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I am visiting my in-laws in rural Newfoundland for a couple of days. I was surprised to see a local Gas station had guitar strings behind the counter for sale. I was shocked when I asked the price of the Clapton's Choice Martin strings. $21.98. A quick check when I got home showed that back home in the St. John's area the same strings cost $5.70 a set (Clapton's Choice Martin Guitar Strings). The lady working there said they sell lots of strings at the store.The cost of food has always been a shock in town but this mark-up is incredible. Glad I brought along a spare set of strings for my Art & Lutherie guitar which I intend to leave here for future use.

What is your experience in more rural centers regarding miscellaneous guitar accessory costs?

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I like to change my strings on a regular basis and I'm finding my favorite D'Addarrio EXPs are going up and up. I'm thinking of trying an online store and I'm wondering if anyone has had experience good or bad. 

I've been buying my strings from Strings by Mail for several years - great folks, great prices, great service. The LaBella 413 Studio Pro strings for my classicals are almost $50 a set here - I get 'em landed here in Newfoundland for less than half that - and there's always a handwritten note thanking me for my business...

There's a  reason why my rural central Newfoundland daughter has me hit Costco whenever I head out to see her...

Part of the cost difference comes from the fact that small rural merchants pay more per unit for their products than do the chains, but most of it is simply "..we got it, you need it" economics. I don't feel at all guilty when loading up "city-bought" stuff for myself and family when heading out around the Bay; supporting local business is a good thing, but getting gouged (butter at $5.89/lb., vs. $2.99 at home!) is beyond the pale...

I've never purchased any guitar accessories in the smaller towns,  so can't comment on that - but it's safe to assume there'll be a hefty markup...

Wow, if strings were marked up that much where I live I'd definitely be buying online. I used to buy most of my strings online from music123.com (owned by the same parent as musiciansfriend.com) and I still do sometimes if I want to try a new kind of strings, but lately I've been buying local from a shop that sells for only $1 more than I would pay online and it's usually because I don't want to wait.

I just paid $15 at my local music store for D'Addarios flat wound yesterday. They are only $11 at the larger music store the opposite side of town.

I am in perpetual conflict between supporting the merchants in "town" and purchasing on-line..... the price difference is ridiculous.

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