rising price of consumables... extends to strings?!!

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by JB74, Jul 4, 2021.

  1. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    This may not come as a surprise to any of you foreigners, but the island I live on (a big one) has this muppet with glasses running the show, and since the opportunity to close the borders 18 months ago availed itself, the prices of "stuff" has steadily risen...

    ...to the point where it now costs TWICE as much to buy bloody guitar strings locally.

    Now I know there are "layers" of profit-seeking wholesalers and retailer markups, but it's now pretty brutal and so obviously ridiculous that I've lierally just ordered almost $1K worth (yes not a mistake) of strings from Thomann.

    Why?
    Simple. Prices HALF what the same brands would cost me here and shipping via UPS (of all shippers - the most expensive logistics in the world from my experience) landed in 3 days - 59 bucks (AUD)

    Now there is no way I'm going to need strings for at least another year, maybe more - if I change them once a month on all of my guitars.

    and that really effing bites.
    I used to go down to my local store once every couple of weeks, buy a few packs, have a chat - be a bit sociable.

    now, I have no 'NEED' to go there.

    Of course, it also just happened to coincide with a lockdown, and that's been well, beneficial. I'm not saying that in an overwhelmingly positive way mind, it's just a stroke of luck that I had ordered stuff and it arrived while in lockdown, thus no need to go and expose self needlessly (or needfully) to a delta variant risk.

    But the prices....

    Let me use an example - Thomastik flatwounds.... price here is literally double what I paid. Not only that, availability from the local wholesaler is at best.... effing terrible - as in they are literally the most apathetic supplier on earth, even getting a price and shipping estimate by my local store was just excessive effort.

    So bugger em. and all the others.

    I am happy that I could also buy the Ric strings for half the local retail price also... that literally saved me about 350 bucks. Can't complain about that. Not to mention *ANYTHING* Rickenbacker here in Australia is all but impossible to obtain and exhorbitantly overpriced anyway. (buy direct and dropship is cheaper, even with a 100% markup and exchange rate fees).

    So fellow antipodeans, if you're having issues, maybe look to the big T if you are not getting much satisfaction from the usual online retailers (including the US ones).

    It's just sad that importing stuff like this effectively kills my retail relationship with local stores - and they cannot get better prices than what they quoted... so everyone is being screwed by opportunists.

    it's like artificial inflation.
     
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  2. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    You have my sympathies, fella. Our Muppets have made this country so unappealing to mainland Europeans, we have a massive driver shortage, so food isn't reaching stores. Government says it's up to the stores to make the drivers' jobs "more attractive". What they mean is pay them more. Unfortunately, that doesn't increase the number of available drivers, but it does increase the costs that will be passed onto consumers.

    Good on you for sorting your own supply-chain issues, but if that's all you have to worry about, I genuinely envy you. :D
     
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  3. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Most Honored Senior Member

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    Over on this side of the pond is no different.
    There are multiple companies hiring drivers with the promise of a 10k signing bonus.
    I know a driver from a beverage supplier. He said drivers from one company quit and go to another company for the bonus. Basically, they are just trading the existing work force back and forth.
     
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  4. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    Truth is I've been holding off for months... and the lockdown has created the perfect storm, so done and dusted.

    I know I am a VERY lucky guy. I also know that I'm on the last of my 9 lives.... so I'm trying to make it worthwhile, a huge box of strings makes everything infinitely more bearable... Food, I'm stocked up. In the grand scheme of things it's always been #1 food, #2 roof over head, #3 music.
    :thumb:

    But I completely get what BREXIT has done on top of covid to the UK - and all the political noise you guys have to deal with as well. We have similar muppetry going on.

    But I have strings... and that makes me very very happy indeed.

    Pity the worlds problems can't all be solved by an online order. (is that the orwellian way??? oooh.)

    o_O
     
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  5. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    Yeah, that's exactly it. Shifting the problem around, not solving it. Over here, getting a Heavy Goods Vehicle license costs a few hundred pounds, and the process should take a few weeks. In reality, it takes a lot longer, because you have to apply for a provisional HGV first, then take a training course, followed by a Test. Given that there's a already a massive backlog due to C-19, attracting new drivers from our own labour pool is going to take many months to show any results. Meanwhile, the shortages are already getting worse.

    Knowing how many strings you've bought, I hope you can make them last as long as me. I can keep a set of bass strings for maybe 4 years! May your 'last life' be a long and happy one.
     
  6. Stratafied

    Stratafied Dr. Stratster

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    Join the club , we have a muppet who doesn’t know what day it is .
     
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  7. afireinside

    afireinside Strat-Talker

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    I remember GC at xmas you could get a 10 pack of Daddarios for like $15.00........ Glad strings last forever for me.
     
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  8. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    oh if that were only the case with me..... I'm lucky to get a month and a bit. 5 weeks, 6 at best.

    and if Thomastik flatwounds were ever advertised at 15 bucks for a 10 pack, I'd order a hundred packs of them LOL.

    problem here is for example, a set of Ric 12 strings, are about 75 bucks. And the sad truth is, that only the Rickenbacker strings are the correct tension, and the unique jangle sound. Believe me, I've tried all the other alternatives including the uber expensive ones.... and the Ric ones are the best for the 360/12. but be buggered if I'll pay over 70 bucks for a set of guitar strings...

    Bass strings yes.... LaBellas were never cheap, and I just bought a set of tapes for the bongo as well...

    Happiness. it can stem from something so small and insignificant....

    Guys in the US are lucky though, your prices are pretty much already beat down to nothing - on everything.
     
  9. afireinside

    afireinside Strat-Talker

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    Man when i played bass and was the quasi tech in a band 1 or 2 practices the one guitar players strings would be black and rusty. Was insane!

    Problem now is that 10 pack is like $45
     
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  10. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    Well I've just restrung the 360/12c63 and my fingers thank Thomann.

    and the JANGLE is back. It brings happiness into an otherwise bland Monday afternoon.
     
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  11. fos1

    fos1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I had a guitar set up at my favorite repair shop in Houston. They forgot to add the cost of the strings to the invoice. I didn't notice until I got home.

    The next time I travel to Houston, I'm going to drop in and pay them for the strings and buy a few spare sets.

    They do good work and I want to support them.
     
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  12. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    For @simoncroft

    Shipment included new tapes for the Bongo. First set. B4 & After pics.
    The end wrap even matches the guitar.
    Like it was Meant to be...
    click for big pics.
    IMG_1382.JPG IMG_1383.JPG IMG_1386.JPG
     
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  13. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist

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    Our muppet got voted out (first time that ever happened) a few weeks ago, because he sucked. Now it looks like the same muppet gets voted backnin again beacuase guess what? All the other muppets sucked at least as much.
     
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  14. smithstrato

    smithstrato Senior Stratmaster

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    Puppeteers suck.
     
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