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Megatron
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I was recently told that the only reason I can find tires for my bike cheaper than retail is all tires sold by online stores are seconds or blemishes. Does anyone know if this is true or not? If so please cite some references of you can. Thanks.


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I bought 3 sets of tires from American Motorcycle Tire.
I can't tell that they are seconds or blemishes
 

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Have bought from JP Cycles, CruiserCustomizing, and JakeWilson online. The only issue I ever had was a set of Continentals I tried, the rear tire wore out in about 4,000 miles, I've averaged over 15,000 on all others exept the Dunlop 404s, origanal tire for my bike. Even it would last 7,500-9,000. I also have always ordered WWW tires, no problems.


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Yes, you will get a good price online....but unless you install them yourself. you most likely won't save in the long run. If you have someone else install them(especially if they sell MC tires) you will pay out the wazoo. They soak you for install if you bring in the tires when you could have bought them from their shop. You may pay 15% more for the tires, but they usually includes installation. Besides, it really pisses them off. The last thing I want is a pissed off MC mechanic working on my bike.
 

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That is a silly claim. I have two businesses, and will tell you that online stores selling the exact same product will usually beat my prices. That is because they have much lower recurring expenses. I have to rent expensive prime-location roadside-frontage buildings for a retail store - they can get by with a barn out in the county. I've got to pay utilities for lighting, heating and cooling when my store is open, and it had better be open most of the time else I will lose sales - they can get by with heating/cooling a small office while shipping out of a typical warehouse, and close early based upon number of sales collected up. I have to hire expensive technicians and sales personnel to take care of you - they only need low-wage part-time workers that can pull a product off a shelf, stick it into a box and stick a label on it. There are other factors as well, but you should get the drift of this.

After saying all of that, I have to beat the online store by good relations and excellent service! For me, I will always ask my local shop if they have or can get the product I want. If they are reasonably close, I'll buy from them and have them install it. If they miss the mark by a large margin, I'll tell them so. They're human too, and understand trying to save a buck. I'll still pay them the labor for the install (if required), so they still make some money. I've never had them stiff me on labor charges. They know that I'll keep coming back to try to give them business when I can. YMMV
 

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While I have gotten a lot of stuff online, I had always gotten tires from shop/installer. With the comparison online price in hand.

The shop I use closed due to landlord selling property for re-development = wrecking ball.

Thus, for the first time, I bought online from Denis Kirk. Who sent one tire that was manufactured 13 months prior. They would not take it back unless I paid shipping, and would not promise me a newer tire. Kirk tried to blame manufacturer. So, I called Avon, and they indicated their oldest was 90 days.

IMHO, no matter who you buy tires from, stipulate tires that were manufactured within 90 days prior. Also, give a local shop the chance to match.
 

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Sounds like someone trying to make a sale!

First off, if anyone says "always" do some research. Things are rarely 'always'.

Second, no, unless they specifically say (For example Motorcycle Superstore and J&P Cycles both have a 'scratch and dent' section), it's a new tire without blemish. Someone is feeding you a line to get you to buy in their store, I think. Or, someone fed someone else a line and they are regurgitating it to you. Or, one time turned into every time when someone took a tire to a dealer that had been scuffed in shipping and the dealer says "Oh, that's why they are cheaper, they sell damaged tires!". Anyway point is, no, don't be concerned about the tire when buying from a reputable online retailer.

Finally, as mentioned, check first. Call around and find out tire-mounting prices. Lots of places charge so much extra if you bring the tire in that it ends up not being any cheaper (unless you mount it yourself). Where I get my tires they charge $50 if you bring the tire on but it's free if you buy it there. Makes it cheaper to buy it there unless someone online is having a really crazy sale.

