Date: 12.03.14 - 1:34am
it's hard to find things that are a genuinely good deal. We live in a culture where pretty much every niche is filled with maximum value extracted at each stage. It's very efficient. It's kind of like an ecosystem in the forest; when a tree falls there are many different stages of creatures and plants that move in to digest it until there is nothing left.
anyway on with my story, so I recently went out to my garage and found this beautiful four-inch nail sticking through the sidewall of my tire. This is unrepairable and requires a new tire :(
This is also a very expensive tire that goes for about $300. It's normal life is 55,000 miles and currently had half of the tread left. The car is also all-wheel-drive, so it's really best to change all the tires at it this point.
Now I know what you're thinking changing all four tires for one flat how is that a good value? and it totally isnt! in fact it sucks giant wormy elephant balls! But thankfully the story continues.
So I went online to see if I could find a used tire and I was very happy to see that I could. In fact I found a bunch of used tires all with the exact tread depth that I needed (measured as 5/32 with my digital calipers). the price for a high-end half worn out tire? $60 delivered!
So a high-end tire with 25,000 miles left on it for $60 versus 300 for a brand-new one. I could buy an entire half life set for 240 versus $1300 new. Seems like half-life tires would be about half the price but they're less than a quarter.
That is a good value and appears to be replicable! I'm not sure I will ever buy a brand-new set of tires again.
I think the mechanism behind this is that each individual seller has a random tire at a random level of wear which carries a steep discount because it's an odd man out and the chances of a local sale for them are slim. With Internet sales though the net widens exponentially and you can assemble an entire set from four different sellers without a problem.
Maybe sellers have not realized this yet, or maybe it's that the buyers have not realized this yet hence a low demand keeping the low price intact. there might even be the opportunity for savvy buyers to assemble matched sets from disparate sources and then resell as a matched set for a much better price. (in this case a 240 investment for a potential $650 sale or 400 profit?)
anyway for now with the one tire I got a $60 out which I am very thankful for. I am also very thankful the tire still holds air and didnt go flat. I should be able to drive it in for the tire change. (This is the second tire I lost to road hazard in a month though! The first one, somehow a section of tread got pried right up and off the tire. Somehow i made it home from that one before it went flat as well.)