Reputable strings site?
Anyone know if Gostrings.com is a reputable site?
I really like their price for a full set of Vision Solos with a silver D and a quite long list of E-string options
$47 is a great price, basically half of what Shar and my local violin shop sells it for and they are both authorized dealers. Pretty sure this is less than Shar's sale price. It's so good a price that I wanted to check to see if anyone here is familiar with them. It seems almost too good...
There are counterfeit strings out there. My recommendation is to buy from your local shop. Remember: If you want the local shop to be there, then you have to buy stuff there. That's partly what "being local" is about.
I am with Paul on this one. I always get mine at my local shop, and when they put them on, it gives them a chance to see if there is any problem with my violin or viola which needs their attention.
GoStrings is legitimate. I haven't ordered from them for awhile, but I have in the past and received the strings, etc that I ordered. I think she ultimately ended up ordering elsewhere, but they were very helpful when my mom was looking for a 7/8th cello case.
It's good to know they are legitimate - and the local aspect is certainly a consideration. There aren't so many local violin shops these days, especially around here... generally I do buy locally if it's available.
One time I ordered sheet music from them and selected the free media mail shipping option. In the tracking info the package went missing part of the way to my location, but I had to wait a few months before they would refund the purchase since media mail, I learned, has a reputation of randomly disappearing like that but showing up much later. When they finally offered the refund I asked if they wanted to try again with a different shipping method but I didn't get a response, and then ordered from Shar. Glad is wasn't something we needed right away. Lesson learned - no media mail, and "free" can have a special cost of its own. Also as folks here suggest, support your local shop...look what has happened to local sheet music stores. (I do think it's nice to have new strings twice as often as the instrument needs a checkup though, and they're very convenient to order.)
The set you linked to are Visions, not vision solos - when I looked on the site for vision solos they were at $80. If you subscribe to shar's emails, they have sales for 20% off strings every couple months - brings the vision solos down to mid $60s.
Another 'buy local'. That is one of the key ways they make ends meet.
Gostrings is good! Ordered my Musafia case through them and a myriad of other things.
Indeed Elise, that's one of the many reasons I don't use Amazon much these days. I won't say I don't get tempted but there are many reasons not to go there.
Local shops are not foolproof. Some of them buy stock online.
Gostrings is the cheapest and best place to buy! I have buying from them for more than 10 years now.
There've been threads reporting GoStrings problems in the past:
If you tell your local dealer that you're seeing a better price online, sometimes they can bring it down to where it's not that much more. But I don't think you should expect the same price from a small local shop that is trying to pay at least its proprietor a living wage. When Dan Foster was still alive, I would tell him what kind of strings I wanted and he would order them for me. I usually paid about $10 more than I would from Shar. But then when I needed a set of gear pegs installed in my daughter's violin, he charged me close to nothing for the labor because he had never done it before (even though he had made over 100 fine instruments and obviously had the necessary skills).
For those of us in the U.K. I can highly recommend the Stringzone.
Gostrings is good. They had a few problems years ago, but worked it out. Definitely a legit place...
My music store has been good to me in so many ways since I returned to the violin last fall. They do match Shar prices - or other authorized dealers - but haven't asked them to do so.
Local shops, depending on demand an their ordering frequency may have old batches sitting literally for months if not years. If you are into gut strings, this is very important. Moreover, at least here in Toronto, they have a weird approach to exchange rate - prices follow stronger US dollar, but do not drop when local currency gains! With go strings only good experiences so far.
She's talking about synthetic-core strings (visions and such). Those have essentially infinite shelf-life.
I've been ordering strings and things from CONCORDMUSIC.COM for years and never been disappointed. They do charge for shipping but I compare total cost to me with other places and they usually win. I've also shopped most of the other on-line string shops and had very good service. I've also been a SHAR customer for 50 years and Southwest Strings almost as long.
Andrew - ouch! That's not fun, and good to know about Concordmusic.com, I've been on their site.
I've been buying from Concordmusic and also Southwest strings for years. No complaints.
I can see the argument for buying local ( if possible) to save the “downtown”.
I usually buy from quinnviolins.com . Their prices are competitive, and they have never gone wrong. Free shipping on strings only orders, I think.
David - if I have a choice of giving my money to a business that gives back to the community in some way, and another who, for example, is known for poor service, etc., there is little debate regarding from whom I will purchase, even if I would pay a lower price from the latter. That, however, is theoretical as the Indianapolis area has few actual violin shops.
Just fyi, shops don't really make money off of strings. Unless you pay them to put them on or something else, like a set-up.
Speaking as a small shop, we can buy the strings from our wholesale only suppliers a little bit cheaper than places like Shar, maybe $5-15 cheaper, but by the time you try to carry an inventory of more than one or two brands of strings, it turns into more of a liability, add to that most people expect you to change the strings included in the price, its not something a small shop like mine wants to get too far into.
String sales bring you into the store too. While you're there you browse the music titles, you say to yourself, "Gee it would be useful to have another 1/4-inch instrument cable," or "wow I can't live without that Bluetooth speaker that looks like a Marshall half-stack."
Eric and Lyndon - good information to have re: strings. That had been my perception before, good to have that confirmed.
I'm pretty sure Pierre says somewhere that Fiddlershop started life as a string supplier, but there was no money in it.
Catherine - where do you live? You have said that around you there aren't many local shops.
Tom - I'm in Indianapolis. There are several, but not as many as one might expect. The one I go to, described above, is quite good and I start my shopping there. They have done well by me.
Catherine - I live in the DC area, and I can't say there are lots of luthiers. I know of several that are any good, but that is it. I think there are few cities with lots of them, e.g., New York and maybe the San Francisco Bay area. However, the main thing is that you go to one that is good. So do I. Make as much use of them as you can, and unless you are quite strapped for funds, I would not try to cut corners.
I concur Tom, and I stopped by there today for my new set of strings! Their prices really are very competitive, which is nice.