And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Posted December 30, 2010 by jimhigley

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me to me four calling birds General Grabber tires for my Toyota 4-Runner.

I hate the mating game that goes along with any automobile-related purchase. No matter what I do or how hard I try, I always feel as though I’m being screwed.

So, the other day, when I came to terms with the fact that I needed new tires (as my 4-Runner was morphing into Santa’s sleigh – sliding through an intersection) I decided I’d try to become a better, wiser consumer.

In the past, when I needed new tires, I’d drive on up to the tire store, walk up to the counter and say, “I need new tires. Whatever you think is best.” And I’d wait. Pay my bill. Then drive away.

This time, I decided to attempt to be a little more in control so I called the local tire shop to do some competitive wheeling and dealing while I was out running some errands.

Me: Hi, I’m interested in getting some pricing on tires for my 2008 4-Runner.
Her: I’m happy to help. Can you hold for a couple minutes please?
Me: Absolutely. Thanks. (wondering why I was never this brilliant with past purchases)
Her: (19 seconds later) I can give you a General Grabber which is one of our highest rated tires for $171 each.
Me: Wow. That’s a little steep. What can you do to help me lower that? (winking to myself in my rear view mirror)
Her: Well, I’d have to do a little research to see if I can get you a better price on a tire. Can I call you in a couple minutes?
Me: Um, er, well, sure. Wait, are you just pricing a different tire?
Her: (click)
Her (20 Minutes Later):O.K. Mr. Higley, I found one option for you. It’s no where near as good as the General Grabbers but they are fine. And, they will save you $3 per tire.
Me: I’m sorry, did you say $3. Is that what you said? (switching the phone to my other ear)
Her: That’s right. It’s pretty much the best we can do. The General Grabbers are really your best deal. And if you come in this week, you qualify for free balancing with our “12 Days of Christmas” special.
Me: O.K. Fine. I’m actually just driving around now. Can I come in?
Her: We’re open until 5:00.
Me: And, can I ask you a question?
Her: Of course.
Me: Are you one of the 8 Maids a Milking?