Buying strings on Amazon
Well, it finally happened. I got counterfeit strings. I usually make sure the seller I buy from is reputable, and this seller had 4.7 stars out of thousands of orders, but I still got fake strings. I noticed they sounded bad, particularly the g string. The sound was so bad and the strings changed pitch too easily with any pressure with the bow, so I decided to get a set from Shar. Sure enough, the new set made it sound like I was playing on a completely different instrument. That’s the last time I will ever buy strings on Amazon.
I had previously tried to warn people about this, Amazon has no problem selling counterfeit products, and they don't even stop the sellers when its pointed out to them, too much fake money to be made.
Unfortunately, Lyndon, though the strings may have been fake, the money was real.
The main thing that made me suspect they were fakes and not just bad strings was that the packaging was about 3 shades lighter than the real packaging (Evah Pirazzi strings, the fake ones were almost lime green packaging, the real ones are dark green).
the fakes usually don't get the colours exactly the same.
I got a set of laughably terrible fake strings on Amazon once. I usually do not do this, but I was ordering some things and my mouse got the best of me.
I'm a naturally born bargain hunter but I stick with the bigger shops with a good reputation and just wait till I see strings on sale that I want to buy. I rarely try the new and improved brands anymore unless they are on sale and reasonably priced and I do not necessarily equate a higher price with higher quality.
A very reliable source for people who need to buy strings or other violin-related products on-line is the long-established thestringzone.co.uk. They are quick with their mailing and are generally less expensive than retail sources.
The silly thing about Amazon is that many people now assume that it is the cheapest market place, so they don't bother to look elsewhere. It is not the case.
well I strongly urge everyone not to shop at Walmart or Amazon, they're killing local businesses and the only ones that benefit are their owners and shareholders
Welcome to the internet age. Why support local businesses when you can have counterfeit strings delivered right to your door overnight?
I've ordered strings from Amazon, but only specific brands I want, from known dealers at the "Amazon Marketplace," and only if the prices (with tax and shipping) are lower than directly from the dealers.
Thanks for sharing the story. Now I will be more aware.
If you don't believe that Amazon driving out local businesses is a problem, you are part of the problem.
Something else to consider is WHO is actually shipping - the 3rd party business or Amazon. I ordered "The Violin Lesson" from a music store in Seattle who is on the Amazon Marketplace. I couldn't find their direct information (Amazon doesn't make that easy), so while I hesitated when I saw that "fulfilled by Amazon" label, I finally pulled the trigger.
I've bought enough specialized items at cheaper prices from Amazon to know to buy from other reputable dealers instead of Amazon.
I attempted to buy strings at a brick and mortar store recently because I needed a set of strings fast. They didn't have anything in stock I wanted. Their selection was very basic. I had no choice but to buy them because I needed strings the following day.
About those neighborhood stores: It was the local violin shop (where I got my bow haired and my violin maintained) who directed me to Concord Music Supplies (back then one ordered over the phone, now it is internet). I have had good experiences with them for many years now.
There is a lovely music store in my area where I shop. Unless I am needing something overnight (very rare), I just call the store and ask them to order it for me. I say what I want. They look it up online, figure out who the distributor is, calculate me a price, and estimate a date of arrival in the store. All that takes maybe 5 minutes. The price is usually about 5%-10% higher than internet pricing. That's fine with me. If it's a lot higher, then I might consider ordering online. The store is about 10 minutes from home. I like going there. The owner is kind of a weird guy who is interesting to talk to -- I hope he thinks the same of me. My violin teacher's wife gives piano lessons at that store too.
Wait till there are no local luthiers and you have to send your violin to Amazon for repairs, then the shit will really hit the fan.
Lyndon, I must say I admire your stolid, Stoic, stupefyingly simplistic stance on aberrations such as Amazon. Let me modify Paul's small town scenario. The town in which my university is located has no luthier; the nearest is one and a half hours away, making for a three hour round trip. The town itself has a grocery store and, thank God, one of those evil corporate Starbucks.
So you don't mind if you get counterfeit strings from Amazon??
Lyndon, I get paid to evaluate lazy and stupid arguments all day; I have no desire to do it here for free. Look back over your posts: your argument was not, "counterfeit strings are bad," but "Amazon as a corporation crushing the dreams of little businesses is bad."
What Albrecht mentions is the same reason I can't get my strings at my luthier's shop. She only stocks a limited selection of several popular string brands, because there isn't much money to be made on strings and only a handful of brands will sell enough to justify keeping them in stock. She's told me that she does take note of what strings are on instruments that come in for maintenance, and will add a brand if it looks like there are a decent number of customers using it.
I've always done well ordering strings from Audubon Strings via their website, though when driving through Branford CT (and New Haven before they moved to Branford) I still like to drop in in person. Order online and she gets the strings to me in 5 - 8 business days by mail.