I can see your point if you are on a budget. they chaged me about 8 bucks shipping for the grain filler and a can of tung oil. I just couldnt find grain filler anywhere where i live (San Fransisco bay area) They didnt even cary it at the local wood-working shop http://www.sawdustshop.com/ it seems that grain-filler is mostly a guitar builing/finishing thing. Most people that make furnature and crafts can't be bothered with the stuff.
Who's screwed with shipping? Lets take that 8 dollar example on Tung Oil and Grain Filler.
Tung oil = $14.60
Filler (brown) = $18.50
Ok, so thats roughly $33. You might argue that the StewMac price is a bit high... but they are what they are, and used in the example.
Tax on that here in Fl is 6% unless you're in a high tax place, where its 7%. Lets use the lower number.
Tax is $1.98
Now lets look at going to get it... forgetting the big number costs of vehicle use, lets just assume the store is 20miles away, and you're vehicle gets 20mpg. Round trip - two gallons. Here that costs ya $6.00, assuming you didn't have to go from store to store shopping....
So right there we got $8.00
On things like pickups, other more expensive things... my local GC is a 75 mile round trip. If I go there, and they match the MF price... on a $120 pickup. I pay $9 in gas. I also pay nearly $8 in taxes. MF ships for free. Makes you wonder.
That's weird, in New York, every other hardware store has grain filler as does the local home depot. Different varieties too. The default places on the internet are stewmac and wood craft. Does Lmi sell it?