There is snow on the ground and that can only mean one thing. You need new tires. And as you slide into the nearest tire store there is that ever looming question. Can’t I just sell the car and get one with new tires already on it? No, that would be a little too easy and believe me many have tried that ploy before you and fell victim to its illustrious trap. No you must do as many generations before you have done and spend just shy of a month at the tire shop waiting for the new tires and consequential work to be done. Now I know what you are thinking. Ted you can tell us all we need to know so we don’t get ripped off when we go in. No I can’t. I signed the confidentiality agreement just like everyone else when I joined the club. Sorry I would like to help though so in order to prepare you for it I will lay out a typical visit to the tire shop.
You: Um, Yeah. I need…
Shop guy: A set of four new tires, a tune up, transmission service, transmission flush, plug wires, cap rotor, battery, alternator, wiper blades, air filter, fuel filter, new hoses, belts, and new brakes.
You: What, no. Well maybe, but today all I am looking for is tires.
Shop guy: You shouldn’t put off those other things I listed. You will have to by a new car if you don’t and you will definitely get stranded on the side of the road in the middle of a snow storm where God himself refuses to go out to help people.
You: You seem a little pessimistic.
Shop guy: I am just telling you what, in my professional opinion, is going to happen.
You: Anyways what is it going to cost me to put new tires on my car.
Shop guy: The Geo Metro?
You: Yeah. That’s mine. I am not looking for anything special just a cheap tire.
Shop guy: Owwww.
Shop guy: Well I can tell from here it’s not going to be cheap.
You: What? How can you tell that from here?
Shop guy: Your Geo has got special suspension and steering on it and there is only one kind of tire that I can legally put on it.
You: It’s a Geo. I just wanted these tires listed here in your add for $100 for all 4 of them.
Shop guy: I would love to sell those to you but I would get in huge trouble for that.
You: You sold them to me last time.
Shop guy: Yeah, but they are really cracking down on that sort of a thing. I could go to jail if I sell you cheap tires.
You: Who exactly are “they” and what are they cracking down on?
Shop guy: I can’t tell you that.
You: What you are doing is illegal. It’s called bait and switch and I will call the better business bureau on you.
Shop guy: When you call them ask them if they need tires.
You: I am serious.
Shop guy: Tell them I will cut them a deal if the whole office gets tires.
You: You really aren’t afraid of them are you?
Shop guy: They probably need the tune up also.
You: Alright so how much do these tires cost.
Shop guy: Well your car needs the Michelin Gold series.
You: That doesn’t sound good.
Shop guy: They are called that because they have little flakes of gold in the treat of the tires.
You: How much is that?
Shop guy: We should be able to get you out of here for around $15,000.
You: It’s a Geo Metro! I bought the car for $200!
Shop guy: Good. You should be able to afford the tires then.
You: I am going somewhere else. Anywhere but here! (You turn to walk for the door)
Shop guy: Wait. Wait a minute.
Shop guy: Promise me you won’t tell anybody and I will sell you a set of the Gold tires for $1,000.
You: How can you do that if they were originally $15,000?
Shop guy: Shhh! Do you want someone to here you. I can’t but, dang it, I feel for your situation!
Shop guy: You want to go with those?
You: Whatever. Just do it.
Shop guy: Okay.
While the tires are being put on you over hear the salesman bragging to his boss he sold “some idiot” a set of tires for a Geo at $250 a tire. The salesman got a promotion. Your shrink got some new business. Your car got some new tires and you got some new monthly payments. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!