The Real Question is Can You Buy Used Tires at Costco? – UnderhoodService
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The Real Question is Can You Buy Used Tires at Costco?

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I love keeping tabs on what the “consumer media” has to say about tires, especially in this Internet age. Before, I could count on regular old daily newspapers to provide misinformation every so often. But now, with so many so-called “experts,” quasi-media and “look-at-me” bloggers out there, the mudpuddle of misguidance is so much browner.

This past weekend, CouponSherpa.com – which promises to help readers save serious money – suggested tires are best purchased from warehouse stores! Included in its handy list of “11 Products You Should Only Buy at Big Box Stores,” tires were lumped in with TVs, AA batteries, pre-ground coffee, prescription drugs, cell phone plans, milk, alcoholic beverages, “quality” meat, pet food and gas as products better bought at your local Sam’s Club, Costco and BJs Wholesale.

[Note 1: Obvious the author (unknown) cannot tell the difference between big boxers and warehouse clubs. Nuff said.]

[Note 2: I didn’t know that prescription medication and cell phone plans were as uncomplicated as AA batteries.]

As for its tire recommendation, CouponSherpa.com writes: “In many ways, big box stores are self-contained shopping centers: It’s only a matter of time before tanning salons nestle alongside the food court. While not every location has a full-service mechanic, the trend is picking up along with in-house gas stations. All three major merchants have tire stores, but Costco offers the best overall deal. To put things on a level, we looked at the most affordable Bridgestone tires for a 2006 Honda Civic. Most stores, including big box outlets, charged around $420 for a full set, though a few didn’t include installation. From Costco, the same treads clocked in at $330, nearly $100 less. Included in the price were free shipping, mounting and tire disposal. Even when compared to standalone mechanic shops and specialists like Discount Tire Co., Costco lead the way. What’s more, manufacturer rebates are almost always available when you buy four at once and most big box stores honor them.”

Not gonna waste time and utter frustration tearing into this; you can do fine all by yourself. But it is important that you stay on top of the drivel being fed your customers, because you are going to have to un-brainwash customers who take this crapola as gospel.

Elsewhere, there is a website called Examiner.com, which, simply by its name, appears to be a legit media outlet. In reality, it is a collection point for apparently self-appointed “examiners” in various metro markets to share their “knowledge” and insights on various topics – supposedly on subjects with which they have some level of expertise.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr. is listed as the website’s “Finance Examiner,” which would lead one to believe he would be dealing with personal finance and investment issues, like stocks, bonds and banks. In fact, his published Examiner.com bio says Kenneth is “a historian in his primary field of study, and an investor in the real world,” and that he has a “keen perspective on all facets of the financial world.”

So with his latest missive, Kenneth decided to tackle the “real inflation in our economy, and more importantly, how it affects you,” and started off by dissecting “the price of tires, and how the underlying cost of rubber imported from around the world, and the manufacturing nations of these products, are raising prices far faster than consumers can afford them.”

So after recounting what we (in the industry) already understand about raw materials and the impact of the China tariffs, what does our intrepid Finance Examiner recommend? “Buy used tires instead of new.”

Reflecting back on a recent Indianapolis Star story he read, Kenneth offered: “One guy in the story had to pay $189 for a single tire for his Mustang! Insane!!! I currently pay $20-$25 for good 16-inch truck tires for my F-250 and less for smaller tires for my old Mercedes 300 diesel. I have a very good relationship with a used tire retailer.”

Later, he offers: “Just last month I picked up a set of tires off Craigslist for $40 a piece installed, mounted and balanced. If you know what to look for you can get a GREAT deal, as with most things in life, you just have to know.
 
“In these tough times, new doesn’t always mean the best, and especially for things that are consumable, buying slightly worn or used can save you up to 800% off the cost of retail, and might only cost you 2,000-10,000 miles difference when it comes to mileage on those tires.”

Not looking to ignite another Used vs. New debate…been there, done that. Just wanted to remind you that the web is a wild-west show of self-anointed experts and hosers. Hard for the common man or woman to know the difference, and that makes it even harder for the real experts to gain and maintain any respect as businesspeople.

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