Billy Strings’ star has risen quite a bit in the past couple of years. With a Grammy Award, a stack of accolades from the IBMA, and fans around the world, Strings has come a long way from playing rhythm for his dad. However, amid all of the face-melting live shows and genuine fan interactions, there are some drawbacks. Recently, Billy took to social media to talk about one of those drawbacks and set some boundaries.
In the video, Billy Strings revealed that eBay sellers track his travel so they can meet him at the airport with armloads of stuff to sign. “It seems like anytime I go to an airport or a hotel or anywhere really, it seems like I’m always met with these handfuls of eBayer people who may or may not be fans of mine,” he said. “They have mountains of vinyls and posters and pickguards and drum heads and microphones and… you name it. Drum sticks,” Strings seems almost amused for a moment. “I don’t even play drums,” he adds.
Billy Brings Big Bucks on eBay
Strings says that they want him to sign all of these items so they can sell them to his fans on eBay for big profits. “I can’t knock the hustle,” Billy Strings said. He added that he’s had to hustle to make ends meet before. However, he does have a problem with the exploitative nature of that hustle. “When you’re taking advantage of my fans and me, ya know? Some people just truly want to get a poster and they don’t want to pay f**kin’ 1000 bucks for it. Somebody might want a record signed by me because they’re actually a fan. I would hate to turn those folks down because I’ve been hardened by these hustlers.”
If you look for autographed Billy Strings memorabilia on eBay, you’ll see that he’s not kidding. Signed copies of his 2021 album Renewal are going for nearly $500. Pickguards for electric and acoustic guitars are selling for around $400. Additionally, you’ll find an Epiphone acoustic guitar that usually goes for around $150 selling for nearly two grand because Billy’s signature is on the pickguard. It’s easy to see why he’s upset.
Billy Strings Sets Boundaries
Addressing his fans, Billy Strings said, “I’m not going to let these people take advantage of me and you anymore.” He’s drawing a line in the sand. “I’m not gonna sign 30 things anymore,” he said.
However, that doesn’t mean that Billy Strings isn’t going to cut his fans off. “If you’re truly a fan and you want a record signed, I will sign it. I’ll sign your poster if it’s like one or two,” he said. Strings added, “I’ll take a picture with you. I’ll f**ckin’ send your mom a ‘happy birthday’ message, I’ll pull out my guitar and sing you a song right there at the airport. But, I’m not going to sign 500 things anymore every time I fly.”
He added that he has to cut off the eBay hustlers because it’s just getting to be too frustrating. Strings said that it would break his heart if he turned one of his real fans away for an autograph because he allowed the hustlers who were taking advantage of him and his fans hardened his heart. So, he’s going to make sure that doesn’t happen.