So the other day I was looking for a pack of electric strings to change mine out. I looked in my case, in the amp, in my room, in the acoustic case… I found a few ragtag sets, most of them missing a string or two and no two packs being the same brand let alone the same gauge. That’s when I thought back to the days when I used to buy in bulk. Now mind you at that time the company I worked for had a wholesale account with a distributor where I could buy a bulk pack of 10 Fender 150′s for $2/pair ($3 to $4 is normal) but the principal still applies.
When it comes to buying guitar strings in bulk, your best bet is usually the big time internet retailers. Take for example this set of Ernie Ball Slinkys. $3.99 plus shipping from Musiciansfriend.com. Not bad, but you could do better in bulk. That same string is offered in bulk as a 12 pack for $39.99, that’s a whole 2 packs for free!
Now I know $40 bucks might seem like a big chunk of change to be shelling out for all those strings but honestly, are you going to use them over the course of the next year or two? Isn’t it worth the gas in the car for the trip to your local music store where they are going to be more expensive anyway? Come on, you know strings always break at the worst possible time and when you don’t happen to have another one left in the exact size you need. Having a few extra sets around is a great way to buy a little insurance.
Be careful though bulk guitar string purchasing isn’t for everyone. Make sure you have used the strings you are intending to buy in bulk first, maybe even 2 packs till you really know you like them. I will never forget one time a friend told me he swore by Dean Markley Vintage Bronze Acoustic strings. I went right out with out even having had heard them let alone playing on them and bought 10 packs. Boy was I sorry, those strings broke faster than any I had ever played before (and only the e!). Lesson learned, know what you like then buy in bulk! Save yourself the money and the hassle next time and always have strings on hand.