Also, don't forget to still support the brick and mortar businesses or they won't be around for very long! If anyone else is into photography you know how difficult it is to find a decent brick and mortar store with a good selection and maybe a service/parts/repair desk. They've all gone out of business thanks to online retailers. Nothing wrong with that, it's just competition. EXCEPT; people try things, try things on, play with things, ask questions, rent, etc. from the brick and mortar store; and then buy it from the eTailer. This doesn't apply to tires, but since we're on the subject, if you're buying something that requires you to first go to a brick and mortar store to try it on, ask questions about it, or even just to 'pick it up' before you buy it, just buy it there! Otherwise, there won't be a brick and mortar store! Local MC dealers here have increasingly smaller selections of helmets, gear and accessories since folks are just buying them online (but trying them on there!)
 

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+1 on everything said. Also, any tire that's a "second" would have to be identified as such as dictated by the NHTSA and DOT.

Obviously misinformation being spewed by the same type of character that says the tires you buy at Walmart aren't really Goodyears or Bridgestones, or that the automotive batteries are inherently lower-quality.

Some tire manufacturers do produce specific lines for Walmart. But they're still Goodyears and Bridgestones. And the batteries are the same you can buy anywhere. Only a few companies actually produce them anyway: Exide, Johnson Controls and I think one other that doesn't actually service the American West. Don't let some fool with a burr in his butt deter you from finding the best value.
 

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Some tire manufacturers do produce specific lines for Walmart. But they're still Goodyears and Bridgestones. And the batteries are the same you can buy anywhere. Only a few companies actually produce them anyway: Exide, Johnson Controls and I think one other that doesn't actually service the American West. Don't let some fool with a burr in his butt deter you from finding the best value.
While I do agree that with some things there are only a few (relatively speaking) manufacturers, like the tire and battery examples you provided, I don't believe things are inherently the same. Batteries can be manufactured to different specs as can tires and most other things. So, while Exide may make batteries for Walmart or whomever, I don't believe they're all the same...other than being a battery.
 

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Megatron
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for your responses. After I made the original post I called a couple of the online retailers and emailed a couple others and asked point blank if they sold seconds or blems, all the responses were a resounding "No!". The only sell first rate tires (unless otherwise noted) as one response stated.
The guy who owns the shop I go to is a long time family friend. So I asked him the same question and he told me the same thing the online retailers told me. BUT he also told me something else; he can buy the exact tire made and tested for my model bike. (In my case the rear is a Bridgestone Exedra G702 150/80 B16 MC 71H) Were I to buy online I would buy a G702 150/80 16. Still the same tire but not the exact tire designed and tested on my model bike.
I agree with all you who are pulling for the local brick and mortar store. I am always willing to pay a few extra cents for something from the family owned gas station or hardware store rather than a bigbox.
So now I'm more edumakated on the whole deal and the bottom line for me is, I'll buy my tires from my friend's shop, get the exact tire the owners manual calls for, pay a few more bucks for the tires and smile next time I see John's son in braces, knowing I helped straighten the kid's teeth.


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Yes, you will get a good price online....but unless you install them yourself. you most likely won't save in the long run. If you have someone else install them(especially if they sell MC tires) you will pay out the wazoo. They soak you for install if you bring in the tires when you could have bought them from their shop. You may pay 15% more for the tires, but they usually includes installation. Besides, it really pisses them off. The last thing I want is a pissed off MC mechanic working on my bike.
As a new rider, I just went through this for the first time. I ordered the tire, a Metzeler 880, from Motorcycle Superstore. They listed a local shop as an authorized installer. I called the shop, got a price of 70.00 for removing the wheel from the bike and doing the install. I don't know if thats a great price, but it seemed reasonable to me. They were happy to get the work, and asked me to check with them next time on pricing. Overall a great experience. I will use them again for other things, which is what the local shop hopes for.
 

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I've bought multiple sets from motorcycle-superstore.com for different bikes and never had any problems with the quality. They arrived promptly and well packaged, besides being quite a bit cheaper than the dealer. Like many have mentioned, I checked around for mounting and balancing prices before buying, then took only the wheels and tires with me. The total was certainly cheaper than doing everything through the dealer, but did take a little more leg work on my part.
 
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