next one. So that's the application, in the way of providing context for my questions. And lastly, I've seen people selling used strings on eBay, are they serious? Should I even think about buying strings that have already been used for six months? These guys are asking forty and fifty bucks a set, so the implication seems to be that they still have some life left in them. I've been playing electric for about thirty years now, and in that time I've only heard of one person trying to sell used electric strings that are six months old.